RENCI joins CineGrid digital media community

CHAPEL HILL, NC, January 23, 2008–A new RENCI partnership will give North Carolina the opportunity to contribute digital films, scientific visualizations, and filmed performances to a worldwide network of high-resolution digital media content.

Late in 2007 RENCI joined CineGrid, a non-profit organization aimed at bringing together filmmakers, visualization specialists, animators and other digital media experts to share very high-quality digital media over high-speed photonic networks. CineGrid hopes to build a worldwide community that uses high-performance grids and grid infrastructure to share projects, ideas and applications, test new collaboration tools, experiment with distributed online production techniques, and evaluate new ways of delivering digital media content. CineGrid members include artists, filmmakers, researchers, educators and others interested in new ways of sharing and producing media-rich content for education, research, entertainment and artistic expression.

RENCI is working to connect its CineGrid node to the North Carolina Research and Education Network (NCREN) at 1 gigabit per second (Gb/s) and from there to high-speed research networks worldwide that host CineGrid nodes. The 1 Gb/s connection eventually will be upgraded to allow data transfer rates of 10 Gb/s.

“CineGrid is an exciting experiment in providing distributed media content, including film clips, scientific visualizations, and streaming performances, through a grid environment that includes high-speed networks, computing resources, data storage capabilities and collaboration tools,” said Ray Idaszak, director of RENCI’s visualization and collaborative environments group and a member of the CineGrid executive committee. “Much of the work on CineGrid will involve looking at new ways to present and to share digital media and scientific images, but many filmmakers and film studios are also interested in using a grid environment for editing, color work, and obtaining content from diverse locations.”

RENCI plans to be the first CineGrid node to offer three-dimensional, stereoscopic content at extremely high resolution–four times the resolution of high definition TV or 4,096 x 2,160 pixels. The institute plans to purchase two 4K video cameras to create content for the grid. Content could include scenes of North Carolina’s coast or mountains, live performances at North Carolina universities or other venues, digital art from local artists, faculty and students, and scientific visualizations from researchers.

To launch its involvement in CineGrid, RENCI plans to collaborate with Carolina Performing Arts at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill to film an upcoming  performance at the university’s Memorial Hall. The concert, still to be chosen, will be one in the series of performances presented each year by Carolina Performing Arts.  RENCI also plans to share its CineGrid content with North Carolina’s state and regional film commissions, said Idaszak.

“In the long run, we hope that sharing this technology and CineGrid content with the North Carolina film community will become a way to attract more film production to the state,” he said.

For more on CineGrid, see