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Pixar Licenses NVIDIA Graphics to Accelerate Animation Production

Pixar Animation Studios is licensing a suite of NVIDIA systems related to image rendering, which is anticipated to accelerate its production of computer-animated films.
The strategic licensing agreement, extending over multiple years, gives Pixar access to NVIDIA’s QMC, or quasi-Monte Carlo, rendering methods. These methods can make rendering more efficient, especially when powered by GPUs and other massively parallel computing architectures, on the understanding that realism depends on a combination of a physically correct model and consistent simulation algorithms.

As part of the agreement, NVIDIA will also contribute ray-tracing graphics to Pixar’s OpenSubdiv Project, an open-source initiative to promote high-performance subdivision surface evaluation on massively parallel CPU and GPU architectures. This will enable rendering of complex Catmull-Clark subdivision surfaces in animation with very high precision. The Catmull–Clark algorithm is a computer graphics technique used to create smooth surfaces through subdivision surface modelling.

“Pixar has used NVIDIA GPU processing for some time to extend and develop what we can achieve in animation and filmmaking,” said Steve May, vice president and CTO at Pixar. “NVIDIA’s particular QMC implementation has the potential to enhance rendering functionality and significantly reduce our rendering times.”

Nvidia-Pixar InsideOut

“NVIDIA and Pixar have worked together for years to improve workflows in content creation,” said Steven Parker, vice president of engineering and CTO of rendering systems at NVIDIA. “Through the use of NVIDIA QMC sampling, Pixar is expected to be able to accelerate its creative process while continuing to produce visual imagery and animation of a very high standard.”  www.nvidia.com