NVIDIA Corp. today announced that NVIDIA Gelato 1.1, the latest version of its hardware-accelerated, final-frame renderer, is now available for purchase. Gelato 1.1 features a new version of its Mango plug-in for Alias Maya and introduces a new feature called Preview Mode, which allows for ultra-high speed rendering of an image with user-defined image quality and fidelity to preview the final render.
"The new features found in Gelato 1.1 are the first of many that address the needs of our customers and their digital production pipelines," says Beth Loughney, general manager of the Digital Film Group at NVIDIA. "We’re moving towards a truly interactive rendering pipeline which doesn’t require compromises in the quality of the images, tools, or experience of creating content."
Mango, which is included free with the purchase of Gelato, now provides translations of most of the Maya Hypershade nodes that ship with Maya. The packaged Hypershade nodes can also be layered with shaders written specifically for Gelato, allowing improved flexibility and control over the effects.
Preview Mode allows the artist to make decisions on lights, geometry and shaders, selectively trading time for quality on features such as motion blur and anti-aliasing, enabling artists to see an approximation of the final image in seconds rather than minutes or even hours. Since the image viewed in Preview Mode doesn’t require a different set of shaders or other assets, no additional prep work or changes to the production pipeline are necessary.
Other new features in Gelato 1.1 include depth of field for realistic blurring effects for objects at varying distance from the lens, a network parallel rendering permitting multiple servers to work in concert to render a single frame, an OpenEXR plug-in for reading and writing data in the high dynamic-range (HDR) image file input/output format developed by Industrial Light & Magic and performance enhancements for improved speed and image quality.
Currently shipping for both Windows XP and Linux, Gelato 1.1 is priced at $2,750 per workstation or server node, with an annual fee of $525 for maintenance and support. An evaluation version and additional product details, including a list of resellers, can be found at http://film.nvidia.com.