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The New Artificial Intelligence Denoiser

Written by: Rudolf van den Berg 6 July 2018

A brand new super-feature is available in SOLIDWORKS Visualize 2018 SP3, it’s called the AI (Artificial Intelligence) Denoiser. The AI Denoiser, which uses machine learning and artificial intelligence to anticipate and eliminates noise in your scene. What does this mean? Well, you can expect the same photo-quality results but now 10x faster!

Created by the innovative folks at NVIDIA they introduced the new AI OptiX 5.0. It uses GPU-accelerated artificial intelligence to dramatically reduce the time to render a high-fidelity image that is visually noiseless. This provides ultra-fast interactive feedback to artists/designers, allowing them to iterate their creative decisions more quickly and achieve their final product much faster. For the tech junkies, you can read the full research article from NVIDIA here (https://developer.nvidia.com/optix-denoiser)

Not only does it help your final renders finish 10x faster. You can also enjoy this dramatic speed-up while preparing your still image, animation, visualize scenes, camera fly-byes, exploded view, 360-VR content, etc. Visualize is already known for fast rendering, but this AI Denoiser takes rendering speeds to a whole new level.

The AI Denoiser works in both Fast and Accurate render modes. To fully take advantage of this new super-feature, you’ll need to adjust the final render settings. If you used to put 3,000 passes for Accurate, now you only need to enter 300 passes. Since rendering is 10x faster with the Denoiser, you can enter 10x fewer render passes.

 

This is available in SOLIDWORKS Visualize Standard & Pro 2018 SP3 released April 2018.

Also included in Visualize 2018 SP3 are:

  • Support for graphics cards with the latest chip architecture from NVIDIA, called “Volta”
  • The ability to fade the Opacity slider of parts/models in Fast render mode
    • This means you don’t have to use Accurate mode and can now use FAST mode to ‘fade’ the geometry in your scene. This ‘fading’ can then be animated using Visualize Professional.

Some Important Information:

If you want to use these awesome new features from SOLIDWORKS Visualize SP3, you will need an NVIDIA graphics card that has at minimum 4GB of memory (VRAM), and your graphics card should also be the Kepler-series or newer. The reason for this is that NVIDIA will no longer support the Fermi based graphics cards. To support Volta and the AI Denoiser feature, GPU/Hybrid rendering had to be dropped for Fermi based graphics cards. This generally includes any “Quadro FX” cards and cards without letters between “Quadro” and the number (ex: Quadro 600, Quadro 2000, Quadro 2000D, Quadro4000, Quadro 5000, etc). https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nvidia_Quadro

Furthermore, to continue using Visualize with your Fermi generation GPU, please remain on Visualize 2018 SP2 and do not update to new versions until you have a graphics card of Kepler generation or newer.

In short, How do you know if your machine can run the new Denoiser?

  • You Need at least NVIDIA Kepler generation graphics card or newer (If older than Kepler, Visualize will default to CPU only mode)
  • You Need at least 4GB memory on your NVIDIA graphics card (If under 4GB, Visualize will still run in GPU/Hybrid, but without the Denoiser feature)
  • Make sure to update your NVIDIA driver to 385.41 or newer, as called out in the upcoming 2018 SP3 Release Notes.

To aid in your graphics card purchasing decisions, SOLIDWORKS assembled the following table of render performance across commonly used NVIDIA GPUs with SOLIDWORKS Visualize. https://www.solidworks.com/sw/support/visualize-hardware-benchmarks.htm

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