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Technology transfer node at GMD

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HPCIN-4D (High Performance CINEMA 4D) focuses on the parallelization of CINEMA 4D, a market-leading European 3D visualization program, and on the evaluation of a parallelized version for TV news, scientific, promotional and other industrial purposes. The problem with 3D visualization is that a lot of time is required to render the images. A single second of computer-generated film may require days of computing time. This is very impractical for both designers and customers, as both rely on immediate feedback about the progress of the work. CINEMA 4D, the base program that is the subject of the HPCIN-4D project within TTNATGMD, already has one of the fastest render engines available world-wide. However on a single PC, Mac or UNIX machine, rendering times are still in the several hours range. The HPCin-4D project will employ supercomputer technologies that enable users to share processing of computer-generated films over a mixed network of - possibly already existing - computers in an intelligent and very cost effective way. Basically, users will be able to connect the hardware they already possess and use it during idle times or at night for 3D rendering. Final results are expected during 1999, but early tests show that it is possible to accelerate the product by a factor of 7-8 on a heterogeneous network of 10 computers. Project URL :