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Article on Grid Computing Planet about BBB Rendering


There is a interesting article on 'Big Buck Bunny' from the render hardware perspective on a news letter regarding grid computing:

" provided the more than 50,000 CPU-hours of compute time needed to speed up the movie rendering process, sparing the project the need for its own computer infrastructure."

"Even though the Blender team did not have the support of a big studio, they succeeded with the community support, an open source rendering software and an on-demand computing platform," stated David Folk, group manager of marketing."


  1. To RedBirdiii :

    A CPU-hour computing time is a convenient unit to show a quantity of computation power. For BBB, more than 50'000 hours of CPU means (for example) that they used 100 workstations with 2 CPU each during more than 250 hours : 100*2*250 = 50'000 hours of CPU.

    As rendering a movie is a highly parallelizable task (you have 8 minutes, that is 8*60*30 = 14400 frames to render at 30fps, and each frame can be rendered independantly of the others) it doesn't matter if you use 200 CPU during 250 hours, or 400 CPU during 125 hours.

    On a more extreme way, it matters if you use very few CPUs (resulting in a long rendering duration) or many many CPUs (eg more than 14400 CPU for 14400 frames, means you'll have to parallelize the rendering of a single picture accross many CPU)

    To get it, just think than rendering BBB with your mono-CPU PC would take more than 50000 hours, that is, 5 years, 258 days and 8 hours. So instead of just push the render button, the team had to use a dedicated rendering solution, capable of driving the renderer software.

  2. uhmm...from the article's first line:

    "Sun Microsystems' (Nasdaq: JAVA) grid computing service played a key role in a new open source animated film."

  3. "Sun Microsystems' (Nasdaq: JAVA) grid computing service played a key role in a new open source animated film."

    So according to the article they did use sun microsystems :)

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