Entertainment Technology Thrust

Thrust Leader: W. Scott Meador, MFA, Digital Filmmaking

The Entertainment Technology Thrust focuses its research on processes and tools for artists, designers, and directors.

Current Projects:

Distributed 3D animation rendering via the Callisto Cluster

Using the power of multiple CPU cores on multiple computers, several frames of an animation can be rendered simultaneously over the cluster.

By rendering many frames at the same time it cuts the overall time needed to complete an animated film. An average frame may take as much as two minutes to render. A one minute animation has 1440 frames, which means that a single computer could take as long as 48 hours to complete the job. Using the cluster, the animation may take as little as four hours to render.

Having so many cores also allows an animator to split an animation job over as many cores as needed so for small jobs each CPU core could render a frame, whereas very complex rendering tasks can take advantage of multiple cores working on the same frame.

Stereoscopic 3D animation

Stereoscopic animation requires an image for both the left and right eye so each animation job is twice as large as a non-stereoscopic animation.

Stereoscopic live-action cinematography

Real-time virtual scenery


These projects support scholarly and creative endeavors, which may include:

Short animated films - stereoscopic and non-stereoscopic

Visual effects for live action narrative films, which may be in stereoscopic 3D

Graphics and animations for documentary films

Graphics and animations for video or web-based learning programs

Live virtual scenery for filming in greenscreen environments

Live virtual scenery and show control for live events, such as a theatrical production


Blender 3D - Open source 3D animation and compositing application available on the cluster