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Nvidia: Quadro Helped ILM Animate Rango

By - Source: Nvidia | B 25 comments

ILM used around 450 Quadro-based workstations to shorten the production time of Rango.

Wednesday Nvidia said that Industrial Light and Magic (ILM) used Quadro GPUs to help render Rango, the just-released CGI-animated movie from Paramount Pictures and Nickelodeon. Approximately 450 ILM Quadro workstations were used in both the San Francisco and Singapore studios to help overcome production demands and timeline challenges.

"Whenever you're approaching a film of this scale you need to make your production pipeline operate as efficiently as possible -- especially when it comes to character animation work," said Tim Alexander, VFX supervisor for Rango. "By using Nvidia Quadro processors and building GPU-accelerated processes into our workflow, we saved a huge amount of rendering time."

In addition to using commercialized animation tools like Autodesk's Maya, the Rango team used a wide range of ILM's in-house applications including "Plume," a GPU-accelerated fluid solver/renderer that has been used on previous films like The Last Airbender and Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. For Rango, the team added new shadow and lighting features into Plume for more realistic fire and dust effects.

"If we have a character standing in the key light, he'll actually cast a shadow into the dust, smoke or fire. In the past we would fake those biometric ray-type effects or any sort of shading in the composite phase," Alexander said. "By using the GPU to bake shadows and lighting into the simulation, we saved a tremendous amount of time and achieved a more realistic effect by having all of the detail of the object that's casting the shadow actually in the shadow itself."

Alexander added that the team received real-time feedback on dust and fire thanks to Quadro acceleration in Plume. This meant a reduction in time and money, as previously the same feedback would have taken days to simulate the same scene. In addition, the hundreds of GPU cores in each artist's workstation also boosted the performance of ILM's GPU render farm during off-business hours, Nvidia said.

To read the full report, head here. It's definitely interesting to see how GPUs affect not only the gaming industry, but Hollywood as well. Will this reduction in production time mean cheaper ticket prices for moviegoers? Probably not.

Rango Rolling Bottle

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Display 25 Comments.
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  • 1 Hide
    nforce4max , April 6, 2011 5:55 PM
    LOL
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , April 6, 2011 6:03 PM
    Yeah 'LOL' pretty much sums it up.
  • 0 Hide
    zerocoolx , April 6, 2011 6:26 PM
    Translation:

    ILM: Let's advertise for Nvidia!
    Nvidia: We'll give you 450 free Quadro cards in exchange.
    ILM: Hopefully this helps get people talking about this turd-fest of a movie.
    Nvidia: Hopefully this will help us sell more of our overpriced cards!

    SYNERGY!!!!
  • -1 Hide
    rohitbaran , April 6, 2011 6:33 PM
    @^
    So true!
  • -1 Hide
    lamorpa , April 6, 2011 6:36 PM
    That movie had no bias toward age, race, or personality type. Pretty much everyone could find some part of it that irritated them.
  • 1 Hide
    mobrocket , April 6, 2011 6:41 PM
    I thought the movie was decent, animation was excellent...
    one of the better movies so far of 2011...

  • -1 Hide
    Parsian , April 6, 2011 6:48 PM
    lol oh marketing ...
  • -1 Hide
    rhino13 , April 6, 2011 6:56 PM
    Rango was sooo bad.
    Clearly would have been helped by going with AMD.

    Wait, what were we talking about?
  • -1 Hide
    fayzaan , April 6, 2011 6:59 PM
    rhino13Rango was sooo bad.Clearly would have been helped by going with AMD.Wait, what were we talking about?


    We was talking about the Quadro! I findeth this funnies...o well, atleast I got warned not to watch this movie, iz crap i hears!
  • -1 Hide
    zerocoolx , April 6, 2011 7:26 PM
    @rhino13

    Attention trolls:
    Following comment is made of silica. DO NOT EAT.

    You're missing the point. This isn't an article. It's an ad and rational people with realistic budgets would definitely go FireGL all the way. There's no excuse for the Quadro series being so damn expensive. Cost vs performance is what the majority of people care about. ILM can choose to ignore all that and use whatever they want to use, but why am I hearing about it?

    Oh right, because this is yellow journalism at it's best. Why must I limit my comments to what you want to hear? It's still on topic. In fact it's more on topic than your comment and, in a way, the article itself!
  • 1 Hide
    Anonymous , April 6, 2011 7:52 PM
    All of the AMD Fanboys in this article are giving me so much LULZ!
  • -2 Hide
    zerocoolx , April 6, 2011 7:55 PM
    BLARGMCBLARGAll of the AMD Fanboys in this article are giving me so much LULZ!


    Call the poison control!
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , April 6, 2011 8:28 PM
    I think another reason why ILM used Quadro is because it has better support for OpenCL, not to mention CUDA from Nvidia.

    There are many commercial raytracer that only supports Nvidia cards right now, Mental ray, Vray, Mari just to name a few.
  • 1 Hide
    techseven , April 6, 2011 8:31 PM
    Rango is truly a great movie, I simply love it - not the most original storyline, but who cares?

    AND: I have never seen a better looking animated movie, the artistic design is marvelous.
  • 0 Hide
    V8VENOM , April 6, 2011 8:40 PM
    Tom's Hardware lost "it purpose" long ago ... I have yet to read a Tom's Article that was:

    1. Well written
    2. Was accurate
    3. Had some useful content that could actually inform folks about their next hardware/software purchases (for any platform)

    It wasn't always like this at Tom's ... trying to remember when they sold their soul ... anyway, now it's "shock journalism" who's primary focus is hit count to keep the advertisers happy.

    In fact, just ask anyone that visits this site what their front page looks like for advertising (it will not be the same as yours) ... notice how it's somehow advertising content from sites you may have visited in the past that has nothing to do with Tom's? Read Tom's Legal and Privacy statements REAL CAREFULLY, you may not want to visit Tom's ever again.
  • 1 Hide
    Anonymous , April 7, 2011 2:23 AM
    Most of the comments here are ridiculous, people hating on Rango without seeing it, which is a shame, as it's one of the most brave animated movies ever (no cuddly, singing, toys-oriented characters, NO muddy, disgusting stereoscopic 3-D, etc). In an age where Pixar is making Cars 2, Rango was the best surprise of the year so far. ILM did a fantastic job, and as a professional CG artist I find this article to be interesting and not just shameless advertisement.

    Kids here can cry all they want over prices, AMD-Nvidia warfare,the "crappy" quality of Rango (which is probably the best looking animated movie ever). This article is aimed towards people interested in CG productions, basically all of us read "real time fire and dust effects" and drool.

    PS: And although years ago I was a huge fan and supported of ATI cards, me and all my friends who are in the animation business and all our workstations at work have Nvidia cards. I guess their never-ending push of Cuda and OpenCL paid off.
  • -1 Hide
    zerocoolx , April 7, 2011 2:39 AM
    Mike2001Most of the comments here are ridiculous, people hating on Rango without seeing it, which is a shame, as it's one of the most brave animated movies ever (no cuddly, singing, toys-oriented characters, NO muddy, disgusting stereoscopic 3-D, etc). In an age where Pixar is making Cars 2, Rango was the best surprise of the year so far. ILM did a fantastic job, and as a professional CG artist I find this article to be interesting and not just shameless advertisement.Kids here can cry all they want over prices, AMD-Nvidia warfare,the "crappy" quality of Rango (which is probably the best looking animated movie ever). This article is aimed towards people interested in CG productions, basically all of us read "real time fire and dust effects" and drool.PS: And although years ago I was a huge fan and supported of ATI cards, me and all my friends who are in the animation business and all our workstations at work have Nvidia cards. I guess their never-ending push of Cuda and OpenCL paid off.


    K I'm sure we all believe you. Especially when you call OpenCL an Nvidia product.
  • 1 Hide
    _Cubase_ , April 7, 2011 2:58 AM
    Wow, look here... a bunch of gamers in their mom's basement having a giggle about a technology based on professional application and not gaming.

    Seriously, all of you, GROW UP. If Nvidia or Toms wanted to boost sales with an advertising campaign geared towards you gamers they would not be posting an article related to a piece of professional hardware most of you thumbsuckers could not even wet dream about affording in your lifetime, let alone grasp the concept of its application. It's a proof of concept for professionals.

    If your AMD or GeForce is enough to run Crysis on a PC you built with your lunch money, then good for you. As for pure floating-point processing power for the big-leagues, leave it to us to lead the industry and stay out of our way.
  • -1 Hide
    zerocoolx , April 7, 2011 3:00 AM
    _Cubase_Wow, look here... a bunch of gamers in their mom's basement having a giggle about a technology based on professional application and not gaming. Seriously, all of you, GROW UP. If Nvidia or Toms wanted to boost sales with an advertising campaign geared towards you gamers they would not be posting an article related to a piece of professional hardware most of you thumbsuckers could not even wet dream about affording in your lifetime, let alone grasp the concept of its application. It's a proof of concept for professionals.If your AMD or GeForce is enough to run Crysis on a PC you built with your lunch money, then good for you. As for pure floating-point processing power for the big-leagues, leave it to us to lead the industry and stay out of our way.


    Woah man. You sound like you know what you're talking about.
  • 1 Hide
    jecastej , April 7, 2011 3:05 AM
    Some of you may argue whatever you want, but you are also arguing out the subject here. If you think Rango is a waaaaaay bad movie thats fine, but don't even consider to compare AMD FireGL programability to the Nvidia Quadros. And that is an unfortunate event for people in this business, and not something to celebrate. You just have to use what is ready and working very well. This is the reason manny studios are incorporating more GPUs into their personalized pipelines using their own proprietary engineering. Nvidia has a better, more mature, wider scale product with their CUDA and Quadro cards and is also the reason they are more expensive. If, if, if AMD could produce a really competing product in the professional space as they do very well in the gaming side, then you could say this is just plain advertisement or biased opinion.

    I have evaluated, purchased and used the affordable options (Or the only one, "Octane" from Refractive Software) very recently and you could not find a mature software/hardware for professional GPU 3D acceleration and integration on AMD FireGL. Maybe in the future. Yes, there are some interesting and more mature AMD/FireGL like MachStudio Pro, but it was over $5000 last december while Octane costed me under $700 for GPU and sofware.

    Actually I liked a lot this article because it is very relevant for me and for what I do, 3D CG animation.

    And lastly, it is just my humble opinion but Rango was interesting and fun, but I would never say it is not an achievement on computer graphics and that is not interesting to know what are they doing at ILM studios.
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