Quadro blog feed RSSMix http://www.rssmix.com/ This feed was created by mixing existing feeds from various sources. en-gb <![CDATA[How India’s Digital Magic Transformed Ambition Into Achievement With Quadro GPUs]]> Read More]]> Scooby Doo. The Smurfs. SpongeBob SquarePants. Every generation has its favorite iconic cartoon. We may one day get to interact with them, too, if Digital Magic keeps up its pace.

Digital Magic, of Chennai, India, is the inventor of ToonPet, a real-time 3D cartoon animation system that uses NVIDIA Quadro K5000 GPUs to create amazingly realistic, interactive characters.

BITGEN, a virtual host created by Digital Magic
BITGEN, a virtual host created by Digital Magic

At a recent industry conference in Bangalore, Digital Magic set up a wall-sized screen that lit up with a well-known mythical figure when people would approach. The figure invited guests onto a stage and then proceeded to greet them personally and engage in light conversation. The figure was so realistic and the interaction so fluid, that many wondered if it was really in the hall with them.

The ToonPet “virtual host” was convincing due to its highly refined texture, lighting, particle reflections and body movements — the wheelhouse of visual computing. The project was born from an effort to make visual production tools easy for artists to use, not exclusive to the tech-savvy. And to wring out the many inefficiencies from the typical 3D animation production pipeline.

ToonPet (which stands for “carToon pupPet”) incorporates motion capture, real-time lip syncing and facial expressions, and high-quality renders fed directly to a telecast in HD quality — in normal or 3D stereoscopic mode.

Enabling the virtual host to understand what people are saying, and replying accordingly, adds another fascinating dimension of realism to the display — and further ups the computing power requirements.

From animation and post-production to visual effects, ToonPet provides artists with real-time feedback so they can be productive in the moment, instead of sitting around waiting for images to render. Add 10 layers of color correction tools applied with heavy blur — and without the Quadro K5000, it’s almost impossible to expect playback at 24 frames per second without a dropped frame.

ToonPet also allows playback of completed scenes in real time, which is critical for budget productions, where the idea of “time is money” has never been truer.

NVIDIA Quadro allowed Digital Magic to meet the scale and complexity of their ambitions, which is to push the boundaries of the possible. Saturday mornings may never be the same.

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Siva Sankaran L Mon, 25 Aug 2014 20:32:47 +0100
<![CDATA[Bring Your Ray Bans: Dolby Demos Latest Display Technology at SIGGRAPH]]> Go ahead. Take a picture. It won’t do any good. That’s why Dolby is putting its latest technology on display at NVIDIA’s booth at the SIGGRAPH graphics conference this week.

With the help of NVIDIA engineers, Dolby has put Epic’s “Elemental,” Unreal Engine 4 demo on its new “extended dynamic range,” or EDR, display. The result is stunning.

Flashes of sunlight are almost wince-inducing. Glowing red magma seems to burn into your retinas. And shapes hidden by dark shadows are brought out as dark details contrast with darker ones.

“It’s hypnotic,” said Braden Evans, CTO at startup Lucidscape Technologies, as he listened to Dolby’s Bill Hofmann walk a crowd through the technical details. “You could get really addicted to this – I may have a problem.”

Dolby's Bill Hofmann explains EDR at this week's SIGGRAPH conference.
Dolby’s Bill Hofmann explains EDR at this week’s SIGGRAPH conference.

It’s a level of realism that can’t be captured by an ordinary camera. But put side-by-side with a conventional high-definition monitor, and Dolby’s proof-of-concept display is like looking through a window into a virtual world.

The story behind the demo: Dolby wants to do for movies and TV what it has long done with audio – create experiences that are more visceral and truer to life.

Compared to conventional displays, EDR comes closer to the broad range of brightness and color that the human eye can see. Our eyes have a visual range of 20,000 nits, or 200 times that of most high-definition television sets.

To create images that extend across a bigger chunk of that range, Dolby is doing more than just licensing its technology to companies making high-end televisions and displays.

Dolby has built a GPU-accelerated video and visual effects pipeline that can encode up to 10,000 nits. When applied to a videogame demo like “Elemental,” the result is stunning.

So if you’re at SIGGRAPH this week leave your camera behind and step into our booth. And bring some shades.

Broadcast live streaming video on Ustream

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Brian Caulfield Thu, 14 Aug 2014 17:02:05 +0100
<![CDATA[Watch This: Virtual Reality, Without the Glasses]]> Read More]]> Exquisite craftsmanship. Insanely small tolerances. Beautiful materials. Whoever says art is dead has never worn a luxury watch. The challenge: showing all these details to potential buyers from the inside out.

The answer: a virtual reality experience that lets users play with a watch – inside and out – as if they were holding it in their hands.

real-time-display-insideThat’s what you’ll find on display at NVIDIA’s booth at the SIGGRAPH graphics conference in Vancouver this week.

Step into NVIDIA’s booth and you can see a luxury watch from the inside out, changing the viewing angle or zooming in and out on individual detail for a better look.

Created by NVIDIA, FashionLab by Dassault Systèmes, watch designer François Quentin, and ALIOSCOPY, the glasses-free 3D visualization specialist, the demo is the latest example of the power of Dassault Systèmes’ CATIA 3D modeler and rendering engine. And it runs on NVIDIA GPUs.

Here’s how it works: five NVIDIA Quadro K6000 GPUs render different viewpoints. Each viewpoint is captured and blended on a sixth Quadro K6000 to render in real time the 3D ALIOSCOPY composited image. Finally, a dedicated iOS app allows interaction with the 3D model as well as realistic animations.

Look for more like this soon. Some features of this demo will be integrated into commercial versions of the next releases of Dassault’s CATIA software. The result: companies can tell a deeper story about not just what their products look like, but how they work.

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Brian Caulfield Thu, 14 Aug 2014 09:34:13 +0100
<![CDATA[Next-Gen Quadro at the Heart of Pro Graphics Workflows]]> Read More]]> We’re showing how our latest Quadro professional GPU lineup powers new visual computing workflows at this week’s SIGGRAPH computer graphics conference.

Design professionals and scientists are working with larger, more complex models. Creative professionals continue to raise the bar, building more compelling visual effects at resolutions of 4K and above.

This has led to dramatic increases in the computing power required for visualization. And often it’s teams, rather than individuals, working on projects. That makes the ability to collaborate across time zones and among users – many of whom may be mobile – more important than ever.

This requires a new approach to visual computing. One that supports user interaction on a local workstation, remote viewing of large and complex datasets on mobile devices and tight integration with cloud-based services. All with enterprise-grade reliability.

The latest Quadro lineup offers faster processors, of course, plus increased data handling capability and unique visual computing features such as connectivity to the cloud and mobile devices. The bottom line: We’re extending the concept of visual computing from a graphics card in a workstation to a connected environment, with Quadro at its center.

NVIDIA Quadro Kepler family
The new Quadro lineup lets users interact with their designs or data locally on a workstation, remotely on a mobile device or in tandem with cloud-based services.

Companies like Framestore, PSA Peugeot Citroen, Armstrong White and the team working on the new David Fincher film “Gone Girl have already adopted the latest Quadro GPUs. They’re working with richer scenes and models, harnessing larger data sets, building new cloud-based workflows and improving the ability to collaborate with far-flung teams and clients.

Starting this fall, users can buy the latest GPUs from our workstation OEMs Dell, HP and Lenovo, as well as resellers including PNY Technologies in North America and Europe, ELSA and Ryoyo in Japan, and Leadtek in Asia Pacific.

Be sure to check out our SIGGRAPH landing page for more info and videos from the show floor.

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Greg Estes Tue, 12 Aug 2014 14:07:13 +0100
<![CDATA[Big Beauty: NVIDIA Powers World’s Largest Ultra-HD 4K Screen at Kentucky Derby]]> Mint juleps. Outlandish hats. Outsized bets. Amid all the distractions of race day, Kentucky Derby attendees once had a hard time catching the action. No longer.

That’s thanks to the largest ultra-HD 4K video screen in the world. The Big Board, as it’s known, sits 170 feet off the ground and measures 15,224 square feet. That’s the size of three NBA basketball courts.

To prepare for its unveiling, Churchill Downs used a 4K camera to capture pre-recorded content and race day footage. The race organizers re-designed their graphics to work in 4K.

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Big day, big screen: with a total resolution of 4160×2176, the Big Board needs a lot of, um, horsepower.

Longtime NVIDIA partner Vizrt designed a custom control interface to manage the 4K content in real time. The screen can even support split-screen views to show live or recorded video, images, and data at the same time.

With a total resolution of 4160×2176, The Big Board needs a lot of, um, horsepower. That’s why Vizrt used our Quadro K5000 GPUs to keep The Big Board running.

Now attendees can experience the race like never before. And sports displays have a new standard.

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Greg Estes Mon, 02 Jun 2014 16:00:19 +0100
<![CDATA[How Pixar Uses GPUs to Give Their Artists What They Need Most – Time to Play]]> Read More]]> NemoMonsters IncThe Incredibles.

When we watch Pixar’s entrancing movies, characters and plots seem to fly across the screen at the speed of a small child’s imagination. But until just a few years ago, roughing out the scenes in these stories was a painstaking process, taking hours, even days. But not any longer.

Now, digital animators and lighting artists can push and pull characters in real time, tweaking their expressions and the environment they move through in thousands of subtle ways.

Monsters University close up
Pixar’s Dirk Van Gelder pushed, pulled, tweaked, and manipulated a model of a Monsters University character  in real time for a crowd at our annual GPU Technology Conference Wednesday.

“It’s important for us to create an environment that will be playful, where the animator can reach in and make changes in real time, and that’s enabled by the NVIDIA GPUs that we use,” Pixar engineering lead Dirk Van Gelder told a crowd of more than 2,500 at our annual GPU Technology Conference in San Jose, California.

Why is a company that makes movies appearing at a GPU conference? Because that movie company used to be in the GPU business, sort of, Van Gelder explained. Pixar’s first products were computers that helped power digital animation. As graphics technology advanced, Pixar abandoned that business to take up digital storytelling. Along the way, it adopted SGI’s systems, and, then moved to PCs equipped with NVIDIA’s graphics cards.

They haven’t looked back. ”Through all of our history we’ve relied on high-performance graphics,” Van Gelder said. “And for the last ten films that we’ve made the answer for that has been NVIDIA.”

Van Gelder and Pixar technical director Danny Nahmias told the tale of how Pixar uses GPUs to create scenes faster — and how that extra times gives them the time to be more creative.

That’s because GPUs give Pixar’s lighting and animation teams almost instant visual feedback on their ideas. So they can see when a shot isn’t working, or if a daring idea works.

Van Gelder showed how Presto – Pixar’s proprietary GPU-accelerated animation system – lets artists get real-time feedback during the character animation process. To demonstrate, he showed off a scene from Monsters University, where James P. Sullivan, one of the main characters, leans over another student’s chair in a lecture hall to grab a pencil he used to pick his teeth.

Thousands of attendees packed a room to hear about how Pixar's team uses GPUs.
Thousands of attendees packed a room to hear about how Pixar’s team uses GPUs.

In Presto, animators are able to move a camera around the classroom to view Sullivan from any angle. And NVIDIA’s GPUs made it possible to create detailed hair for a wildly hairy character in near real-time, so they could fine tweak the way he slouched his hair mass over the classroom’s chair.

“Every part of him is live and posable in the system,” Van Gelder said. “If we didn’t have fast graphics, we wouldn’t be able to make this happen.”

After Van Gelder spoke, Pixar’s Nahmias showed how Pixar’s interactive lighting preview tool, built on NVIDIA’s OptiX framework. It lets artists replace and adjust virtual lights to create a mood and tone for each scene, and guide the audience’s attention.

James P. Sullivan -- and Presto -- played a starring role in Wednesday's keynote.
James P. Sullivan — and Presto — played a starring role in Wednesday’s keynote.

Before, Pixar’s lighting artists relied on thousands of small cheats, that meant a scene could only be viewed from a limited number of angles. But by shifting to ray-tracing, which models the way light actually bounces around an environment, Pixar’s lighting team could free themselves to explore scenes from a wider variety of angles. And they could instantly change the way a scene was light — shifting from light with golden tones to starker colors with a few keystrokes to change the mood of a scene.

“Lighting sets the mood and tone,” Nahmias said. “It provides the context for all of our shots in support of the story.”

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Brian Caulfield Wed, 26 Mar 2014 23:11:34 +0000
<![CDATA[Why the Film Industry Isn’t a Film Industry Anymore]]> It’s a scene that’s jerked tears from even the most jaded filmgoer. After attending the funeral of the small town movie theater projectionist he had spent his boyhood helping, “Cinema Paradiso’s” protagonist, Salvatore, returns as a grown man to Rome with a battered canister of film left to him by his mentor. Salvatore, now a renowned filmmaker, loads the film into a reel-to-reel projector, sits down, alone, in a darkened theater, and watches. What unspools before him: scenes from the films that had been cut by the village censor over the decades – and saved by Salvatore as a young boy – spliced into a single film. Strung together, these moments tell a bigger story about Salvatore’s friendship with the sly, subversive, wise projectionist. It’s the perfect ending for a film about film, and the enduring emotions film can evoke.

Despite the romance, film is expensive stuff: hard to handle, difficult to store, and expensive to distribute.
Film is expensive stuff: hard to handle, difficult to store, and expensive to distribute.

No longer. While the ability for movies to stir emotions will remain, film won’t. In a historic step, Paramount Pictures in January became the first major studio to stop releasing movies on celluloid in the U.S. Paramount won’t be the last. This isn’t news in the film industry. Movie-makers have been driving a shift away from film for years. Despite the romance, film is messy stuff: hard to edit, difficult to store, and expensive to move from one place to another. And it’s taken more than a decade for moviemakers to disentangle themselves from it. A few milestones:

  • Non-Linear Editing — The digital moviemaking revolution was kickstarted by Avid Technology in 1989, with the introduction of the Avid/1. It let movie-makers put down their X-Acto knives and mix and match pieces of film digitally to create a shot plan that would guide them when they finally spliced all that film together.
  • Digital Cinema Video Cameras — The Red Digital Cinema Camera Company created a sensation in 2006 when it unveiled the Red One. The camera promised all the flexibility of a digital camera, with the ability to capture sharper images than could be displayed in theaters, giving movie makers the ability to pour digital images directly into the production process. Canon, Sony, and ARRI all now sell digital cameras that can be found on movie sets all over the globe.
  • Digital Cinema Initiative — Created in 2002 by five major movie studios, this group has helped hammer out standards for how movies are encrypted, distributed, and displayed. It’s an effort that’s had a huge impact. More than 90 percent of the 40,000 screens in the United States have moved to digital, according to the National Association of Theatre Owners.

These developments have resulted in a movie industry that’s digital from “glass to glass,” in industry parlance – from the cameras and digital tools that create images to the projector lenses those high-definition images are streamed through. Sitting in the middle: GPUs. Originally targeted at gamers, the first GPUs – introduced in 1999 by NVIDIA – eventually put the kind of visual computing power possessed by high-end workstations and servers onto desktops, and, eventually, laptops such as the Dell M3800 and MacBook Pro, that can be tossed into a bag and taken anywhere in the world.

The Lost World (1925) Film Poster
GPUs mean VFX can be used to sharpen stories large and small, not just creature features.

GPUs have had a huge impact on visual effects, of course. This year, for the fifth consecutive year, every film nominated for the Oscar for Best Visual Effects was powered by NVIDIA technology. But the impact goes far beyond creating scenes that blend the real and the digital in ways that were unimaginable just a few years ago. Movies such as “The Social Network” may not contain strange creatures or elaborate effects. But they rely on hundreds of digital effects — such as digitally putting the face of one actor onto two pair of bodies so he could play a pair of twins — that help build the story. GPUs not only let digital animators create more ambitious effects — they help them create rough cuts of their scenes in just moments, so they can see what works, creatively, on the fly. And on set, GPUs are used to speed up the process of putting dailies — or rough cuts of a day’s shooting — in front of directors, giving them similar freedom. And, of course, film editors can fly through the editing process without ever having to touch film. The result: big budget films blend the fantastical and real in ways that would have been impossible just a few years ago; while amateurs equipped with little more than digital cameras and GPU equipped laptops are creating films that rival the polish that only professionals could achieve. Just look at YouTube. Film may be gone, but there are now more movies than ever before. Not an unhappy ending.

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Brian Caulfield Fri, 28 Feb 2014 19:22:51 +0000
<![CDATA[How NVIDIA Helped Keep Super Bowl Fans Riveted with Jaw-Dropping Graphics]]> Read More]]> Raucous parties, artery-clogging food and legendary commercials helped draw more than 110 million viewers to this month’s Super Bowl, making it the most-watched broadcast sports program in history. But the biggest draw of all was the game itself.

Helping to keep fans in their seats was a barrage of lightning-fast on-screen graphics. They displayed the path of hard-charging running backs, the head-spinning moves of receivers and instantly updated stats on players.

What made that possible was Viz Engine, a real-time 3D rendering engine at the core of the broadcast graphics and video workflow of major broadcasters worldwide.

Powered by NVIDIA Quadro GPUs, Viz Engine is built by Vizrt, a cutting-edge graphics firm. They’ve been helping Fox Sports put their pre-game and game-time graphics on the air since 2010.

“When there are 100 million viewers, there’s no margin for error,” said Gerhard Lang, Chief Engineering Officer, Vizrt. “That’s why we put NVIDIA Quadro GPUs at the heart of our real-time 3D compositing engines.”

Fox Sports used 24 Viz Engines to drive a barrage of in-game graphics during the game. Each Viz Engine includes an NVIDIA Quadro K5000 GPU to render the real-time high-resolution graphics.

Two graphics operators were dedicated to the project. One produced the lower third graphics, full screen graphics, real-time stats, lineups and interactive charts. The second operator worked the famous “Fox Box” statistics.

The average playlist used by each operator (and stored on Viz Engines configured as a central repository) was made up of more than 1,500 graphics items. Once rendered, the Viz Engines used virtual cameras to position the final graphic.

In addition to the on-screen graphics, this year Fox Sports also used Microsoft Perceptive Pixel interactive displays – advanced touch-screen displays (also powered by NVIDIA Quadro) – for displaying Vizrt’s social TV tools and real-time stats.

Vizrt and other leaders in real-time visualization for broadcast television will be at NVIDIA’s GPU Technology Conference (GTC) this year and also exhibiting their NVIDIA-powered offerings at NAB in Las Vegas April 7-10, 2014.

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Greg Estes Thu, 20 Feb 2014 17:00:58 +0000
<![CDATA[How NVIDIA Brings Unmatched Performance and Flexibility to SolidWorks]]> Read More]]> We’re heading to sunny San Diego next week for SolidWorks World to showcase how Quadro and GRID accelerate productivity and flexibility for SolidWorks users.

For almost 20 years, NVIDIA and SolidWorks have been working together to solve our customers’ most difficult visualization problems and deliver a world class design experience.

At Solidworks World, we’ll demonstrate the world’s fastest, most flexible solutions for SolidWorks users.  Visit us in booth 507 for demos of our solutions in action.

For desktops, the world’s #1 CAD accelerator, the Quadro K2000, delivers 2x faster performance modeling large assemblies with the new SolidWorks 2014 compared to previous generation GPUs and SolidWorks versions. The world’s highest performance professional graphics card, the Quadro K6000, with 12 GB of graphics memory is powering Bunkspeed and SolidWorks to design and render large complex models with photorealism.

NVIDIA GPUs Power Solidworks 2014

A turnkey solution, NVIDIA GRID Visual Computing Appliance (VCA) also delivers GPU-accelerated SolidWorks to multiple clients including a MacBook, a Windows 8 Ultrabook, and a Linux based thin client. It is the only platform certified and supported to virtualize and remotely deliver SolidWorks 2014 by SolidWorks, opening up new doors for small and medium businesses looking for easy performance boosts, scalability and security – without any IT headaches.

You’ll also find NVIDIA powered demos in the HP, Lenovo, The Foundry, Dell and Bunkspeed booths that will show you how you can realize up to 4x performance gains to help take your productivity with SolidWorks further. And don’t miss the NVIDIA session, SolidWorks and Virtualization, on Tuesday, January 28 at 4:30pm in room 10.

We’re also looking forward to the excitement of Model Mania. The first place contestant will win an NVIDIA Quadro K5000 and an NVIDIA Shield game console powered by NVIDIA Tegra 4. Runners-up will also win Quadro cards and Shield consoles. And if that’s not enough prizes, be sure to enter our @NVIDIA_MFG Twitter photo contest for a chance to win one of seven new Tegra NOTE 7 tablets. Stop by our booth for more details.

It’ll be a great event.

Learn more about NVIDIA’s solutions here:

Check out our video from the show floor.

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Andrew Cresci Fri, 24 Jan 2014 16:00:59 +0000
<![CDATA[Latest Quadro Driver Released in Sync with New OpenGL 4.4 Standard]]> Read More]]> With the latest driver release for our Quadro family of professional graphics products, NVIDIA becomes the first to fully support the OpenGL 4.4 specification..

OpenGL remains the most advanced and prevalent cross-platform 2D and 3D API available. The latest version of the standard, OpenGL 4.4, maintains backwards compatibility while allowing programmers to incrementally add features from the OpenGL specification.

Driver 326.29, released on the same day as the Khronos Group’s announcement of the new OpenGL 4.4 specification, includes support for OpenGL 4.4 enhancements such as:

  • Bindless texture extensions, which provide shaders the ability to access an unlimited number of texture and image resources directly by virtual addresses;
  • Sparse texture extensions, which allow for intelligent handling of large textures which are physically larger than the available memory on a GPU.
  • Buffer placement control, which enhances memory flexibility and efficiency via the explicit control of buffer position in the graphics and system memory;
  • Efficient asynchronous queries, which allow buffer objects to be the direct target of a query, avoiding stalling the graphics pipeline and hindering graphics performance;
  • Streamlined porting of Direct3D applications and games through core functions, such as buffer placement control (GL_ARB_buffer_storage), optimized lower precision vertices (GL_ARB_vertex_type_10f_11f_11f_rev), and texture clamping mode (GL_ARB_texture_mirror_clamp_to_edge).

For detailed OpenGL 4.4 specifications, visit OpenGL.org.

Related reading:
NVIDIA OpenGL Driver Support Page
OpenGL on NVIDIA DevZone

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Eugene Kwak Tue, 14 Jan 2014 01:34:20 +0000