From Embedded Systems Engineering

Part of the technology for creating “Wallace and Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit”, was Aardcase, a custom-developped computer that was also usedĀ for Chicken Run.

Aardman demanded a highly robust product that could be easily transported – including being wheeled over the cobbled paths near their office – so Sight Systems designed a custom vibration-resistant solution to ensure that the computer would stand up to this rough treatment.
Capturing the images from upto 30 cameras directly to hard disk, it allows the animators to check the minute changes made from one frame to the next in real time. Aardcase is a single board based PC from Sightsystems with a passive backplane in a ruggedised 6U 19″ rack mount case. The system includes a video capture PCI card, an optical drive for storing captured film, and two hard drives: video is stored on a high-performance SCSI drive while the operating system and sofware are help on a cost-effective ATA drive.

In addition to the video inputs, the system also provides a 12V supply to power the cameras.

Installed software includes the Perception Video Recorder from DPS as well as a custom video assist and digital video frame store developed by Aardman that helps the animators plan character movements on screen, and allows them to check the frame currently being shot with those already completed to ensure continuity.