We’d been getting a little heavy with the topics the past two weeks so I decided to switch it up this time around. Today I want to tell you about the experience I had with something called “NVIDIA Grid” and also my test drive with the Galaxy S5’s 4K camera.
So first, I had the wonderful opportunity to take the Galaxy S5 out in the rain to shoot some beautiful footage. Supposedly the screen is ‘water-resistant’, (as opposed to water-proof?), but I kept a rather protective case on it just the same. Unfortunately by the time I made it where I was supposed to be it was already dark, so most of the shooting was lit with a couple of LED flashlight’s I had on me. I’m happy to say that I was pleasantly surprised by the low-light performance of the back-facing camera. Coming from an Apple guy, I have to say that the difference between the S5 and the iPhones’ cameras is HUGE.
What impressed me about the camera is that in the low light it didn't pick up very much light (obviously) but unlike the iPhone, it didn't try to make up for by automatically lightening the scene, thus creating more noise. This made my footage dark, but the areas that had light weren't as noisy, and the blacks were actually black, not the characteristic brownish pink mess that most Apple products have. Overall very impressed with the footage this camera took.
A few days ago, I was given the opportunity, though this article NVIDIA released, to test the 'new'
“NVIDIA Grid” a virtual computing environment. Now I know, the gaming fans are like “This is so 2013” but listen, this isn't the same as the cloud that delivers games to your Shield tablets wirelessly: this is Part 2. NVIDIA’s plan to rework office computing as we know it.
In a nutshell, it’s a lightweight software client running on any machine you throw it at (with exception to Linux OS), connected via the internet to an NVIDIA server, where your virtual PC environment exists. This gives the user the ability to operate from an inferior machine as if using an industry grade workstation. And because the hardware is NVIDIA based, this means that it’s Cycles compatible all the way. In my own case, I used a laptop running a Pentium CPU and no HDD space left to render Mike Pan’s benchmark in less than 3 minutes. This isn't a record-breaking time, but it is a 10,000 time improvement over the 2 days it would have taken the laptop to normally render the scene.
From what I've read on the Grid so far, I can only see this being marketed to larger-scale companies (50 or more), so this isn't a solution for small-time businesses, yet. I've read that for the highest powered server rack the price is $50,000 USD!
However, I do see this as a definite option for when we make the first Blender feature film. Imagine this: 300 artists working completely remotely on one unified project and the only workstation is the NVIDIA Grid server located there at the Blender Institute. This could completely change the way that the Blender project films are produced. Seeing this as a viable option for the Blender Institute is very realistic, however that is a topic far too vast to be covered fully in this article.
I say thank you once again to the people that sat through this, and until next time: I bid you adieu~