200TB and 413,138 hairs

I’ve been talking to film and TV pre- and post-production outfits for an upcoming supplement we call Storage in the Studio, which includes case studies of studios that have solved somewhat unique storage problems. I try to focus on the storage angle, but a lot of interesting stuff invariably comes up.

For example, in creating graphics for the feature film The Tale of Despereaux, UK-based Framestore started with 50TB of capacity and by the end of production the studio had a whopping 200TB -- 400TB if you include a mirrored cluster. (All of the content was stored on Infortrend’s EonStor disk arrays in a, somewhat surprisingly, RAID-6 configuration for added reliability.). During peak production, Framestore was generating 5TB of animation content per day.

The computer generated imagery (CGI) studio created the 200TB storage cluster using the Lustre open-source Linux cluster file system. The cluster was tightly coupled to a 6,000-core render farm. Fun facts:

--There are 40,089 individual assets in the film
--1,726 final shots were delivered
--The film has 126,248 frames
--The animation crew size was 278 during peak production

And there are 413,138 hairs on Despereaux’s head.

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posted by: Dave Simpson

Dave Simpson, Editor-in-Chief
by Dave Simpson
Editor-in-Chief

Dave Simpson has been the Editor-in-Chief of InfoStor since its inception in 1997. He previously held editorial positions at publications such as Datamation, Systems Integration, and Digital News and Review. He can be contacted at dsimpson@quinstreet.com

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