Nvidia's Iray technology could see previs & VFX use

Posted By Marc Loftus on March 30, 2015 01:12 pm | Permalink
SAN JOSE, CA - Nvidia (www.nvidia.com) is helping to bring physically-based rendering to the whole design community with its new Iray technology, which photo-realistically simulates the physical behavior of light and materials. While Iray is well-suited for prototyping real-world products before they are made, it also lends itself to visual effects applications, including previs.

"It's super easy to set up," explains Nvidia VP of enterprise marketing, Greg Estes, of the rendering technology. "You can place lights where they would be in real scene, set the time of day and it's automatically calculating shadows and looks, which can be super helpful." 

Iray is also fast and interactive, allowing animators to quickly try out different lighting looks. The technology can work off of a CPU, but really shines when taking advantage of Nvidia's GPU hardware, be it GeForce or Quadro.

"One of the things about Iray is that it's linear," Estes says of its performance capabilities. "Add more M6000s it will go that much faster."

He's referring to Nvidia's recently introduced Quadro M6000 graphics card, the company's most powerful professional GPU, featuring its Maxwell architecture and 12GBs of graphics memory.

Nvidia has upgraded its Quadro Visual Computing Appliance (pictured) to include eight M6000-class GPUs, making it well-tuned to accelerate its Iray software. VCA is designed specifically to tackle rendering tasks. 

Iray is already accessible to the large animation and design community using Autodesk's 3DS Max, Maya, and Revit, McNeel Rhinoceros and Maxon's Cinema 4D. A software developer's kit is also available for integration by developers.

While Nvidia won't have a formal booth at this year's NAB, the company's technology can be found in more than 70 partner booth on the show floor in Las Vegas.