NVIDIA's Cloud Rendering

NVIDIA announces CloudLight, a cloud-based "system for amortizing indirect lighting in real-time rendering." They say this new framework "explores tradeoffs in different partitions of the global illumination workload between Cloud and local devices, with an eye to how available network and computational power influence design decisions and image quality." This video offers a look at what this means in case the following explanation isn't crystal clear:
We introduce CloudLight, a system for computing indirect lighting in the Cloud to support real-time rendering for interactive 3D applications on a user's local device. CloudLight maps the traditional graphics pipeline onto a distributed system. That differs from a single-machine renderer in three fundamental ways. First, the mapping introduces potential asymmetry between computational resources available at the Cloud and local device sides of the pipeline. Second, compared to a hardware memory bus, the network introduces relatively large latency and low bandwidth between certain pipeline stages. Third, for multi-user virtual environments, a Cloud solution can amortize expensive global illumination costs across users. Our new CloudLight framework explores tradeoffs in different partitions of the global illumination workload between Cloud and local devices, with an eye to how available network and computational power influence design decisions and image quality. We describe the tradeoffs and characteristics of mapping three known lighting algorithms to our system and demonstrate scaling for up to 50 simultaneous CloudLight users.

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22.
 
Re: NVIDIA's Cloud Rendering
Jul 29, 2013, 18:37
22.
Re: NVIDIA's Cloud Rendering Jul 29, 2013, 18:37
Jul 29, 2013, 18:37
 
This must be for other people, I'll just buy the power I need locally. Grandma doesn't care a about real-time shadows, or at least I never heard her bitch about it. So far cloud = backups for gamers.
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21.
 
Re: NVIDIA's Cloud Rendering
Jul 29, 2013, 18:20
21.
Re: NVIDIA's Cloud Rendering Jul 29, 2013, 18:20
Jul 29, 2013, 18:20
 
I don't think this will require anyone to be connected to the internet to play, but if you are things will look nicer. Just like you're not required to own an Nvidia Titan to play games, but if you do, it looks hella awesome. Especially Super Meat Boy.
If Russia stops fighting, the war ends. If Ukraine stops fighting, Ukraine ends. Slava Ukraini!
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20.
 
Re: NVIDIA's Cloud Rendering
Jul 29, 2013, 16:23
20.
Re: NVIDIA's Cloud Rendering Jul 29, 2013, 16:23
Jul 29, 2013, 16:23
 
It's important to note that the demo shown is a method to essentially precompute irradiance transfers and streams those to clients. It doesn't do ray tracing or path tracing, so this isn't a scientifically accurate render. GPUs are capable of correctly simulating light using compute shaders (OpenCL, DirectX11, CUDA) to do what is called an unbiased render.

A few notable engines that support indirect illumination are DICE's Frostbite 2 which simulates radiosity via the spherical harmonics method, and the latest Unreal engine which uses the voxel method, similar to one shown in the nVidia demo here.

So, it's not groundbreaking tech as far as rendering, but it's still pretty awesome.
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19.
 
Re: NVIDIA's Cloud Rendering
Jul 29, 2013, 14:29
19.
Re: NVIDIA's Cloud Rendering Jul 29, 2013, 14:29
Jul 29, 2013, 14:29
 
Creston wrote on Jul 29, 2013, 12:12:
Interesting, I didn't know that. Thanks NewMaxx!

Creston

Yep, no problem! I don't claim to be an expert in it anymore, been several years since I've been involved with research in that direction, but at the time that was the general idea. You know how that goes, though.

It'll be a lot less obvious than that, and it'll be a subtle transition. It's not like people are going to be saying IPv6 this, NATless that, or anything...everything will just work better as more and more devices conform and as technologies like Nvidia's mature with the "cloud." The big issue right now is legality, primarily around privacy, it's murky...but one of the big reasons it's made such waves lately is because this transition is in fact in progress...the NSA thing, the Google thing, all of that seems random but really it's just the emergence of these issues.
18.
 
Re: NVIDIA's Cloud Rendering
Jul 29, 2013, 14:18
18.
Re: NVIDIA's Cloud Rendering Jul 29, 2013, 14:18
Jul 29, 2013, 14:18
 
Jraptor59 wrote on Jul 29, 2013, 11:57:
Are we going to get to the point that we cannot use our computers for games or anything else without being connected to the internet? I despise being totally dependent on "the cloud" to use my software.

The day it happens is the day I quit teh internetz!
17.
 
Re: NVIDIA's Cloud Rendering
Jul 29, 2013, 14:14
17.
Re: NVIDIA's Cloud Rendering Jul 29, 2013, 14:14
Jul 29, 2013, 14:14
 
PHJF wrote on Jul 29, 2013, 12:12:
Great, when every asshole on the internet is sporting a $1000 graphics card like in this demo, this will be awesome.

LOL. Well, you know, distributed processing has been around a long time. We have Bitcoins now which is based on a similar concept (and was predicted by the NSA over 20 years ago). Obviously I don't want my SLI running 24-7 for other people because it costs a lot of money in terms of energy. Yet if you've ever downloaded P2P for a MMO or something, you see your connection is being used in kind. What you see here with Nvidia is more of them balancing your local devices, and devices you are interacting with (local/multi-user) with their more powerful cloud servers. What that might mean for people who want to put their computers to such use remains to be seen, but as I suggested the use of a home machine as a center/hub/server/owncloud could enter into that mix. It's more likely your mobile devices would be used that way during actual usage, though. As far as my grid suggestions go, that's different: ISP's already have issues with bandwidth usage, and sooner or later they will push for it as a solution. As I also stated, Google fiber has provisions in the TOS that already make me think that's 10, 20 years down the road...but yeah, I didn't necessarily mean PC's so much as tablets, phones, microcontrollers in smart devices, Chromecast/Roku/TV, etc.

This comment was edited on Jul 29, 2013, 14:21.
16.
 
Re: NVIDIA's Cloud Rendering
Jul 29, 2013, 12:12
PHJF
 
16.
Re: NVIDIA's Cloud Rendering Jul 29, 2013, 12:12
Jul 29, 2013, 12:12
 PHJF
 
Great, when every asshole on the internet is sporting a $1000 graphics card like in this demo, this will be awesome.
Steam + PSN: PHJF
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15.
 
Re: NVIDIA's Cloud Rendering
Jul 29, 2013, 12:12
15.
Re: NVIDIA's Cloud Rendering Jul 29, 2013, 12:12
Jul 29, 2013, 12:12
 
NewMaxx wrote on Jul 29, 2013, 11:46:
Creston wrote on Jul 29, 2013, 11:43:
IP6 in itself isn't magically going to make congestions go away?

Creston

IPv6 will enable all devices to have their own unique identifier which does away with NAT and a lot of other legacy protocols, but more importantly it allows for geographical load-balancing. It's similar to the local peer discovery and similar technologies seen in Bit Torrent. For example, it's a lot more feasible to get pieces of a YouTube video you're watching from other local users who are watching or have watched (cached) that video, or perhaps from the same relatively local cloud, than it is to get it all from the same giant central source. This process is very intensive with IPv4 but will be a lot more efficient with IPv6 and the technologies that will come with it for the cloud. The congestion goes away because a grid-like system is a lot more feasible when you aren't dealing with a system based on neolithic standards. BTW, this does have the downside of completely destroying privacy, but if you've used any sort of location metrics (say, on your mobile phone) then you're already prepared.

Fundamentally, the end-state for "the cloud" is something that includes all devices...every single device that is connected. This is something that is slowly happening over time, but some devices (like smartphones) are pretty much already there. IPv6 will break away the NAT over time but it's still a long way off. It's still happening, though, and research like this is a step in the direction of application.

Interesting, I didn't know that. Thanks NewMaxx!

Creston
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14.
 
Re: NVIDIA's Cloud Rendering
Jul 29, 2013, 12:05
14.
Re: NVIDIA's Cloud Rendering Jul 29, 2013, 12:05
Jul 29, 2013, 12:05
 
Jraptor59 wrote on Jul 29, 2013, 11:57:
Are we going to get to the point that we cannot use our computers for games or anything else without being connected to the internet? I despise being totally dependent on "the cloud" to use my software.

Remains to be seen as there are yet some legal hurdles, but the average person generally is willing to give away rights for access. I guess you could liken it to giving away your privacy to use Google's services, for example, or from a political standpoint a grid-based cloud could be seen as the proper "community" thing to do. The fact that Google has its own fiber is actually pretty eerily similar to that, especially when you see their "no server" TOS rules for users. It all but implies there's already grid networking behind it, otherwise they would allow it.

Unfortunately, things are moving in that general direction. Yet I think there will remain a place in the home for desktops as servers/central hubs (for streaming amongst other things), and perhaps even for personal clouds (heck, you can run owncloud as it is). It's just that a lot of the most popular services will likely pull a "upgrade to Vista for DX10" move sooner or later...and people do love convenience.
13.
 
Re: NVIDIA's Cloud Rendering
Jul 29, 2013, 11:57
13.
Re: NVIDIA's Cloud Rendering Jul 29, 2013, 11:57
Jul 29, 2013, 11:57
 
Are we going to get to the point that we cannot use our computers for games or anything else without being connected to the internet? I despise being totally dependent on "the cloud" to use my software.
12.
 
Re: NVIDIA's Cloud Rendering
Jul 29, 2013, 11:46
12.
Re: NVIDIA's Cloud Rendering Jul 29, 2013, 11:46
Jul 29, 2013, 11:46
 
Creston wrote on Jul 29, 2013, 11:43:
IP6 in itself isn't magically going to make congestions go away?

Creston

IPv6 will enable all devices to have their own unique identifier which does away with NAT and a lot of other legacy protocols, but more importantly it allows for geographical load-balancing. It's similar to the local peer discovery and similar technologies seen in Bit Torrent. For example, it's a lot more feasible to get pieces of a YouTube video you're watching from other local users who are watching or have watched (cached) that video, or perhaps from the same relatively local cloud, than it is to get it all from the same giant central source. This process is very intensive with IPv4 but will be a lot more efficient with IPv6 and the technologies that will come with it for the cloud. The congestion goes away because a grid-like system is a lot more feasible when you aren't dealing with a system based on neolithic standards. BTW, this does have the downside of completely destroying privacy, but if you've used any sort of location metrics (say, on your mobile phone) then you're already prepared.

Fundamentally, the end-state for "the cloud" is something that includes all devices...every single device that is connected. This is something that is slowly happening over time, but some devices (like smartphones) are pretty much already there. IPv6 will break away the NAT over time but it's still a long way off. It's still happening, though, and research like this is a step in the direction of application.

This comment was edited on Jul 29, 2013, 11:57.
11.
 
Re: NVIDIA's Cloud Rendering
Jul 29, 2013, 11:43
11.
Re: NVIDIA's Cloud Rendering Jul 29, 2013, 11:43
Jul 29, 2013, 11:43
 
NewMaxx wrote on Jul 29, 2013, 10:45:
IPv6 will take away the barriers to an effective grid,

Really? How? I mean, sure, we'll have addresses for many, many more devices, so theoretically there could be many more capacity-increasing nodes, but knowing the likes of AT&T and Verizon, they're not going to invest in that. They're far too busy trying to double and triple-dip on getting paid, and refuse to upgrade capacity and peers as a result of that.

IP6 in itself isn't magically going to make congestions go away?

Creston
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10.
 
Re: NVIDIA's Cloud Rendering
Jul 29, 2013, 11:43
10.
Re: NVIDIA's Cloud Rendering Jul 29, 2013, 11:43
Jul 29, 2013, 11:43
 
Well if anybody recalls my posts about GRID, for example, when people were saying it would be wasteful in downtime, etc., I pointed out that there's always a use for that kind of processing, and this is one example. Although, again, I think this tech demonstration is more about theory, specifically prediction and load-balancing with an eye on locality (the multi-user aspect). It's an area that will become increasingly important as the cloud gains steam and IPv6 takes over, it's been anticipated for over a decade actually in research labs.

This applies a bit to what eRe4s3r is saying about dedicated hardware because lighting is interesting in that it has a lot of uses in theoretical physics, too. So, again, the power could find multiple uses. It's possible there would be differentiation with lightning-specific hardware but that gets complicated at the server end when you're dealing with so many specialized units...dedicated portions on the die would be more reasonable but I don't see them doing that on the consumer end just yet.
9.
 
Re: NVIDIA's Cloud Rendering
Jul 29, 2013, 11:18
9.
Re: NVIDIA's Cloud Rendering Jul 29, 2013, 11:18
Jul 29, 2013, 11:18
 
I just noticed after watching the video with actual audio on that this is not supposed to replace normal PC Game or console game engines/Gpu work but rather to allow for realistic GI on devices with inferior or low power GPU's running at 30fps. So indeed 50ms latency is probably closer to where it's at... with 30fps - 100ms latency would be extreme.

I wonder if it weren't more efficient to make a dedicated chip for this specific thing though. Because I don't see GI ever being replaced by anything else. Only way to get realistic light is to trace these light rays, implementations may vary, but the actual computations will never (in near future) become obsolete... and the more and the faster the merrier.

So maybe high-end GPU's should just have a dedicated photon trace chip...
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8.
 
Re: NVIDIA's Cloud Rendering
Jul 29, 2013, 11:09
8.
Re: NVIDIA's Cloud Rendering Jul 29, 2013, 11:09
Jul 29, 2013, 11:09
 
good points all -- thanks for the correction.

if the raw data traveling across nodes is minimal, bandwidth wouldnt matter.
7.
 
Re: NVIDIA's Cloud Rendering
Jul 29, 2013, 10:45
7.
Re: NVIDIA's Cloud Rendering Jul 29, 2013, 10:45
Jul 29, 2013, 10:45
 
eRe4s3r wrote on Jul 29, 2013, 10:08:
Basically, the bandwidth required is extremely small... latency is the real linchpin for moving light-sources. And if it can stay within 100ms it's fine.

Correct, latency is the issue. Part of that is the processing time but the point of this tech basically is that it eliminates that aspect. 100ms might be tolerable although in my experience with virtual audio piping, 50ms is what you really want...and honestly that is feasible.

More interestingly, it hints at grid-based geographical load balancing, something I predicted would eventually be big more than 5 years ago (it was and is being researched at Palo Alto). Even the old experts (I've seen network designers from the 80s make "informed" posts on the technology in recent times) really miss the point that bottlenecks in the network are the main issue. IPv6 will take away the barriers to an effective grid, but I'm getting ahead of myself with regard to this specific announcement by Nvidia. Needless to say that being able to rely on locality means lower latency and less redundant information transfer.

Long story short, it optimizes rendering through prediction and the use of cloud networking.
6.
 
Re: NVIDIA's Cloud Rendering
Jul 29, 2013, 10:27
6.
Re: NVIDIA's Cloud Rendering Jul 29, 2013, 10:27
Jul 29, 2013, 10:27
 
Oh! More Cloud Majics! I bet this is equivalent to the power of FOUR XBONES!

...

Creston
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5.
 
Re: NVIDIA's Cloud Rendering
Jul 29, 2013, 10:08
5.
Re: NVIDIA's Cloud Rendering Jul 29, 2013, 10:08
Jul 29, 2013, 10:08
 
avianflu wrote on Jul 29, 2013, 09:24:
fascinating (especially for tablet users) though network bandwidth is always going to be the notable bottleneck with this tech.

Bandwidth won't be a problem. These photon trace results are extremely tiny, the actual work of rendering is still done by the GPU on-site, but the trace calculations of a moving light source (which are extremely costly in terms of performance) can be offloaded to external servers, giving you a performance boost... not to mention you can have more advanced GI now that traces more than 1 jump (ie, more than 1 surface deflection) and thus spread around ambient light more realistically.

Basically, the bandwidth required is extremely small... latency is the real linchpin for moving light-sources. And if it can stay within 100ms it's fine.
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4.
 
Re: NVIDIA's Cloud Rendering
Jul 29, 2013, 09:59
4.
Re: NVIDIA's Cloud Rendering Jul 29, 2013, 09:59
Jul 29, 2013, 09:59
 
InBlack wrote on Jul 29, 2013, 09:35:
I guess this would work for environmental lighting. So basically anything that the player doesnt really influence or cant influence, like the sun, or local lamps or anything that is rendered in a loop. Makes sense. Its also like 5% of an entire scene that needs to be rendered so I guess we will see how exactly this will benefit end-users. Not by much if were to hazard a guess.

They show latency for various types of render so it looks like this could be used for things the player influences as the lighting data is streamed back to the clients. I think the real problem is the latency makes this impractical for lightning that is changing very quickly.

3.
 
Re: NVIDIA's Cloud Rendering
Jul 29, 2013, 09:35
3.
Re: NVIDIA's Cloud Rendering Jul 29, 2013, 09:35
Jul 29, 2013, 09:35
 
I guess this would work for environmental lighting. So basically anything that the player doesnt really influence or cant influence, like the sun, or local lamps or anything that is rendered in a loop. Makes sense. Its also like 5% of an entire scene that needs to be rendered so I guess we will see how exactly this will benefit end-users. Not by much if were to hazard a guess.
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