EDM Studio

Reducing the barriers of cost and accessibility associated with a small company harnessing powerful computing resources.

EDM studio

The animation created in the EDM Studio project replicated Frank Slide, a historical rockslide in Alberta that buried a portion of the town of Frank in 1903, killing approximately 70 people.

The Challenge:

To reduce the barriers of cost and accessibility associated with a small company harnessing powerful computing resources.

The Solution:

EDM Studio is a Calgary-based company that uses computer simulation technology to create interactive or visually-engaging animation exhibits for museums and interpretive centres. These kinds of animations require extensive renderings ranging from simple to high-definition studio quality presentations. The large upfront costs associated with running massive compute infrastructure to process these renderings are unrealistic for a small company like EDM to incur. Therefore, an affordable, flexible, on-demand system, which was able to quickly respond to sporadic intensive use, was necessary.

Cybera, in partnership with the Grid Research Centre and the HP Labs Data Centre at the University of Calgary, offered EDM Studio a solution to its predicament. On-demand access was provided to powerful computing resources, allowing EDM to run its interactive simulations in a timely and cost-effective manner. The project enabled EDM to streamline workflow, utilize existing infrastructure, and limit its costs, while avoiding the burden of upfront capital costs.

Cyberinfrastructure at Work:

The EDM Studio project demonstrated the following cyberinfrastructure innovations:

  • Creation of a dynamic resizable compute environment
  • Virtual environment used to host computing resources
  • Powerful computing resources to process data-intensive renderings
  • Middleware development to manage the peaks and lows of hosting processing cycles

How this Project Affects You:

EDM Studio’s digital installations and animations provide key learning and experiential tools for use in museums and interpretive centres. This display helps visitors and student groups better understand our current surroundings, or in some cases, allows them to take a trip back in time to learn about our past.


The EDM Studio project was valued at over $150,000.


  • Cybera
  • EDM Studio
  • Grid Research Centre, University of Calgary
  • HP Labs Data Centre, University of Calgary