The Big Switch
INTEL and DreamWorks Animation Form Strategic Alliance
by: Jerry Liao
“Speed is the essence of war. Take advantage of the enemy’s unpreparedness; travel by unexpected routes and strike him where he has taken no precautions.” – Sun Tzu.
Intel Corporation and DreamWorks Animation SKG, Inc. announced they have formed a strategic alliance aimed at revolutionizing 3-D filmmaking technology, beginning with Monsters vs. Aliens, which is slated for a domestic release date of March 27, 2009. As previously announced, DreamWorks Animation has committed to producing all of its feature films in stereoscopic 3-D beginning next year.
The strategic alliance will take advantage of Intel’s visual computing products and tools and DreamWorks Animation’s expertise in content creation to advance the in-theater entertainment experience.
To meet the increased demands of creating 3-D animated feature films, Intel will provide DreamWorks Animation with the latest high-performance processing technologies, including future chips with multiple processing cores. Intel software engineers will help to optimize DreamWorks’ applications for these advanced processors. By converting its computing infrastructure to an Intel-based system, DreamWorks Animation will enable its artists to work with new, state-of-the-art 3-D authoring tools to render higher quality images more quickly and to modify them with greater ease.
“This alliance unites the best in computer-generated moviemaking and computing performance to deliver a new level of in-theater entertainment,” said Paul Otellini, Intel president and CEO. “The high level of inventiveness at DreamWorks Animation has positioned it as a leader in entertainment technology, and incorporating the Intel platform allows them to deliver incredibly rich digital 3-D content to the big screen – raising the bar for the industry as a whole.”
“Our objective is to significantly heighten the movie going experience using DreamWorks Animation’s ground-breaking 3-D filmmaking tools,” said Jeffrey Katzenberg, CEO of DreamWorks Animation. “Technology plays a significant role in enabling our artists to tell great stories. By utilizing Intel’s industry-leading computing products, we will create a new and innovative way for moviegoers to experience our films in 3-D.”
In addition to working with DreamWorks Animation to enhance the in-theater entertainment experience for consumers, Intel will work to develop and promote next-generation 3-D viewing experiences and technology on a range of other platforms, including home theater, personal computers, video games, online environments and mobile devices.
DreamWorks Animation Chief Executive Jeffrey Katzenberg said “The impact of these new chipsets is that it will go from overnight to hours to minutes. Within a handful of years — or less, actually — we may achieve the Holy Grail of our business, which is to actually work in real time. So it’s actually, literally in the moment of creation, you can see your work.”
DreamWorks had collaborated with AMD in 2005 and the deal was for a period of three years. Dreamworks will not be renewing the deal with AMD and would now work with Intel. Dreamworks has apparently decided that the family of chips called Nehalem will suit its needs better. Furthermore, Dreamworks is also interested in Intel’s “Larrabee” graphics products.