Posted by Shane Griffith, 17 October 2010 7:00 pm
Recently, there has been a lot of development around the use of GPUs for accelerating the production of rendered images (either photorealism or non-photorealism). There are two basic approaches to using the GPU to accelerate rendering. One approach takes advantage of the GPU’s ability to process triangles, lighting, and pixel-shading techniques as used in games, DirectX, and OpenGL. In 3ds Max and 3ds Max Design 2011, you have access to the new Quicksilver renderer that takes advantage of this technique. The other approach to using the GPU is to have it calculate how light interacts with matter and create an image by tracing the path of photons into the scene in a physically correct manner. The GPU acts as a massive supercomputer to process the scene and deliver a photoreal result. Subscription users of 3ds Max and 3ds Max Design 2011 can now download the new iray renderer from mental images that uses this technique. There are many other third-parties that are pursuing these GPU-accelerated approaches for 3ds Max. The Chaos Group, for instance, has recently made available a beta of VrayRT for GPUs that leverages some of the same tricks as iray. Unlike the regular VrayRT (which only uses the CPU), VrayRT for GPUs takes advantage of your GPU and not your CPU. In the video below Richard Kerris, CTO, ILM, discusses how GPUs enabled the creation of breakthrough visual effects in the films "Harry Potter" and "The Last Air Bender".
Try out these new rendering technologies and enter the worldwide Autodesk Rendering Revolution contest before October 31 for a chance to win a trip for two to AU and other great prizes.
The making of "The Last Airbender" by Industrial Light and Magic
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