NVIDIA CUDA Drives Innovation in Broadcast and Film Production

NVIDIA Corporation, the worldwide leader in visual computing, is making it possible for production houses to work faster and easier with the immense quantity of high-resolution data generated for HDTV, Blu-Ray and 4K digital cinema.

Innovative companies such as da Vinci Systems, Lowry Digital, ASSIMILATE and GIC are leveraging the CUDA parallel computing architecture of NVIDIA processors to solve a variety of critical challenges facing broadcast and film professionals, including color balancing, film restoration, visual effects creation and video format encoding.

CUDA Architecture Accelerates Color Grading

da Vinci Systems, a leading provider of color-enhancement products used in post-production facilities worldwide, recently announced a powerful new version of its da Vinci Resolve digital mastering suite, based on da Vinci’s C.O.R.E. (CUDA Optimized Resolve Engine). The new solution harnesses the massively parallel processing capabilities of the NVIDIA Quadro graphics processing unit (GPU) to deliver high-resolution, real-time color grading and image processing, and was utilized on recent big screen blockbusters, such as “Star Trek” and “Terminator Salvation”.

“The performance benefits of CUDA-enabled GPUs are remarkable, offering processing power that’s up to 20-times faster than our previous generation solution,” said Gary Adams, da Vinci product manager. “Post production facilities running Resolve can now ingest, color grade and adjust the resolution of 4k digital motion picture images or stereoscopic 3D images in real-time, without loss of quality. Resolve unleashes the power of NVIDIA GPUs, providing colorists throughout the world with more creative immediacy and the ability to set a broader range of compelling looks for film and video.”

CUDA Architecture Accelerates Moving Image Processing

Lowry Digital, a market leader in digital restoration and image quality improvement for classic films and contemporary motion pictures, utilizes NVIDIA GPUs and the CUDA parallel computing architecture to improve productivity by five times. Lowry’s recent projects include image restoration for the classic 20th Century Fox film, “The Robe”, and digital image sweetening for the Oscar-winning Paramount/Warner Bros. feature, “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button”. In addition, Lowry relied on NVIDIA GPUs when contracted by NASA to restore footage transmitted back to Earth of Neil Armstrong’s first steps on the moon.

“NVIDIA CUDA has enabled Lowry Digital to provide more value for our customers by reducing the time and expense to perform digital restoration,” said John D. Lowry, founder, Lowry Digital. “Now we are pushing the technology even further, delivering solutions that have never been attempted before. Utilizing GPUs to perform complex imaging processing, we can take a variety of video and film sources, shot on different types of cameras, with different lighting, and normalize them so that it appears everything was all shot under the same conditions.”

CUDA Architecture Accelerates Post Production

ASSIMILATE is transforming the creation of visually complex imagery with its SCRATCH Digital Process Solution, a CUDA architecture-enabled real-time, end-to-end data workflow for post production. Designed for creative and post professionals, SCRATCH encompasses data management, review/playback, color grading, finishing and final mastering to numerous formats at resolutions up to 4K.

“ASSIMILATE is completely focused on leveraging NVIDIA GPUs to deliver new real-time tools that were simply not possible before,” said Lucas Wilson, director of business development at ASSIMILATE. “Having started with a data workflow on the CPU, we leveraged CUDA technology to accelerate the production pipeline to the point where users have the ability to experiment creatively and still meet deadlines.”

CUDA Architecture Accelerates Digital Media Conversion and Distribution

GIC, a global software development company providing workflow solutions for 2D/3D content creation and distribution, utilizes CUDA-enabled GPUs to perform computationally-intensive video conversion faster and more efficiently than CPU-only based solutions.

“As film and television industries move toward the standardization of an Interoperable Master Format (IMF), our CUDA-accelerated Digital Video Package tool rapidly converts a master or mezzanine file into a variety of formats for video distribution,” said Henry Gu, president of GIC. “Leveraging the power of NVIDIA processors, we have taken what used to be a week-long process for studios and post production facilities, and reduced it to hours, while cutting storage costs by at least a third.”

CUDA architecture-accelerated solutions for broadcast and film production will be on display throughout the IBC 2009 expo, and at the NVIDIA/PNY stand H37 in Hall 7 of the RAI Centre in Amsterdam, Sept. 11 – 15, 2009. NVIDIA featured demonstrations include: RT Software showcasing its virtual effects software, and Elemental Technologies highlighting its Elemental Server and Elemental Accelerator video encoding solutions.


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