The Windows blog has a great post on 4K Digital Cinema technology as shown at the Sundance Film Festival 2013. What I expected to read was how cost increases dramatically for digital. But what I instead read was a pronounced decrease in costs when using digital 4k equipment (e.g. ~$120,000 total per 35mm film camera vs ~$12,000 total per 4k digital camera). Shooting digital significantly lowers the financial bar for upcoming filmmakers!
The footage captured by 4K and 5K digital cinema cameras is cleaner and higher quality than analog, but working with this data requires computers and graphics cards that have tremendous computational horsepower, memory, and storage. So at the Sundance festival, HP put together the “Sundance House” technology showcase.
At the heart of the Sundance House was an HP Z820 workstation,with an AMD FirePro v9800 driving a 6-display setup used to edit 4K footage in Adobe SpeedGrade CS6 and Adobe Premiere Pro CS6 under Windows 8.
As the author notes: “What’s neat about this multi-display setup is the ability to physically take it apart so that it can be easily shipped from one venue to another. If you can imagine carting around an 80-inch-class TV to these kinds of events, it’s easy to see how this kind of setup would be a good choice. This ~120” multi-display setup does a great job of presenting widescreen 4K footage, the new standard for digital cinema productions.”
The Gavin Gear from the Extreme Windows blog recently got the chance to use an HP 8770w mobile workstation with AMD FirePro M4000 graphics, for a variety of tasks. He summarizes his experiences in this post.
As announced back in December, the latest v1.6 release of MARI 3D digital painting software adds support for the AMD FirePro W7000, W8000 and W9000 cards.
Digital Media World has an article describing in more detail how AMD and The Foundry worked to optimize the AMD FirePro drivers to specifically enhance shader performance in MARI for effects and layers, as well as support real-time 3D shader preview for specular highlights, displacement preview via bump mapping, ambient occlusion, layer blending modes and color correction.
Delivering real-time visual effects require detailed memory management to make sure the application does not run out of graphics memory and the shaders cacan be calculated in the background in real-time.
This article is a really interesting read because it goes into some detail on how the FirePro team works with DCC software developers to take advantage of the untapped potential of the FirePro hardware. It is a clear example of going beyond simple speeds and feeds benchmarks to instead focus on the user experience within a real application (aka provide real value).
MARI (from The Foundry) is a production proven 3D digital paint tool, designed from the ground up so artists can spend more time being creative and less time managing technical issues. The new MARI v1.6 adds support for the AMD FirePro W7000, W8000 and W9000 cards.
“We’re really pleased that we’re now able to fully test and qualify cards from AMD. We’ve been working hard with them to make this happen and it’s great to have Radeons and FirePro cards as first class MARI platforms.” MARI Product Manager
In addition to AMD FirePro support the new version also adds vector paint and vector inspector tools, vector paint blending modes, vector shading modules, projection cube and projection sphere shader modules, and new HSV and HSL desaturation controls.
This on-demand webinar walks you through the evolving “Creative DI” revolution in commercial post production. The demonstrations illustrate the power of blending compositing, color-grading and finishing into far faster, more fluid, and more cost-effective DI sessions using ASSIMILATE SCRATCH v7, HP hardware and AMD FirePro W8000 and V7900 SDI (certified solutions for Scratch).
CGSociety is celebrating their first ten years as the premier site for CG artists worldwide. As part of the celebration they challenge artist in CGChallenge XXVII: TEN to incorporate the number ten into an image or video, whether literally or symbolically.
It could be a child counting to 10 for the first time, a parody of the movie 10, a play on words (tentacles, tenacious, tenant), the Ten commandments, ten minutes to save the world, remember when you were ten (imaginary friends, bullies, nightmares, dreams for the future), what happened ten years ago, the power of ten.
It could be 2D or 3D, image or video, and produced on any software. Make it hilarious or make it epic, just make sure it cleverly adds the number, idea, word or symbol of ten. It is CGChallenge XXVII, and it’s going to be big!
Assimilate and AMD FirePro team are co-sponsoring a webinar: Unleash the Power of Creative DI with SCRATCH, Thursday, October 25, 2012 at 10:00am PT | 1:00pm ET
Emery Wells, Founder and CEO of Katabatic Digital in New York will walk you through the evolving “Creative DI” revolution in commercial post production. Emery will feature several of his recent projects that illustrate the power of blending compositing, color-grading and finishing into far faster, more fluid, and more cost-effective DI sessions using ASSIMILATE SCRATCH v7, HP hardware and AMD FirePro W8000 and v7900SDI (certified solutions for Scratch).
These two videos from IBC 2012 show demos of how to set up motion graphics and 3D sculpting using Cinema 4D R14. The demos are running on the new AMD FirePro W8000 workstation graphics card with certified drivers. The driver optimizations enable much more dynamic feedback in the viewport as well as much higher frame rates in the Cinebench test suite.
This video from IBC 2012 shows a technology preview of Adobe Premiere Pro running an OpenCL-accelerated Mercury Playback engine on Windows using AMD FirePro graphics.
- OpenCL powered GPU and APU accelerated workflows on Windows
- Enhanced Adobe Mercury Playback Engine for blazingly fast performance
- Real-time editing, effects and transitions for uninterrupted workflows
- Over three dozen OpenCL accelerated effects and transitions
From Bill Roberts, Director of Video Product Management at Adobe: “We are extremely excited about the prospect of being able to tap into the massive compute resources of AMD APUs, AMD Radeon Graphics, and AMD FirePro Professional Graphics on Windows-based PCs, to expand the reach of OpenCL and the Mercury Playback Engine to bring even greater performance and productivity to Premiere Pro users everywhere”.
ASSIMILATE is now supporting AMD FIrePro W8000 and FirePro V7900 SDI graphics cards as video-playback solutions for SCRATCH and SCRATCH Lab software for digital intermediate and dailies in the production and post-production of feature film, episodic television, commercials and spots. The FirePro GPU and SDI real-time playback options add to ASSIMILATE’s existing support for dedicated SDI hardware (e.g. AJA and BlueFish444).
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