Kitchen rendering

2012, September 13 - Redsdk 3.1 crunches the Apple

  • Redsdk now runs on Windows, Linux and MacOS X !
  • High performance software rendering mode
  • Integrated CPU / GPU tone-mapping
  • Detection and support of virtualized environments
  • Improved software ray tracer performances
  • New hardware certifications
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Redsdk now runs on Windows, Linux and MacOS X !

If you look at the history of the RED technology, you will realize that Redsdk has been available on Windows for more than 8 years and on Linux for more than 4 years. It was a natural move for Redway3d to port its graphics kernel to MacOS X, in response to the growing installed base of Apple products.

A Redsdk customer can now decide to deploy its software on all these operating systems, just by recompiling his source code, without making any change to his graphics code, as all operating systems differences are managed by Redsdk.

"The more Operating Systems Redsdk supports, the more value for money it will bring to its users" said Lionel SCHMITT, Redway3d CEO. "It is our strategy to add new platforms to Redsdk in a near future and particularly mobiles ones, to become the essential graphics kernel available on the market"

On the right picture, you can see a screenshot of the Turbine demo running on MacOS X, that you can download for Windows, Linux and MacOS X from our download section.

MacOS X rendering
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High performance software rendering mode

Redsdk supports different rendering modes (rasterization & ray tracing) and different processing devices (3D graphics card acceleration, CPU processing, or a combination of both) in order to benefit from any hardware power users have at their disposal in their laptops or workstations. The emergence of virtualized environments (see below) and multi-cores CPU architecture made CPUs competitive against GPUs for some simple usages, like the display of 2D drawings or plain 3D meshes.

At the end of 2009, Redway3d started working on a full CPU rendering mode that you can see on the top part of the picture on the right. This proof of concept caught all the attention of the Redsdk customers, who asked for improvements in order to use this mode as a generic fall-back rendering mode in case of drivers issues, lack of 3D hardware accelerated card or for running in environments which poorly support graphics layers (like the Web or virtualized environments).

On the bottom part of the picture on the right, you can see the real-time display offered by Redsdk using the CPU only. The graphics processing has been improved a lot by leveraging the multi-cores architectures and the complete algorithm as well. Both images were taken after a few milliseconds of processing.

Redsdk CPU only rendering modes
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Integrated CPU / GPU tone mapping

What bothers new users when they start playing with photo realistic rendering is the requirement to use right model scales and units. While the model geometry units are usually mastered by designers, users have a lot less knowledge about the setup of lights and materials. For this reason, photo realistic renderings are very often over exposed (burnt) or under exposed (dark), requiring to spend time on modifying the photo realistic setup of the model and generating frustration while waiting for a new image to be processed.

Redsdk 3.1 is offering a new and unique feature which will ensure users to get the correct image the first time, without any requirement for new trials. You can see CPU / GPU tone mapping as including your favorite retouching software directly inside your application, through Redsdk. Furthermore, while your retouching software usually works on a low definition image (jpeg, tiff or other format), Redsdk works on the native processed image, with the full HDR (High Dynamic Range) resolution. Thanks to this, users can access much wider ranges of retouching and without any loss of quality.

These changes can be applied at any stage of the processing (before, during or after) and even in real-time if you have a GPU inside your machine as it is a processing GPUs can do very quickly compared to CPUs. So you will not have to run a rendering a second time!

CPU / GPU tone mapping
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Detection and support of virtualized environments

One of the benefits of the CPU only rendering mode, is the ability to support easily the deployment of your software on other platforms, without taking care of the hardware available. This includes a usage of your application on the web where the majority of people do not have 3D GPU, on rendering farms where blade servers do not have any graphics card at all and on virtualized environment where 3D hardware layers are very poorly supported.

Redsdk automatically detects and setups itself in CPU rendering mode for virtual environments like VMware, Citrix, Microsoft Virtual server, Microsoft terminal server, Virtual Box, etc. This way the setup of a Redsdk based software can be automatically programmed to offer the best experience to the end-user.

Virtual Box screenshot, Redsdk running in a Windows target on a MacOS X host
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Improved software ray tracer performances

Redway3d is continuously investing time and R&D on the improvement of its graphics toolkit performance. A new step was achieved recently, by increasing the software rendering speed by 10% to 15% according to models. Meanwhile, the memory footprint of the kernel was also reduced by a similar amount.

As many Redway3d customers target the industrial market where laptops and workstations are generally purchased for a long period of time, its is key for the RED graphics kernel to enable end users with an entry range hardware configuration to still benefit from productivity gains using RED.

Photo realistic rendering speed
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New hardware certifications

Redway3d extended its range of GPUs in order to test, validate and enhance Redsdk while running on these platforms:

  • AMD Radeon HD 6000 & 7000 Series
  • New references in the AMD Mobility Radeon HD 4000 Series
  • NVIDIA GeForce GTS 300M Series
  • NVIDIA GeForce GTX 500 & 600 Series
  • New references in Quadro / Tesla product lines
Nvidia Tesla card