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TeraGrid Animation "Render Farm" at SIGGRAPH 2007

Attendees of the 2007 ACM SIGGRAPH conference in San Diego (August 4-9) can bring animation files with them and submit them for rendering at a Purdue University-sponsored "render farm."

The Purdue resource is called TeraDRE, which stands for TeraGrid Distributed Rendering Environment. During SIGGRAPH 2007, the TeraDRE will be available to attendees in the Guerilla Studio, without the need to request an allocation. Animations can be created and submitted for a variety of applications, including Maya 8.5, Blender, POVRAY and nVidia's Gelato.

Laura Arns, research scientist and associate director of Purdue's Envision Center for Data Perceptualization, said the TeraDRE was run as a pilot version at last year's SIGGRAPH conference.

"We were able to take several animations that would have required 142 days of rendering time running on a single machine and complete them during the six days of the conference. This year, we hope to have many more people bring files and try to maximize the rendering we perform during the week," she said.

The TeraDRE offers several different user interfaces and submission can also be done via a simple web page application.

The TeraDRE runs using Condor distributed computing allocation software to distribute the jobs to machines in Purdue's pool, which has more than 4,200 computers.

Gary Bertoline, coprincipal investigator of Purdue's TeraGrid Project, said that to use the TeraDRE other than at the conference, users must first request a TeraGrid allocation. To get that, they need to submit an abstract about their work," he said. "When they receive their allocation, they should request access to the Condor pool at Purdue to use for rendering."

Other highlights in the Guerilla Studio at this year's SIGGRAPH conference are six emerging and established resident artists who come from 2D, 3D, digital, nondigital, production, one-of-a-kind, large, and small scale-traditions. These artists will have their own group workspace and will blend their dynamic individual studio practices, in media not always well represented at SIGGRAPH, with the emerging technologies and public nature of the Guerilla. The 2007 Artists in Residence are: Harriete Estel Berman, Matthew Hamon, Philip Mallory Jones, Mike and Maaike, and Michael Wright.

There will also be an animation area with open stations where attendees can experiment with the latest tools available; a Collaboration Space; a Drawing Circle; and the popular Guerilla Editions area, where images are processed and rendered as fine-art pigment prints -- master printmakers and even a color scientist manage all aspects of the color workflow and printing, and technologies from Epson, X-Rite, Colorbyte, and other companies are used to produce museum-quality prints.

In the 3D area, attendees are invited to work with state-of-the-art 3D data-capture systems, modeling packages, and rapid-prototyping equipment; and can explore 3D lenticular effects and receive lenticular training.

The Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) SIGGRAPH sponsors SIGGRAPH 2007. ACM is an educational and scientific society uniting the world's computing educators, researchers and professionals to inspire dialogue, share resources and address the field's challenges.

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