EVL part of award winning CineGrid@Disney demonstration

Burbank, CA

CENIC, the Corporation for Education Network Initiatives in California, has announced its 2011 Innovations in Networking Award Winners. CineGrid, an international non-profit research community exploring very-high-quality media applications running over very-high-speed networks, is a recipient of the Innovations in Networking Award, in the category of Experimental / Developmental Applications, in recognition of the CineGrid@Disney demonstration on October 13, 2010.

This demonstration was the result of a nine-month effort involving more than 50 participants from seven CineGrid member organizations: Disney Studios, NTT Network Innovation Laboratory, Skywalker Sound, Digital Domain, UCSD / Calit2, UIC Electronic Visualization Laboratory (EVL), and Pacific Interface. EVL director Jason Leigh was one of the demonstration’s leaders, and EVL team members included Luc Renambot, Ratko Jagodic, Sungwon Nam, Alan Verlo, Lance Long and Dana Plepys.

This demo showcased how it is feasible today, using high-speed research networks, to create a real-time fully interactive networked post-production environment for digital cinema using high-quality sound and pictures shared among widely distributed facilities on critical creative tasks.

Remote collaboration for movie-making and movie-selling is a “grand challenge” from the CineGrid perspective. There are interdisciplinary and multi-technology integration challenges which are best tackled by a consortium such as was formed by several CineGrid members and Disney for this demo.

The award will be presented as part of the 2011 CENIC Annual Conference, to be held March 7-9, 2011 at the University of California’s Irvine Student Center in Irvine, CA.

For more information, see CENIC’s website


The CineGrid@Disney demonstration was held October 13, 2010 in the Frank G. Wells Theatre at Disney studios in Burbank for an internal audience of 100. It included elements that have been the focus of CineGrid partner research for several years, and which in some cases have roots extending more than a decade into the past.

This demonstration brought together several different creative workflows linking multiple remote locations, into a single room using very-high-quality media running over high-speed networks for interactive, real-time remote collaboration. Specific use cases demonstrated included: 4K/60p telepresence virtual conference room; critical viewing of digitally restored archival film elements at 4K and 2K resolutions streaming from a remote server; Digital Intermediate (DI) color grading; critical viewing of 3D high-definition stereoscopic visual effects; collaborative audio editing and mixing; and, use of EVL’s SAGE software and multi-panel display walls for collaborative review of multimedia marketing materials. While most of these use cases involved point-to-point bilateral collaboration, several required triangular collaboration configurations using multicasting.

EVL’s SAGE software enabled remote collaboration between Disney in Burbank and UIC / EVL in Chicago. UCSD / Calit2 shipped a tiled display wall to Burbank for the event. This wall connected over a high-speed network to EVL’s Cyber-Commons. Participants shared and discussed marketing materials for the new “TRON Legacy” movie.

In addition to the CineGrid member institutions that participated, several CineGrid networking organizations also contributed: CENIC, JGN2, GEMnet, PNWGPOP, and StarLight. EVL is a member of the StarLight management consortium and provides network engineering support.

Photo caption (right): CineGrid project leaders posing in the auditorium after the successful demonstration. From left to right: Leon Silverman, General Manager of Digital Studio Operations, Walt Disney Studios; Mark Harrah, Executive Director, Post Production, Walt Disney Studios; Jeff Schectman, Senior Vice President of Creative Film Services, Walt Disney Studios; Jason Leigh, Director, Electronic Visualization Laboratory, University of Illinois at Chicago; Andy Fowler, Vice President and Senior Visual Effects Producer, Walt Disney Studios; Sara Duran-Singer, Senior Vice President of Worldwide Post Production, Walt Disney Studios; Laurin Herr, President, Pacific Interface Inc.; Phil Benson; Executive, Skywalker Sound, a Lucasfilm Company.

Email: maxine@uic.edu

Date: February 3, 2011
CineGrid project leaders posing in the auditorium after the successful demonstration. - Natalie Van Osdol, Pacific Interface, Inc.

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