View Full Version : Hardware accelerated rendering

04-08-2003, 08:01 AM
I'm pretty sure this has been posted here or on the old boards before, but it's so fascinating that I thought I would post it here. We may one day be able to greatly speed our rendering by letting the GPU do the processing.



04-08-2003, 08:21 AM
Originally posted by mattclary
We may one day be able to greatly speed our rendering by letting the GPU do the processing.

Maya 5 does it now :) :mad:
XSI 3.5 does hardware accelerated rendering in some parts of the rendering process as well.
I guess discreet are working on something as well, and I suppose so are newtek and/or lux.
Note: "guess" = wild speculation.

cheers :cool:

05-13-2003, 08:23 AM
yep sounds great if they would make a option for hardware rendering but it must be a option not standard

05-13-2003, 08:57 AM
Oh, definitely!

05-13-2003, 11:53 AM
Matt you didn't see it on the old boards, you created a new thread on the new boards:


05-13-2003, 12:48 PM
LightWave used to have hardware accelerated rendering - I think it was in 5.6 - possibly a beta we were testing at the time. I seem to recall it used OpenGL to accelerate rendering but it was very buggy and the renders were quite poor - it was useful for previews but a lot of LightWave's "magic" was broken using hardware rendering...

05-13-2003, 02:14 PM
REI, it was on the old boards first, then this thread, then that thread you linked to. I'm not that senile! :)

05-13-2003, 02:17 PM
I guess you're refering to RenderGL, which was a proprietary openGL extension by Intergraph. Way ahead of its time I guess.
Still, hardware rendering makes sense for many reasons, as an alternative.
Not only for preview rendering (which would be a big step forward in productivity), just look at that old Maya hardware particle/sprite renderer...


05-13-2003, 02:20 PM
Ok Matt I read the other one first, and I wasnt on the old boards...

LW could do with GPU increased rendering. Even if it is only used as a second number cruncher.

05-14-2003, 08:35 AM
I know how to speed up your rendering today. http://www.respower.com

05-14-2003, 08:47 AM
Hi tentonia,
respower is a good idea, if you have small scenes to render.
The current job I'm on takes around 36 hours to render completely on our 5 machine farm, results in 4 GB of rendered images, and I had three customer changes requests in the past week. If I add the costs for image transfer via ftp, I'm not sure if respower makes sense.
There are case where it does though.


05-14-2003, 11:56 AM
You could render that job at ResPower in about an hour, have it next day aired on DVD and still get it back hours before your 5 machines are done with it.

05-14-2003, 12:46 PM
Originally posted by trentonia
You could render that job at ResPower in about an hour, have it next day aired on DVD...
To Germany? :D

05-14-2003, 01:09 PM
Kannst du nicht zur Deutschland nachste tag flugen gehaben. Mein Deutsch is nicht so gut jetzt. Ich habe Deutsch fur zehn oder funfzehn jahren nich gesprechen.

05-14-2003, 01:52 PM
Hallo trentonia,
dann sollten wir üben :)

For all non-German speakers:

Hi trentonia,
we should practice then.

I'm not much of a fan of external render farms to be honest. I've never tried one either.
We have a stable screamer/spider set-up here, which works extremely well, and our machines double as digital fusion renderers, which is great. I'd need to upgrade them sometime though...
Our render farm tends to be constantly loaded with jobs, but a quick hardware renderer (OT again!) would be great for quick animatics to insert into an edit, or special FX like, again, sprite rendering.


05-14-2003, 02:39 PM
Ja, würde das gut sein. Bist du ein Deustcher oder arbeitest du nur im Deustchland?

05-14-2003, 02:47 PM
ich bin Deutscher, und arbeite in Deutschland :p
http://www.gadget.de gehört mir zur Hälfte.

05-18-2003, 10:12 AM
Outsourcing through us is pretty easy, actually. You run the system yourself through our web interface, so it makes it a lot easier than having to coordinate stuff with a human being at weird hours of the day or night.

As for it being in Germany, no, there is no next day service (short of getting on an airplane with the DVD's). However, you may find that our fiber-optic line can handle downloads pretty fast. Also, we have a means for your to pkzip up your output, which means you can download compressed files.

4 Gig of final rendered images is pretty big, however, what's cool is you can download as you render, so you get a headstart. A lot of folks when they first start using our service think that they have to wait until the whole thing is done before they can start downloading. That's not the case.

As for hardware acceleration, I think it's basically a non-starter. Everytime someone tries to make a board or a card that can assist, new elements are built into the main software package that negates the board's ability. To my mind it's better to use parallel processing to speed things for a simple return on investment standpoint. You KNOW that a computer's CPU will be able to render your animation (because that's what the software was built for). But a specially-built card or board may or may not have everything you require.

Just my two cents...

05-22-2003, 11:39 AM
How about firmware updates? This seems to work with changing system specs. If the card becomes obsolete then the computer is probably nearing the end too. I know that Maya limits their hardware rendering to certain cards where they have a development agreement. I like the idea of hardware rendering to take some of the load. Apparently the hardware on these boards have run ahead of most software and most of them are only using a fraction of their power.

05-23-2003, 01:01 AM
HEEElllo, Lightwolf, I was watching you demo.... really cool, really pro !! I love your avatar playing guitar.. he he..

Cheers, Hervé

Mike Pauza
05-23-2003, 04:44 PM
"Final Fantasy quality" realtime rendering on the upcomming NV30 GPU...WOW. That would be like the invention of fire. Nice Article!