Real or Rendered? Nvidia brings interactive, physically-based rendering to the mainstream

Posted By Greg Estes on March 19, 2015 07:35 am | Permalink
Is it real or is it rendered? We've been teasing our social media followers for months now by posting stunning images and asking them if they can tell the difference between our computer-generated images and real ones.

Iray/Maxon Cinema 4D

Real or rendered? If you've been following Nvidia on social media, you know just how tough it can be to tell work created with our technology from the real thing.

Thousands have weighed in. And it's fiendishly difficult.

But for designers who build the products we use every day - from the cars we drive to the buildings we live in - it's more than just pretty pictures. It's critical that what they see digitally accurately shows what their design is like in reality. Light, materials and form, all coming together in the intended way.

But to visualize designs properly requires significant technology to calculate exactly how materials interact with light. For instance, whether glare occurs on a car's windshield if the dashboard is made of a certain material and not a slightly different one. To render those designs properly requires physically-based rendering, and to make it interactive requires very fast GPUs.

Now, we're announcing a multi-product roadmap to bring this capability to millions of designers. It has three main pieces:

- Iray 2015 - the latest version of our GPU-accelerated rendering software, with new features to support exchanging materials across design applications, scalability outside of a workstation, and much faster rendering speed.

- Quadro M6000 - our most powerful professional GPU, featuring our Maxwell architecture and 12GBs of graphics memory to support complex designs.

- Quadro Visual Computing Appliance - upgraded with 8 M6000-class GPUs, this VCA scalable appliance achieves unprecedented speed and visual fidelity, and is specifically tuned to accelerate our Iray software.

All these products will work together to give designers in a vast array of industries power that was - until now - available to just a handful.

Iray/Autodesk 3DS Max

Throughout 2015, Nvidia is bringing Iray to several more 3D creation applications, including Autodesk's 3DS Max, Maya, Revit, and McNeel Rhinoceros. DAZ 3D has also made Iray available to its customers. This means millions of designers will now have access to Iray's capabilities, including Iray Material Definition Language (MDL), which allows physically-based materials to be interchangeable across apps, so designers can switch from one tool to another and get consistent results.

Iray 2015 is supporting the latest measurement format from X-Rite, while MDL is being supported by a growing number of companies who allow designers to create physically-based materials including Allegorithmic and Old Castle.