In Broadcast - February 2013 - 38


I N T E R N A T I O N A L

WWW.INBROADCAST.COM | ISSUE 16 - FEBRUARY 2013

N E W S

InFOCUS

The Ongoing Drive Towards Real-Time
Motion Graphic Workflows
High quality real-time 3D motion graphics are de rigueur in the broadcast industry and for AMD and
MAXON, the search to speed up or even remove those render waits continues apace…
By Steven Preston
Editor
www.inbroadcast.com
ne of the most challenging
areas for graphics hardware
is undoubtedly that of 3D motion
graphics for broadcast use. Much
like video gaming applications the
challenge is to deal efficiently with
high resolution motion graphics at
high frame rates, while maintaining
a real-time representation as close
as possible to what the final render
will look like.
A popular solution for 3D motion
graphics and visual effects is
MAXON’s CINEMA 4D. Used by
a wide number of UK broadcast
companies such as BSkyB, ITV
Creative and MPC, it is well known
for being a professional, easy to use
solution that works on both PC and
Mac platforms. It can also output
renders in native layered format to
popular compositors such as Adobe
After Effects and Nuke.
AMD Independent Software
Vendor Manager Rob Jamieson
said: “We have spent some time
working with MAXON not only to
make sure that our hardware is
supported, but also that MAXON

O

38

are happy that we have got both
reliability and the best performance
out of CINEMA 4D. These things
take a long time as the software is
very complex.”
As a high-end professional
graphics workstation hardware
manufacturer and developer AMD
have, of course, been working with
other leading film and broadcast
vendors such as Assimilate and
eyeon, especially in the area of
SDI workflows.
Jamieson says: “We are making
more effort in the broadcast and
media & entertainment marketplace
to have a better selection of tools
so that we get used by the industry.”
AMD FirePro professional
workstation products have crucial
differences from consumer products
as Jamieson explains: “The core
hardware has similar types of
features to consumer graphics.
We do different things to it as it is
guaranteed for three years, and we
manufacture the boards directly...
so we have a whole different way
of making the hardware. We use

copper-type heat sinks, we use a
different type of capacitor which
is better quality so will last longer.”
The SDI technology requires a
different firmware set and there is
more memory on the cards, which is
better quality to ensure that the card
will withstand higher usage cycles.
Also the display port connectors are
retained by clips.
He adds: “On the software side
the spec is a lot more complex. We
have a shared team and a dedicated
team of programmers that basically
enhance the OpenGL side and the
Open-CL side.
“When you get Windows Vista / 7
/ 8 you don’t get the big OpenGL
core that comes with it. So basically
when you install the graphics card
that OpenGL – the whole full
OpenGL – gets installed with the
graphics card. That’s quite important
because Windows then supports up
to OpenGL 1.3 natively. So until you
install the card you don’t get this
enhanced OpenGL functionality. In
the broadcast industry you find that
a lot of applications use OpenGL
because it’s more extensible – it has
better and wider support.
“So once you start an application
like CINEMA 4D it is detected by
the driver and then optimisations
that work with that hardware
are imposed.”
One of the benefits is increased

Optimised kernel code assists complex software such as CINEMA 4D to exploit hardware advances

AMD Independent
Software Vendor
Manager Rob Jamieson

“…We are making
more effort in
the broadcast
and media &
entertainment
marketplace

”

performance and access to
additional modes such as enhanced
lighting mode, which provides soft
shadows. So instead of having to
render out you can actually see it
on the screen as a better way of
visualising what the final render
will look like.
“You could spend hours and hours
trying to optimise all the kernels –
what you tend to find is that both
AMD and MAXON will focus on areas
where people are having pain, such
as the larger models or where the
shadows or more complex scenes
need more optimisation.
“There is a minimum frame rate that
CINEMA 4D wants to maintain so
they optimise their graphics engine
to make sure that they maintain that
all the time. People don’t like waiting
for anything. So there is far more
that you can do than is generally
realised if you spend time optimising
and that is what MAXON are doing.”
MAXON UK’s Managing Director
Liam Stacy says: “As you would
expect, CINEMA 4D’s editor view
doesn’t give as detailed a view
as the final render in most cases.
So artists often spend time test
rendering to check the scenes are
looking correct in preparation for the
final output. The idea with making
the enhanced OpenGL more realistic
and supporting more features is to
try and get the editor view as close
as possible to the rendered result.
The closer the preview and final
render, the less time artists need
to spend test rendering.”
He points to the challenge of
being able to see that detail in a still
and through the entire animation:
“As scene complexity increases
CONTINUED ON PAGE 39


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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of In Broadcast - February 2013

In Broadcast - February 2013
Contents
InNews: Sony's F65 Shoots First UK 4K Feature
InNews: Channel 5 Russia Modernises with Orad Solutions
InSound:: Cobalt Digital's Loudness Solutions
InView: Agile IP Video Delivery: STB Software Architectur
InView: Boxx TV Squares Up to HD Video
InFocus: Real-Time Motion Graphics Workflows
InFocus: Meduza Set to Ship Titan 3D Camera System
InForm: Sintecmedia Acquires US-Based Storer TV
InPlay: Christie Shows Entero HB Displays Cubes
InTech: The Power Overheard of More Pixels
In Broadcast - February 2013 - Intro
In Broadcast - February 2013 - In Broadcast - February 2013
In Broadcast - February 2013 - Cover2
In Broadcast - February 2013 - Contents
In Broadcast - February 2013 - InNews: Sony's F65 Shoots First UK 4K Feature
In Broadcast - February 2013 - 5
In Broadcast - February 2013 - InNews: Channel 5 Russia Modernises with Orad Solutions
In Broadcast - February 2013 - 7
In Broadcast - February 2013 - 8
In Broadcast - February 2013 - 9
In Broadcast - February 2013 - 10
In Broadcast - February 2013 - 11
In Broadcast - February 2013 - 12
In Broadcast - February 2013 - 13
In Broadcast - February 2013 - 14
In Broadcast - February 2013 - 15
In Broadcast - February 2013 - 16
In Broadcast - February 2013 - 17
In Broadcast - February 2013 - 18
In Broadcast - February 2013 - 19
In Broadcast - February 2013 - 20
In Broadcast - February 2013 - 21
In Broadcast - February 2013 - 22
In Broadcast - February 2013 - 23
In Broadcast - February 2013 - InSound:: Cobalt Digital's Loudness Solutions
In Broadcast - February 2013 - 25
In Broadcast - February 2013 - 26
In Broadcast - February 2013 - 27
In Broadcast - February 2013 - InView: Agile IP Video Delivery: STB Software Architectur
In Broadcast - February 2013 - 29
In Broadcast - February 2013 - 30
In Broadcast - February 2013 - 31
In Broadcast - February 2013 - InView: Boxx TV Squares Up to HD Video
In Broadcast - February 2013 - 33
In Broadcast - February 2013 - 34
In Broadcast - February 2013 - 35
In Broadcast - February 2013 - 36
In Broadcast - February 2013 - 37
In Broadcast - February 2013 - InFocus: Real-Time Motion Graphics Workflows
In Broadcast - February 2013 - 39
In Broadcast - February 2013 - InFocus: Meduza Set to Ship Titan 3D Camera System
In Broadcast - February 2013 - 41
In Broadcast - February 2013 - 42
In Broadcast - February 2013 - 43
In Broadcast - February 2013 - 44
In Broadcast - February 2013 - 45
In Broadcast - February 2013 - 46
In Broadcast - February 2013 - 47
In Broadcast - February 2013 - 48
In Broadcast - February 2013 - 49
In Broadcast - February 2013 - 50
In Broadcast - February 2013 - 51
In Broadcast - February 2013 - 52
In Broadcast - February 2013 - 53
In Broadcast - February 2013 - InForm: Sintecmedia Acquires US-Based Storer TV
In Broadcast - February 2013 - 55
In Broadcast - February 2013 - 56
In Broadcast - February 2013 - 57
In Broadcast - February 2013 - 58
In Broadcast - February 2013 - 59
In Broadcast - February 2013 - 60
In Broadcast - February 2013 - 61
In Broadcast - February 2013 - 62
In Broadcast - February 2013 - 63
In Broadcast - February 2013 - 64
In Broadcast - February 2013 - InPlay: Christie Shows Entero HB Displays Cubes
In Broadcast - February 2013 - 66
In Broadcast - February 2013 - 67
In Broadcast - February 2013 - 68
In Broadcast - February 2013 - 69
In Broadcast - February 2013 - 70
In Broadcast - February 2013 - 71
In Broadcast - February 2013 - 72
In Broadcast - February 2013 - 73
In Broadcast - February 2013 - InTech: The Power Overheard of More Pixels
In Broadcast - February 2013 - 75
In Broadcast - February 2013 - 76
In Broadcast - February 2013 - 77
In Broadcast - February 2013 - S1
In Broadcast - February 2013 - S2
In Broadcast - February 2013 - S3
In Broadcast - February 2013 - S4
In Broadcast - February 2013 - S5
In Broadcast - February 2013 - S6
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