by Phil Miller

One thing you’re going to want to check out at SIGGRAPH 2011 in Vancouver is the Adobe pod within the NVIDIA booth, where Adobe is showcasing an experimental technology demo of GPU ray tracing for motion graphics.

By using ray tracing, a motion graphics artist can quickly generate eye catching reflections, refractions and accurate lighting – all without being a 3D rendering expert. GPUs make ray tracing practical for production. This new renderer is fast enough for you to actually scrub the timeline when using Fermi-class GPUs. With a couple of GPUs, the interaction is fast enough for you to do all your work WYSWIG within the production renderer and forget about the OpenGL mode.

Adobe’s research project is running within a test application framework that allows the compositing of 3D shape and text layers in a 3D environment. What’s remarkable is that they’re doing this with a fully ray traced renderer. While they also have an OpenGL renderer for realtime manipulation, its production rendering is 100% ray traced.

What made it practical for Adobe to build this, and reach such high performance levels, was the NVIDIA OptiX ray tracing engine. Adobe worked with NVIDIA to leverage OptiX to build their new renderer in just a few months. The job of OptiX is to let the developer concentrate on rendering while it handles all the intricacies of making it go fast on the GPU – and Adobe’s results are proving it’s good at its job.

Come visit the NVIDIA booth at SIGGRAPH to see this technology demo running on Quadro 6000 and Tesla class GPUs. For those of you not at the show, check out the video demo below.