Despicable Me's Big Blue Base

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IBM says it has collaborated with Illumination Entertainment to help it meet the massive production requirements involved in creating its latest computer-animated 3-D feature film, "Despicable Me," which premiered at theaters this past weekend. With today's increased emphasis on animation and visual effects, the digital rendering process has become a competitive differentiator and critical production capability for studios of all sizes. The process involves literally hundreds of thousands of individual images that are created by hand and rendered through digital animation to effectively build each individual frame of the film, all of which requires intensive computing power. For "Despicable Me," the animation process generated 142 terabytes of data - an amount roughly equivalent to the traffic generated by over 118 million active MySpace users or 250,000 streams of 25 million songs. Illumination tapped IBM and its Paris-based Business Partner Serviware to build a server farm based on IBM's iDataPlex system. Overall, the installation included 6,500 processor cores.

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