boot­camp: oc­tane REN­DER

One of the pioneers of GPU ren­der­ing, Oc­taneren­der is a highly re­garded, phys­i­cally ac­cu­rate ren­der en­gine for all ma­jor plat­forms

3D World - - CONTENTS - Mike Griggs Mike Griggs is a 3D and vis­ual ef­fects artist with vast ex­pe­ri­ence across the in­dus­try, as both a cre­ator and a tech­ni­cal writer. www.cre­ative­bloke.com

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.

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