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Active Distributed Computing Projects - Art

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See the bottom of this page for a description of the icons on the page.

Project Information Project % Complete Major Supported Platforms
electric sheep logo The electric sheep project uses an xscreensaver module to display an animated fractal flame while rendering frames for the next animation. It is designed for users with with high-bandwidth, always-on Internet connections. It doesn't seem to work through firewalls. Version 2.1 is available for Linux and MacOS X as of July, 2001. Version 2.3 is available for Beta testing as of December 10, 2002.

See example images of fractal flames.

Join a discussion forum about the project.

ongoing Linux
the Internet Movie Project Render images for computer-animated movies in Internet Movie Project. The project is an open-source collaboration of volunteers and is just for fun. It is still in the development phase, but you can volunteer to be a "render-farmer," to render images for test animation sequences. Anyone who can run the free POV-Ray ray-tracing program can join this project, although the supporting scripts and software needed for the project only work on the Windows platform for now.

The project released its first general-release distributed rendering client along with a live job, on November 12, 2001. It is releasing live jobs occasionally as of January, 2002, to test and further develop the system. If you are interested in being a render-farmer, keep in mind that the project is still in development, and that running the client isn't as easy as downloading it and starting it up. You will need to first download and install the free POV-Ray raytracing graphics application. Then follow these helpful hints from IMP users:

  • you will need to be connected to the Internet before running IMP FARMER
  • when you install the IMP software, it is best to use the default address C:\IMP for your project files. Except for the POV-Ray program, which is also best installed in its default location, all of the IMP files will go into this folder. If you use other, longer directory names or other drives or partitions, the IMP software may not work correctly.
  • if you need to use other names, use the old MS-DOS 8.3 format for the names (i.e. 1 to 8 letters followed by a "." followed by 1 to 3 letters). Longer names, spaces, etc., won't work.
  • extract the files within IMPFARMER.KIX.ZIP file into C:\IMP. Run UNPACK. Afterwards C:\IMP should contain the following files and folders:
  • if the RENDER and OUTPUT folders are missing, create them. If they are there, open each folder and delete the file called DELETE.ME. (You can also delete DELETE.ME from C:\IMP but it is ok to leave it.)
  • edit the file IMP.KIX, replacing the dummy email address USER@@DOMAIN.COM with your own email address (be sure to include the double @@). If you don't change this address, all of your work will be credited to the dummy account instead of to you. It's ok to use the dummy email address if you don't want to use your own address.
  • if you have used the default folder C:\IMP you will not have to change anything else in IMP.KIX.
  • finally, copy the IMPFARMER shortcut to your desktop. If you used the default folder name, you won't have to change the internal pointers.
  • Important Note: Each time a new project starts, delete all of the files and folders in the RENDER folder before you start the new project.

Note that if there is no work available, when you run the client you will get a message saying so and the client will "sleep" for 1-hour intervals until work is available.

Job #15 began on June 27, 2002 and ended on June 30, 2002. It rendered 9900 frames. Jobs #16 and #17 had problems and did not complete successfully.

See the project's news server or join its IRC Channel to chat in realtime (Network:, channel: #IMP).

waiting for next job to begin
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The following icons may appear in the Supported Platforms section of the table:
dialup-friendlythis project is good for users with dialup Internet access
paid projectthis is a for-pay project
Windows 32this project runs on the Windows 32-bit platform
Linuxthis project runs on the Linux platform
MacOSthis project runs on the Mac OS platform
Solaristhis project runs on the Solaris platform