The Day the Earth Stood Still
The Day the Earth Stood Still is a re-invention of the 1951 science-fiction film classic. Keanu Reeves stars as the benevolent visiting alien Klaatu, come to Earth to warn us to change our barbaric ways or face destruction.
Ten years ago, Titanic was the first film to use Linux in a big way. Today, Linux dominates big-budget visual effects and 3-D animation. Ever since The Matrix, it's become routine to have several visual-effects companies working on the same film. A visual effects supervisor at the studio, in this case Fox, selects which companies will create the visual effects.
“I came in and met with the director Scott Derrickson”, says The Day the Earth Stood Still Visual Effects Supervisor Jeffrey A. Okun. “In Scott's opinion, and one I agree with, the day of visual effect as star of the movie is gone. He wanted to focus on story. He wanted spectacular effects that were invisible. When dealing with spaceships, aliens and giant robots, that's a bit of a challenge.”
“Weta was our primary group on the film that did 220 shots on the film”, says Okun. “Then Cinesite. We had Flash Filmworks and CosFX. Later on we added Hammerhead and Hydraulx, a company called At the Post, and a couple other little companies. Weta handled the Sphere, the alien, the robot and the Swarm. It's all particle systems based on chaos theory. That means it's render-intensive.”
“There's a shot of the Sphere that we call the super-sphere shot”, says Okun. “That starts in the swamp and takes you to various Spheres activating around the world. That took 30 days to render. That's pretty crazy. It's around 1,100 frames. It's an amazing shot. You don't want to show it to the director at the end of the day and have him say, 'That's not really our sphere'...which is what happened. We came up with a patch system at Weta Digital where we could render a section and patch it over the offending thing. This particular patch took three days to render.”
“Linux is an integral part of what we do here at Weta”, says Production Engineering Lead Peter Capelluto. “It's very well suited for the dynamic needs of the visual-effects industry. Our department would have a much more difficult time accomplishing our goals with any other operating system.”
“Weta predominantly uses Linux for our workstations and also for our renderfarm and servers”, says Capelluto. “There are a few applications that require the use of Mac OS X, Windows and Irix. Whenever possible, we use Linux. The open-source nature of Linux and the many Linux applications are a major advantage. We also prefer it for stability, low cost, access control, multiuser capabilities, control and flexibility.” Capelluto's department develops pipeline software, such as the digital asset management system and the distributed resource management system for their renderfarm.
“We have 500 IBM Blade Servers, 2,560 HP BL2x220C Blade Servers and 1,000 workstations”, says Weta Digital Systems Department Lead Adam Shand. “Ubuntu is our primary render and desktop distro. We also use CentOS, RHEL and Debian.” The workstations are IBM and HP. Weta uses NetApp DataOnTap, NetApp GX, BluArc, Panasas and SGI file servers. Storage is mostly NAS, not SAN. For open-source apps, they use Apache, Perl, Python, MySQL, PostgresSQL, Bind, OpenOffice.org, CUPS, OpenLDAP, Samba, Firefox, Thunderbird, Django, Cacti, Cricket, MRTG and Sun Gridware.
“We're big fans of open-source code here at Weta”, says Capelluto. “We're utilizing Sun's Grid Engine for distributed resource management and have helped them fix a number of bugs. It's very powerful to be able to improve upon open-source software and to fix any problems you encounter.”
Practical Task Scheduling Deployment
One of the best things about the UNIX environment (aside from being stable and efficient) is the vast array of software tools available to help you do your job. Traditionally, a UNIX tool does only one thing, but does that one thing very well. For example, grep is very easy to use and can search vast amounts of data quickly. The find tool can find a particular file or files based on all kinds of criteria. It's pretty easy to string these tools together to build even more powerful tools, such as a tool that finds all of the .log files in the /home directory and searches each one for a particular entry. This erector-set mentality allows UNIX system administrators to seem to always have the right tool for the job.
Cron traditionally has been considered another such a tool for job scheduling, but is it enough? This webinar considers that very question. The first part builds on a previous Geek Guide, Beyond Cron, and briefly describes how to know when it might be time to consider upgrading your job scheduling infrastructure. The second part presents an actual planning and implementation framework.
Join Linux Journal's Mike Diehl and Pat Cameron of Help Systems.
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|The Firebird Project's Firebird Relational Database||Jul 29, 2016|
|Stunnel Security for Oracle||Jul 28, 2016|
|SUSE LLC's SUSE Manager||Jul 21, 2016|
|My +1 Sword of Productivity||Jul 20, 2016|
|Non-Linux FOSS: Caffeine!||Jul 19, 2016|
|Murat Yener and Onur Dundar's Expert Android Studio (Wrox)||Jul 18, 2016|
- The Firebird Project's Firebird Relational Database
- Stunnel Security for Oracle
- My +1 Sword of Productivity
- Non-Linux FOSS: Caffeine!
- Managing Linux Using Puppet
- SUSE LLC's SUSE Manager
- Murat Yener and Onur Dundar's Expert Android Studio (Wrox)
- Doing for User Space What We Did for Kernel Space
- Google's SwiftShader Released
- SuperTuxKart 0.9.2 Released
With all the industry talk about the benefits of Linux on Power and all the performance advantages offered by its open architecture, you may be considering a move in that direction. If you are thinking about analytics, big data and cloud computing, you would be right to evaluate Power. The idea of using commodity x86 hardware and replacing it every three years is an outdated cost model. It doesn’t consider the total cost of ownership, and it doesn’t consider the advantage of real processing power, high-availability and multithreading like a demon.
This ebook takes a look at some of the practical applications of the Linux on Power platform and ways you might bring all the performance power of this open architecture to bear for your organization. There are no smoke and mirrors here—just hard, cold, empirical evidence provided by independent sources. I also consider some innovative ways Linux on Power will be used in the future.Get the Guide