CUDA Spotlight: Steve Forde
By Calisa Cole, posted Dec. 14, 2012
GPU-Accelerated Motion Graphics
This week's Spotlight is on Steve Forde of Adobe. Steve is responsible for Adobe's visual effects product line, including Adobe After Effects in Creative Suite 6.
Q & A with Steve Forde
NVIDIA: Steve, tell us a bit about what you do at Adobe.
After Effects (Ae) is the industry standard in motion graphics and visual effects, used by millions of users across the planet. My job is to ensure that the current release is meeting customer expectations, and plan upcoming releases that meet customers' future demands and maintain Ae as the industry standard.
Whether it is designers adding animation to graphics or a VFX artist trying to create a photo-realistic virtual effect, the demands that users place on Ae are VERY nontrivial. Factors such as performance, creative capability, workflow and technology all collide as artists push Ae to create stellar content, ranging from feature films, to broadcast television, to the web or even corporate presentations. Ae is the workhorse behind most media 'that moves' on earth.
NVIDIA: How does accelerated 3D ray tracing in Ae help a motion graphics artist?
With CS 6, we created an environment in conjunction with NVIDIA that allows motion designers to quickly create high-fidelity motion graphics inside Ae -- without the computational expense -- by fully utilizing the NVIDIA GPU. This allows for much greater creativity while still being able to make the deadline.
NVIDIA: What role does the CUDA-based OptiX ray tracing engine play?
At the same time, by utilizing OptiX, we can guarantee pixel identical results irrespective of GPU –- meaning that what the artist creates will be identical irrespective of the workstation it is rendered on. This is one of the huge benefits of utilizing OptiX both on CPU and GPU, as well as maintaining creative control for the artist.
I have seen some amazing work across the spectrum from artists utilizing the ray tracer in CS 6. Many freelancers have demonstrated to me broadcast design packages for companies like Viacom, NBC and the BBC that look extremely compelling.
It's also created a beautiful list of demands in which direction these artists would like to see the technology progress. As a product manager, that makes my job very clear :)
I absolutely love how artists take some innovative technology that we provide, and ALWAYS find a way to push it in directions we never even thought of. This is what fuels the next wave of innovation, seeing how and what artists create, and then trying to come up with a new technology to make that easier. At that point, the circle starts again, as they then take that latest innovation and push it again in a new direction. For me – that's why I go to work every day.
Bio for Steve Forde
Steve is responsible for Adobe's visual effects product line, including Adobe After Effects in Creative Suite 6. Previously he was founder and CTO of GridIron Software (makers of Nucleo Pro).