Next Photoshop to tap GPUs for extra computing power

For all the horsepower of today’s latest and greatest microprocessors, Photoshop can still be a little sluggish—especially so when juggling large, multi-layer files and complex filters. TG Daily has learned that Adobe plans to speed things up in the next version of Photoshop by relying on graphics processors for additional computing power.

According to TG Daily, Adobe demonstrated the general-purpose GPU capabilities of Photoshop “CS4” at Nvidia’s headquarters in Santa Clara, California. The results apparently spoke for themselves:

We saw the presenter playing with a 2 GB, 442 megapixel image like it was a 5 megapixel image on an 8-core Skulltrail system. Changes made through image zoom and a new rotate canvas tool were applied almost instantly. Another impressive feature was the import of a 3D model into Photoshop, adding text and paint on a 3D surface and having that surface directly rendered with the 3D models’ reflection map.
There was also a quick demo of a Photoshop 3D accelerated panorama, which is one of the most time-consuming tasks within Photoshop these days. The usability provided through the acceleration capabilities are enormous and we are sure that digital artists will appreciate the ability to work inside a spherical image and fix any artifacts on-the-fly.

Although TG Daily doesn’t mention it, Adobe’s decision to showcase GPGPU capabilities at an Nvidia event hints that the software firm is using CUDA to do its magic. If so, the next version of Photoshop may support GeForce 8 and 9 graphics cards like other current CUDA apps.

The next version of Photoshop will launch on October 1 as part of Adobe’s Creative Suite Next toolkit, TG Daily says.

Comments closed
    • Silus
    • 11 years ago

    Hey Cyril!

    The date is wrong. John Nack’s confirmed as much in his blog:

    §[<http://blogs.adobe.com/jnack/2008/05/oct_1.html<]§

    • sschaem
    • 11 years ago

    Adobe developed their own image processing language, called Pixel Bender, that support many backend, including processor based SIMD engines.
    Its not locked on Nvidia HW, its not even locked to a given API or HW artchitecture.

    This allow Adobe to deploy this technology on all platform under all HW configuration.

    Here is a tech demo of the language running only the CPU in flash 10.
    (CUDA not required, GPU not required)
    §[<http://labs.adobe.com/technologies/flashplayer10/demos/pixelbender/<]§ For people not wanting to install Flash 10 beta: §[<http://labs.adobe.com/technologies/flashplayer10/demos/videos/pixelbender.html<]§ All that info is not hard to find, Adobe gets plenty of info out on the labs.adobe.com site.

      • eitje
      • 11 years ago

      thanks for clearing that up. 🙂

    • slot_one
    • 12 years ago

    I thought that CS3 was already GPU-accelerated. I swear I saw an “Enable GPU acceleration” option in the ctrl+K menu.

      • sigher
      • 12 years ago

      Perhaps they use the GPU speedup for all their anti-piracy ‘services’ 🙂

    • UberGerbil
    • 12 years ago

    A lot of people seem to be in hysterics and jumping to conclusions that aren’t supported by the facts at hand.
    1. There’s no evidence this is an nVidia-/[http://livedocs.adobe.com/en_US/PremierePro/3.0/help.html?content=WS1c9bc5c2e465a58a91cf0b1038518aef7-7e33.html<]§ §[<http://www.adobe.com/products/aftereffects/opengl.html<]§ §[<http://www.adobe.com/products/premiere/dvhdwrdb.html<]§

    • trinibwoy
    • 12 years ago

    #11, That’s the problem. There is no standard for this stuff. Nvidia is pushing CUDA hard in order to get GPU’s into new markets. All GPU manufacturers will benefit from this in the long run but somebody has to make the first move.

      • moritzgedig
      • 11 years ago

      CUDA is likely to become the standart.
      Nvidia did not exclude AMD from it, it may support AMD hardware one day.

    • bogbox
    • 12 years ago

    Another *[

    • shank15217
    • 12 years ago

    so basically adobe just teamed up with nvidia to make their software run exclusively on nvidia hardware. I guess standards are just about out the window, after 10 whole directx’s and even more open gl apis we’re back to making proprietary software that most likely favor it’s developer’s hardware..

      • bdwilcox
      • 12 years ago

      I’m waiting for the GLide, MeTaL, and RRedline versions.

      • dlenmn
      • 12 years ago

      Back in the day there used to high priced be Mac add on cards for speeding up photoshop — they had a 2-4 digital signal processors on them.

      §[<http://www.mause.ca/about/dclick_issues/dc0101.pdf<]§ see p15

      • SPOOFE
      • 12 years ago

      “make their software run exclusively on nvidia hardware.”

      Don’t you mean “make their software run exclusively on GPU hardware that has plenty GPGPU documentation and tools to make the transition feasible”?

        • shank15217
        • 11 years ago

        Cuda only runs on Nvidia hardware, its a proprietary api. Nvidia isn’t interested in creating a gpgpu api, they only want to give you a better reason to buy their cards, this usually results in slow adoption of gpgpu capabilities.

          • SPOOFE
          • 11 years ago

          Yes, nVidia has software tools to facilitate the process of running GPGPU processes on a GPU. That’s exactly what I said. Thank you for inadvertently agreeing with me despite your best efforts.

    • bdwilcox
    • 12 years ago

    Now even Photoshop isn’t immune from crappy 3D video drivers. I can just hear the support calls: “Hi. Yeah, I’m trying to paint on a sphere but it keeps crashing…what?…oh, yeah…hold on…let me open it…OK…it looks like my display driver is an S3 Savage something or other…”

      • sigher
      • 12 years ago

      Glass is always half empty for you I’m guessing.

      • ECH
      • 11 years ago

      I don’t care what anyone says, that was freaking funny LOL

    • SNM
    • 12 years ago

    Honestly boss, I need dual 9800GTXs so that I can work quickly enough in Photoshop! 😀

    • flip-mode
    • 12 years ago

    Wow, it is about time.

    So ATI is in the cold?

      • UberGerbil
      • 12 years ago

      Unclear. Just as interesting a question: what’s the status of this on the Mac?

        • thecoldanddarkone
        • 12 years ago

        You’re talking about the fact that cs4 won’t hit Mac, correct?

          • Shining Arcanine
          • 12 years ago

          So much for the Mac as being a better platform for image editing.

            • bdwilcox
            • 12 years ago

            I think it was about four years or so ago that Adobe announced they were developing all of their software for Windows first, so it’s been that way for a while. Macs do have some inherent advantages, regardless, such as better text handling, but Windows is very much capable as a primary platform for graphic arts. I’m sure that when this is made official, Apple will simply add more powerful graphic card options to their offerings.

            • thecoldanddarkone
            • 12 years ago

            We are not talking about about the graphics card that Macs can handle, it’s about the simple fact that adobe CS4 won’t be going to Macs.

            • bdwilcox
            • 12 years ago

            Of course CS4 is going to Macs. It’s just going as a 32-bit program whereas the Windows version will be 64-bit.

            • adisor19
            • 11 years ago

            What the hell are you smokin ? CS4 will hit the mac.

            Comme on pple, get your facts straight ! CS4 will hit the mac, but in 32bit ONLY due to lazy ass Adobe being late converting their code base from Carbon to Cocoa.

            Adi

            • thecoldanddarkone
            • 11 years ago

            I was mistaken I looked it up. As for the 32 bit thing, yes it does suck for those who use adobe products. It will obviously be a bigger deal to those people who use photoshop for a living.

          • adisor19
          • 11 years ago

          CS4 WILL hit the mac, but only in 32 bit 🙁

          Turns out Adobe needs to covert all their code from Carbon to Cocoa as Carbon application can not run in 64bit mode.

          Adi

        • Jive
        • 12 years ago

        For a second there, i thought you were Adisor, but then i realized that this actually does concern Apple.

          • adisor19
          • 11 years ago

          Someone called my name ? 😀

          Adi

    • UberGerbil
    • 12 years ago

    There’s been a few filters using GPGPU for a while now (IIRC nVidia even had one as one of the CUDA samples); Premiere and After Effects have been exploiting shaders for a couple of years. PS was only a matter of time (especially now that they’re finally going 64bit).

    Edit: CUDA photoshop plug-in samples
    §[<http://developer.nvidia.com/object/photoshop_dds_plugins.html<]§ Might make an interesting benchmark case for GPUs....

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