bootcamp: octane RENDER
One of the pioneers of GPU rendering, Octanerender is a highly regarded, physically accurate render engine for all major platforms
We explore this render engine
F or a long time unbiased rendering was barely touched by a wide range of render engines. This was because an unbiased render solution was computationally intensive and therefore very slow. This was a great shame, as from a user’s perspective an unbiased rendering solution offered ‘true’ physical lighting exactly as would be seen by the naked eye or the lens of a camera.
Octanerender from OTOY was one of the pioneers of moving the computationally intensive tasks of unbiased rendering over to the Graphics Processing Unit (GPU, otherwise known as the graphics card), which is able to divide tasks across a much greater number of parallel cores. By using GPUS, all of a sudden unbiased renders could be achieved in minutes on a single machine instead of hours or days as was the norm before using CPU rendering.
As Octanerender gets ready for a milestone version 4 release, it has become one of the leading render engines on the market. This is primarily due to the large number of software solutions that Octanerender can integrate into through the wide selection of plugins that are available for digital content creation applications, including 3ds Max, Maya, Cinema 4D, Houdini, Modo and Lightwave to name but a few. Octanerender is available for CAD applications and also Nuke, allowing compositors to work with Octanerender without needing to round-trip to an application. A lot of this flexibility is handled in the background by the ORBX format which OTOY uses as the underpinnings of its standalone application, and makes transferring scenes between applications easier than it would be with other render solutions.
Octanerender also has one of the most responsive render preview systems, making iterative changes easy to visualise in near real time. As Octanerender is an unbiased solution, it is easy for artists new to 3D to learn with Octanerender materials, lighting and cameras all corresponding to real-world settings.