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Revolutionizing Filmmaking: Wuxi's Virtual Production Leap with ASUS Workstations


  • Customer: Glassbox Technologies
  • Location: Wuxi, China
  • Industry: Virtual Production and Filming

The film industry is undergoing a transformative shift with virtual production, integrating cutting-edge digital and physical filmmaking methods. This approach demands technical expertise in workstation computer graphics, animation and virtual reality, such as can be delivered through ASUS Pro WS WRX90E-SAGE SE and Pro WS TRX50-SAGE WIFI motherboards.

Glassbox is an industry leader in providing high-end virtual production solutions for the global M&E market. Th technology demonstration in Wuxi was intended to address the common problem where most virtual sets were not sufficiently realistic for feature film projects. In collaboration with ASUS, Kingston, AMD and Luster, we showcased a virtual environment built using Unreal’s latest PGC (procedurally generated content) framework that is both highly photorealistic and incredibly demanding, incorporating features like global Lumen hardware light tracing, Nanite virtual models, and over two hundred ultra-high-resolution textures using virtual texture streaming. Yet, virtual production projects pose challenges like technical intricacies and equipment costs.

The challenge

In the current-gen LED virtual production setups, each render workstation had the task of rendering the virtual environment that are visible (inner-frustum) and invisible to the camera (outer-frustum). To handle the intensive GPU load of processing both inner and outer frustum simultaneously, the mainstream approach involved using two NVIDIA RTX™ A6000 graphics cards connected by NVLink. Unfortunately, this design choice led to increased equipment costs and added strain on the CPU.

With the launch of the newer Ada 6000 series, studios considered upgrading from the A6000. However, the cancellation of NVLink forced GPU communication to shift to the PCIe interface. While this enhanced the performance of individual cards, it also brought about higher latency due to transmission bottlenecks. Consequently, overall workstation expenses spiked with the adoption of the costly Ada 6000.

The solution

The pivotal factor in advancing virtual production technology lies in selecting robust workstations and the introduction of ST2110 IP image distribution backbone. This ensures real-time latency-free performance, crucial for creating a seamless and dynamic shooting environment.

[Boosting Performance with Less Workstation Architectures]

Teaming up with ASUS, the Wuxi Base harnessed the cutting-edge capabilities of AMD Ryzen™ Threadripper™ 7000 series CPUs, optimizing single-card rendering workstation performance through DDR5 speed and CPU clock rates. We were able to achieve the same performance using just 1/3 the number of render nodes.

[Powering Seamless 16K Display at 50 FPS]

Additionally, two workstations were exclusively dedicated to inner frustum computing. Leveraging BlueField 2 DPUs, NVIDIA GPU Direct and NVIDIA Rivermax, we crafted a decentralized rendering architecture utilizing the ST2110 communication protocol. The combined processing capabilities of the internal frustum workstations exceeded three times that of the previous generation, consistently achieving a smooth 50 FPS on the Wuxi 16K display.

ASUS WorkStation Board for
Field Control

● AMD sTR5 EEB workstation motherboard. Ready for AMD Ryzen™ Threadripper™ PRO 7000 WX-Series Processors.
● GPU: NVIDIA RTX™ A6000 (Discrete Graphics Card Required)
● 7 PCIe 5.0 x16 slots, multi-GPU support, robust 32+3+3+3 power-stage design
● CPU and memory overclocking ready
● 4 PCIe 5.0 M.2 slots, dual 10 Gb LAN, PCIe Q-Release Slim
● Others: Mellanox BlueFiend 2 DPU
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ASUS WorkStation Board for
Image Processing

● AMD s CEB workstation motherboard. Ready for AMD Ryzen™ Threadripper™ PRO 7000 WX-Series Processors and AMD Ryzen Threadripper 7000 Series Processors.
● GPU: NVIDIA Ada 6000
● CPU and memory overclocking ready
● 3 PCIe 5.0 x 16, PCIe 5.0 M.2, 10 Gb and 2.5 Gb LAN, multi-GPU support
● Others: Mellanox BlueFiend 2 DPU

Learn more

The outcome

By seamlessly incorporating cutting-edge technologies like NVIDIA Rivermax, GPU Direct, Unreal Engine 5.3 and ASUS Pro WS WRX90E-SAGE SE and Pro WS TRX50-SAGE WIFI workstation motherboards, we've achieved a groundbreaking milestone – the inception of China's inaugural virtual studio computing architecture, wholeheartedly adopting the ST2110 framework.

Our client’s decision was heavily swayed by the unparalleled stability, top-notch performance and indispensable features like baseboard management controllers, imperative for professional contexts. The ASUS team is committed to pushing the boundaries of a singular workstation and card, maximizing their performance while upholding industrial-grade stability. Undoubtedly, ASUS workstation motherboards emerge as the industry's preferred choice.