24 marzo 2010

3ds max 2011 Quicksilver details revealed

What it is:

It uses both the GPU and CPU to perform rendering. You can somewhat think of it as a game-engine for rendering since it uses the GPU and advanced shader technology (MetaSL) to pull off many of the same tricks. So, you can render a 10M+ poly scene with just a 512Mb graphics memory because we make very efficient use of vertex buffers. We’ve built Quicksilver from the ground up (except mental image’s MetaSL) and there is some magic sauce involved in generating adaptive shadow maps and our indirect lighting mode that I don’t believe you’ll find in any other generalized GPU rendering system. We use the CPU primarily to translate the scene data to the renderer. It will also be used to compile the shaders and generate data for the indirect lighting pass. Both systems are fully multi threaded, including the shader compilation. We have to compile shaders for specific GPU configurations – which helps future-proof this technology. When you first run Quicksilver, you’ll experience a pause on the first frame. The first frame can take a while due to the fact the shaders need to be compiled. This can be a light weight operation or costly. For example adding noise maps to a shade tree can add up to 3,000 instructions. This not only takes time to compile, but is also close to the limits of the shader model 3.0 standard. 3ds Max maintains a cache of these compiled shaders that effectively live forever. The more you use Quicksilver the faster it becomes – it will only rebuild a shader if the system detects a newer shader on the system. The user is free to flush the cache whenever they desire. Quicksilver only supports metasl-based shaders. The good news is that you now have “Slate” our new node-based material editor which lets you create shade trees directly with MetaSL and we’ve converted most of our legacy shaders in 3ds Max to MetaSL. This means a lot of existing materials will just work “as is”. It’s important to realize that the new MetaSL shaders are a one to one reproduction of the original 3ds Max procedural maps. This has one important benefit - the viewport can display the shader as it will render in Quicksilver or in mental ray or even in scan-line. Of course, making sure you have pixel-level detail for this requires lots of shader instructions – which requires more GPU resources to do it quickly.

Some of the key technology/features that you’ll find in Quicksilver includes:
- Use of MetaSL shaders
- Sophisticated shadowing system including adaptive shadow map creation (provides fine detail of shadows in large scenes)
- Photometric lights
- Indirect Lighting simulation (not screen space like 3ds Max 2010, emulates effects of indirect lighting)
- Reflections of dynamic objects (non-raytraced)
- Ambient Occlusion (screen-space)
- DOF (shader effect)
- Motion blur (from camera passes)
- Hardware and software based anti-aliasing and supersampling
- Alpha and Z-buffer render elements
- Larger-than-screen resolutions
- Hundreds of dynamic lights (if you have enough GPU for this)
- Floating point render pipeline with tone-mapping
- Support for Backburner (you better have the same GPU on each node or you'll get unpredictable results)
- Multi-threaded CPU optimization


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