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Campus Currents May 2007: Volume 4, Number 2

CineGrid Cineastes

For the members of CineGrid, who assembled recently at UC San Diego for their fifth annual conference, experimenting with “extreme” digital media has increasingly become a finely tuned balance of “3-D in support of collaboration, and collaboration in support of 3-D.”

“Interest in 3-D is being driven by scientific visualization, by consumer electronics and by digital cinema,” remarks Laurin Herr, president of the consulting company Pacific Interface, Inc., and one of the founders of CineGrid.

CineGrid represents one of the first major research collaborations at the UCSD division of Calit2. Headquartered in California, CineGrid is leveraging next-generation cyberinfrastructure to promote higher-resolution imagery and better sound, as well as more secure and efficient distribution of digital media over photonic networks.

Leon Silverman, general manager of Walt Disney Studios’ Digital Studio Operations, demonstrated how it is feasible today, using high-speed research networks like CENIC, to create a real-time, fully interactive, networked post-production environment for digital cinema between widely distributed facilities.

Silverman said the goal of the demo was to find ways that a connected digital studio can better serve filmmakers in an industry increasingly constrained by vast amounts of data and shrinking delivery timeframes. This is important at a time when more film studios are moving their operations abroad to save on time and production costs.

—Tiffany Fox