Like all high end animators and special effects houses, the Titanic team had
a slew of SGI Indigo workstations (as well as a pile of new Windows NT
workstations for the low end jobs), but Titanic was far more demanding than
most projects. A much greater degree of realism was required than for the
typical science fiction epic, and realism is expensive. Rendering the water
scenes was obviously a job for a supercomputer, but with Titanic already far
over budget, a $10,000,000 computer wasn't realism.
The performance problem was solved by assembling a cluster of DEC Alpha based computers (far faster than Intel's best) into a Linux cluster. Instant supercomputer at a small fraction of the cost.
Red Hat now offers a commercial version of the clustering software under the title Extreme Linux.
©:Andrew Grygus - Automation Access
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