Linux Powers The Spiderwick Chronicles
There are commercial Linux software tools available to Linux animators beyond big packages like Maya. “cMuscle is a system for simulating muscle movement”, says Darling. “We used it for muscle jiggle, skin jiggle, skin smoothing and sliding effects. We use SyFlex for the clothing worn by Red Cap and Hogsqueal. This system was augmented by some custom cloth/deformation software developed at Tippett Studio.”
“cineSpace allows us to have a specific, consistent look on all viewing devices that simulate our finaling medium—the look of the film that the director is using for final shots”, says Darling. “Since film is still the master format, this means a combination of a specific film stock and a specific lab that is used to process and print that film. A cineSpace profile allows us to produce an image digitally that has the same look and characteristics of that same image if it were printed to film. It is important that we are looking at the same thing that the director sees, as well as what will eventually be seen in the theater.”
“Tippett Studio's primary operating system is Linux”, says Darling. “Open-source software is very important to us. In addition to it being a part of our pipeline, we've contributed to a few projects over the years, such as Pixie. Open source is also something that can enable standards. An example of this would be the OpenEXR Project. We really needed a standardized high-dynamic-range image format that was supported in commercial and open-source CG software. The EXR image file format has now become a de facto standard image file format in our industry, simply because it was open-sourced.”
“In Spiderwick all unexplained phenomena in the world are due to fantastical creatures that are all around us”, says director Mark Waters. The movie is based on the best-selling series of children's books written by Holly Black and illustrated by Tony DiTerlizzi. The Spiderwick Chronicles is a family adventure fantasy set at the dilapidated Spiderwick Estate, constructed in Canada at Quebec's Cap-Ste-Jacques Nature park.
The movie opens to wide release on February 15th, 2008. There's also a Spiderwick video game in development.
Tippett Desktop and Renderfarm Stats
Apple Mac Pro
Quad Xeon5150 2.66GHz
GeForce 7300 GT
Quad Xeon5160 3.0GHz
Quad Opteron290 2.80GHz
Quad Opteron265 1.80GHz
Dual Athlon2800+ 2.15GHz
Dual Athlon2400+ 2.00GHz
Dual Athlon1900+ 1.60GHz
Operating system: Fedora Core 4
Compiler: GCC 4.0.2
Desktop: KDE 3.5.1
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