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Intel and DreamWorks Working On Rendering Animation In Real-Time

samzenpus posted more than 2 years ago | from the not-your-grandma's-cartoons dept.

Graphics 114

PolygamousRanchKid writes "This week while speaking at the Techonomy conference, DreamWorks Animation CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg told audience members that they'd formulated the solution for real-time rendering of animation for video. Katzenberg told the audience that they'd been working hand-in-hand with Intel in order to rewrite their software to take advantage of scalable multi-core processors, this allowing them to achieve advances that will, for lack of a better term, revolutionize the animation process."

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114 comments

Wonderful (5, Funny)

Moheeheeko (1682914) | more than 2 years ago | (#38078644)

Because we all want them to pump out more Shrek films as fast as possible amirite?

Re:Wonderful (3, Funny)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 2 years ago | (#38078668)

Because we all want them to pump out more Shrek films as fast as possible amirite?

Now I have to eat lunch, again.

Re:Wonderful (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38083878)

Wow! 50-cores. oh, their 50 atom cores, so the performance is just 3% faster than an i73930K. surly this will justify paying $300 dollars more. And intel will bump up the frequency 20% every 5 months for an added 3% performance. Screw intel and its crap processors. I want PowerPC, yet its only used for the most demanding of performance applications, like military weapons. IBM's A2 18-cores 32-threads all under 60-watts manufactured using 45nm process, or a Freescale 2-core 64-bit MPC8641 which uses less then 10-watts manufacture using a 65nm process.

Re:Wonderful (1)

masternerdguy (2468142) | more than 2 years ago | (#38078860)

Yeah I can't wait for the magic mirror's own story. That'll be scraping the bottom.

Re:Wonderful (1)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 2 years ago | (#38079190)

Yeah I can't wait for the magic mirror's own story. That'll be scraping the bottom.

Considering Shrek the 3rd for high concentrations of pure awfulness I thought they'd already passed through the bottom and were taking a crack at bedrock beneath the barrel

Re:Wonderful (1)

Moryath (553296) | more than 2 years ago | (#38079506)

No kidding. It's less that they need faster animation rendering, than that they need better stories.

Learn from your competition - don't crank out crap just because it'll "sell", make sure you're on the right track to make something good every time. Pixar hasn't had a dud yet, and they freely admit to taking a number of their stories back to formula because someone said "hey this doesn't seem to be working" rather than pushing ahead with something crappy.

Oh, one other thing: STOP it with the "must end with a dance number" bullshit. Megamind was actually really good most of the way through, but they missed a few obvious gags towards the end and then they totally dropped the ball by throwing a needless dance sequence in and ruining the ending.

Re:Wonderful (1)

fizzer06 (1500649) | more than 2 years ago | (#38080340)

"don't crank out crap just because it'll 'sell'"

What better reason is there to crank out crap?

Re:Wonderful (2)

kelemvor4 (1980226) | more than 2 years ago | (#38080418)

"don't crank out crap just because it'll 'sell'"

What better reason is there to crank out crap?

True that! As long as they make millions of dollars per turd they'll churn out as much "crap" as possible. I don't blame them, I'd like to make millions of dollars.

Re:Wonderful (2)

hairyfeet (841228) | more than 2 years ago | (#38082834)

Wasn't it Jobs with Pixar that gave an interview about Disney, something about them only being able to mine past IP and come up with "crap like squirrels" or some such? All this will mean is Disney can crank out "(insert name of past character) story (insert number)" even faster. Wow, I'm soooo grateful Intel, really.

Thanks for making dreck able to be produced at the speed of light, now they'll be able to crank out 5 sequels before the first line of toys is done being made out of PCBs in China! Thanks Intel! All I can say is thank (insert Deity) my kids are grown!

Re:Wonderful (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38081098)

IBM's Cell processor was capable of doing this 6-years ago. I know we're supposed to keep sucking on the udders of the cash-cow INTEL. Give me a PowerPC A2 which has 18-cores 64-threads all while using less than 60-watts manufactured using 45nm, and i won't need to upgrade my computer for at least 10 years. INTEL processors may catch up to PowerPC in performance in about ten years.

Re:Wonderful (5, Funny)

need4mospd (1146215) | more than 2 years ago | (#38078912)

Maybe if rendering time wasn't an issue, they could focus more on plot, character development, and....ah who the fuck am I kidding. Maybe we could see more animated boobs.

Re:Wonderful (4, Insightful)

Jeremy Erwin (2054) | more than 2 years ago | (#38079234)

I think this has the potential to make animation more like live-action film. A director woking with live actors can order more takes if he's not getting the performances he needs from his actors or the shot's composition is less than perfect. This system sounds like it might give animators the same direct feedback, allowing them to more easily compose those perfect shots,

Re:Wonderful (1)

Targon (17348) | more than 2 years ago | (#38081850)

The sad thing is that we are talking Intel here. Both AMD and NVIDIA are so far ahead of Intel when it comes to rendering technologies, you have to wonder if Intel is just throwing money at Dreamworks to experiment with stuff Intel has. Do you REALLY think that Dreamworks would have initiated that relationship when there are better alternatives available?

Re:Wonderful (1)

Nationless (2123580) | more than 2 years ago | (#38080222)

You honestly don't believe they don't have the entire thing storyboarded and written BEFORE they even get as far as starting rendering?

Please.

Re:Wonderful (1)

tlhIngan (30335) | more than 2 years ago | (#38082660)

You honestly don't believe they don't have the entire thing storyboarded and written BEFORE they even get as far as starting rendering?

Written yes, storyboarded, probably not. In fact, storyboards are on the way out - the new hotness is animatics - basically low-res renderings of the scene. Unlike a storyboard, which is a flat static comic-like picture, an animatic actually details the motion, which can include stuff like camera angles and such.

Of course, this stuff is very crude so it can be rendered in a flash (real-time basically). This is so shots can be tweaked and adjusted before the scene is acted out or rendered. Perhaps having higher quality renders mean they don't have to keep two sets of assets - the low res ones for fast laying out tweaking of shots, and high res final renders.

Re:Wonderful (1)

aaaaaaargh! (1150173) | more than 2 years ago | (#38083644)

Maybe we could see more animated boobs.

Speaking of which....animating boobs seems to be incredibly hard. Does anyone have good resources on realistically animated boobs?

Re:Wonderful (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38084654)

If you want plot and character development in an animated series, maybe you should look to flash [wikipedia.org] as a solution?

Re:Wonderful (1)

CODiNE (27417) | more than 2 years ago | (#38078962)

It's so they can rip off Pixar stories faster.

Wish Pixar would learn something from Apple and stop announcing their movies 4 years in advance. Only takes Dreamworks about a year to churn out their knock-offs.

I'll never forgive them for killing Newt.

Re:Wonderful (1)

should_be_linear (779431) | more than 2 years ago | (#38079216)

Its all about South Park, mkey. I saw new raytraced version and it looks _awesome_, mkey.

Re:Wonderful (1)

Talderas (1212466) | more than 2 years ago | (#38084278)

And it's signed through 2016!

But yes, given that South Park has a 1 week turnover time for each episode this appears to be a technology that they could take huge advantage of. That would give them a lot more time to polish their turds that they drop off on people's heads.

Re:Wonderful (1)

antdude (79039) | more than 2 years ago | (#38079294)

Dreamworks said they aren't doing any more Shrek movies. Yeah right. I am sure they will be back later. There is that spin off right now.

Re:Wonderful (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38080182)

What's a "Shrek"?

Re:Wonderful (1)

DnaK420 (2468202) | more than 2 years ago | (#38080808)

While i admit shrek 2-3 were not nearly as good. You can not deny shrek the original from being a quality film.

Re:Wonderful (1)

hairyfeet (841228) | more than 2 years ago | (#38082862)

Sure we can! while it was cute and good at stringing together pop culture references frankly that is pretty much ALL it was, a long string of pop culture references. notice how something like Bambi or Fantasia didn't NEED constant pop culture references? that is because when you have a really quality movie you don't NEED a constant stream of pop culture references!

In 30 years or less Shrek will seem as hack and dated as those 60s TV shows that threw in "daddy-O" and every other piece of cool at that second pop culture they could find.

Re:Wonderful (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38084248)

Hey chill bill! Don't kill the thrill Phil. Watch that beat Pete! Whose your daddy-O on the Radio! What? theres something wrong with that Pat?
  Its a great ride Clyde! Someone shoot me quick!

Realtime animation not new (1)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 2 years ago | (#38078650)

But as it would be in final production, with today's level of detail, that would be pretty cool.

Probably have to chain down the voice actors, though it you want the full effect.

Re:Realtime animation not new (1)

im_thatoneguy (819432) | more than 2 years ago | (#38078952)

Yeah my first thought was "Why are animators rendering their sequences instead of just using the GPU viewports?

Then I remembered that he had been talking this up in regards to Larabee last year. There's certainly a lot of room for improvement in parallelism. I'm working on the side for Caustic Graphics which is also working on a hardware card to make rendering more parallel and efficient. And I'm sure they would also love to get their hands on Knights Trail. But I don't know that Dreamworks is "revolutionizing" animation by planning to buy larabee/knights trail chips when they eventually are released haha.

Re:Realtime animation not new (1)

HappyPsycho (1724746) | more than 2 years ago | (#38082024)

Well, in the story on Knights trail, Intel said a select few companies got some of the existing prototypes. Guess we know the name of one of those companies.

Re:Realtime animation not new (1)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | more than 2 years ago | (#38084160)

For most purposes, GPU viewports are fine. It's just lighting where having a fast render would be helpful. Lighting is largely a process of adjust a little, rerender, turn that light up, rerender, move that a little right, rerender, put up the fog density a tiny bit, rerender... until you have it looking just perfect. You can't viewport it because viewports can't render lighting and fog in perfect detail, and the only way to make things just right is to keep trying until you perfect it.

Re:Realtime animation not new (1)

rioki (1328185) | more than 2 years ago | (#38083128)

Yea, since Blinn's Law [wordpress.com] won't apply here. Sure rendering in real time is a boon for animators since they can use it for previews but the final renders/composits will probably still take way to long for real time.

Re:Realtime animation not new (1)

Talderas (1212466) | more than 2 years ago | (#38084382)

Why are you focused in animated movies? Think about how this technology can be extended out.

South Park. They have a 1 week turnover per episode.

How about if they can scale this technology out to the gaming market? That article points this out. Rendering is the road block to obtaining better and more realistic environments you need progressively beefier GPU to render more complex environments. Maybe if this technology takes off you will be able to see a reduction in the power requirements of GPUs that is more significant than the increase in CPU power consumption. It could bring even better graphics to hand helds and mobiles if the power reduction is good enough.

Square-Enix is one company I could see rushing to embrace it, especially with the Final Fantasy series. They're releasing Final Fantasy XIII Versus on a single 360 disc because they're cutting out the pre-rendered sequences. If this sort of technology were available for the 360 then those sequences would be preserved.

I guess that's another advantage... if you don't need to pre-render any sequences then that should mean less space needed on the media.

GOOD LUCK (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38078658)

Are they going to remake Toy Story with the Crysis engine?

Re:GOOD LUCK (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38081314)

not as crazy as it sounds, with CryEngine for Cinema

http://www.incrysis.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=945&Itemid=1

Wrist Straing (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38078706)

Homer: Uh, I guess. Is this episode going on the air live?
June Bellamy: No, Homer. Very few cartoons are broadcast live. It's a terrible strain on the animators' wrists.

Re:Wrist Straing (2)

JoeMerchant (803320) | more than 2 years ago | (#38081104)

Well, it could be kinda cool for an interplanetary chat link - transmit a compressed description of the character's parameters (joints, facial muscles, etc.) and then render at the destination.

Re:Wrist Straing (1)

VMaN (164134) | more than 2 years ago | (#38084102)

Didn't they do that in http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_Fire_Upon_the_Deep for low bandwidth intership communication?

Management discovered SMP and threading... (1)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 2 years ago | (#38078790)

So management finally discovered SMP and threading about 20 years or so after it was introduced onto the types of systems all of these outfits have been using since the beginning of time?

Sedate this fellow before he starts to perpetrate some more "management".

Re:Management discovered SMP and threading... (2)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 2 years ago | (#38078844)

So management finally discovered SMP and threading about 20 years or so after it was introduced onto the types of systems all of these outfits have been using since the beginning of time?

Sedate this fellow before he starts to perpetrate some more "management".

No need.

As good animation is dependent upon good writing and good voice work, all this could do is bring even lower quality animated items to the masses. Seems to me, when I look over the total production time of any feature (despite the apparent cookie-cutter approach to movies) the writing takes up a tremendous amount of time. Perhaps a gifted ad-libber could do something well, making it up as he/she goes along, but you don't see a lot of those.

More likely to be of use in the board room or training than cranking out the latest Dreamworks flick.

Re:Management discovered SMP and threading... (1)

vlm (69642) | more than 2 years ago | (#38078930)

...(despite the apparent cookie-cutter approach to movies)...More likely to be of use in the board room or training than cranking out the latest Dreamworks flick.

Perhaps its aimed at "shovelware" kids cartoons rather than movies... How high end does "scooby doo" animation have to be to get kids to watch?

Re:Management discovered SMP and threading... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38078992)

Much better. My six year old has grown tired of Scooby Doo. She much prefers Bill Nye and Fetch! with Ruf Ruffman. On a side note, at least I can stand to be in the same room when she gets to watch TV.

Re:Management discovered SMP and threading... (1)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 2 years ago | (#38079290)

Much better. My six year old has grown tired of Scooby Doo. She much prefers Bill Nye and Fetch! with Ruf Ruffman. On a side note, at least I can stand to be in the same room when she gets to watch TV.

Great example.

As another, I'd like to direct your attention to the last cartoons Warner Brother Brothers / Looney Tunes, up to 1969. I have many of these on DVD and they're pretty depressing to watch, compared to the wonderfully thoughtful cartoons of the 40's and 50's (Hillbilly Hare squaredance was inspired by the craze of Square Dancing in Hollywood at the time, attened my many of the studio's production crew - inspired!)

Just gluing together pretty scenes with no interesting narrative won't do much, but as it'll be cheap you can bet television/cable will gobble up a bit of it.

Re:Management discovered SMP and threading... (1)

Jeng (926980) | more than 2 years ago | (#38079168)

Not sure about kids, but apparently adults will watch even the worst animation that is put on the cartoon network at night.

Re:Management discovered SMP and threading... (1)

UnknowingFool (672806) | more than 2 years ago | (#38079000)

Take the counter-example to Dreamworls: Pixar. The average Pixar movie takes 4 years to make. The first 3 years are spent on plot, story, and character development. Voice acting is brought in at the end of 2 years. Rendering and animation is done in the last year.

Re:Management discovered SMP and threading... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38079520)

Absolutely, Cars 2 was waaaaaaaaaaaay better then How to Train Your Dragon.

Re:Management discovered SMP and threading... (1)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | more than 2 years ago | (#38084176)

On the other hand, which studio was it brought us the Toy Story movies, and Up? While dreamworks was producing... well, more Shrek sequals. Pixar really doesn't like doing sequals - the TS movies and Cars 2 are the only ones.

Re:Management discovered SMP and threading... (1)

Bengie (1121981) | more than 2 years ago | (#38079036)

I think what they mean is most of these animators may have had a top of the line 4-6core cpu that could only do 60-100gflops/socket, are now going to have access to a 50 core cpu add-in card that can do 1tflop.

When you get a sudden change like that, you need some professional help to take advantage of it.

Re:Management discovered SMP and threading... (1)

im_thatoneguy (819432) | more than 2 years ago | (#38079224)

Well I think they're referring to writing code for Intel's MIC (Knights Tail). Which acts pretty differently from writing for a single CPU. It acts more like a computer cluster of networked computers than a multicore cpu.

Also even with threading and SMP renderers have problems with parallel tasks when you start ray-tracing since each ray spawns more rays and those rays spawn rays and keeping track of them and loading the correct memory into L1,2 and 3 cache causes delays. You might start with 12 rays which are nice and concurrent and shading the same object but then you get a reflection and each spawned ray now is on 12 different material and you now can no longer use SIMD.

If Dreamworks has a novel means of optimizing coherence to fully utilize the new Intel CPU architectures then they could very easily be seeing render times that are 40x-60x faster.

Re:Management discovered SMP and threading... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38079430)

The hardware accelerated raytracing engines out there have been working on just this kind of code for years. For example, Ocatane renderer or VRay's RT engine. And they do see those kinds of speed increases. As you say, its just about SIMD. And graphics hardware is mostly about SIMD. And really, once you go through the trouble of accelerating raytracing in the general case with SIMD It'll run very well on CPU or GPU. This is just Intel using an alliance with DW to make it seem like they're innovators, when in reality, they're coming late to the game.

Re:Management discovered SMP and threading... (1)

ameline (771895) | more than 2 years ago | (#38079374)

It is *way* harder than you imagine. One of the smartest people I have ever met is very involved in this -- one of the principal engineers. It is an incredibly tough thing to achieve, and if anyone can pull it off, he can.

I have doubts (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38078818)

If graphics can render 50 times faster, that still says nothing about the actual animation or the assets used (other than there'd be more time to experiment with stuff like that). So the only benefit I could see would be game consoles catching up to movies. ...but I imagine that's 50 times speedup with the existing equipment that movie companies have. Try to foist that technology on games and you'll have game consoles that are WAY too expensive. There's a reason game consoles can't reach the quality a PC can: they have to keep costs low so people can afford them.

Also, I can't help but think game consoles are already doing parallel work with multiple CPUs (why else would PS3 have eight of them) to render its graphics fast enough. You can't be telling me that a big movie company hasn't made use of multiple processors yet.

Re:I have doubts (1)

bberens (965711) | more than 2 years ago | (#38079038)

When the PS3 and XBox 360 came out the graphics were of a higher quality than everyone but the most up-to-date PC gamers. Of course these production quality animators are using server farms to render movies so we're really talking apples and oranges here.

Rotoscope? (1)

vlm (69642) | more than 2 years ago | (#38078890)

"allowing them to achieve advances that will, for lack of a better term, revolutionize the animation process."

Maybe he's hinting at live realtime rotoscoping?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rotoscoping [wikipedia.org]

If you're unfamiliar with the technique watch the drug film "a scanner darkly".

This would be completely appropriate for a live event like the republican debate; I don't think those guys make sense without being on "substance D" anymore. (note I used to be a hard core "R" before they went completely batshit insane a decade or so ago, so I'm allowed to talk about "us" using that kind of language)

Re:Rotoscope? (3, Interesting)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 2 years ago | (#38078960)

No, think more along the idea of Rango [imdb.com] - an animated film that used human actors as guides for the animators in terms of facial expressions and posing. Took quite a while to do.

Hopefully this will bring some creativity to the genre as opposed to simply cranking out more Shrek reruns.

Re:Rotoscope? (1)

JoeMerchant (803320) | more than 2 years ago | (#38081088)

Isn't this the "Mars Needs Moms" look that bombed so badly just recently?

Re:Rotoscope? (1)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | more than 2 years ago | (#38084190)

Motion capture, if not done just right, leads to the 'uncanny valley' - characters that look almost realistic, and yet just nonrealistic enough to be profoundly wrong in some way. It's unsettling.

Subchannel animation of live events... (1)

jameskojiro (705701) | more than 2 years ago | (#38078906)

Use a Kinect to do the motion capture and interface it with this and everything, even live action news can have the look and feel of a Dreamworks picture.....

Re:skinable TV (1)

Jeng (926980) | more than 2 years ago | (#38079214)

That would actually be pretty damn cool if I could have Morbo doing the news for me, other people watching the same news feed could have different avatars reading their news for them.

new? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38078934)

there's been a documentary of someone doing a kids show with an animated character rendered in realtime, from a motion captured actor jumping round and another doing the facial expressions with a bunch of knobs and handles

Re:new? (1)

jones_supa (887896) | more than 2 years ago | (#38083204)

I think it was late 90s when in Finland we had this TV show involving a talking dog, "Galilei", to which kids could make phone calls and they solved some puzzles while the dog's facial expressions matched the actor's. Kinda cool. They thanked Silicon Graphics in the ending credits. :)

Now all animators are game developers? (1)

Gavin Scott (15916) | more than 2 years ago | (#38078944)

Real time rendering can only be a human animator pipeline productivity tool, not a production rendering technique. Otherwise your render farm is 100% idle unless someone is changing something, so you're wasting virtually all your time and rendering power that could be going towards better quality. Slow rendering gives the hardware something productive to do while the humans are thinking/sleeping.

I think Avatar claimed they spent something like 40 hours on each frame, so no way are we going from hours/frame to 1/24 of a second per frame, even for cheap low-quality throwaway TV production.

Nothing to see here I suspect.

G.

Re:Now all animators are game developers? (1)

Jeng (926980) | more than 2 years ago | (#38079574)

Then again the 3D in Avatar was so good I would describe it as hallucinatory. Remember, it wasn't filmed on location, because it's location didn't exist anywhere except in a computer. 40 hours each frame for that actually seems reasonable when you look at the final product.

The animation in the Incredibles or other animated films isn't anywhere close to the graphics of Avatar and I'm sure that that kind of animation could be rendered in real time. As it is Team Fortress 2 looks very much like the Incredibles animation.

Re:Now all animators are game developers? (1)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | more than 2 years ago | (#38084292)

Skilled animators are very expensive. If you can throw expensive hardware at the animators and give them a 50% increase in productivity, you can lay off 1/3 of your animation team - which will easily cover the cost of the hardware.

Re:Now all animators are game developers? (1)

omnichad (1198475) | more than 2 years ago | (#38085030)

Or, the current state-of-the-art becomes the live GPU render preview they work from, and the server-farm still renders an even-higher quality animation. 40 hours per frame is probably an average of all the human hours spent - including modeling and texturing - which won't be sped up by this. You can imagine that if it were 40 hours per frame, then anything over 30 seconds would take years just to render.

Real need is realtime editing not rendering (1)

TVDinner (1067340) | more than 2 years ago | (#38078946)

From TFA..."The collaboration with Intel is bring us just that."

Re:Real need is realtime editing not rendering (1)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | more than 2 years ago | (#38080796)

"The collaboration with Intel is bring us just that."

I've been seeing some nice AMD ads in the credits of animated movies lately.

Intel: "what can we do?"

Glasses (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38078980)

I'd like a pair of glasses that does this. Seeing the world as a cartoon might be great.

Re:Glasses (1)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | more than 2 years ago | (#38080756)

Seeing the world as a cartoon might be great.

This actually came up in conversation the other day.

Friend A: Seeing the world as a cartoon might be great.
Friend B: I recommend a dosage of 200mcg.

Which is it? (4, Interesting)

Ibiwan (763664) | more than 2 years ago | (#38079002)

One link says 50-70 times faster, and the other says 50-70 percent faster.

Does anyone actually feel like watching the video to see what the claim is?

Re:Which is it? (5, Funny)

jeffeb3 (1036434) | more than 2 years ago | (#38081530)

What's the difference?

Re:Which is it? (1)

froggymana (1896008) | more than 2 years ago | (#38082342)

What's the difference?

If you make $100 per week, and they raise your pay by 50-70 percent you make $150-170. If they raise your pay by 50-70 times, you make $5000-7000. A rather large difference if you ask me.

Re:Which is it? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38083600)

jeffeb3 is right, there's no difference in the long run.

It's a speed-up by a factor 1.5-1.7 or by a factor 5-7. As the increase in computational powers goes up exponentially instead of only linear, it really doesn't matter if they decreased rendering times by a factor 1.5 or by a factor 7. The complexity of the problem stays the same: O(x/1.5)=O(x)=O(x/7)

--Beau

Re:Which is it? (1)

bWareiWare.co.uk (660144) | more than 2 years ago | (#38085264)

7!=70
1.7x = Less then the gain you would expect any technology to make every year i.e. not news worthy
70x = Puts them 5 years ahead, in most industries dramatically changing their competitiveness i.e. news

Where is the bottleneck? (1)

AHuxley (892839) | more than 2 years ago | (#38079016)

The number of very expensive US staff needed with the skills to get the "math" or fantasy art right?
The detail needed to make it 4K and 8K ready needs many new Intel boxes?
Or is it just a huge set of current product been linked together with some old distributed computing protocol at very new hardware prices?

Old news, blender can do this already! (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38079142)

Actually blender can do this in 2 ways!

Since last Blender Conference last October, Cycles has been announced as the new render for Blender.
This is a realtime renderer that uses Progressive Rendering and can render realtime on CPU, GPU or both!
This can also be done for animation.

But this is possible for quite a while, since blender also can do OpenGL rendering realtime, and you can use the BGE as a realtime viewport.
So been there, done that, open sourced it

Is it user-friendly yet? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38080444)

Honestly I understand why the UI is (or was?) the way it is, but it seriously puts off so many starting amateurs who can just get the free student/educational license "million point&click tutorials available" 3ds Max or Maya.

Re:Is it user-friendly yet? (2)

Howitzer86 (964585) | more than 2 years ago | (#38082622)

It's better than it used to be. I'd put it on par with Maya and Max as far as 'user-friendliness' goes... which is appropriate. If you want a super easy 3d program, there is always Anim8or [anim8or.com]. Beyond that there is the Japanese program DOGA [doga.co.jp], which is probably as easy as it will ever get for 3d graphics.

Re:Old news, blender can do this already! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38080728)

I... want to assume that's not what they're referring to?

Re:Old news, blender can do this already! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38081654)

umm no you can't render 2k X 1.5k resolution with the complexity of most movies with anything right now. They are fast for a frame but not RT high poly count with motion blur and AO and AI passes etc. or global illumination. Its fast no doubt So is vray RT but its not RT and its not game resolution geo. Double or triple the poly count and go from .5k to 1k to 4k and 8k or larger textures all in float space so you are talking huge data throughput as well as computation. And for those that don't understand the k=thousands of pixels so a 4k textures is 4096x4096 at 32bits per pixel.

I say (1)

Lord Lode (1290856) | more than 2 years ago | (#38079170)

The more CPU time you got, the more quality. Real-time animation is not going to look as good as non-realtime animation. However, the good news of the article summary is that CPU's, and the algorithm they devised, are now fast enough for having real-time rendering that DreamWorks finds good enough to call animation quality! Nice.

Re:I say (1)

Targon (17348) | more than 2 years ago | (#38081894)

And that is the flaw, this obsession with what a CPU can do. GPU power isn't just about rendering, it has far greater computational power for many things than the CPU at this point(due to the different pixel pipelines). You want to see something, try checking the performance of Folding@Home with GPU vs. the best CPU version, and you will see why the CPU isn't always the best place to get work done.

Goodby Artists (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38079462)

While this is a wonderful advancement, I feel that it is now even more of an excuse to completely forget about actual artists and hand drawn animation. When is the last time an American animation company released a hand drawn cartoon? Sometimes it's nice to have a bit more of the human element involved.

Re:Goodby Artists (1)

flimflammer (956759) | more than 2 years ago | (#38080054)

...Huh? Any cartoons which don't use 3D with a toon effect to look like 2D will be hand drawn. Whether it's on paper/cells or through the use of a tablet is another matter. It's not like we've advanced to the point we don't actually need artists drawing things anymore.

Re:Goodby Artists (1)

DnaK420 (2468202) | more than 2 years ago | (#38080910)

Exactly, south park may have moved on from PURE hand drawn episodes, but they still have somebody drawing scenes out. They aren't just copy-pasting everything to put episodes together.

Rendering speed maybe, animation speed, no (1)

illumnatLA (820383) | more than 2 years ago | (#38081582)

No matter how fast a computer is, it is not going to speed up how long it takes an animator to animate.

The animator still has to consider the movement they want to achieve, move the rig, adjust keyframes, etc., etc. This will always take time to do.

I'm not sure that rendering is necessarily the thing that most needs sped up for the artist. What would help the artist more is speeding up of things that require simulation such as hair, particles, fluids, physics, etc.

Rendering is just the button you click when you're all done and ready to move on to the next shot.

They talk about this tech helping to cross... (1)

PJ6 (1151747) | more than 2 years ago | (#38082004)

the uncanny valley. And yet we already have a solution - don't use DreamWorks crappy human animations or models.

They already have it, its called an Nvidia GPU (1)

Jackie_Chan_Fan (730745) | more than 2 years ago | (#38082014)

There will never be a way to render out high quality renders in real time. There isnt enough processing in the world or ram to catch up to the production demands.

Global illumination models with indirect lighting, where multiple bounces occur throughout the scene... through glass, through motion blur... etc. Its just not going to happen. The amount of real time displacement mapping that is required is simply not possible. The ram processing demands are going to be ridiculous. Its why we cant render them out real time now.

But we can render out videogames. Sorry Katz, you're a hack and a mouth piece of shit you dont know anything about.

Mostly for tweaking shaders, I expect (1)

Animats (122034) | more than 2 years ago | (#38082752)

This isn't a problem for animators. Getting the models and motion right requires only the quality of a good graphics card. It's tweaking lighting, shaders, and post effects, the "look", that needs many repeats of full rendering. That's done by colorists and post people.

OS ?! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38083026)

Does it run Linux ?

"revolutionize the animation process." (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38083214)

Sounds Magical!

Why not use FPS game engines... (1)

bell.colin (1720616) | more than 2 years ago | (#38083448)

Why not just start using FPS game engines?

Don't most modern engines pretty much do this anyway on an interactive level? (scripting/setup of level aside)

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