DreamWorks Animation

Reframing motion picture production

Enabling DreamWorks’ vision of a cloud-enabled production pipeline

The past challenge

On a typical CG-animated film, DreamWorks creates and manages 500 million digital files. These live on complex data structures across many different file types, making on-the-fly changes by Technical Directors cumbersome and time-consuming.

The present collaboration

To address this challenge, DreamWorks partnered with DXC and argodesign to enhance the accessibility, framework, and policy management aspects of their hybrid cloud platform, which supports the creation and management of the vast amount of data used in animated film production.

Three interconnected systems enable this radical rethinking of the traditional animated film production pipeline:

Allegory visualizes schemas to show the dependencies and relationships between assets and their associated workflows, typically only visible in code.

Technical Directors at DreamWorks use Allegory to visualize and collaborate on schema creation, drawing diagrams of workflows between tasks and assets, enabling the smooth operation of their production pipeline across global regions and hybrid cloud platforms.

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Harbor controls the security and permissions of files and supportive cloud-based services to ensure they are shared with the appropriate artist or vendor.

Working in tandem, Allegory, Harbor, and Lighthouse tackle three distinct and specific challenges arising from a global production pipeline—asset management and transfer, security and permissions, and workflow.

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Lighthouse is a cloud-based front-end UI that manages the 500 million files involved in an animated film’s production and allows artists and Technical Directors to track and monitor the transfer of production files anywhere in the world.

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The future of filmmaking

Allegory, Harbor, and Lighthouse allow DreamWorks artists to work more efficiently and access production data globally. With argo, DreamWorks is reimagining the traditional film production pipeline.

argo brought sense and style in their uniformity of approach to visualizing and managing the complex processes of accessing data in a CG production environment.
Andrew Pearce
VP, Global Technology, DreamWorks Animation