The case for desktop workstations

Jon Peddie Research (JPR) recently reported that the overall workstation market volume in Q1’21 grew about 27.7% YoY, a milestone for workstation sales. The strong rebound in workstation shipments was no surprise, as positive signs regarding the pandemic by mid-quarter (in the US and EMEA particularly), along with successful deployment of vaccines (though geographically varying) clearly improved purchasing outlooks among … Read more

RenderMan 24: Pixar’s latest release focuses on look development

Pixar recently released RenderMan version 24. The highlight of this release is a new CPU + GPU hybrid renderer called RenderMan XPU. Pixar says that XPU has been designed for look development and to provide a good match to RenderMan's production pathtracer, RIS. XPU can handle the scale and complexity of Pixar’s feature animation projects. Pixar’s next-gen rendering engine can … Read more

Epic adds universal scene description and ray tracing

(Source: Epic)   Epic has made some major improvements and upgrades to its popular game engine, Unreal. With the release of Unreal Engine 4.25, Epic has expanded the toolset to include content creation and editing for more areas of game and visualization development. Epic says their linear media tools are improved to enable even more immersive and efficient production of … Read more

Is ray tracing catching on?

Source: Francis Damm   It was late July 2018, when Nvidia surprised and delighted the world with the introduction of its RTX GPU that could deliver real-time ray tracing, dubbed RTRT. If you build it, will they come? It was a gamble. Nvidia had to not only design and manufacture the chip, but they also had to build a toolset … Read more

Epic Games buys Cubic Motion for facial mapping technology

Epic’s latest acquisition, Cubic Motion of Manchester, England, consolidates the work the two companies have been doing in virtual production. Game engines have been adapted for virtual production probably since at least 2013 or so. Tinkerers in film production were quietly playing with game engines as a tool for interactive capture with the advantage of realtime rendering so that filmmakers … Read more

Autodesk’s ray tracer Arnold gets GPU support

Autodesk recently announced that Arnold 6 with Arnold GPU is available. First unveiled as a beta release in March, the company says Arnold 6 completes the Arnold GPU toolset with improvements across lights, shaders, and cameras, as well as on-demand texture loading and support for Open Shading Language (OSL) and OpenVDB volumes. Additionally, as part of Autodesk’s efforts for the … Read more