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NVIDIA introduces DesignWorks

Focusing on Design Applications By Ko Maruyama
NVIDIA has always been about visual computing.  We often think of them as the video card and hardware company to make display and rendering happen (I accidentally typed 'happy' before editing it).  Perhaps it isn't too far off base to say that NVIDIA is considered the company to make rendering happy.  This year at SIGGRAPH, they are announcing a new concept: DesignWorks.   Not hardware, the DesignWorks announcement brings an array of new software tools.

Yes, the tools will work to utilize the NVIDIA cards in the best way, but DesignWorks is implemented to bolster the graphics intensive software that you're already using.

The main categories that NVIDIA is focusing on are RENDERING, MATERIALS, DISPLAY, VIRTUAL REALITY, LIVE VIDEO.


This does cover a lot, but in today's visual computing, artists rely on these things that overlap with one another. You need to have all of these processes going for a successful visual image.

Of course, most graphics professionals also look to SIGGRAPH as the launch date for new video cards as well.
You won't be disappointed.

For more on the DesignWorks applications from NVIDIA, be sure to check out their website:

https://developer.nvidia.com/designworks




To bring the power of interactive photorealism to mainstream designers, NVIDIA is announcing NVIDIA DesignWorks.

DesignWorks is a new set of software tools, libraries and technologies for the developers behind the software that designers use to create the products we use, the buildings we live in, and the planes, trains and automobiles that keep us on the move.

The big idea of DesignWorks is to give application developers a way to take advantage of our work in both physically based rendering (PBR) and physically based materials ? cornerstones of visualizing a design interactively with photo-real results.

PBR isn?t new. It?s been used for movies and games where the requirement is for a scene or model to look good, but where accuracy is less important than achieving the desired look.

Contrast that with the requirements of an architect who might need to understand how sunlight will reflect off exterior windows or whether the lighting in a parking structure is sufficient for safety. Or a motorcycle designer who wants to understand if a particular kind of metallic paint will be attractive. To them, accuracy is of paramount importance. They need applications that let them see and interact with accurate visualizations of what their final product will be.

And of course these users will want to be able to visualize their designs the way that makes sense for their business. That might be at their desktop, on large multi-display walls, using virtual reality or even from a remote location.

These capabilities and more all come together in DesignWorks, with some two dozen tools that include rendering, materials, display and much more. Among them:

--NVIDIA Iray SDK - a calibrated, physically based rendering and light simulation framework, which now includes new algorithms that cut the time to visualize design changes.
--NVIDIA Material Definition Language (MDL) - a technology to create and share digital models of real-world materials between applications. MDL will also be available soon as a software development kit, providing a simple way for developers to access the growing MDL ecosystem.
--NVIDIA vMaterials - a collection of calibrated and verified materials for use in MDL-based applications.
--NVIDIA OptiX, a framework for building ray tracing applications. OptiX now includes support for the NVIDIA Visual Computing Appliance, providing scalable performance from laptops to data centers.
--DesignWorks VR - a suite of tools for incorporating virtual reality into design software.

Industry Adoption
Some of the most important 3D design tools on the market today already incorporate these tools.

You can find Iray in applications such as Dassault Systèmes CATIA. Autodesk VRED uses our VR technologies to provide immersive experiences to designers. And materials creation applications such as Substance Designer by Allegorithmic and popular renderers such as Chaos V-Ray and NVIDIA?s own mental ray support MDL.


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Ko Maruyama is a freelance animator in Los Angeles.  In addition to working on film and broadcast animations, Ko teaches at Pasadena's Art Center College of Design - focusing on motion design.  When working, writing or testing software allows, you can find him lending a hand in the After Effects board and lurking among the Cinema4D, Visual Effects and Photoshop posts within the DMNForums.
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