postPerspective Quick Chat: Nvidia’s Greg Estes

postPerspective by Randi Altman

Greg Estes, Nvidia’s VP of marketing, recently took a few minutes out of his schedule to discuss the industry, trends and how the company goes about creating new products that target the needs of users.

The short answer is listening to what studios and broadcasters need. The long answer is… well give it a read and see for yourself.

I’ve been interviewing you about Nvidia technology for years, and you always seem to be on top of the latest industry trends. How do you map those back to product development to make sure you deliver tech and products that your customers need?
We have ongoing dialog with all of the major studios and several major broadcasters. We get a lot out of our collaboration with customers that push the envelope, like Pixar, Weta, ESPN, the BBC and so forth, and also from our software partners like Adobe, Autodesk and Vizrt, to name just a few. And we have a technology council we hold each year at GTC, the GPU Technology Conference, which is being held later this month.

That conference brings together the heads of technology of two dozen studios, post houses and VFX shops and a like number of the application partners with not only our product teams from across the company but also engineering and Nvidia Research, so we take that input very seriously. Their input is in large part why we have 12GB of graphics memory on the Quadro K6000, for instance. It increases the complexity of the scene artists can work with interactively in apps like Maya or Houdini.

How did Nvidia work with this year’s Academy VFX nominees and SciTech winners?
Pretty much all of the major studios use commercial software but also develop their own in-house applications using CUDA, which is our platform for parallel computing using our GPUs. We have a team we call Developer Technology, which includes what I think are some of the brightest computer graphics and parallel computing minds in the world. That’s a free resource to our developers, and a lot of great work has come from those collaborations, including Adobe’s Mercury Playback Engine and Panta Ray from Weta. ILM has always been on the leading edge of using our GPUs, and we were so happy for them to have been recognized with the Academy Award for Plume, their GPU-accelerated particle system used for fire and explosions. read more...

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