Dabbler Demo Wows Graphics Pros at SIGGRAPH

by Michael Chu

Virtual reality headsets. Huge high-definition displays. Exotic motion-capture systems. There’s nothing the graphics pros at the annual SIGGRAPH conference in Vancouver this week haven’t seen.

So it was a bit of a surprise to find show attendees crowding around a demo of a tablet app. But this is no ordinary tablet – and no ordinary app.

Dabbler app SIGGRAPH 2014
NVIDIA’s Dabbler Wall featured artwork being created live, using our DirectStylus 2 technology in the SHIELD tablet.

We brought acclaimed UK artist Luke Waller – and three of our new SHIELD tablets – to SIGGRAPH this week to show off what our real-time GPU-accelerated painting app can do. And we set up the “Dabbler Wall” to show off the artwork being created before our eyes.

It’s all part of our Make Your Mark campaign to highlight how our DirectStylus technology helps unlock your inner artist.

For the campaign, we commissioned world-renowned artists to create exclusive art inspired by Isaac Asimov’s classic novel, “I, Robot.” The artists created their pieces using a Tegra NOTE 7 with DirectStylus technology.

The technology has received a major upgrade for SHIELD tablet in DirectStylus 2. Powered by the world’s most advanced mobile processor, Tegra K1, the SHIELD tablet’s 192-core Kepler GPU enables artists to trace thick and thin lines with the flick of a wrist.

And there’s no annoying lag, and no need for an expensive active stylus. DirectStylus 2 technology is sensitive enough to pick up inputs from a humble No. 2 pencil, same as it does with the SHIELD tablet’s built-in stylus.

Paired with SHIELD’s Dabbler app, and put in the hands of a professional artist like Waller, the result is magic. Waller used Dabbler to create art right as thousands of SIGGRAPH attendees surged through the conference’s exhibit hall Wednesday afternoon.

Virtual water dribbled down the canvas as he worked, creating effects that have the natural feel of real water coloring. “It feels organic,” Waller says. “It’s like working with real materials, without the mess – I can do this on the train.” Artists can also create realistic oil paintings by laying down and shaping virtual oil paints on their Dabbler canvas.

While Waller cranked out a series of stunning landscapes and portraits, what’s more amazing is what attendees could do when they picked up a tablet and played with Dabbler.

If you need further inspiration, check out Luke Waller’s DirectStylus art in the making: