NVIDIA’s Canvas app turns your doodles into photorealistic paintings
June Studio Driver update and new Adobe Substance 3D apps are also here
Today, NVIDIA announced a series of improvements and new tools geared towards creative professionals. The news includes a new AI-based app called Canvas, a new Studio driver for NVIDIA GPUs, new Adobe apps, and new Studio laptops.
The NVIDIA Canvas app is perhaps one of the most interesting announcements of the day. It’s based on the GauGAN project NVIDIA has been testing for some time, and it essentially turns doodles into photorealistic paintings in real time. NVIDIA says that instead of colors, users paint with materials, and as they doodle, the elements they use transform into realistic versions of them. This allows artists to quickly visualize ideas they might have for a certain design, or quickly lay the groundwork for a larger project. The app also supports layers so each element is a separate part of the image. The final result can be exported as a .PSD file to be further edited in Adobe Photoshop.
There are nine styles that change what the final painting will look like, based on things like the time of day and lighting. There are also 15 materials to choose from when drawing, such as sky, mountain, water, and more. The main goal is to help create landscape images that can quickly serve as the basis for something else. NVIDIA Canvas is part of NVIDIA Studio, which includes other creator tools like NVIDIA Broadcast and Omniverse. You can download the app in beta here to see what it’s capable of.
June NVIDIA Studio Driver
Moving on to the new NVIDIA Studio driver, it comes with a few improvements. Resizable BAR is a feature that allows the CPU to access more of the GPU memory at a time. Traditionally, CPUs have had to access the GPU memory in 256MB chunks, but with this feature, they can access the entire frame buffer as needed. This was added a while back in NVIDIA’s GeForce Game Ready drivers, but it’s now available in Studio drivers, too. It reduces the number of consecutive requests the CPU has to make to access large chunks of information from the GPU, which can mean greatly reduced overhead.
Another new feature is Dynamic Boost 2.0. This technology balances power management between the CPU, GPU, and GPU memory on laptops to help improve performance and efficiency. Now, the technology has been optimized for creative apps, so when more GPU power is required, it can be allocated there, while the CPU gets less of it. This driver also adds support for virtualization on GeForce GPUs. That means that Linux users can enable GPU passthrough for Windows virtual machines, which is great news if you want to use Linux but also run GPU-intensive Windows apps and games.
The driver also improves performance for some 3D renderers, including Blender. NVIDIA says you can expect up to 41% faster motion blur rendering with the new driver. NDI 5 has also added support for NVIDIA Decode, making it possible to broadcast and record at up to 4K at 120 frames per second. All in all, the new driver brings optimized performance for ten different apps.
Among those apps is also the new suite of Adobe Substance tools, which has also expanded. There’s a new Substance 3D Stager app for rendering and lighting 3D scenes, which supports real-time ray tracing, and you can see it in action above. There’s also a new Substance 3D Modeler app in beta that allows users to create and combine 3D models, built on Vulkan APIs. The other Substance apps — Designer, Painter, and 3D Sampler (formerly known as Alchemist) — are all optimized for RTX GPUs.
Finally, NVIDIA also highlighted a bunch of Studio laptops that recently launched with NVIDIA GPUs and Studio drivers. These include the Lenovo ThinkPad P1 Gen 4, P15, and P17 Gen 2, new Dell XPS and Inspiron laptops, and Acer ConceptD laptops and desktops.