Virtual production is a rapidly growing trend in filmmaking and visual effects. It enables directors to eliminate the need for practical effects or locations with synthetic alternatives, while still delivering the life-like production values demanded by increasingly demanding viewers. The realism virtual production cinematography provides is truly stunning. However, requirements like extremely complex lighting, incredibly detailed geometries, and lifelike textures demand more than consumer graphics boards can provide. Virtual production cinematography requires powerful professional-grade graphics boards such as the NVIDIA Quadro RTX 8000, which is specifically designed to produce the most realistic scenes with stunning cinematic quality across the most demanding use cases found in the media and entertainment industry today.
Virtual Production Cinematographer and Developer, Matt Workman, relies on a NVIDIA Quadro RTX powered workstation for his productions. Workman films virtual scenes for films or music videos completely live using Unreal Engine. The NVIDIA Quadro RTX 8000 board then provides Workman with the power he needs to bring his visions to life.
Professional filmmakers know lighting is what sets the tone for any given scene. Workman lights his scenes just as any other filmmaker would, using directional and spot lighting. However, he lights his set virtually, and in real-time, using Unreal Engine software. This is only possible because of the immense number of CUDA Cores and real-time ray tracing enabled RT Cores the NVIDIA Quadro RTX 8000 features – with an AI Tensor Core assist – which allows him to adjust multiple lights simultaneously while maintaining a constant framerate.
Virtual production also requires a lot of GPU memory to allow full GPU acceleration of the scenes or sequences that must be ray traced in real-time. Hair files alone can be as large as 4 GB and must fully reside, along with everything else, in GPU memory. NVIDIA Quadro RTX 8000's 48 GB of GPU memory can easily hold these files, along with all the other ancillary files required for a given scene.
While Workman praises how easily the NVIDIA Quadro RTX 8000 can handle ray tracing and large file processing, the biggest benefit is the Sync port unique to select NVIDIA Quadro boards.
Workman’s sets consist of LED walls. His work requires the ability to genlock the LED walls, GPU graphics, and multiple cameras. The NVIDIA Quadro RTX 8000 was designed with this type of application in mind and works seamlessly with the NVIDIA Quadro Sync II board to Genlock (or Frame Lock) up to 8 RTX 8000 class graphics boards, supporting 32 displays or projectors, from a single system. Hardware synchronization eliminates video tearing and other anomalies, which would make Workman’s use of LED walls impractical. With GPUs, LED walls, and cameras all working as a synergistic whole, virtual production is fully realized with timecode accuracy. These are just some of the reasons why NVIDIA Quadro is the gold standard for media and entertainment professionals – and has helped VFX professionals bring home Oscars for the past 12 years.
To learn more about Matt Workman’s experience with NVIDIA Quadro RTX 8000 powered virtual production make sure to watch his YouTube video.