Making Movie Magic More Efficient

From the New York Times:

“The Croods” is a caveman movie from DreamWorks Animation that comes out March 22. The subject may be paleolithic, but the technology approach may well be cutting edge.

“Croods” is a digital product of about 250 billion pixels, with high-definition sound that, along with the images and story, is designed to maximize emotional manipulation of the audience. It is the end point of a process involving hundreds of artists and engineers working in a closely organized system that DreamWorks has been working on for years.

Making a movie with a half-million digital files, containing things like hair waving in the wind or cliffs crumbling into dust, took several years of planning, writing and drawing. It also meant searching for efficiency in the face of escalating costs. Since 2006, DreamWorks Animation has released more than a dozen movies costing at least $130 million. “We’re hoping to reduce that expense while adding more to the experience,” says Lincoln Wallen, the chief technical officer at DreamWorks Animation. “A modern digital environment, whatever the business, has to be distributed and agile.”

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