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Making films with SmartFrog

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SmartFrog in the HP Labs Utility Rendering Service

All the HP Labs Service Utility platform components are deployed and managed using SmartFrog. Also SmartFrog describes, assembles, launches and manages the components to form the Utility Rendering Service (URS). SmartFrog uses service templates so that, once described, a service can be launched repeatedly.

The Resource Manager configures the Service Utility's processors, and is able to keep track of what processors are available - or have ceased to be available for whatever reason - through our research technology called Anubis, so it is clear to all, which of them, and how many, are available at any time.

Anubis can report a failure in one or more of the processors, allowing the Service Utility platform to recover the information on the affected devices and distribute it to other nodes. Anubis is fully decentralised, meaning it can detect and respond to a wide variety of problems, and provide a consistent picture of what is happening, to every resource in the system.

White Papers

Servicing the Animation Industry: HP's Utility Rendering Service Provides On-Demand Computing Resources

Showcase for tomorrow's computing utility

HP/Alias CGI Film Rendering: Combining cutting-edge research, creative residencies and public events, the SE3D animation showcase involves animators, digital artists and production companies in shaping the technology of tomorrow. In 2004, SE3D offered 12 groups of UK animators free access to HP Labs’ experimental Mayaź Rendering Service to produce a 3D short.


Picture This
“Picture This”, a short 3D film created by Dan Lane, was used in a prototype that creates on-demand customized 3D short films from photographs provided by consumers. The service is built around HP Labs Utility Rendering Service (URS), a remote 3D rendering application for the creation of computer graphics animations using the Maya modelling package. In our demonstrator, the consumer’s photograph is inserted in "Picture This". The film is re-rendered on-demand using the URS and burnt onto a DVD that the consumer can walk away with. The prototype has been demonstrated at the 2005 International Broadcasting Convention in Amsterdam. A customized sample of "Picture This" featuring the HP Labs SE3D team or SmartFrog is available for viewers:


The Painter

Scientists at HP Labs teamed with the award-winning production company 422 to produce an animated film that takes advantage of new technology from HP.

"The Painter," a four-minute film depicting the artistic adventures of a tiny robotic painter, is to be submitted to the world-famous Sundance Film Festival and other competitions.

In producing the film, animators made use of a prototype utility rendering service developed by researchers at HP Labs Bristol and run on the Labs' Utility Data Center. (Rendering is the process that turns animators' computer-generated wire models into finished frames.)


still from The Painter animation

Updated 25 June 2007

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