Entries tagged as: Digital Content Creation

MARI 2.0 launch event sponsored by AMD FirePro - pics and on-demand video

Posted by Tony DeYoung on March 18, 2013

MARI 2 was release last week.  If you missed the event you can watch a on-demand version here and learn more about the 3D digital paint tool Mari with a new layering system.

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. AMD FirePro was part of the MARI 2 launch event. Some pics below as well as a quick “what’s new in MARI 2” video:

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MARI 2.0 launch event March 14 - Chance to win AMD FirePro card

Posted by Tony DeYoung on March 11, 2013
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The MARI 2.0 Streaming Launch Event will be held Thursday 14th March, 7-8pm (UTC / GMT).  Watch what’s new and be eligible for a chance to win an AMD FirePro graphics card.

A key advantage of MARI is its extensive use of shaders: programs that run on the GPU via its built-in rendering pipeline. In MARI, the tessellation shader simulates displacement, reducing the geometry count of a scene on the fly. The software also makes use of pixel shaders to apply ambient occlusion and advanced lighting effects. 

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. In general, the user experience will be more fluid on a high-end card like the W7000, particularly with heavy projection work or using dense shaders.

As an extension of their work with OpenGL optimizations for MARI, AMD FirePro is sponsoring the March 14 launch event with a FirePro card giveaway.

AMD FirePro at GDC 2013 - Booth 814 - showing digital content creation tools for gaming

Posted by Tony DeYoung on February 28, 2013
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Visit AMD at booth 814 at Game Developers Conference 2013 to experience immersive and vivid gaming, arcade cabinets, tablets, notebooks, PCs, cloud gaming and game consoles powered by AMD technology. For the ultimate in panoramic gaming experiences, AMD Eyefinity multi-monitor displays including 3x1 and 5x1 screen configurations will also be demonstrated. Spend time with AMD’s suite of development tools to learn to optimize the gaming experience to bring your creations to life for your customers. In addition, AMD showcases some of the best digital content creation tools on AMD FirePro Workstation graphics cards.

AMD speaking sessions at GDC 2013:

Session Title: Behind the Scenes: Optimizing Far Cry 3, Left 4 Dead 2, and Assassins Creed 3 Using AMD’s GPU PerfStudio2
Date: Wednesday, March 27, 2013
Time: 9:30am - 10:30am
Room: 301 (Esplanade hall)

Session Title: Title: Powering the Next Generation of Graphics: The AMD GCN Architecture
Date: Wednesday, March 27, 2013
Time: 3:30pm - 4:30pm
Room: 2024 (West hall)

Session Title: How CryEngine 3 and AMD GCN Architecture Gave Birth to a Red Gem: “Project Phoenix”
Date: Wednesday, March 27, 2013
Time: 5:00pm - 6:00pm
Room: 3024 (West hall)

TressFX Hair
If you are a game developer and haven’t yet heard about TressFX Hair, check out this blog post.  TressFX uses DirectCompute to unlock the massively-parallel processing capabilities of the GCN architecture (FirePro W Series) and is based on AMD’s previous work on Order Independent Transparency (OIT) (think of Creo 2.0), a method that makes use of Per-Pixel Linked-List (PPLL) data structures to manage rendering complexity and memory usage.This technology brings a signficiant improvement to hair rendering and physics.

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The TressFX Hair physics system treats each strand of hair as a chain with dozens of links, permitting for forces like gravity, wind and movement of the head to move and curl hair in a realistic fashion.


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With TressFX Hair, each one of Lara’s thousands of individualized strands of hair are constantly changing with the windspeed.

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Lara’s hair hangs heavy and matted with TressFX Hair; the real-time physics calculation accounts for both moisture and wind.

Fireprographics.com explains why use FirePro technology for Cinema 4D

Posted by Tony DeYoung on February 20, 2013
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FireProGraphics.com has launched a new focus area dedicated to Cinema 4D.

In MAXON CINEMA 4D R14 Studio, to create the best possible CG, VFX and motion graphics for broadcast, you need to be working on previews that are as near to the final animation as possible, so you can model and animate efficiently and produce renders that are exactly as you want them to be.  For our money, this means an AMD FirePro ‘W-series’ graphics card.  The Geometry Boost feature of the W-series will processes twice as much geometry data per clock cycle as previous generation cards, essentially doubling performance with increasingly complex meshes.

The FireProGraphics site includes: overview information; case study, webinar and benchmarks comparing Quadro,FirePro V and FirePro W-serieis cards using CineBench 11.5 OpenGL tests.

AMD FirePro v9800 used to edit 4K footage @ Sundance Film Festival 2013

Posted by Tony DeYoung on February 04, 2013
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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 Mobile Workstation Experience on Windows 8 - AMD FirePro M4000 on HP 8770w

Posted by Tony DeYoung on January 28, 2013
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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.

The mobile workstation spec:

  • Processor: Intel Core i7-3820 hyper-threaded quad core @ 2.70GHz
  • RAM: 16.0 GB
  • Storage: 120 GB SSD
  • Graphics: AMD FirePro M4000
  • Display: 17” DreamColor 1920x1080

Some summary quotes from the blog:

"I’ve used the HP 8770w with Adobe Premiere Pro CS6 and I’ll have to say: in addition to being a great at-the-desk video editing PC, this would also be a killer hotel-room-video-editing PC."

"With AMD FirePro M4000 graphics and a 17” DreamColor display, this HP 8770w is ideally suited for the serious professional photographer."

"While a 17” laptop may be too large for some creative professionals, it’s just right for super-demanding mobile video and photo editing work where screen real estate is critical."

FirePro team works with The Foundry to enable customizable real-time 3D shaders in MARI 1.6

Posted by Tony DeYoung on January 23, 2013
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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 v1.6 3D digital paint tool adds support for AMD FirePro W series

Posted by Tony DeYoung on December 20, 2012
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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.

Video: Unleash the Power of Creative DI with SCRATCH and AMD FirePro Graphics

Posted by Tony DeYoung on November 05, 2012

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).

CGChallenge XXVII: TEN - Call for worlds best best digital artists - 85 days remaining

Posted by Tony DeYoung on October 18, 2012
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The AMD FirePro team is one of the sponsors of the $140,000 prize pool for CGChallenge XXVII: TEN .

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!

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