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CineGrid 2013: Coming to a Dental Office Near You?

CineGrid 2013: Coming to a Dental Office Near You?

WAVE

Imagery of the Palazzo Vecchio's "Lily Room" as seen on the WAVE 3D display. 
 
What also keeps people coming back to CineGrid are the grand challenges specific to CineGrid’s mission of working with high quality media and high speed networks.
 
San Diego, Calif., Dec. 18, 2013 — If you think digital media is all about entertainment, you haven’t seen a live 4K video feed of a dental extraction. The extraction and three other medical procedures — streamed live to the big screen at the University of California, San Diego’s Atkinson Hall Auditorium — had everyone talking (if not cringing) at the eighth annual CineGrid™ International Workshop, which is held each year at UC San Diego’s Qualcomm Institute (QI). The demonstration was a proof-of-concept for 4-way streaming of 4K video (four times the resolution of HD) from surgical operating rooms for medical education, professional training and second-opinions-at-a-distance. These dramatic demonstrations utilized the FOGO software player, developed by Prof. Guido de Lemos and his team at the Digital Video Applications Lab (LAVid) in Brazil’s Federal University of Rio Grande do Norte.
 
Besides demonstrating the value of extremely high-resolution telemedicine for educational and training purposes, the demo was also symbolic of one of CineGrid’s great strengths: Its reputation for bringing new digital media technologies out of the confines of the lab and encouraging experts from diverse disciplines — entertainment, networking, computing and medicine — to work together to show how they can be put to new uses. 
 
“CineGrid teaches us scalability; it teaches us how to take these things that are very esoteric and make the most of them in a variety of fields,” said Jeff Weekley, a longtime CineGrid affiliate and a member of the research faculty at the MOVES (Modeling Virtual Environments and Simulation) Laboratory at the Naval Post-Graduate School in Monterey, Calif. “CineGrid has a reputation for publicly putting its stick in the ground and saying, ‘We will demonstrate this,’ and then collectively figuring out how to actually do it.” 
 
CineGrid is a non-profit international membership organization focused on connecting people around the world who are experimenting with "extreme" digital media. Its 2013 workshop took place at QI Dec. 9-11 and featured demos and presentations on digital workflows, next-generation display technology, real-time collaboration, image compression, media transport, networking, storage, camera arrays and using digital media to enhance art, culture and education.  
 
The CineGrid workshop was organized and operated, as it is every year, by Laurin Herr and Natalie Van Osdol of Pacific Interface. Keynote speakers this year included Alex McDowell, founding director of the 5D|Global Studio at the University of Southern California’s Cinematic Arts program, who spoke about collaboration and prototyping for “a new narrative”; and Bill Feightner, CTO of Colorfront, a software development company for the motion picture industry, who addressed current opportunities and challenges of networked digital motion picture production and post-production. 
 
Although CineGrid has always placed an emphasis on working with the media and entertainment industry, its membership also includes a large number of university researchers who have benefited from their collaboration with CineGrid by leveraging higher-resolution imagery, better sound and more secure and efficient distribution of digital media for data visualization, simulations and other research-driven endeavors. 
 
Weekley’s students, for example, often go on to pursue work in modeling and simulation technologies for military training centers, but he also sees potential for future collaborations that can be both educational and inspiring. He said, for example, that he was so inspired by the Brazilian telemedicine demos that he sat down with Prof. Lemos at a dinner following the workshop to talk about the possibility of collaborating on a new project that would take the cameras into the Brazilian jungle. 
 
“We talked with great enthusiasm with the entire Brazilian delegation about how we might use multiple cameras while navigating up river where Teddy Roosevelt once traveled (and hunted) to capture the biodiversity, the atmosphere there.” Weekley said he envisions the project to be something akin to what QI-affiliated Professor of Anthropology Thomas Levy does to capture digital point clouds of archaeological sites, only cinematically. "This would likely push the development of camera systems and display technologies even beyond the cutting edge we see today at QI."
 
Once Weekley and de Lemos have captured their data, they might consider displaying it on the QI WAVE. QI Director of Visualization Tom DeFanti is a founding member of CineGrid and demonstrated his WAVE display technology at the event (he co-created the WAVE with Calit2 Professor of Visualization and Virtual Reality Falko Kuester). DeFanti said the WAVE —  a curved wall array of 35 stereoscopic 55” LG commercial LCD monitors — is a prime example of the ways that the networking, cinema and academic research communities can collaborate. The WAVE is a big data visualization environment that can serve as either a microscope or a telescope and enables users to explore data from the nano to micro to macro to mega scale, but it could also be used by film studios for remote collaboration in pre-production and post-production.
 
“CineGrid brings people together from around the world who may have different areas of expertise but share an interest in exploring the limits of high quality media applications using high speed networks," noted DeFanti. "There’s no place else that they would all meet, let alone collaborate. From a technical point of view, the ultra high-definition video and audio quality we’ve been working with are very good, even by Hollywood standards, and I think it’s fair to say that both folks from Hollywood and the academic researchers are always mutually blown away by all the new things they see at the workshop. That’s what keeps them coming back and what makes CineGrid very special.” 
 
“Although they’ve improved over time, the issues we deal with haven’t really ever gone away,” added Weekley. “The pictures are getting bigger, frame rates are getting faster, meaning the data rates are getting higher while the complexity of the network is increasing. When CineGrid started, we didn’t have cloud computing, or distributed processing, or next generation software defined virtualized network topologies, so, going forward, we have to figure out how to apply those emerging technologies to the problem space.” 
 
At the CineGrid workshop, Bradley Hankinson of Streamonix addressed some of those same challenges in his talk on IP streaming 4K and 8K. Although cloud computing has led to advances in networking that weren’t previously possible, Hankinson predicted there will be “a coming cloud computing efficiency crisis,” that he argued “will only partially be an energy efficiency crisis.It’s fundamentally a crisis of computing efficiency.”  Added Hankinson,. “We’re using highly inefficient, bloated software that was not designed for the scaling we now require. What the hardware engineers giveth, the software engineers taketh away.” 
 
Weekley acknowledged there are still many hurdles to overcome. “We’re at a spot where the current technologies can finally just about support what we’ve being trying to accomplish for the past few years,” he said.  “But we’re right on the cusp of new demand, and as we continue to push on those technologies we’ll have to innovate. Take 8K UHDTV for example (16 times the resolution of HD): how do we transmit it over the network, how do we record it, play it, display it?
 
DeFanti added, “CineGrid has always focused on showing people what is desirable, and what is possible at any given moment in time using the best available technology. Over successive CineGrid events,  we’ve seen spirals of development, where things keep getting better and better, and easier and easier to implement. There is still much to do within CineGrid, and much to learn about integrating systems, networks and people to build media-centric collaboratoriums among the CineGrid community of networked members around the world interested in experimenting at the cutting edge."
 
by Tiffany Fox, (858) 246-0353, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Advanced Software and Global Networks Stream 4K 3D Digital Movies from Poland to the U.S.

July 8, 2013-- On June 25, 2013, in a special demonstration for the first annual US Ignite Application Summit held in Chicago in the U.S., computer scientists from Poland's Poznan Supercomputing and Networking Center (PSNC) streamed ultra-high-resolution 3D movies over high-performance optical networks to the Electronic Visualization Laboratory (EVL) at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC). These films were "4K" resolution, a digital cinema standard that is slightly more than four times the resolution of high-definition television (HDTV). Because EVL does not have a large auditorium with the necessary equipment typically used to display stereo movies at large institutions and movie theaters -- a more unconventional "guerrilla tech" approach was needed. Using unique software being developed by the global research community, PSNC and EVL streamed the movies from PSNC servers to a large 3D-capable tiled display wall in EVL's high-tech classroom. Reliance on software, not expensive hardware, is the way ultra-high-resolution 2D, and eventually 3D, movies will be distributed to research labs, classrooms, offices, and homes in the future.

Joe Mambretti, iCAIR, introduces Maciej Strozyk and Maciej Glowiak at PSNC and asks if the audience has any questions for them as the 3D recreation of "Jan Matejko's 'The Battle of Grunwald'" painting, in the window behind him, finishes streaming on EVL's tiled display wall.Specifically, UltraGrid video and audio streaming software, developed by CESNET and the Institute of Computer Science at Masaryk University in the Czech Republic, was used to stream uncompressed movie files from Poznan to Chicago. Originally, each 3D movie was actually two movies -- a movie for the left eye and a movie for the right eye -- which are typically displayed using two projectors with polarizing filters such that the images overlap on the screen, and viewers wear passive stereo glasses to view them. However, to stream to EVL's 3D tiled display wall (which still requires viewers to wear passive stereo glasses), PSNC had to interleave the rows of each frame of the two movies -- such that alternating rows displayed left- and right-eye images -- and create one movie file.

At EVL, the UltraGrid receiver sent the interleaved movie frames to EVL's SAGE (Scalable Adaptive Graphics Environment) software, which formatted and pushed the movie frames onto the tiled display wall. SAGE is a high-performance windowing environment, so in addition to displaying the movie, SAGE was used to create additional windows that contained supporting documentation about the films as well as a video-teleconference portal to PSNC, enabling collaborators to interact with the US Ignite audience.

UltraGrid and SAGE, both open source software, were initially developed to harness the power of high-performance networks, so that very-large data files could be stored at the source, enabling the latest information to be downloaded on an as-needed basis and eliminating the need to replicate the data at multiple locations. The development of such tools and techniques is very much a research area, and access to advanced networks for application experiments and tests is made possible by a global consortium of network owners and providers known as the Global Lambda Integrated Facility (GLIF). Using the GLIF optical fiber infrastructure, a 10 Gigabits-per-second (Gbps) private network path was created for this event and data was transmitted between Poznan and Chicago at an average rate of 3.4 Gbps. Data went from PSNC, over Poland’s PIONIER network, to NetherLight, a major network exchange in Amsterdam, then over the U.S. NSF-funded transatlantic network ACE (America Connects to Europe) to StarLight, a major network exchange in Chicago, and then to EVL over UIC-owned fiber. The Metropolitan Research and Education Network (MREN), the Midwest regional Research & Education Network, also provided networking. The total length of the fiber link connecting PSNC and EVL was approximately 10,000 km.

The US Ignite organization fosters the development of next-generation internet applications for transformative public benefit, so PSNC selected three beautiful historically and culturally educational films about Poland to share with the audience: a 3D animated "History of Poland" and a 3D computer-graphics recreation of "Jan Matejko's 'The Battle of Grunwald'" painting -- both created by Platige Image Studio -- and a 3D movie of modern-day Poznan created by PSNC. The special demo for US Ignite took place over a three-hour period; 250 attendees were assigned specific 15-minute time slots, as EVL could comfortably handle 25 people in its classroom environment. For all 10 shows, the network streaming worked flawlessly, enabling audiences to enjoy the films' artistry and stories.

US Ignite attendees watch the 3D animated "History of Poland" on EVL's tiled display wall. Maciej Strozyk and Maciej Glowiak of PSNC appear in a video-teleconferencing window.Joe Mambretti of the International Center for Advanced Internet Research (iCAIR) at Northwestern University and Maxine Brown of EVL, who are part of the consortium that manages the StarLight International/National Communications Exchange Facility, served as hosts, providing the audience with some background about the GLIF infrastructure and the software used. PSNC collaborators Maciej Strozyk and Maciej Glowiak endured the 7-hour time difference to participate via video-teleconference and provide information about the films and answer audience questions. Additional staff in Poland, Amsterdam and Chicago provided networking and technical support.

PSNC has shared this content previously with members of the CineGrid organization, an international, interdisciplinary community focused on the research, development, and demonstration of networked collaborative tools to create, use, preserve and exchange very-high-quality digital media over optical networks. While most CineGrid events are held in auditoriums with adequate equipment -- notably projectors, frame buffers and compression boxes -- UltraGrid and SAGE software have also been demonstrated and used by CineGrid members. This is the first time, however, that UltraGrid and SAGE were used to stream interleaved 3D movies to a tiled display wall.

The ability to stream any digital media -- but more so 4K movies (and now 8K, which is becoming a standard), and 3D movies -- over high-performance networks is still a research effort, and special events, such as conferences, serve as a motivating influence to push the envelope. As technologies such as UltraGrid, SAGE and tiled display walls mature and become more ubiquitous, they will enable broader dissemination of ultra-resolution information, for teaching, remote collaboration, telemedicine, museums, and the arts and entertainment.

Contact:
Maxine D. Brown
Electronic Visualization Laboratory, University of Illinois at Chicago
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

# # #

For more information:

US Ignite: http://us-ignite.org
US Ignite Application Summit: http://us-ignite.org/applicationsummit/
Poznan Supercomputing and Networking Center: http://www.man.poznan.pl/online/en/
Electronic Visualization Laboratory: http://www.evl.uic.edu
UltraGrid: http://www.ultragrid.cz/
SAGE: http://www.sagecommons.org
3D animated History of Poland: http://www.platige.com/en/page/75-Animated_History_Of_Poland
3D recreation of Jan Matejko's "The Battle of Grunwald": http://www.platige.com/en/page/79-Jan_Matejko_Battle_Of_Grunwald_3
3D modern-day Poznan: http://youtu.be/uZSkbGEgQ5I
GLIF: http://www.glif.is
PIONIER network: http://www.pionier.net.pl/online/en
NetherLight: http://www.netherlight.net
ACE: http://internationalnetworking.iu.edu/ACE
StarLight: http://www.startap.net/starlight
iCAIR: http://www.icair.org
CineGrid: www.cinegrid.org
MREN: www.mren.org

CineGrid Brazil: First 4K Live streaming using JVC and FOGO Player

JVC and FOGO

Rede Nacional de Ensino e Pesquisa (RNP), Digital Video Applications Lab (LAViD) and the Federal University of Rio Grande do Norte (UFRN) have successfully demonstrated the first 4K uncompressed live streaming using the JVC GY-HMQ10 4K compact handheld camcorder and the FOGO player.

Onofre Lopes University Hospital (HUOL), a live cardiac surgery was streamed in uncompressed 4K to the UFRN's Virtual Reality Lab, both located in the city of Natal (RN), Brazil. The HUOL University Hospital and the Virtual Reality lab are 30 Km (~17 miles) away from each other. The uncompressed live streaming used 3.5 Gbps of bandwidth.

RNP - Brazil's National Research and Education Network, enabled the demonstration of this compelling application for collaboration and training in medicine – taking advantage of the deployment of hight speed research networks and innovations in visualization technology.

Photos are available here: http://relaxe.rnp.br/index.php/1-cirurgia-4K-ao-vivo
Television coverage is availalle here: http://www.band.uol.com.br/jornaldaband/videos.asp?id=14305556

CESNET Demonstrates Remote Film Cleaning at CineGrid 2012 Workshop

500 cesnet
Digitally Cleaned Films Can Be Inspected Remotely

San Diego, Prague 16 January 2013. At the CineGrid International Workshop, a prestigious professional meeting held in San Diego (California) in December, researchers from CESNET and the UPP post-production company, supported by a leading developer of innovative image processing systems—The Pixel Farm—demonstrated opportunities for using high-speed computer networks in digitizing and cleaning archived film material.

This material is usually stored in the form of film coils—analogue media aging over time and deteriorating with every playback. Digitizing eliminates further playback, allowing for cleaning of scanned data. The digital cleaning itself, i.e. removal of dirt, material defects or film tape damage, is a semi-automated process managed by an operator. This activity can be carried out locally.

However, digitized results need to be submitted for review and approval by the original work authors, usually the director and cameraman. If the above is no longer possible (the process can involve films shot decades ago), results need to be approved by an expert panel and copyright holders. These are usually very busy people, which makes it difficult to gather them all in one place at the same time.

This is the problem solved by technology presented by Czech specialists at the CineGrid International Workshop, allowing for remote participation of multiple people in the review and approval process. The technology further enables real-time changes through an operator.

The California presentation involved the following: Uncompressed video featuring 4K resolution has been transferred from Prague, where the material subject to cleaning and a part of the team were located, to San Diego. The video has been produced by a workstation equipped with the PFClean cleaning software and an uncompressed HD video conference. The conference was transferred in the opposite direction too: from San Diego to Prague. The uncompressed signal was chosen mainly because of the need for high quality and review interactivity.

A key role in the entire system was played by the MVTP-4K device, developed by CESNET researchers, which is now available on the market under the name 4K Gateway. The device transferred most of the data traffic, reaching up to 9 Gbps. In San Diego the device received both video channels (4K desktop captured by the UltraGRID software and HD video conference) and transferred the video conference back. In Prague the device received and transmitted the HD video conference.

"If we had a similar system available when digitizing and cleaning Miloš Forman's film Ho?í, má panenko, the approval process would have been much more flexible, considerably reducing the overall project duration," says Ivo Marák, technical director of UPP, responsible for technical project management.

4K Gateway development has been carried out with financial support of the Technology Agency of the Czech Republic within the POVROS project (TA01010324). For more information, please visit: www.4kgateway.com.

The CESNET Association was founded by Czech universities and the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic in 1996. It is engaged in research and development in information and communication technologies and builds and develops the CESNET national e-infrastructure for research and education. With its research activities and accomplishments, CESNET represents the Czech Republic in international projects, most notably the pan-European GÉANT network building project and grid projects (EGI.eu), and participates actively in their implementation. Among other things, the association deals with the use of high-speed networks for sharing multimedia data both through synchronous video conferencing and shared applications and asynchronous streaming.

UPP has become the largest and most versatile company active in the area of visual effects and post-production on the European continent since its foundation in 1994. From the start it has been oriented at meeting high quality post-production needs in the film and TV area. UPP is utilizing cutting-edge equipment and technologies, offering a highly-qualified creative team. Leveraging the benefits of being located in the centre of Europe, UPP provides all that is needed for quality content processing in film and TV distribution, advertising and video in modern, spacious and conveniently situated premises. For more information, please visit: www.upp.cz.

CineGrid @ Amsterdam 2012

CineGrid @ Amsterdam 2012 - September 5, 2012 "CineGrid Amsterdam" took place on September 5, 2012. Held at Pakhuis de Zwigjger, "CineGrid Amsterdam" was sponsored by CineGrid members in Amsterdam including WAAG Society, University of Amsterdam, SARA and SURFnet. Speakers included: Selby Gildemacher, Frank Kresin (Waag Society), Laurin Herr (Pacific Interface), David Linssen & Wilko Grolman (UMCU), Phillipe Vié (Camalot), Ton van Mil (iMMovator), Dominique van Ratingen (mediadesk), David Linssen (DutchView), Marieke Jonker (Amstelfilm), Katelijne Schrama (filmmaker), Ton Roosendaal (Blender), Maarten de Heer (Moestaman), Cees de Laat (UvA), Maciej Glowiak (Poznan), Sandra Passchier (Surfnet), Hugo Gelevert (TNO), Harry Scheurs (NFTA), Tijs de Kler (SARA) & Jos Houweling (Sandberg Instituut). Program available by clicking here http://cinegrid.nl/2012/07/cinegrid-event-de-toekomst-met-4k/

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