Intel® Open Source Libraries Playing a Major Role in Hollywood

Moana Island Scene rendered with Intel® OSPRay and Intel® Open Image Denoise. Publicly available dataset courtesy of Walt Disney Animation Studios.

As SIGGRAPH 2018 kicks off this weekend, I am proud to share some of the exciting rendering technology advances in the newly named Intel® Rendering Framework including software libraries Intel® Embree, Intel® OSPRay, Intel® OpenSWR, and I am pleased to announce a new addition, Intel® Open Image Denoise library. We enjoy our close collaboration with the motion picture industry to spur innovation and make it easier to deliver top-quality motion picture content with high fidelity, that can be delivered faster and less expensively. To that end, I am very pleased to be Intel’s representative on the newly formed Academy Software Foundation announced on August 10, 2018.

At SIGGRAPH 2018 in Vancouver, BC, my Intel team is bringing the latest in state of the art, photorealistic, ‘interactive’ studio quality rendering to the exhibit floor in booth #1300. Powered by the newly announced open source Intel® Rendering Framework and Intel® Select Solutions for Professional Visualization, SIGGRAPH 2018 attendees can see photoreal studio quality “Path-Traced” ray tracing technology rendered interactively at 10-20 frames per second by the Intel® OSPRay scalable path tracing renderer using Intel® Embree ray tracing kernel library on an 8 node server cluster rendering exclusively with the Intel® Xeon® CPUs right in the Intel booth.

Live Ray Tracing Demos at SIGGRAPH 2018

First, we will be showing a complex, production quality, over 160 billion object Moana Island Scene (recently made, publicly available courtesy of Walt Disney Animation Studios to enable research and best industry practices), taking more than 100 gigabytes of system memory, rendered live using Intel® OSPRay and Intel® Embree ray tracing libraries along with the new Intel® Open Image Denoise library.

Intel® Open Image Denoise is a high-performance open source library that improves visual quality during interaction using machine learning methods including Intel® MKL-DNN library to selectively filter noise. Intel® Open Image Denoise is an independent component that can be used for noise reduction on 3D rendered images, whether with or without Intel® Embree.

As demonstrated by the Moana Island Scene, complexity and realism for motion picture 3D scenes and visual effects continues to rise each year. Likewise, data sizes of these assets are rising into hundreds of gigabytes per ‘3D movie frame’. Intel® architecture processor platforms offer the large memory needed to handle this studio asset growth along with the high-performance Intel® Rendering Framework to enable photorealistic interactive rendering today. For instance, the Intel® Select Solution for Professional Visualization on the show floor has over 1.7 terabytes of system RAM available and can readily render any single or multiple assets (e.g. animation frames) up to the installed cluster-wide memory size.

Our second demo shows Intel OSPRay rendering within the Pixar led open source Universal Scene Description (USD) preview application using the Hydra rendering infrastructure. Enabling Intel® OSPRay in the previewer allows USD to take advantage of the inherent scalable rendering capability Intel OSPRay provides. The demo will show, for the first time, USD preview running on multiple server platforms allowing scalable rendering quality, framerate, and asset size to match whatever is required to maximize the effectiveness of motion picture creation.

In addition, we are demonstrating with Warner Bros. the work of Scanline VFX, ZIVA VFX, Autodesk Maya, and the Chaos Group V-Ray plugin, powered by the Intel® Rendering Framework: Embree, to show the technology that created the main character in the just-released movie, The Meg. By using physics-based computational models of the natural features of the prehistoric megalodon, along with present-day sharks, Ziva Dynamics enabled the creatures to be brought to life on the big screen with realistic, simulation-based performance. Come by the Intel booth to learn more and see the methods in action!

These powerful demos are not just cool “tech demos.” They show the breadth of capability that studio animators, visual effects artists, lighting specialists, and graphics artists can access, today, to work ‘live’ with fully realized photoreal scenes and animated sequences in much closer to final movie frame quality, maximizing the image fidelity and time to deliver production ready assets for all kinds of digital visual content utilizing the flexibility, performance, and scalability of Intel® Xeon® Scalable Processor platforms and Intel® Select Solutions powered by the Intel® Rendering Framework.

Intel joins Academy Software Foundation

Intel has joined the governing board of the just launched Academy Software Foundation (AWSF) supporting an exciting new chapter emerging in the beneficial and sustainable use of open source technology for the creation of compelling motion picture content. Being an open source initiative, the Intel® Rendering Framework set of open source projects, the Intel Embree, Intel OSPRay, Intel OpenSWR, and Intel® Open Image Denoise libraries are available to all the ASWF members and the adjunct community.

I am honored to represent Intel as the Founding member of ASWF. We look forward to contributing to making the foundation a highly effective open source community.

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Jim Jeffers

About Jim Jeffers

Jim Jeffers, Sr. Principal Engineer and Sr. Director of Intel’s Advanced Rendering and Visualization team, leads the design and development of the open source rendering library family known as the Intel® Rendering Framework. Intel RF is used for generating animated movies, special effects, automobile design and scientific visualization. Jim joined Intel in 2008 participating in the development of manycore parallel computing and the Intel® Xeon Phi™ product family, including co-authoring 4 books on manycore parallel programming. Jim's experience includes software design and technical leadership in high performance computing, graphics, digital television, and data communications. Jim's notable work prior to Intel includes development for the Tech Emmy winning virtual 'First Down Line' technology seen on live American football TV broadcasts.