Friday, November 20, 2009

Autodesk Product Survey

Not happy with the products your are getting from Autodesk? Well here is your chance to make your voice heard!

Product Survey

Thursday, November 12, 2009

2009 Visualization Industry Survey

It looks like things are picking up a bit. I just finished reading up on an interesting survey on the design visualization industry and it has some very interesting insights.

Survey Results

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

MachStudio Pro is the real deal

Well, I have to say that I'm thoroughly impressed with MachStudio Pro (or MSP for short). I made a previous post about this technology on my blog earlier this year and got some great feedback via the comments. One blogger (tomacmuni) made a very interesting comment about MSP and other technologies that I wanted to address.
Quote from tomacuni: "Machstudio is graphics card based and you get the so-called partnership ATI provided card to make sure that it works well.
You can't buy the software without the card - I asked. They said no.
Presumably your computer itself will also contribute to how well that performs.

I asked myself, to what extent might it be the graphics card that boosts the render time, as opposed to the software?

Vray RT is CPU based -- without a networked suite of *up to to 10* slave processors for instance, from what I can tell it's not going to be that helpful for acceleration.
....
I'm not sure, but Artlantis seems to be a kind of intentionally optimised renderer, using simple material presets and simple render settings that look at best adequate ... a bit like Vray with 'low' quality sampling. I haven't seen high quality rendering from it."
The ATI card (or GPU for short) does all the heavy lifting when it comes to rendering the image. Your computer specs need to be able to support the ATI card, but do little else when it comes to pushing the limits of MSP. MSP is coded/written to take advantage of the processing power of the GPU. None of the other softwares you mentioned do that to my knowledge. The ATI V8750 has 800 cores to process data. 800!!! The unfortunate reality is that most applications today have not been written to take advantage of the GPU and its processing power. How many CPU's can you link together for VRAY's RT technology - ten? Alright, so then what? After you link them together and preview your render in the viewport, are you able to save that image or can you output it to a full HD image plate without having to render and use a render farm? As for Artlantis, I have yet to see high quality renders, much less renders completed as fast as what MSP can do set to full high quality.
Quote from tomacuni: "For actually rendering, Maxwell and Machstudio Pro send out content for rendering to an external application."
Vray and Mental ray do this too - its just transparent to the user. As far as I have been able to tell, MSP does not send anything out to an external application for rendering - it is all done in the same interface with the same program and nothing needs to be translated (another one of the problems with mental ray or vray).
Quote from tomacuni: "It seems to be that these render 'solutions' may mark the fin de si├Ęcle of standard renderer software given they're based on technology that's aging fast. It seems there's a looming shift in approaches to rendering. I wonder in two or so years which of these 'new' renderers will attract the larger user base.
...
I'm a 3DSMax user mainly, so
I wonder if, at some point, 3DSMax itself may ship with some kind of 'real time' rendering technology which simply eclipses all the tools commented on here. A few years ago I guess that's what the incorporation of mentalray aimed to do."
I come from a background mostly utilizing 3ds MAX too. I look forward to seeing which technology will attract a larger user base as well. If Autodesk has an ounce of smarts in their R&D team, they are already looking at how their products can take advantage of the GPU to increase render times. I know a couple products already do but it will likely take time for a company the size of Autodesk to move it into production for 3ds MAX and Maya (I hope I'm wrong on that though).

3D World magazine recently had a review from Dan Alban of AGA Studios published and gives yet another testimony to MSP. I personally am just starting to get my feet wet with MSP and how it can integrate with Architectural Design Visualization workflows. There have been some great studies done already on StudioGPU's website. In the image that was posted to this blog post, can you tell which was done with MSP or VRAY? There are some great examples done on their site as well that incorporate Architectural Design Visualization use of MSP. If you want to get more discussion on what MSP can do in this regards, there is a great discussion thread already unfolding on their forums.

Yes, this might be a brand new technology, but the potential is so big, I can't imagine this technology sitting idle - I see it advancing further very rapidly. I love the feedback this technology has prompted - I hope this post will spark further interest!

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Video Cards - Can you help me pick one?

No!

I can however equip you with a great article to help you better understand the market and better select one for yourself. I just finished reading a very insightful and well put together article in the latest AUGI World magazine.

Click me for a link to a low-res version of AUGI World!