Technology Brings Tesla's Compute Power and Quadro's Graphics Control Together for Faster Real-Time Editing and Encoding

NVIDIA has just released Maximus, a new speed-improvement technology aimed at removing the bottlenecks that result from editing and compositing higher resolution files and increasingly complex effects shots in effects- and animation-intensive workflows. Adobe Premiere Pro CS5.5.2 is currently the only app supported by the technology, which was tested on OEM partner workstations from HP and Dell. But Premiere Pro editors working on Maximus-enabled workstations should see five-to-seve-times faster performance and encode times and decreased render times when working in real time with multiple layers and effects.

This chart, prepared by NVIDIA, shows the real-time response rates, per fps, in layered and effects-heavy footage running on an app improved by Maximus technology.

"It all comes down to people having to produce more effects, and better effects, in less time," explains Greg Estes, NVIDIA's Industry Executive for Media and Entertainment. "Maximus is a technology that essentially marries a graphics-intensive Quadro card with a Tesla card, which is all compute, inside a workstation to meet that challenge. There's also a software stack at the driver level that allocates the code within any application you're using to CUDA, routing it over to Tesla to handle the compute processing and the Quadro to handle graphics. You put all of those together in a third-party computer by HP, Dell, Lenovo or Fujitsu, and you've got a much faster workstation to handle animation, editing and all kinds of other graphics-intensive workflows in media and entertainment."

Depending on the configuration, he says, it also costs less. Prices start with the pairing of the NVIDIA Quadro 600 ($199) with the NVIDIA Tesla C2075 ($2,499) inside OEM workstations. "If you're working with a lot of uncompressed RED files with lots of layers, Maximus starts to make a lot of sense."

Estes says more supported apps, including animation software, will be announced at NAB 2012 next April. When that happens, he says, Maximus should give animators, particularly those creating on-air graphics for broadcast, more options within existing budgets. "When we spoke to broadcasters we found that more and more of them want to use Maya-class graphics to go to air, but they don't have the resources or the time to create and render custom animations for the nightly news," says Estes. "So you end up with really limited results, like those we saw animating the raid on Osama bin Laden's compound. Our idea with Maximus was to combine animation and simulation together so animators can work more quickly, and with more elements, in real time but also render out more fluid and believable effects. All animators are going to see a significant increase in interactivity moving forward."

In the video below, NVIDIA's Sean Kilbride, technical marketing manager, shows you where you'll see the most speed improvements in a sample Adobe Premiere Pro CS5.5.2 project that features five layers of color-corrected HD video and some applied special effects.

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