For those of you who couldn’t make it to the 2014 GPU Technology Conference (GTC) held last week, the complete keynote presentation from Pixar, “Using NVIDIA GPUs for Feature Film Production at Pixar,” has been posted online.
The video, featuring Pixar Engineering Lead Dirk Van Gelder and Technical Director Danny Nahmias, provides an overview of how Pixar uses GPUs and NVIDIA software such as CUDA and OptiX to help their artists create the amazing content than captivates audiences worldwide.
NVIDIA and Pixar have been collaborating to incorporate NVIDIA OptiX into Pixar’s lighting tool; they use it to interactively light scenes prior to sending images out for final render. They use physically based illumination models to create visually rich imagery -- including some things not previously possible such as interactively lighting characters with hair and fur in a scene.
They also show Presto, their proprietary in-house software to deliver real-time artist feedback for character animation; VRender, which is a Pixar-developed volume renderer; and talk about the work they are doing with subdivision surfaces; specifically the OpenSubDiv API which uses tessellation techniques to interactively display complex smooth surfaces.