3D World

bootcamp: octane RENDER

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

- 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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