He's big, green, grumpy and looks nothing like Wayne Rooney, and his best mate's a penguin called Tux. Let's hear it for Shrek.
OK, so he has no mates and a donkey fills the position of annoying talking animal/sidekick, rather than a too-innocent looking penguin, but without Linux would DreamWorks have been able to create quite such the spectacular that is Shrek 2?
DreamWorks needed as much computing power as possible to implement the newly developed computer graphics techniques it wanted to use to add greater depth to its animation in Shrek 2.
These included subsurface scattering for more realistic skin, global illumination for more realistic lighting, better looking hair and larger crowd scenes with more complex characters than seen in the original Shrek.
Over 330 HP workstations were used running Red Hat Linux 7.2, dual-Intel Xeon 2.4GHz processors, nVidia Quadro4 XGL graphics cards, 2GB Ram and dual monitors.
No, I don't know why they needed dual monitors but the hefty provision of Ram allowed animators to store more frames of animation, while the chosen systems allowed recalculated frames to have more detailed geometry which helped the animators to pre-visualise and make decisions before rendering.
At the back end, the Shrek 2 render farm comprised 347 LP-1000 1.2GHz P3 dual processor servers with 2GB of Ram, and 433 ProLiant DL360 2.8GHz P4 dual processor servers with 4GB of Ram.
"We are changing what is possible in animation," said Jeffrey Katzenberg, DreamWorks co-founder, during the film's production.
He was near enough right and, thanks to its jokes-on-all-levels dialogue and the Banderas/Zorro addition of Puss in Boots, it's a damn fine movie.
Pixar's Toy Story may be the father of CGI, but the combination of Linux and DreamWorks makes Shrek 2 the daddy now.
Do you agree? Vote for Shrek 2 here:
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Check back on Wednesday to read Steve Ranger's tribute to The Matrix, the last of our nominations.
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