A Behind the Scenes look at LucasFilm and Pixar's Renderfarms

TechILMPixarby Joey Paur


If your a tech geek then you will most likely know what a Renderfarm is. For those of you who don't know, a renderfarm is a huge place where a ton of computer servers sit that are constantly at work rendering CG effects and animated graphics for the movies we watch. Most of these big companies like Pixar and Industrial Light and Magic have giant rooms filled with thousands of computer servers. They obviously need them because of all of the films they are constantly working on. 

There are a couple videos that have surfaced online and thanks to our friends of at /Film we caught wind of them. One of the videos focuses on LucasFilm's ILM, the other focuses on Pixar.


The ILM campus has a 13,500-square-foot data center, which houses a render farm, file servers and storage systems. The set-up includes more than 3,000 AMD processors, proprietary render-management tools, allowing desktop workstations to be added to the render farm pool after hours, expanding the processing capacity to more than 5,000 processors.

The Pixar video below is more for the hard core tech geeks. It's a presentation that was given at the Silicon Valley Leadership Group's Data Center Energy Efficiency Summit focusing on Cold Aisle Containment. 

Here a picture from the inside of Pixar's Renderfarm. 

The photo below is a picture of the Renderfarm that was used to create the first Toy Story film. It shows you how far we've come since then. 


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