Quadro blog feed RSSMix http://www.rssmix.com/ This feed was created by mixing existing feeds from various sources. en-gb <![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
<![CDATA[NVIDIA GPUs Helped Create Linkin Park’s Virtual World]]> Read More]]> A virtual world. A virtual band.

Text
An intense creative process brought band members and Ghost Town Media together.

Linkin Park’s latest music video – for “A Light That Never Comes,” collaboration with electro-house DJ Steve Aoki – puts viewers in an intricate cyberpunk landscape where everything, including the band, are rendered digitally.

Rather than traditional movie cameras, Brandon Parvini, creative director of Ghost Town Media in Los Angeles, used motion capture tools to build digital versions of the band members.

He then used a pair of Dell Precision workstations equipped with NVIDIA Quadro K6000 graphics cards to bring a virtual world to life around the band.

Thanks to his Quadro GPUs, Parvini could blaze through his work in Adobe After Effects and Element 3D, a GPU-accelerated After Effects plug-in.

Band members will scanned.
Motion capture tools helped build digital models of band members.

The cutting-edge cards provided the speed – and the power – to bring Parvini’s vision to life on a tight deadline.

Best of all, when Parvini was done with a day’s work at the studio, he could take his work home on a Dell Precision M6700 mobile workstation.

The result: Parvini could enjoy life in the real world even as he was creating virtual ones.

Want to learn more?  Check out the behind-the-scenes video on the making of “A Light That Never Comes” here.

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Brian Caulfield Thu, 17 Oct 2013 00:11:14 +0100
<![CDATA[How GPUs Add a New Dimension to Breast Cancer Screening]]> Read More]]> First, some good news: Breast cancer death rates have been dropping, likely thanks to earlier diagnosis and better treatment.

However, the disease remains the most common cancer among women in the U.S. and the second leading cause of cancer death in women. This year in the U.S. alone, there will be more than 230,000 new cases and nearly 40,000 deaths from invasive breast cancer.

Advancing the state of medical imaging is key to better diagnosis. And FujiFilm, one of our partners, is literally adding a new dimension to breast cancer screening using NVIDIA Quadro graphics.

Traditional 2D mammograms can produce X-ray images that are difficult for radiologists to assess due to varying breast thickness and obscured or overlapping features of tissue.

FujiFilm has pioneered a new approach to mammography that allows radiologists to more easily see through this noise and detect tissue abnormalities. The company’s Amulet mammography system captures two X-ray images of breast tissue at a time, with a few degrees separation.

FujiFilm Amulet mammography system
FujiFilm’s Amulet system gives radiologists a stereoscopic 3D view to aid diagnosis.

An NVIDIA Quadro K2000D then generates a single stereoscopic 3D image based on the two perspectives. The high-powered processor makes quick work of the data, allowing radiologists to quickly navigate through the ultra-high-resolution imagery.

With the ability to examine the tissue in stereoscopic 3D, radiologists can better differentiate physical features and get more accurate insights into patient physiology.

As a result, hundreds of thousands of mammogram readings each year can be improved thanks to a more accurate visualization process.

NVIDIA Quadro graphics are a good fit for hospitals and clinics, too, because they are designed to be incredibly reliable and simple to qualify and deploy.

Learn more about the FujiFilm Amulet system and NVIDIA Quadro GPUs at http://ow.ly/pQviK.

 

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Kimberly Powell Tue, 15 Oct 2013 21:10:22 +0100
<![CDATA[Rolling With NVIDIA at the Frankfurt Auto Show]]> Read More]]> There are concept cars, electric cars, hybrids, cars powered by natural gas, even self-driving cars. The 65th Frankfurt auto show opens to the public this weekend, and NVIDIA’s technology is everywhere.

Aston Martin, Audi, Bentley, BMW, Lamborghini, Rolls Royce, Skoda, Tesla, and VW all had new models on display, powered by NVIDIA.

Lamborghini Aventador J
Lamborghini Aventador J

You’ll find vehicles with customizable digital instrument clusters, sophisticated in-vehicle infotainment systems and multiscreen rear seat entertainment systems driven by NVIDIA processors.

Audi A4 interior
Audi A4 powered by NVIDIA

On the road, our automotive visual computing module (known as VCM) puts high-performance, energy-efficient computing inside a wide range of amazing cars.

Before any of these cars hit the streets, however, auto makers rely on high-performance NVIDIA Quadro workstations to design and style new cars, as artists create futuristic concept cars and then generate photorealistic renderings.

Audi Quattro concept car
Audi Quattro concept car

The result: production and concept cars seen at this weekend’s show — many featuring NVIDIA processors — will move into production more quickly than ever. Not a bad way to roll.

Lamborghini Aventador J Audi A4 interior Audi Quattro concept car Audi A3 convertible Bentley Flying Spur interior Bentley Continental GT V8 BMW i8 with door up BMW i8 Lamborghini Skoda Octavia VW Golf]]>
Danny Shapiro Sat, 14 Sep 2013 01:05:46 +0100
<![CDATA[IBC 2013: Why 4K is Just the Beginning for Pushing Beyond HD]]> Read More]]> There’s a lot of buzz about 4K and ultra-high-definition television at this week’s International Broadcasting Convention (IBC) in Amsterdam. The media and entertainment industry is moving from HDTV to higher resolutions, just as it earlier moved from standard definition to HD.

This is great news for consumers, who will soon be able to watch movies and television with breathtaking clarity.

For the professionals who create, manage or distribute digital content, the transition means they will have to process four times more data. To do that, they’ll need to change the tools they use and the way they work.

IBC 2013 NVIDIA booth
Prepare for takeoff: Digital content pros at IBC examine the NVIDIA tech that will take them to 4K and beyond.

While most consumers can’t yet view 4K content on their TVs or mobile devices, many cinema cameras are capable of not only 4K, but even higher resolutions. Many movies shot at these higher resolutions are already being produced.

The result: a spate of announcements by our partners at IBC, including 15 that will be demonstrating new solutions on our new Quadro K6000 GPU that can help content creators handle the challenge of 4K and Ultra HD content.

Grant Petty, CEO of Blackmagic Design, makers of the DaVinci Resolve color-correction application used for many blockbuster films, says the Quadro K6000, with its 12GB of GPU memory, is “ideal for Ultra HD and 4K color grading” and that it “proved even faster than [their] expectations.”

And just today, RED Digital Cinema announced our collaboration on a CUDA-accelerated version of their REDCINE-X product, which allows users to process up to 6K resolution files at 24fps with NVIDIA GPUs. And that’s just the beginning — multi-GPU support is coming as well, so performance will get even better.

IBC 2013 NVIDIA GRID
NVIDIA GRID technology lets customers put their GPU horsepower to work where it’s needed most.

While some of our customers are reaching for the highest-performance solutions, others are focused on flexibility. NVIDIA GRID technology lets customers put their GPU horsepower where it’s needed most, allowing them to run professional content creation applications on almost any device.

To demonstrate this, we’ll be showing a GPU-accelerated version of Autodesk 3ds Max, which is a Windows-only application, running on a MacBook Air with OS X. NVIDIA GRID runs the app remotely — with full Quadro K5000 power — giving the MacBook Air power and performance far beyond what’s built into its lightweight chassis.

It’s an exciting time for the media and entertainment industry, and for NVIDIA. For a full list of the news from NVIDIA and all our partners at IBC, check out our Media & Entertainment Newsletter.

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Greg Estes Fri, 13 Sep 2013 21:52:47 +0100
<![CDATA[How NVIDIA Turns High-Tech Sailing Into a Game of Inches]]> Read More]]> You’ve heard the slogan “the way it’s meant to be played,” but this is ridiculous.

When the America’s Cup finals kick off this Saturday, the umpires will see the race with new eyes. Eyes supplied by the event’s technical gurus and enhanced by NVIDIA GPUs.

Servers equipped with NVIDIA Quadro K5000 GPUs will generate a real-time representation of the action that gives judges the position of each boat to within a fraction of an inch, and each boat’s heading to within a tenth of a degree.

Even the curvature of the earth — which tilts the course by one centimeter from one end to another — is taken into account.

Surveyor
Everything you need, nothing you don’t: a stripped down interface shows judges what they need to know.

While the world will watch NVIDIA-powered television feeds that layer immersive 3D graphics over shots of AC-72 catamarans the size of 13-story office buildings skimming over the waters of the San Francisco Bay at more than 45 miles per hour, the race’s umpires huddle around monitors displaying a stripped down version of the action that looks — at first glance — more like a 1980s arcade game than a minor marvel of 21st century technology.

In this case, simplicity is the ultimate form of sophistication.

“This is about how much important information we can get to them, and how much unimportant information we can keep away,” says Tim Heidmann, one of a team of a dozen technologists who have helped reinvent the way the America’s Cup is run.

It’s an interface that gives judges unprecedented precision. At an event like the America’s Cup, that’s a revolution. That’s because sailing, at this level, is a sport like no other.

Inches
Boats are tracked to within a fraction of an inch.

Imagine a football game played on a field that is constantly moving, using players who rely on the motion of the playing field itself to propel themselves forward. Now imagine trying to officiate a sport where the goal lines and boundary markers are constantly in flux. The push and pull of wind and wave have made officiating sailing into something of a black art, and the results of high stakes races incredibly contentious.

Until now.

That’s thanks to a stream of real-time data from GPS units and inertial sensors attached to the boats themselves, a trio of camera-equipped helicopters, and an elaborate GPU-powered simulation of the effect of the bay’s unpredictable tides.

Now judges can do more than just enforce the rules. They can impose penalties with near impossible precision. A boat can be penalized precisely two boat lengths — a feat that would have been simply impossible in the past, Heidmann explains.

It’s a system that’s been fine- tuned in nearly a dozen races held around the world in preparation for the Cup, with nary a flaw.

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Brian Caulfield Wed, 11 Sep 2013 21:30:00 +0100