Two Game Changing Announcements for CGI
SIGGRAPH 2018 is over but the legacy of two big announcements is just getting started. YellowDog’s Jack looks at the big news from this year’s convention in Vancouver...
Let’s cut to the chase. There was a lot going on at SIGGRAPH this year but there are two standout announcements.
#1 NVIDIA Unveiled the world’s first Ray-Tracing GPU
Using NVIDIA’S Turing architecture, which NVIDIA terms the ‘greatest leap since the invention of the CUDA GPU in 2006’, are the Quadro RTX GPUs.
This GPU technology truly opens up the possibility for studios to create photo real, real time, renders. There are added benefits such as AI-based capabilities and greater flexibility with complex model manipulation. However, these features are mere side shows to the concept of ray tracing GPUs. NVIDIA sent CEO and co-founder Jen-Hsun “Jensen” Huang to present. When Jensen presents, it is a big deal.
Jensen was THE man to announce the delivery of a massive leap in GPU rendering: the holy grail of graphics technology.
Crypto miners are also licking their lips but that’s another article for another day.
Sadly, two things could stop the Quadro RTX having an impact as quickly as NVIDIA would like:
The price was the uncomfortable ‘water cooler’ conversation for everyone who saw the SIGGRAPH presentation.
The Quadro RTX 8000 with 48GB memory has an ‘estimated street price’ of $10,000.
Watch the presentation video and note the authentic applause from the SIGGRAPH audience when Jensen says: ‘this is the world’s first ray tracing GPU’ and when he says ‘tell me that’s not beautiful?’ Now compare it to the awkward “whoop” and muted clap that follows the announcement of the price tag: ‘just $10,000 dollars.’
The cost isn’t unreasonable. Some would argue that the capability is priceless.
But, at a time when margins are tight across Visual effects, Animation, and Visualisation, it is still an uncomfortable cost to face.
It is true that those who invest in technology will save on overheads in the long run – be it space, power, or time – but the barrier to entry will be too high for the vast majority of studios. The exception to the rule will be those who already have the capital but don’t have a pressing need.
Early adopters assemble! Have a look at our pricing here.
NVIDIA need key creative industry developers to step up to the plate to knock Jensen’s pitch home.
Chaos Group look like they’re up for the challenge and have been working hard over the last year to figure out how to make use of this new GPU architecture. You can find out more in this detailed blog post by Chaos Group CTO and Co-Founder, Vlado.
Chaos Group aren’t alone; Redshift, Adobe, Autodesk’s Arnold, Isotropix, and more are all on board too. There is a massive reliance on collaboration for this to work; if the quality of collaboration is poor, then photo-real GPU won’t make the cut in online or offline rendering. The true benefits of Turing Architecture and Quadro RTX are unlikely to be hitting potential peaks until we’ve had a multitude of releases from key players in the 3D rendering space.
#2 Chaos Group opened V-Ray Cloud
Chaos Group officially opened the beta for their push button cloud rendering service: V-Ray Cloud.
As a key partner and good friend of Chaos Group, we’re all excited at YellowDog to see V-Ray’s direct entrance to the world of Cloud rendering.
Pending a successful beta, V-Ray Cloud could bring significant benefits to artists looking to send off simple renders in a simple way. It will have the greatest benefits for freelancers and small studios in my view; those producing small animations and still frames might well never look back from V-Ray Cloud if it delivers on its promises.
V-Ray Cloud will help smaller studios to scale up – and speed up – project delivery without a high barrier to entry.
Could V-Ray Cloud democratise the creative landscape: assisting small studios as they compete with larger agencies and lower paid workforces?
Helping studios to do more and create more by speeding up production is our vision at YellowDog. It is what we have sought to do for every one of our 1500 customers since we fired up our first render node.
As V-Ray Cloud expands for part of its customer base, the YellowDog partnership with Chaos Group is set to strengthen. YellowDog will bring the added service, integration, and stress tested render platform to those V-Ray customers who are looking to crunch through custom pipelines, heavy shots, and project critical workloads. V-Ray Cloud may well help the rest.
So what was SIGGRAPH all about in 2018?
For those lucky enough to attend SIGGRAPH this year or for those who are still reading all the reviews and news that has come out since, the message from this year’s technology announcements at SIGGRAPH was simple – pure speed.
It could be speed gained by upgrading CG pipeline software, splashing out on Turing Architecture for GPU, or exploring possibilities with Cloud Rendering, but if you cant produce high quality work quickly in the near future, you’ll have to offer something else that’s unique to keep clients coming back for more.
If you’re looking to speed up your CGI rendering, learn more about YellowDog’s Cloud Render Platform