The SIGGRAPH 2009: Beyond Programmable Shading course notes and PDF slide presentations are now now available. “Beyond Programmable Shading I” topics include: parallel graphics architectures, parallel programming models for graphics, and game-developer investigations of the use of these new capabilities in future rendering engines. “Beyond Programmable Shading II” topics include volumetric and hair lighting, alternate rendering pipelines including ray tracing and micropolygon rendering, in-frame data structure construction, and complex image processing.
Intel and AMD were the course organizers. The course presenters were all experts on advanced rendering, graphics hardware, and parallel computing for graphics from academia and industry
I have a second, more complete video demo of MachStudio Pro from SIGGRAPH 2009 at the AMD booth. This demo runs through manipulating the ambient occlusion, HDR environment lights, point lights, (her eyes glow) & projected lights (amazing to watch moving these in real-time and watching the shadow), shader manipulation and displacement maps using hardware tessellation in a complex animation scene.
These are not pre-baked passes. Everything happens in real-time, on-the-fly in MachStudio Pro using the FirePro V8750 GPU and the built-in hardware tesselation.
Also one big point to make - this is not just faster final rendering. Faster final rendering doesn’t really address the issue of the 3D creative lighting and rendering workflow being a linear process. As a lighter or TD, you would still have to go through a multi-step process where creative flow is broken down into set-up time, render time and review time.
With MachStudio Pro, the workflow is changed into a non-linear one where you see the full render quality as you manipulate lights, shadows, fog, depth of field, ambient occlusion, etc. The creative component is one and the same as the rendering and review component. As you add a light, and adjust it, you see the shadows, glows, reflections, etc, as you are working, exactly as it will appear in a final render. When you scrub the timeline and watch your camera moves, you can adjust lighting and effects without having to re-render.
It is a complete change in the creative workflow. This is why everyone who sees this product gets so excited and why there really is nothing else like it (at Siggraph or in the market).
3DProfessor has a review of the Intel WX58BP Entry Level Workstation Board for the Xeon processor W3500 series. The gist: “For many years the owners of UP workstation mainboards have had the luxury of marching around boasting the best from Supermicro, Tyan and the Tier 1 companies. Not so anymore. This has been a bold move from Intel ... this is a good optional workstation mainboard… we have to award Intel’s Workstation Board WX58BP (Banroof Point) a joint Editors Choice Award with Supermicro’s X8SAX”
Now for me the especially interesting part of the story is the SPEC 10 benchmark comparing a FireProV7750 card with two FirePro V7750 cards in CrossFire mode. See the table below (taken from 3DProfessor), but essentially this confirms the significant acceleration for Ensight, Maya and UG/NX.
Demo of manipulating the ambient occlusion (AO) in a complex animation scene in real-time. These are not pre-baked passes. It is AO (as well as HDR cameras, shadows, Depth of Field, etc) calculated in real-time in MachStudio Pro using the FirePro V8750 GPU.
I’ve seen the Froblins demo before with 3000 creatures scurrying around the screen. But always thought this was primarily a hardware tesselation and rendering demos. Turns out it is also about concurrently running interactive Artificial Intelligence code on entirely on the GPU. The full story is parallel artificial intelligence computation for dynamic pathfinding and local avoidance on the GPU, massive crowd rendering with LOD management with high-end rendering capabilities such as GPU tessellation for high-quality close-ups and stable performance, terrain system, cascaded shadows for large-range environments, and an advanced global illumination system.
Yesterday I posted a video showing OpenCL scaling across 24 CPU cores. The same demo was actually being shown at SIGGRAPH scaling across 12 CPU cores. We got a capture of the demo, but the most important thing about it is the section where the presenter explains about why OpenCL is is so significant and why AMD is showing it running on the CPU and not just talking about running it on the GPU (like everyone else). OpenCL lets you write data-parallel algorithms data-parallel processing (for scientific computations, video and image processing, game AI and physics, etc.) that spread themselves automatically across available resources, be they CPU or GPU.
See the video below, but here is the transcript: “The important thing to note about OpenCL, is that it is not simply about running on the GPU. OpenCL is about running on heterogeneous systems - ALL the processors in your system. With AMD’s OpenCL implementation, you will be able to take one source code base and re-target it to your CPUs or GPUs - it will run on both - and take advantage of your entire platform. “.
My comment: Now that (in addition to the whole open standards thing) is why I am such a big champion of OpenCL.
Another video capture from Siggraph - this time of a very cool six monitor video wall demonstration using the Pixel Transit image generator from Blue Newt software, for a driving simulation. . Each display is driven by a FirePro V8750. The 3D rendering is synced up using the new FirePro S400 framelock card. The syncing is seamless. The visual demo of the lighting in the driving simulation is impressive.
This is the demo I have been waiting to see! It compares Maya 2009 running on a single FirePro V5700 to Maya 2009 running on two FirePro V5700s using the new CrossFire Pro drivers. The model being rotated has over 2 million triangles. Using the single FirePro card, the model rotates at about 70 fps. Using CrossFire Pro with two equivalent FirePro cards, the same model frame rate is about 110 fps - in other words, 50% scaling.
Twitter-style take away: Big gains in Maya performance using CrossFire Pro drivers on FirePro cards.
CrossFire lets you divert all the processing power in both cards to a single modeling window. 3DProfessor reviewed it technically but this is the first demonstration that I have actually seen.
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