Rendering is the final stage in creating computer-generated images and involves converting object, environment and motion data into photo-realistic images, and blending these with live action.
The 16 1200 servers from American firm SGI each have dual 700 megahertz Pentium III processors, with one gigabyte of Ram and a nine gigabyte SCSI hard disk.
Weta is scheduled to complete the first of three parts of The Lord of the Rings by the end of next year, with the second part finished by the end of 2002 and the third by late 2003.
The servers run Red Hat's version of the Linux operating system.
Weta has more than four terabytes of central disk storage at the moment and expects to create and manage nearly 100 terabytes of data during the production of the trilogy's 1200 visual effects.
The company also runs a four-processor SGI Origin 2000 server with 2.5 terabytes of fibre channel disk online, one eight-processor Origin 2000 with 900 gigabytes of fibre channel disk, and three four-processor SGI Origin 200 servers, along with other SGI hardware.