Redsdk 2.1 release goes “CPU only” as well
October 27th, 2009
Redsdk can run in a “CPU only” mode
RED “realistic” material ensures light energy coherency
SCU (System Check Utility) makes manufacturers drivers available to end-users
A new “CPU only” visualization mode
By default Redsdk runs in “hybrid” mode, i.e. using all the CPU cores and GPU cards available in the user machine, to offer the maximum visualization performance possible with a given hardware. The requirement of a 3D hardware card was problematic in some cases:
- Deployment of an application on the web, where 3D cards equip less than 20% of the machines worldwide
- Use of blade servers render farms which do not have any graphics chipsets
- Virtualization environments (VMware, Microsoft Virtual Server, etc.) for which 3D graphics layers are supported at best at a very basic level
The CPU visualization mode version 1.0 produces renderings which exactly match the GPU for both real-time and final rendering, even when the digital hardware precision may differ between the GPU and the CPU. Redsdk detects and manages these differences automatically (see picture on the right).
The hybrid mode remains available as well and can run in parallel. This enables ISVs (Independent Software Vendors) and Redsdk programmers to apply different strategies for their software according to the hardware base platform, in a totally transparent way. A few examples are
- Legacy laptops and workstations can run in “CPU only” mode for both real-time and final rendering
- Rather recent machines can run in “hybrid” (CPU + GPU) mode for both real-time and final rendering
- Latest hardware can use “hybrid” + “CPU only” modes simultaneously, where the real-time viewport is managed by the GPU and 2 CPU cores, the CPU cores left running in “CPU only” mode to provide offline and background rendering services to the Redsdk programmer or the application end-user.
The picture on the right illustrates the visualization obtained in the “CPU only” mode at 10 frames per second on a 5 years old hardware platform. When not updated, the visualization “refines” itself until it reaches the quality set by the Redsdk programmer
A new “realistic” material ensures a correct conservation of the light energy
A new RED material called “realistic” is delivered as part of the Redmaterials 2.1 additional module. This new material ensures a correct management of the light energy depending on three fundamental parameters, diffusion, reflection and transmission of the light.
In practice this “realistic” material prevents Redsdk based applications to produce unrealistic pictures by reflecting more light than received, while increasing the overall realism of renderings.
The System Check Utility
Redsdk programmers and end-users of software based on Redsdk do not have to take care of driver versions anymore! Starting with Redsdk 2.1, an API automatically checks the end-user hardware configuration and recommend a tested & validated driver based on the Redsdk version used. Recommended drivers are hosted at Redway3d and thus can always be accessed, even when deprecated. Redsdk programmers can clone the SCU integration example (picture on the right side) or integrate their own design natively inside their software through the Redsdk API.
To get an overview of the SCU (System Check Utility) services, you can download the Redsdk demos here, they all integrate this new Redsdk component.[/leftcol]