Pepper’s Ghost Production: Grid computing for computer-generated animation
In the commercial world an increasing number of projects are being undertaken by consortia of companies that come together for the lifetime of a contract and then break up on successful completion of the work.
This form of working is commonplace in, for instance, the construction and aerospace industries, but also in the media industries. Such examples of collaborative working are called Virtual Organisations (VOs). Grid has been widely identified as providing a core platform for the establishment of VOs for industry and commerce. The Pepper’s Ghost Production Grid (PGPGrid) project explored the use of the Grid, between three different companies, for the production of computer-generated animations. Each company took a specific role in the Virtual Organisation:
- Pepper’s Ghost Ltd produced the computer-generated animation film.
- 3D-Matic Lab provided the 3D capture facility for detailed animated modelling.
- EPCC provided the middleware and access to processing power for both the production of the animated models and the final rendered output.
The project demonstrated that Grid computing and the processing power of HPC can be used by animation companies to take advantage of 3D image-capture technology.
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