To promote innovation at the intersection of art and computing technology, the High-Performance Computing Center Stuttgart (HLRS), along with the Center for Art and Media Karlsruhe (ZKM) and the Hochschule der Medien Stuttgart (HdM) have just founded a new association called the Media Solution Center Baden-Württemberg (MSC). The MSC's mission is to identify technical challenges in media production where high-performance computing and simulation could help, and to accelerate the development of technologies that address these needs.
To achieve this goal, the MSC will undertake collaborative research and development projects aimed at solving problems that media producers face. It will also facilitate sharing of the knowledge and technologies that result from these collaborations, and will organize events focusing on themes that are important to the media industry.
One key set of application areas in which the MSC will be engaged includes animation, simulation, and visual effects (VFX).
Prof. Dr. Bernd Eberhardt of the Hochschule der Medien will serve as the chairman of the association. HLRS Director Prof. Dr. Michael Resch is deputy chairman.
Already, HLRS has developed experience working with animation producers. In 2017, a collaboration between the supercomputing center and M.A.R.K. 13 Studios was honored with the High-Performance Computing Innovation Excellence Award, a prize given by Hyperion Research in recognition of successful uses of HPC by small and medium-sized businesses. The award praised the collaboration's use of high-performance computing in efficiently rendering hundreds of thousands of frames in the 2014 3D-animated film Die Biene Maja (Maya the Bee). This task would have been prohibitively time consuming without the use of HPC.
In coordination with the HdM as part of the Media Solution Center, HLRS will also organize scientific continuing education activities that train people working in media to use high-performance computing more effectively. This includes focusing on the use and development of software for high-performance computing environments.
The MSC is open to membership of other individuals and companies working in the media industry — including animation studios, visual effects specialists, and arts organizations — as well as leaders of scientific and technical research groups in Baden-Württemberg whose work has relevance for media production. Ultimately, the MSC aims to facilitate a precompetitive exchange of knowledge and information among all organizations that choose to participate.
The Media Solution Center has been operating on an informal basis since 2014. The formal founding of the association on October 23, 2018 opens the MSC to the wider media community.
— Christopher Williams