Santa Clara (CA) - Nvidia has released a free version of its Gelato GPU assisted rendering software. Gelato 2.0 will be available for both Windows and Linux operating systems for free, though users requiring more features can purchase a professional version. The program uses the GPU as a secondary math coprocessor to speed up frame rendering in 3D applications like Maya and 3d Studio Max.
Users must have at least a GeForce 5200 video card or a Quadro FX card in order to use Gelato. In previous demos of an earlier version of the Gelato software, Nvidia executives showed TG Daily near real-time rendering of frames. This is a great improvement from the typical several second to minutes that it takes to render a frame using CPU power alone.
Graphic artists for movie production houses typically render high-resolution video one frame at a time. When all the frames have been rendered, a script stitches them up to produce the entire video. As you can imagine, the time to render each frame goes up as the resolution and the amount of special effects increases.
The professional version will only work on Quadro FX systems, will have network rendering capabilities, and support multithreading and 64-bit operating systems. Big production houses typically have a "render farm" - dozens, even hundreds of computers rendering the same scene.
Gelato 2.0 is available as a free download for both Windows XP and Linux systems. The pro version will sell for $1,500.