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03/09/2004

Massive performance boost for Vizrt real-time 3d rendering provided by NVIDIA

Vizrt, the world’s leading producer of real-time 3D graphics systems for television, has teamed up with the NVIDIA Corporation to provide increased value and speed for real-time HD graphics production.
By adding the NVIDIA Quadro FX 4000 SDI professional graphics board to the supported hardware platform for its viz|engine 3D rendering software, High Definition (HD) graphics may also be rendered in real time – an option not currently available with Vizrt’s current Standard Definition (SD) viz|engine 3D rendering solution.
As well as new customers, the new NVIDIA Quadro FX 4000 graphics board will be of huge benefit to Vizrt’s existing client base, requiring only the swap-out of the AGP graphics board, new drivers and a software upgrade. In some of Vizrt’s own tests comparing the NVIDIA Quadro FX 4000 with the previously-used board of the same class, the rendering performance of viz|engine has shown increases in speed of up to one thousand percent. In one of the tests looking at pixel-fill performance with full-scene anti-aliasing, viz|engine rendered seventy full PAL resolution layers (blended, shaded, and textured) with the Quadro FX 4000 card – twenty times more layers than was possible before. By using vertex and pixel shaders, visual capabilities within viz|engine are also greatly improved. As a result, 3D designers can produce more realistic, complex, and better-looking real-time 3D animations using an economical PC workstation that delivers a level of performance, in either SD or HD, which would have required vastly more expensive hardware to reproduce earlier.
“More companies like Vizrt are leveraging professional graphics processing units to offload tasks that were often previously performed by proprietary black box devices or other high-end systems, and with significant results,” said Jeff Brown, General Manager of Professional Graphics at NVIDIA. “Using NVIDIA Quadro FX graphics and a mainstream PC workstation, Vizrt made its powerful television production engine more cost-effective, fast, and real-time HD capable than was previously possible with a proprietary and more expensive UNIX-based solution. We anticipate that television producers will find this solution extremely attractive.”
“Based on our testing, we believe this is the fastest AGP-based graphics board on the market,” said Christian Huber, Head of Operations Austria Vizrt. “Our customers need the speed and PC-based accessibility this solution provides. We’re thrilled to provide it to them. We’ve succeeded in reducing the cost and increasing the speed involved with creating real-time 3D graphic elements in HD for live productions. The increased rendering power allows our customers to create more complex graphics with advanced pixel shading technology.”
An upgraded bundle will be available from Vizrt at IBC 2004, which includes NVIDIA Quadro FX professional graphics, software drivers from Vizrt (viz|engine), and new shader-based plug-ins.
The NVIDIA boards replace viz|engine’s current recommendation of 3DLabs’ Wildcat 7110 card. Vizrt’s high-end HD viz|engine rendering system will still make use of Panasonic’s CGP-500 graphics card. The NVIDIA-enabled graphics workstations are intended for users wishing to create realistic HD graphics using a PC and for those existing Vizrt SD customers who want to start working with HD.
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