This paper reports an investigation of the establishment and performance of a distributed computer rendering system for advanced computer graphics production within a centralized university information technology environment. It explores the proposal that the use of distributed computer rendering systems in industry and universities offers synergies for university-industry collaborative agreements. Claims that cluster computing and rendering systems are of benefit for computer graphics productions are to be tested within a standard higher education environment. A small scale distributed computer rendering system was set up to investigate the development of the optimum use of intranet and internet systems for computer generated feature film production and architectural visualisation. The work entailed using monitoring, comparative performance analysis and interviews with relevant stakeholders. The research provides important information for practitioners and the general public and heralds the initiation of a Centre for Visualization and Animation research within the School of Architecture, Landscape Architecture and Urban Design, University of Adelaide.