Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within Rendered in Real Time on NVIDIA GPUs

Square and NVIDIA Team Up to Demonstrate Major Step Toward Real-Time Cinematic Rendering at SIGGRAPH 2001

For further information, contact:
Derek Perez
NVIDIA Corporation
Tel: (408) 486-2512
E-mail: dperez@nvidia.com


SIGGRAPH 2001 – LOS ANGELES — AUGUST 14, 2000 — The graphics industry took a quantum leap forward today at SIGGRAPH 2001 when NVIDIA® Corporation (Nasdaq: NVDA) rendered Columbia Pictures’ computer-generated (CG) animated motion picture, Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within, in real-time. This groundbreaking demonstration takes place in the NVIDIA booth (#1701) and SQUARE booth (#1927) using NVIDIA’s Quadro™ workstation graphics technology, the industry’s leading workstation 3D solutions. Square USA Inc. research and development division developed the software for the technology demo. The real-time demonstration was made possible by NVIDIA’s nfiniteFX™ shading technology, including vertex and pixel shaders, to overcome the technical challenges presented in creating realistic skin, hair, clothing and other organic attributes.

“This interactive demonstration of Final Fantasy is a major achievement for the 3D industry.  The realism and subtleties of the images demonstrate the power of the programmable GPU that NVIDIA pioneered,” stated Jen-Hsun Huang, president and CEO at NVIDIA. “We’ve taken a giant step in visual computing.  The work done by Square and NVIDIA is a glimpse at the future of video games and other interactive story telling experiences.  We had a great time working with the talented team at Square.  Their artist vision is inspiring.”
The Quadro-based workstation renders a single frame in four-tenths of a second, allowing for an interactive, real-time CG scene. For comparison, a single frame from the original movie took over 90 minutes to render.  NVIDIA’s GPU enables over 100,000 speed-up over software renderers running on a farm of the fastest supercomputers.

“It has long been an artist’s dream to render CG animation in real-time,” stated Kazuyuki Hashimoto, CTO at Square USA.  “This technology demonstration represents the future direction of digital 3D entertainment, simulating human emotions, movements and characteristics through the use of computer-generated graphics.”

Final Fantasy: The Sprits Within represents the first attempt in moviemaking history to simulate human emotions and movements more realistically than any current CG animated film. Ushering in a new form of entertainment, the film links interactive entertainment software and motion pictures while using the latest in computer-generated animated technology. 

Square Pictures, Inc. is a subsidiary of Tokyo-based Square Co., Ltd., which is the leading third-party developer and publisher of interactive entertainment software in Japan. Square Co., LTD. became famous for its role-playing games, including its world-renowned FINAL FANTASY®, which has sold more than 35 million units to date, and now publishes other titles under the SQUARESOFT ® brand spanning all genres.

More information about Square Co., Ltd., can be found on the Internet at http://www.playonline.com.  The DVD edition of, Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within, will be available on October 23, 2001.

Columbia Pictures, part of the Columbia TriStar Motion Picture Group, is a Sony Pictures Entertainment company. Sony Pictures' global operation encompasses motion picture and distribution, television programming and syndication, home video acquisition and distribution, operation of studio facilities, development of new entertainment products, services and technologies, and distribution of filmed entertainment in 67 countries.

NVIDIA Corporation (Nasdaq - NVDA), based in Santa Clara, CA., is the global leader in advanced graphics and multimedia processing technology for the consumer and professional computing markets. Its 2D, 3D, video and multimedia capabilities make NVIDIA one of the premier semiconductor companies in the world. NVIDIA offers a wide range of products and services, delivering superior performance and crisp visual quality for PC-based applications such as manufacturing, science, e-business, entertainment and education.

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