[Beowulf] Digital Image Processing via HPC/Cluster/Beowulf - Basics

Lux, Jim (337C) james.p.lux at jpl.nasa.gov
Tue Nov 6 16:13:04 PST 2012

On 11/6/12 12:11 PM, "Vincent Diepeveen" <diep at xs4all.nl> wrote:

>What do you want to model?
>Because for a game or movie you can't use this.

Nope.. Things like mechanical structures or antenna patterns.  Something
you want to do 3D visualization of, where the model is basically
representing some physical phenomenon (imagine electromagnetic waves

Something where it's easy for me to generate the model within my
algorithm, and then I can render an animation in reasonable time on a
smallish cluster.

As an example: I'm running a FDTD simulation of EM scattering within a
5x5x3 meter space with 1cm voxels and it takes about 8 hours to run the
sim.  Building the model to simulate takes about a minute using Matlab on
a nothing special desktop (Dell quad core).   Rendering a POV ray model of
the same structure to a 640x480 image takes about a minute or two.  I'd
like to be able to animate a rotating view of the structure (so, perhaps
60 frames, rotated 6 degrees at a time), and then superimpose some of the
wavefront data from the FTDT on it.

Realistically, since it takes 8 hours to run the FDTD code (although I can
move it to a big cluster and speed it up a lot.. Right now it's running on
a desktop machine), it's not a big deal to spend an hour rendering, but
unlike the FDTD, where there's really only one way, with the
visualization, one wants to be able to adjust how it "looks" to show
people what's going on, and that means more than one pass through the

If there's something free out there that does this faster (and can
leverage cluster resources) and doesn't have a 10 week learning curve, I'd
be interested in it.


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