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NVIDIA focuses on physically-based rendering solutions at Siggraph 2015, unveils NVIDIA DESIGNWORKS

If designers and engineers are always able to produce physically accurate realistic images from their designs, the process of design changes. NVIDIA wants to enable Physically-Based Rendering (PBR) for the design community.

For films and games, images need to look great, but they don't need to be “accurate”. For designers, looking great is not the goal. NVIDIA is working to help the entire industry to access PBR for their design and engineering workflows..

NVIDIA announced the availability of NVIDIA DESIGNWORKS for design applications. This set of tools includes SDK kits for developers to address rendering, materials, display, virtual reality, and live video in PBR workflows.

NVIDIA DESIGNWORKS delivers physcally-based rendering (PBR) with a set of SDKs that address related workflow issues such as material portability

NVIDIA intends to release plug-ins for 3D design applications, however DESIGNWORKS is focused on bringing this technology to the broad set of application developers. Customers are already using this technology. NVIDIA will feature Gensler, the architecture company which is designing the new NVIDIA campus in Santa Clara.

Important to PBR adoption is having a smooth workflow. And important to a smooth workflow are portable materials. NVIDIA DESIGNWORKS will include a materials SDK to enable material portability between design applications. NVIDIA is delivering 200 or their own materials with the SDK, but the concept is to enable portability of any MDL material. Chaos V-Ray is an example of a widely used rendering application which will adopt MDL for material portability. In addition to Gensler Architects, customers include Harley Davidson who participated as a beta site for this solution

Virtual Reality technologies are being used more and more in the product design process – call it visual simulation

The NVIDIA DESIGNWORKS SDK includes support for key features of NVIDIA products – multiple display technology, virtual reality technology, and NVIDIA GRID remote display technology. DESIGNWORKS VR for example, supports multiple technologies specific to VR requirements.

The end result? NVIDIA is targeting their eco-system of partners to push out the specialized iRay support for physically-based rendering to the broader market of designers and product developers. The issues they tackle include multiple technology issues – not just the rendering, but the issues related to materials, displays, virtuality reality and video. By pulling together this set of technologies and enticing the support of many software vendors, the company plans to make PBR a common capability across the design and product development market.

What's the end game for NVIDIA?

Our take on this news? It's a familiar NVIDIA strategy. The company develops extremely useful and advanced technologies which leverage their GPU architecture and then build that technology into the software applications which you need to do your job. This is the strategy which allows NVIDIA to dominate the market for professional GPUs. The company has followed this strategy for 15 years and their success with Quadro, Tesla, and GRID products prove that the strategy works.