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Visualize This! The Intel Visual Adrenaline Program Show

by on Jun.08, 2009, under Storage

Visualize This! The Intel Visual Adrenaline Program Show

Welcome to Episode 2 of Visualize This! where we talk about topics relating to Visual Computing.

Direct download link to the high quality MP4 video file (250 MB)

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Today we will talk with Mandy Mock Program Manager for Intel&aposs Visual Adrenaline Program.

News this week:

Level Up 2009 Game Demo Contest

Friday Intel announced the judge panel for Level Up 2009, the Intel® Visual Adrenaline game demo challenge. For the first time, this year’s contestants will be judged by a panel that consists of pioneering game developers (Sid Meier, Will Wright…) who helped shape the industry, as well as a team of experts from Intel.

Level Up invites professional and aspiring game developers to create a game demo in one of three categories: Best Threaded Game, Best Game-On-The-Go and Best Game Optimized for Intel® Graphics. All participants are provided access to Intel tools and development kits for multi-core, mobility and graphics to help along the way. Winners receive prizes ranging from all access Game Developer’s Conference passes to new high-end gaming machines to the chance to present their demo to industry luminaries at an upcoming Visual Computing summit.

A new visual Computing paper Optimizing Game Architecture with TBB went live last week. This is another paper relating to the Smoke demo that is available on the visual computing site.. this paper talks about optimizing game architectures that have some threading, and shows how Intel TBB can enhance the performance of these architectures with relatively small amounts of coding effort

Another Visual Computing paper Multi-core Simulation of Soft-body Characters Using Cloth was published on the site last week. : Due to their computational intensity, soft-body physics are presently used sparingly to depict the movement of cloth, hair, and other flexible elements. This article shows how, with the additional processing power of a multi-core CPU, entire soft-body characters can be created using cloth simulation techniques.
This article is based on the pet me demo that is also available on the Visual computing site.

And the last new paper on the site is Optimizing Asset Processing : This article discusses the performance issues with asset processing tools and gives some ideas for optimization with a focus on minimizing I/O.

Digital Artists – be sure to check out the new Artist/Animator Resources area . Learn and share tips for creating digital art and animation. Also, be sure to join us next Tuesday, when my guest will be VC Community Manager and animator, Steve Pitzel, who will be here to talk about the new site!

Don’t forget to check out the ideazone. We want to hear your ideas on how to improve our tools and products!

Show Notes:
Mandy discussed what the program is and how it ties in with Intel&aposs visual computing strategy. She also showed clips of games that have been enabled as part of this program.

1 What is the Visual Adrenaline program?
Visual Adrenaline is Intel’s Software Developer program for gaming and graphics. Software isn’t the first thing people necessarily think of when they think of Intel, but the truth is that we invest heavily in ensuring that software runs well on our platforms. We do that by helping software developers to learn about our technologies, and by helping them to design and implement software that really takes advantage of the platforms. All of this happens through our developer programs. You can find all kinds of resources there, like code samples, tools, technical articles, a community of experts and so on. Intel has had a developer program for many years now, spanning many different technology areas. Visual Adrenaline is fairly new for us though. Although our normal developer program covered gaming and graphics previously, we’ve taken it to a whole new level now. We just launched Visual Adrenaline last year at IDF, and have been growing it ever since. Visual Adrenaline is focused on Visual Computing specifically, and the content is tailored to developers doing gaming and graphics applications. Probably the best way to think about it is that Visual Adrenaline is the gateway to Intel’s Visual Computing software enabling, technology and marketing resources.

2 Why did Intel create a special program for Visual Computing?
We believe that the computing world is going to continue to become more and more visual. Think about it – typing and reading text off a screen is not the most intuitive way for us to understand or communicate things. We don’t say that a picture is worth a thousand words for nothing. We’re wired to understand information visually, and as more and more power has become available in computer systems, we’re seeing applications add more and more visual capabilities. And we think we’re only at the tip of the iceberg – that we’ll see immersive graphical environments spreading everywhere. Think even of the most ubiquitous software out there – the operating system. It’s gone from a pure text environment to a dynamic look and feel that is based primarily on visuals. Gaming and graphics applications have always been in the lead in visual computing – creating wonderful visual environments that are more and more effective at making users feel like they are really there. Intel is an important part of making that happen – powerful CPUs are critical to being able to bring life-like characters into being, to create realistic physics effects, to dynamically generate scenery and so all. As visual computing continues to advance in gaming and graphics applications, and as it spreads out to adjacent industries, Intel is working with developers to unleash visual computing innovation on Intel computing platforms.

2. Who is the target audience for this program?
Our target audience is all types of software developers who are focusing on gaming and graphics applications. We have a really wide variety of resources, so there are things to interest just about anyone. In fact, I think that’s one of the great things about the program. We work with developers from the biggest games companies out there all the way down to single person indie developers and students to help them learn about our architecture and take advantage of the capabilities of the platform. For example, we’re currently running a contest called ‘Level up 2009 Visual Adrenaline Game Demo Contest’ where independent game developers can submit game ideas and demos. The best ones will win some great prizes – and best of all, the judges are some of the leading names in the industry: Sid Meyer and Will Wright, just to name two. Can you imagine the visibility that gives to an independent game developer? Having two of the industry greats see your game ideas and samples? What an amazing opportunity!

3. What are the technologies that this program focuses on?
We really align with Intel’s technologies for visual computing, namely: integrated graphics, our multi-core processors, and our upcoming graphics part code named Larrabee. For multi-core, we’ve got a ton of information on how to architect your game for parallelism, including working demos that you can download the code for, classes on how to get started, and our Parallel Studio tools that help you figure out where to apply parallelism, check that’s it’s correct and optimize it’s performance. I don’t know if you realize – by 2010, the data indicates that all processors shipping will be multi-core. It’s become critical for software developers to understand and be able to develop for parallelism. For integrated graphics, we’ve also got some great tools and examples on how to ensure your code is scalable – that it runs well enough on integrated graphics so that you can target as large a market as possible for your game, and that it scales up to really show off its capabilities on high end systems. For Larrabee, there is not a lot of information public yet, but more will be coming soon. We have the papers and articles that have been released so far on the site, and will keep adding resources over the coming months.

4. What are the resources available as part of the program?
Well, there really are a lot, so I’ll try to describe the highlights for you, but you’re going to have to come check it out for yourself to get the full picture! There are several major pieces to the program.

First is the Visual Computing Developer Community. This is our online community that has things like technical articles, tools, blogs and forums. A few things that I’d especially like to point out are the Graphics Performance Analyzer and the Smoke demo. The Graphics Performance Analyzer, or GPA, is a really great tool for ensuring your game runs well on Intel’s integrated graphics. As we were discussing before, making sure your game is able to run well on integrated graphics platforms and scale up to take advantage of high end platforms allows you to target the largest market space. GPA provides two things – a system analyzer that helps you determine where your game is spending time overall, and a frame analyzer that allows you to dive deeply into an individual frame and really see which DirectX draw calls are taking the most time. This allows you to make educated tradeoffs about the visual effects in your game, and from what we’ve seen from people who have used it, often identifies draw code that the developer didn’t even realize was running. We’ve seen some pretty spectacular improvements from GPA use – from 5 fps to 25 fps in one case! And GPA is free for members of the Visual Adrenaline program. The Smoke demo is anther fun one. We wanted to demonstrate how a game could really take advantage of 8 cores, so we took an open source engine and implemented a scene showing asteroids falling down and setting trees and buildings on fire, and spooking animals on the ground and in the air. It’s a pretty neat implementation, and the source code for it is freely available. It’s a great starting place for ideas on how to implement threading in a game environment.

Second, is the Intel Software Partner Program. Over the years, we’ve found that lots of developers need more than just technical help to be able to really take advantage of our technology. They also need help in getting their products to market. The partner program is designed just for that reason. As well as providing the technical resources I just described, the partner program provides business and marketing resources, such as templates for marketing plans and collateral, access to discounted development systems, free industry research reports, and co-marketing opportunities with Intel.

• Finally, is our showcase area. This is where we highlight industry leaders, technology advances and news in the visual computing industry. There are articles on how leading games and graphics applications were developed, how Intel technologies were able to make a difference for them, and up and coming new technologies. It’s really a chance to highlight the accomplishment of the software vendors we work with.

5. What are some companies that are part of the program and what have we done with them?
There are literally hundreds of companies and thousands of developers that are part of the Visual Adrenaline program. They stretch the gamut from well known companies to small, independent developers and students just starting out. One example is Far Cry 2, developed by Crytek and published by Ubisoft. We have worked together on optimizing game technology for a long time. Far Cry 2 has an amazing open environment, where lots of the things you see, such as the weather, tree motion and explosions are dynamically generated and based on physics models. This means that you get a different gameplay experience everytime – no two scenes ever look exactly the same. It also means that there is a significant workload for the CPU. Being able to divide up that workload into individual threads that execute on separate cores really enhances the way the game feels. I have an example clip here of how this really looks in game play.

6. Where should our audience go for more information on the program?
There are a couple of good places to start. One is with our showcase site at www.intel.com/software/visualadrenaline. You can see many of the program highlights there, as well as links into the Visual Computing Developer Community and the Partner Program. You can also register for the Visual Adrenaline Magazine and our Visual Computing Software Dispatch newsletters there, which will help you to stay abreast of the latest news.

This show will be live every 2 weeks on Intel Software Network TV

URL: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/IntelBlogs/~3/iBCRaSl_M80/

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