NVIDIA’s solutions for filmmakers

We had a chance to speak to Sean Kilbride. the technical marketing manager for NVIDIA’s Quadro and Professional Solutions products. about new products of NVIDIA that are interest of filmmkers.

Cinema Without Borders:. NVIDIA is going through a very exciting year involving in many different fields with a long list of partners. Please give us an overview of NVIDIA’s projects and goals in 2010/2011
Sean Kilbride: For our Professional Solutions Group, which includes our Quadro professional graphics solutions, I’d say that the overreaching goal of NVIDIA moving forward is very much the same as it’s always been. We have been focused on providing solutions to the problems faced by visual computing professionals, and our partnerships with ISVs and others continue to reflect those goals. A key example would be our partnership with Adobe to solve the problem of how to edit complex HD video sequences in real time while still being able to apply computationally intensive effects such as keying and color correction. By leveraging the power of NVIDIA CUDA architecture on the graphics processing unit, or GPU, we’ve allowed Adobe to bring a new level of performance to Premiere Pro. Additionally, we’re always looking to the future to see where video production is heading by working with other companies like Cineform, for example, to integrate professional stereo 3D workflows directly into the Adobe Premiere Pro video editing environment using the Neo3D plug-in and the professional stereo support offered on our Quadro pro graphics solutions.

CWB: Adobe’s CS5, especially Premiere Pro and Photoshop to work with its full strength needs support of specific graphic cards, how NVIDIA is supporting CS5 in this manner?
SK: Adobe is a valued partner for us and we strongly and significantly support their efforts to bring new levels of interactivity to applications like Premiere Pro and Photoshop by leveraging the incredible visual processing power of the GPU, which empowers video production pros to smash through historical performance barriers and gives them the ability to focus more on creativity by removing those performance bottlenecks that have slowed them down in the past. Our engineering team has worked closely with engineers at Adobe to integrate the full power of NVIDIA CUDA architecture into the new Mercury Playback Engine within Premiere Pro, which has resulted in up to 10x playback improvements within Premiere Pro, and up to 7x performance improvements when exporting high definition footage to common formats such as MPEG-2 and H.264.

CWB: What differences users could find in using the different NVIDIA cards that supports CS5?
SK: While end users will see an immediate improvement by using one of the following supported NVIDIA cards; the Quadro FX 5800, Quadro FX 4800, Quadro FX 3800, Quadro CX, and the Geforce GTX 285, users can take advantage of the advanced features offered on our professional Quadro cards to take their editing efforts to the next level. Support for Quad-Buffered stereo in a window gives professional editors the ability to view and edit stereo 3D video footage directly within Premiere Pro using the Cineform Neo3D plug-in. Additionally, professional cards such as the Quadro FX 5800 provide the largest frame buffer available (4GB) on a graphics card, which can be vitally important when working with complex formats such as RED 4K.

CWB: Are you supporting Premier Pro’s Mercury Playback engine for both PC and MAC?
SK: Yes. GPU acceleration in the Mercury Playback Engine is supported on both Windows based PCs and Apple’s Mac Pro line of professional computers. On the PC, the Quadro FX 5800, Quadro FX 4800, Quadro FX 3800, Quadro CX, and Geforce GTX 285 are all supported. On the Mac Pro, both the Quadro FX 4800 and the Geforce GTX 285 are supported. Additionally, we anticipate that Adobe will be certifying various GPUs based on our new Fermi architecture for both Geforce and Quadro product lines.

CWB: What should be the requirement for the computers running CS5 and being able to get advantage of what NVIDIA offers?
SK: In order to take advantage of the Mercury Playback Engine in Adobe Premiere Pro CS5 and GPU acceleration, users need a computer system capable of running a Microsoft Windows Vista 64-bit or Windows 7 64-bit operating system, and that has at least one 16x PCI-E slot available. Systems should also have a power supply capable of providing a single 6-pin power connector for the Quadro FX 3800, FX 4800 and Quadro CX cards. The Quadro FX 5800 requires either 2x 6-pin power connectors, or a single 8-pin connector. Mac users need to be using a current or previous generation Mac Pro system (Model 3,1 or Model 4,1). Older Mac Pro models are not supported.

CWB: How does 3D packages work with NVIDIA Quadro series?
SK: We have supported professional stereo support on NVIDIA Quadro boards ever since our very first Quadro products were introduced. We’ve worked with leading 3D content creation companies like Autodesk for native 3D stereo support within applications such as Autodesk Maya. For video editing in 3D stereo, we are working with companies like Cineform to support their Neo 3D plug-in to allow users to edit stereo 3D footage directly in Adobe Premiere Pro. Additionally, the NVIDIA Quadro Digital Video Pipeline offers the tools which are enabling broadcasters to distribute stereo 3D video by providing a cost-effective yet powerful, complete video production workflow pipeline, start to finish, in an off the shelf solution.

CWB: How do you see the future of digital film editing by introduction of Adobe CS5 and NVIDIA support?
SK: I think that we are currently at a tipping point for small filmmakers, where the cost of shooting, editing and releasing a movie is now within reach of almost anyone. However, we think the best and biggest news is that just because you don’t have a large production budget, you don’t have to sacrifice quality. The ability to work with film-quality HD DSLR footage directly within an editing solution like Adobe Premiere Pro, and the ability to apply multiple levels of color correction, keyed footage, and other high quality effects, and still be able to preview your edited footage in real time is a huge benefit, saving filmmakers the one thing that is most limited to them, time.


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