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Thought Leadership: Scan

Posted on Apr 18, 2024 by Samara Husbands

Synchronised rendering

Carl Noble, manager of Scan Pro Graphics, delves into bespoke solutions for virtual production

In traditional filmmaking, choosing the perfect location for your shoot is key. Even when you find the ideal street, vista or skyline, you can’t control the environment.

It rains when you want dry, it’s dry when you want some moody cloud and rain; that perfect sky only lasts for 30 seconds… and so on! With virtual production, you control every element.

Instead of filming a scene at up to 12K resolution – using numerous takes as the factors out of your control change – you film that scene against a computer-generated background designed specifically for that scene.

Ideal backdrop, correct light and the perfect sky; every time, first time. However, these scenes must be designed and generated prior to filming, and then rendered in your chosen resolution in real time across an LED video wall.

BESPOKE RENDER SYSTEMS

Complex? Yes, although there are now bespoke render systems designed with virtual production environments in mind.

Bespoke being the key word here – as standard PCs are too bulky, off-the-shelf servers are too noisy and specialist configuration is required to synchronise the rendering output of the systems.

Additionally, the rendering solution – most likely comprising multiple systems – will depend on the output resolution, the complexity of your desired backgrounds and the size and scale of your LED wall or green screen. 

Rendering solutions can begin as small as a single rack-mounted system, packing in twin NVIDIA professional graphics cards delivering up to 36,000 cores of parallel processing power, 96GB of video memory, a 96-core CPU, a sync card and up to 512GB of system memory, plus high-speed networking.

Solutions then scale with as many twin GPU systems as required to operate your LED wall. You could be forgiven for thinking that high-density GPU servers would be superior.

However, these servers generate far too much noise for a film set, requiring specialist power and cooling, and cannot be installed in a mobile rack for flexibility of placement in the studio.

BESPOKE WORKSTATIONS

It’s also imperative that the render systems are seamlessly connected to the workstations of CGI artists.

Your system integrator should be able to provide bespoke NVIDIA RTX Studio PCs, complementing your render systems to get the best experience from your favoured applications.

Powered by the latest NVIDIA GPUs, Studio PCs have a unique driver to enhance performance and stability, meeting strict specification and performance requirements for running creative applications.

A CONNECTED EXPERIENCE

Nightsky Studios has embraced this bespoke approach, building the first virtual production studio in Scotland.

Find out more about the experience on page 74 of the April 2024 issue of Definition.

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