Post Magazine

October 2015

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Page 42 of 51 41 POST OCTOBER 2015 REALITY virtual irtual Reality for the creative professional is an exciting new opportunity to explore the boundaries of interactive storytelling. In addition, Virtual Reality is being used in industries outside of media and entertainment, while still requiring the tools that VFX artists are ac- customed to using. The common thread is that immersive 3D content is gearing up for the impending launch of a wide range of consumer VR products, and creative professionals are looking for new ways to take advantage of the technology. HARDWARE NEEDS For much of your workflow, the same formula for choosing hardware would stay the same. Fast processors, plenty of memory, and an SSD hard drive will help you design and develop your Virtual Reality assets. Where the workflow gets tricky is when you go to deploy your assets. Or, in plain terms, "hit play." FRAMERATES MATTER The current de-facto platform for devel- oping VR environments in professional workflows would be the Oculus Rift. The final specs for the consumer version of the Oculus Rift, the design target you should be developing for, will have a familiar 2160x1200 resolution, extended over two displays. It utilizes an OLED display working at 233 million pixels per second. For an optimal experience during the utilization of the Oculus Rift, one should target 75 frames per second. For a gaming PC at that resolution, this isn't a difficult thing to do. Either a high-end Nvidia GeForce graphics card or a pair of mid-range GeForce cards in SLI can accomplish that easily. But most workstations have Quadro-based cards, so what gives? GEFORCE Let's go back and address SLI. VR won't utilize SLI in the same way that games or realtime 3D playback do. Currently, the Oculus Rift only supports GeForce and only supports one card, but that is changing with Nvidia's GameWorks VR APIs, libraries, and features. Utilizing GameWorks VR, you can assign a spe- cific GPU to an eye and scale out across multiple GPUs. So to that end, a pair of GeForce 980 Ti cards would provide a great experience for deploy- ing your VR assets. GEFORCE IN A WORKSTATION? While Quadro cards are awesome (finely-tuned drivers, incredible reliability, and lifecycle guarantees not found with GeForce), many developers of VR are now faced with a chal- lenge: How do I design, develop, and deploy on the same workstation? Well, if you're using any DirectX-based VFX application, like 3DS Max, you should be fine. GeForce drivers have very solid DirectX drivers, as they share DNA with 3D games and can perform near or at the same lev- el of their Quadro equivalent. You simply have to decide for yourself (and your workflow) if you need to complete your entire workflow on a single workstation. If so, then GeForce is right for you. It's definitely required for the end product — at least for now. OTHER CONSIDERATIONS Since we're talking about multiple GPUs, it's important to remember that in order to feed those GPUs the draw calls and 3D goodness they need to stretch their legs, you'll need an overclocked CPU. Unlocked Intel CPUs have built-in performance headroom and fortunately, companies like Boxx partner with them to deliver that ex- tra performance, providing a much better (and smoother) VR experience. SOUNDS HOT? Multiple GPUs and overclocked CPUs can draw a lot of power, but Boxx chassis are specifically designed to accommo- date large, dual-width graphics cards and supply them with the air they need to breathe. Additionally, we utilize liquid cooling to keep your CPU cool and quiet. These closed-loop systems are facto- ry sealed, maintenance free, and have 50,000-hour mean time between failures (MTBF). In the end, all of the hardware you need for the emerging VR revolution can be housed in a Boxx workstation and customized to your needs. BOXX KNOWS VR At Boxx, we focus on delivering worksta- tion solutions for the creative profession- al. That's you! We know your workflow and every day, we rely on the same applications you do. VR is new. VR is exciting. And at Boxx, we're excited too. Give us a buzz and tell us about your project. We've got our Oculus Rift tied to a Boxx workstation and are eagerly waiting to help wherever we can! V A VR solution in a single workstation SPONSORED CONTENT: BOXX BY CHRIS MORLEY SENIOR PRODUCT MARKETING MANAGER BOXX TECHNOLOGIES AUSTIN, TX WWW.BOXXTECH.COM While Quadro cards are

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