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Old 08-13-2012, 02:53 PM   #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sentry66
Right, Vray is one of the more successful rendering engines. If your pipeline depends on them, you probably wouldn't upgrade software until a new version of Vray was available in the first place. Or you'd just leave a copy installed of the last release and last 3d software it was compatible with on the renderfarm.

If they did go out of business, the rest of the industry is going to still move forward. You'll still have to redo your shading and lighting assets for whatever new version of software you move onto.

Then again, I guess the same could be said for any primary 3D software package though.


And any other plugin...
 
Old 08-13-2012, 05:21 PM   #32
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Old 08-14-2012, 06:05 PM   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sentry66
what exactly is the difference between this and iray?


Seeing as I did the presentations for 3ds Max I can feel comfortable answering this.

There are a few things that I think set the Visualizer apart from iRay/VrayRT.

Pros:
+ It's multi-GPU speeds with the reference raytracing card but without memory limitations. So millions of polygons and GBs of textures.

+ Latency is very low. So you can modify topology and transform objects like you do in a raster viewport. Essentially no waiting as the acceleration structure rebuilds. You're looking at rebuilds per second instead of seconds per rebuild.

+ Its shader language is powerful and easy to use. The advantage of course being that they can add new shaders very quickly. In the last month or so they've gone from supporting a couple hypershade nodes to almost all of them. If it becomes popular it would be trivial to emulate loads of 3rd party plugins very quickly.

+ It supports arbitrary AOVs. So you can output normals, depth etc as sub passes (currently admittedly disabled to speed up viewport interactivity but the code is there).

I would also point out that while it's progressively rendering fPrime is a better analogy than iRay. While the Visualizer can be a path tracer (depending on your settings) it can also be an adaptive renderer like VRay, mental ray, brazil etc. So you aren't bound to physical effects like in iRay which for the most part locks you into physical accuracy.

But it's obviously not fully baked yet either and not ready for everything you would need from your primary production renderer.

Cons in its current version:
- You don't get true 3D motion blur with 4D sampling.
- There are some limitations with some use cases for intersecting SSS objects.
- No instancing.
- No Per-Pixel displacement.
- No implicit hair shapes.
- It's a non-blocking raytracer... which is really difficult to explain and would require a full post in of itself. But it's the cause for some of the challenges in intersecting SSS objects and makes some traditionally easy shaders a little more complicated.

Some of those can be worked around in many cases (multipass motion blur akin to iRay or Octane's, geometric displacement at render time, meshed hair primitives) but you can also of course mix and match. The idea is that it matches your final render closely enough that you aren't making any special accommodations in your scene for it. So if you have a character that needs per-pixel displacement and true 3D motion blur... render the background pass in Visualizer and then let the farm crunch the character. This is generally how I already work. I even still use scanline for mask passes etc from RPManager.

It definitely won't be for some people and it definitely won't be for every project but I'm genuinely pretty excited about it and have found it really useful, especially in product rendering work.

Last edited by thatoneguy : 08-14-2012 at 06:17 PM.
 
Old 08-14-2012, 07:25 PM   #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thatoneguy
Seeing as I did the presentations for 3ds Max I can feel comfortable answering this.

There are a few things that I think set the Visualizer apart from iRay/VrayRT.

Pros:
+ It's multi-GPU speeds with the reference raytracing card but without memory limitations. So millions of polygons and GBs of textures.

+ Latency is very low. So you can modify topology and transform objects like you do in a raster viewport. Essentially no waiting as the acceleration structure rebuilds. You're looking at rebuilds per second instead of seconds per rebuild.

+ Its shader language is powerful and easy to use. The advantage of course being that they can add new shaders very quickly. In the last month or so they've gone from supporting a couple hypershade nodes to almost all of them. If it becomes popular it would be trivial to emulate loads of 3rd party plugins very quickly.

+ It supports arbitrary AOVs. So you can output normals, depth etc as sub passes (currently admittedly disabled to speed up viewport interactivity but the code is there).

I would also point out that while it's progressively rendering fPrime is a better analogy than iRay. While the Visualizer can be a path tracer (depending on your settings) it can also be an adaptive renderer like VRay, mental ray, brazil etc. So you aren't bound to physical effects like in iRay which for the most part locks you into physical accuracy.

But it's obviously not fully baked yet either and not ready for everything you would need from your primary production renderer.

Cons in its current version:
- You don't get true 3D motion blur with 4D sampling.
- There are some limitations with some use cases for intersecting SSS objects.
- No instancing.
- No Per-Pixel displacement.
- No implicit hair shapes.
- It's a non-blocking raytracer... which is really difficult to explain and would require a full post in of itself. But it's the cause for some of the challenges in intersecting SSS objects and makes some traditionally easy shaders a little more complicated.

Some of those can be worked around in many cases (multipass motion blur akin to iRay or Octane's, geometric displacement at render time, meshed hair primitives) but you can also of course mix and match. The idea is that it matches your final render closely enough that you aren't making any special accommodations in your scene for it. So if you have a character that needs per-pixel displacement and true 3D motion blur... render the background pass in Visualizer and then let the farm crunch the character. This is generally how I already work. I even still use scanline for mask passes etc from RPManager.

It definitely won't be for some people and it definitely won't be for every project but I'm genuinely pretty excited about it and have found it really useful, especially in product rendering work.



thanks for posting this. Looks really promising and it's interesting to learn what the issues are


Quote:
Originally Posted by CHRiTTeR
And any other plugin...

right, I hate relying on the plug-ins that are required to be rebuilt for each specific version of your software.
 
Old 08-14-2012, 10:17 PM   #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sentry66
That sort of thing is why I'm always sketchy about buying a 3rd party software rendering engine from anyone other than pixar. You can't trust that these smaller companies are going to be around for the long haul or won't get bought out, killed off, turned into a realtime engine, or stop supporting your OS.

3rd party rendering engines IMO are a little risky because you're building assets specifically to use their shaders. When they're not around anymore, how will you go about resurrecting files you did a few years ago without doing a major shader and lighting redo?

With something like this Caustic viewport, it's just another tool for your viewport. IMO there's no reason not to have something like this because this tool is passive as long as your final rendering engine is compatible with it. If it stopped working, you'd still be able to send your your files to the farm without issue.


I would just add that Caustic is owned by a little company called Imagination Technologies. Got an iphone? or a Google, HTC or Samsung android phone? Chances are good you are using one of their PowerVR GPUs. These guys are serious players. Oh, and the guy who invented iray works there.
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Old 08-15-2012, 12:15 AM   #36
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Yeah, they attracted some pretty big names to work for them on this... That allone shows you should not underestimate this.
 
Old 08-15-2012, 12:34 AM   #37
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For 3ds max too? Cool. So does it need a proprietary caustics hardware, and if so, what's the speed-up, if to compare it running on a regular hardware?
 
Old 08-15-2012, 05:14 AM   #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mister3d
For 3ds max too? Cool. So does it need a proprietary caustics hardware, and if so, what's the speed-up, if to compare it running on a regular hardware?


Maya, 3ds Max and Rhino to start. All of the visualizer plugins are implementations of the Brazil SDK so it could easily expand beyond those 3 if someone has the interest and motivation to write a plugin using the Brazil SDK.

(Rhino plugin: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=razbhzrmbug&feature=plcp)

PowerVR OpenRL is the API that everything is built on. The OpenRL API allows for various hardware systems to be used including a pure CPU implementation which they've spent a good deal of time optimizing.

Driver performance is still being tuned so even if I were allowed to give numbers it would be a moving target and depend heavily on "compared to what in what scene?". It's definitely faster when the OpenRL hardware is assisting.

Last edited by thatoneguy : 08-15-2012 at 05:21 AM.
 
Old 08-22-2012, 07:21 PM   #39
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Another nice looking demonstration.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Zc1...c&feature=g-u-u
 
Old 08-23-2012, 09:54 AM   #40
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Is there an offline renderer in the works? Because I don't really see the point of a previewer that doesn't match the final render. And how much money might the ray trace card cost? The demos look cool, but not really that different from VPR in Lightwave or Preview/RayGL in modo. Both LW and modo support editing widgets and such directly in the ray traced viewport. Having the same ability in Maya would be worth a lot for me, since I've been spoiled rotten with such things by now, the cost of the hardware could be problematic.
 
Old 08-23-2012, 04:07 PM   #41
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I may be confused on the terms. Is Caustic the name of the plug-in or is it describing what it's doing?

I haven't looked at it too deep, is there a difference between this and something like LW VPR?
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Old 08-23-2012, 06:06 PM   #42
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CaptainObvious
Is there an offline renderer in the works? Because I don't really see the point of a previewer that doesn't match the final render. And how much money might the ray trace card cost?


I don't think the ray tracing card is going to break the bank. And it's been announced that the plugin is free for the first 5 licenses and then $200 after that. So total cost including card should be pretty cheap (or free if you just want the CPU).

The OpenRL card is extremely efficient--so efficient that the long term goal is to bring the same technology to smart phones even. So I have no idea what it's going to cost but the reference card is not a 1KW fire breathing 10 billion transistor power sink. Which generally means that manufacturing is similarly cheap.

Quote:
Originally Posted by WyattHarris
I may be confused on the terms. Is Caustic the name of the plug-in or is it describing what it's doing?

I haven't looked at it too deep, is there a difference between this and something like LW VPR?


Caustic Professional is the name of the company that bought Splutterfish. Caustic Professional is now owned by Imagination Technologies (PowerVR).

The big difference between this and something like LW VPR is that it can be hardware accelerated so substantially faster than a pure CPU implementation but not limited in memory like a GPU. Also, most importantly it's in Max and Maya which if you're a max or maya user makes it infinitely more useful than lightwave or modo's implementation.

Last edited by thatoneguy : 08-23-2012 at 06:10 PM.
 
Old 09-29-2012, 04:43 PM   #43
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Just in case you had not read the post under General Discussions here.
http://forums.cgsociety.org/showthr...p?f=2&t=1071784

The post includes some links to vimeo movies about the product.
The latest release is Beta6 for Maya2012 and Maya2013.
Caustic Visualizer is free and its getting better with each revision thanks to feedback from our forum users.

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Old 09-29-2012, 04:43 PM   #44
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