In an effort to bring the power of interactive photorealism to mainstream designers, Nvidia is introducing DesignWorks, a set of software tools, libraries and technologies to give developers easy access to both physically-based rendering (PBR) and physically-based materials.
Physically-based rendering, often abbreviated PBR, is a rendering method that more accurately models the properties of light than the previous model used in both games and photorealistic rendering. Previously, the lighting and shading model used took many shortcuts to avoid properties that were too computationally intensive, and then these additional properties were slowly integrated back in as it became possible to compute them in a useful amount of time.
This resulted in conditions occurring that could not physically exist, often looked a little odd, and had to be corrected by further manipulating the shading and materials settings. PBR began to see use in visual effects around 2006, and in games shortly thereafter.
Previously, designers would work with false color versions of their objects within their design software and have to export them from the software in order to attempt realistic surfacing. Nvidia would like designers to be able to make choices of realistic materials within their design application instead of having to spend hours porting their CAD data over into an animation application with more detailed, realistic surfacing capabilities.
The ability to test the surfaces and different real-world materials interactively without having to take the time-consuming step of moving the design files between applications means designers can iterate more quickly and less expensively.
DesignWorks brings together the following:
-Nvidia Iray SDK- a physically based rendering and light simulation SDK which includes new optimizations and algorithms to reduce the time for iterating designs.
-Nvidia Material Design Language (MDL)- a standard to describe PBR materials allowing usage of a library of materials between applications even using dissimilar renderers.
-Nvidia vMaterials- a collection of calibrated and verified materials described using MDL.
-Nvidia OptiX-Ray-tracing SDK constructed for GPU acceleration that supports the new Nvidia VCA for scalability. Both Iray and V-Ray use Optix.
-Nvidia DesignWorks VR- a set of tools for incorporating VR directly into design software.
DesignWorks is already found throughout the design industry, Iray being available in several applications including Dassault Systèmes CATIA, while Autodesk's VRED virtual reality visualization tool makes use of the VR technologies that are part of DesignWorks VR. Nvidia Iray, mental ray, Chaos Group's V-Ray, and Allegorithmic's Substance Designer all currently support MDL.
For more information, visit the DesignWorks site here.