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.”
Fast/Flexible Linux OS Recovery
On Demand Now
In this live one-hour webinar, learn how to enhance your existing backup strategies for complete disaster recovery preparedness using Storix System Backup Administrator (SBAdmin), a highly flexible full-system recovery solution for UNIX and Linux systems.
Join Linux Journal's Shawn Powers and David Huffman, President/CEO, Storix, Inc.
Free to Linux Journal readers.Register Now!
|Working with Command Arguments||May 28, 2016|
|Secure Desktops with Qubes: Installation||May 28, 2016|
|CentOS 6.8 Released||May 27, 2016|
|Secure Desktops with Qubes: Introduction||May 27, 2016|
|Chris Birchall's Re-Engineering Legacy Software (Manning Publications)||May 26, 2016|
|ServersCheck's Thermal Imaging Camera Sensor||May 25, 2016|
- Secure Desktops with Qubes: Introduction
- Secure Desktops with Qubes: Installation
- Download "Linux Management with Red Hat Satellite: Measuring Business Impact and ROI"
- Working with Command Arguments
- CentOS 6.8 Released
- The Italian Army Switches to LibreOffice
- Linux Mint 18
- ServersCheck's Thermal Imaging Camera Sensor
- Chris Birchall's Re-Engineering Legacy Software (Manning Publications)
- Petros Koutoupis' RapidDisk
Until recently, IBM’s Power Platform was looked upon as being the system that hosted IBM’s flavor of UNIX and proprietary operating system called IBM i. These servers often are found in medium-size businesses running ERP, CRM and financials for on-premise customers. By enabling the Power platform to run the Linux OS, IBM now has positioned Power to be the platform of choice for those already running Linux that are facing scalability issues, especially customers looking at analytics, big data or cloud computing.
￼Running Linux on IBM’s Power hardware offers some obvious benefits, including improved processing speed and memory bandwidth, inherent security, and simpler deployment and management. But if you look beyond the impressive architecture, you’ll also find an open ecosystem that has given rise to a strong, innovative community, as well as an inventory of system and network management applications that really help leverage the benefits offered by running Linux on Power.Get the Guide