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Linux goes to Hollywood 313

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the something-to-read dept.
j2brown writes: " Yahoo! News has this little article about IBM taking Linux to Hollywood. " It's not a very in-depth article, but it is interesting that Big Blue is saying that Hollywood will be moving their rendering stuffs to Linux in the next 12 to 18 months. Wonder how SGI feels about that.
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Linux goes to Hollywood

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  • by 4n0nym0u$ C0w4rd (471100) on Wednesday August 15, 2001 @10:48AM (#2110216)
    uh oh, u did it......you posted a cheap stock price on slashdot.....today 60c tomorrow $1000.....seriously.
  • Cheap hardware (Score:4, Interesting)

    by mfarver (43681) on Wednesday August 15, 2001 @10:37AM (#2119375) Journal

    At this point studios want CPU cycles cheap, and they are already comfortable writing toolchains on Unix.

    Linux combines the best of both worlds, cheap fast PC hardware and Unix. One studio said they could afford to replace their Linux cluster twice as often as the SGI renderfarm (since it cost half as much) so they could keep themselves closer to the state of the art in processing power.

    SGI used to offer awesome custom graphics acceleration hardware but custom hardware limits choice, and costs more than general purpose stuff. And the general purpose stuff is nearly as fast.

  • Re:Great! (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Fizzlewhiff (256410) <`moc.liamtoh' `ta' `nonnahsffej'> on Wednesday August 15, 2001 @10:40AM (#2124925) Homepage
    Try Blender [blender.nl]. It's a very good and very powerful 3D modeler and rendering tool. You might also want to take a look at BMRT [exluna.com]. It is a very good rendering tool/ray tracer. You've probably seen it's work in A Bug's Life, Stuart Little, and Hollow Man [exluna.com].

    There's probably other modelers and user interfaces from BMRT and POVRay. They may not be what George Lucas uses but they aren't shabby. I've seen some amazing stuff done in Blender and it is FREE.

  • Linux already there (Score:5, Interesting)

    by boboroshi (239125) on Wednesday August 15, 2001 @10:56AM (#2131248) Homepage
    At least in the 3d (renderfarms) and compositing (e.g. Shake [nothingreal.com]) world it's been there a while

    Pixar's Renderman runs on Linux, and due to the wonderfully low cost of Linux and the cheap method of build your own machine, renderfarms in racks tend to run linux at many post houses.

    Also, Square has entered the arena with one amazing ray tracer. For the white paper inclined, this is pretty sweet. It explains Maya and how it works with their custom app on Linux using Parallel proessing via the Pthread library.

    http://www.squareusa.com/kilauea/ [httpp]

  • by tenzig_112 (213387) on Wednesday August 15, 2001 @10:25AM (#2131855) Homepage
    Okay lighten up.

    It's time for Slashdot to have a laugh at its own expense. [ridiculopathy.com]

  • by tolldog (1571) on Wednesday August 15, 2001 @10:25AM (#2131856) Homepage Journal
    I think SGI likes it.
    SGI sells linux boxes that can work as a renderfarm just as much as any other rackmount linux solution.
    But this is where they should really like it. Hollywood has trusted SGI for years. SGI has major name recognition based on hardware quality and support.
    Linux has been in Hollywood for a while now, chances are that the 3D that you see in current titles has had some Linux involvement along the way.
    I know we are heading that direction.
    All the studios I have talked with are heading that way, if they haven't all ready.
    In my opinion, this is a place where VA could have made a name for themselves. Now, I think that the big Linux battle will be between HP, SGI, and the next person to have a killer 3D desktop. If I had to place money on it, I would be pulling for HP.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 15, 2001 @10:42AM (#2132821)
    IRIX on SGI Boxen is mainly used for design using Alias and such. SGIs are too expensive to waste for the backend rendering horsepower.

    They Design on SGIs, then use the most cost effective solution on the backend for the rendering. (Of course most cost effective often means Sun saying, "Hey, will give you a ton of sun boxes to render on if you give us a big credit at the end.") Though these days more and more folks are using Linux for such things.

  • Re:And this is good? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by karmawarrior (311177) on Wednesday August 15, 2001 @12:19PM (#2133664) Journal
    Which is precisely why I said we can't prevent them from using Linux.

    What we can do is blackball those who'd work with Hollywood. This can be anything from removing them from mailing lists to ignoring or even hindering changes they'd want to make to applications and operating systems that are open source.

    I don't want anything to do with the bastards. I would like to see others take a similar view. Let them live off the dregs of open source, not have the world of free software revolve around them.

  • SGI will be fine (Score:3, Interesting)

    by xwred1 (207269) on Wednesday August 15, 2001 @10:27AM (#2135845) Homepage
    There's a guy that goes to my LUG who works for SGI, some sort of promotional manager or something.

    He told us SGI is very dedicated to Linux because it provides a standardized OS across platforms, which is what alot of their customers have wanted over the years.

    Its also supposed to play into their Intel strategy, because as a customer grows, and moves up SGIs product line, they pretty much just need to recompile their apps to have them run on the faster hardware.

    I suspect that Sgi will like having the rendering move onto Linux, although they may dislike having Sgi boxes replaced by IBM boxes.
  • by Sara Chan (138144) on Wednesday August 15, 2001 @12:47PM (#2138796)
    There's another big advantage of working with IBM. That is an easy transition to Linux-on-the-mainframe. Having a rendering farm containing 1000 PCs is not the best idea. There are problems with reliability. Once you have that many PCs in the farm, you are better off replacing them all with a single mainframe. Each copy of Linux then runs as a virtual OS (under VM): see the recent Slashdot story [slashdot.org] for other examples and here [ibm.com] for technical details.

    This is clearly IBMs strategy. They will make a lot of money from it. Such installations are very good for customers too: customers save energy, floor space, and staff--and, best of all, get mainframe-level reliability.

  • by Raptor CK (10482) on Wednesday August 15, 2001 @10:33AM (#2138987) Journal
    As the article says, and we should all remember, SGI's also selling Linux boxes now.

    It's easier to go with something that's being worked on by the Open Source community, since you can be pretty sure that any Open project with sufficient momentum will get the major kinks out over time. Besides, it's easier for SGI than to keep on supporting IRIX, which has had its own fair share of disaster stories.

    It's going to go back to a hardware battle, and this is where IBM may not be ready to compete. Using Linux is nice, but what about render times? What about the overall architecture? Are these IBM boxes going to beat out SGI in price and performance?

    If so, then SGI should worry. Linux has nothing to do with it.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 15, 2001 @11:48AM (#2139123)
    Well, according to this [fuckedcompany.com] news site, 1100 of them probably don't really like it...
  • News? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by jfedor (27894) <jfedor@jfedor.org> on Wednesday August 15, 2001 @10:28AM (#2139580) Homepage
    AFAIK, both Titanic and Shrek were rendered on Linux. (They were using Alphas in Digital Domain and Intels at PDI to do it.)

    Furthermore, PDI is using Linux *on the desktop* since early 2001.

    -jfedor
  • And this is good? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by karmawarrior (311177) on Wednesday August 15, 2001 @10:34AM (#2141984) Journal
    This is the same hollywood that's absolutely 100% against any mainstream efforts to allow Linux users to watch DVDs, because of an obsession with protecting the long term copyrights of movies that, normally, are profitable within two years of the scriptwriter tapping out the first line? (A profitability unheard of in virtually any other industry, where it's rare that a company is making more than it spends within 3 years of opening, and even longer to return the initial investment.)

    Don't get me wrong. I'm not in favour of copyright infringement, but the notion that it should be illegal to watch Dr Strangelove on a Linux box because movie makers are obsessed that someone might use knowledge gained from the movie playing software to make a copy of the film, is absurd in the extreme.

    I don't want to see Linux helping an industry that is so negative about open source and ideologically committed to its destruction. I don't want to see Linux helping an industry that lobbied for laws that effectively put the major art form of the 20th Century behind an electronic curtain leading to a situation where we may even lose much of what's important by the end of the 21st. An industry that has consistantly lied, even in court, about the motives of those wanting to break the encryption, and whose products appear to be increasingly designed to prevent consumers having any control or rights whatsoever of things they've paid money for.

    I can't prevent it from happening, that's what a free operating system is all about after all, but I can say that those who help Hollywood in this fight and provide open source solutions to them, are a bunch of slimeballs, and insofar as we have a community, they should be blackballed from it.

    Sorry, strongly expressed I know, but it's something I feel particularly angry about.

  • by Ramses0 (63476) on Wednesday August 15, 2001 @12:21PM (#2143916)
    http://www.debian.org/social_contract#guidelines

    * No Discrimination Against Persons or Groups

    The license must not discriminate against any person or group of persons.

    * No Discrimination Against Fields of Endeavor

    The license must not restrict anyone from making use of the program in a specific field of endeavor. For example, it may not restrict the program from being used in a business, or from being used for genetic research.

    Just an FYI, but it would just get really nasty if a lot of people started putting exclusion clauses, etc. in their licenses.

    --Robert
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 15, 2001 @11:58AM (#2157799)
    IIRC, most of the 14 terabyte networked file system was hosted on NetApp servers, with many SGI Origin 200's to help with file serving, and rendering.

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