Refractive Software bought out by Otoy


The makers of Octane Render has been bought out by Otoy. Now I see why they kept under the radar for a while on forums and no new version has been released. I don’t like to upload all my data to the cloud. Especially with a small bandwith.

Autodesk is also involved with Otoy.


Thanks for the info, michibe, I thought about buying the octane render-plugin for max but now I think it’s better to wait and see. What I don’t understand is that the article talks about a cloud rendering software, but in fact it’s a gpu based renderer (! I wonder if the octane renderer will be part of the next max-release if it’s true and AD is involved too :wink:

Best regards


Yes its a GPU renderer. But if they rende rit all in the cloud like autodesk showed off some time ago with iray you can use it withhin 3dsmax and it renders in real real-time but not just interactive manner.

Three months ago they told us (their customers) that instances and the new core will be available in a few weeks. This update was so long waited because it would skip the need of re-exporting geometry with each frame which resulted in longer export per frame than the actual rendering of it.
So with the new core and the new bunch of interactive tool integration they could switch to the cloud service.
They went under the radar and no statement from then still…its not so cool at the moment because I make money with renderings and would like to know if I look out for another GPU renderer.


Yes, its rendered on gpu, but if otoy is going to use it that means you’ll then have to upload it to the cloud and it’ll be rendered there.

I dont think it will be part of the next max release. They just showed rendering with iray via amazon.


I gave up on Octane a long time ago, my licenses have gone to waste. I hope things get better now. Have they ever made it to version 1 yet? What will this do for people who own a license?


I am also one of their customers. I am wondering if they will still let us upgrade for free when their stable version releases.


I also bought into the “Beta” program at the reduced rate for €99 - The basis of my purchase was relying on:


The ongoing OctaneRender® beta program allows users to buy a license for OctaneRender® Standalone Edition and integrated plugin products, at half the normal retail price. Your beta license will also be valid for the final v1.0 Edition release, and subsequent dot releases such as v1.1, v1.2, etc, and will allow a reduced upgrade cost to future v2.0 releases.

It would seem now that v1.x and any future v2.0 will be vapour ware as the current beta version gets “blended” in with whatever OTAY are going to do with it? So in effect we have paid €99 for the pleasure of owning a BETA application, nothing more, the promise of v1.x seems no more?



I accepted this as a reality when they were a year behind schedule. Still waiting on their Cubix replacement before the end of 2010. lol


Looks like we paid for the development so the app could be sold to another bidder? Nothing more, nothing less.

I reckon we are investors :smiley: - where is my dividend?



Perhaps we all should go to their forum and ask them directly what will happen to our licenses :slight_smile:


They will not answer it appears.


That’s just great. Oh well not the first time I wasted money on 3d stuff. At least I got a couple good renders out of Octane.


It has been 10 days without a single word.


Haha, so my “lifetime license” won in one of their contests is pretty much worthless. Not that I have used it in well over a year.


“I gave up on Octane a long time ago, my licenses have gone to waste. I hope things get better now. Have they ever made it to version 1 yet? What will this do for people who own a license?”

If it is any consolation ,I had read that one of their main programmers left refractive to help develop the GPU based Cycles engine for Blender 2.6
from the recent features added,it appears to be upon a decent roadmap to maturity
and all “licenses” of it will be Free for everyone as part of blender of course.



i guess its a good thing that when i got the license it was going for a cheap price.


Radiance just posted an update (text formatted as it was originally posted):

Hi All,

Sorry for not replying earlier but i have been quite busy lately...
The  venturebeat article came out too early and i was going to write an  official announcement on the site today. (will follow soon)

First of all, I sold Refractive and Octane to OTOY Inc.
As you all know, our baby is growing up and needs to leave the home into the world, to grow up.

I  have worked myself into hospital (twice) over the last years to create  almost single handedly (and with the help of a few other excellent  programmers after the first 6 months),
a renderer that competes favorably with iRay, Arion, you name it.
I cannot continue like this, it is bad for my health.

Also, due to the recession, It is not possible for RS to grow past 3-4 employees, limiting growth.
There  is also a possibility that RS goes bankrupt within say the next year  and then nobody has nothing anymore, and I am stuck with debt for life.
Selling  RS has secured my personal future, I never need to worry about money  again, and while you may be very envious of that, think of all the free  time i will have to develop new projects in the future, and I have a lot  of good ideas.

Here are a few very important answers to your questions:

[b]1. Nothing will change for you and your licenses. Prices, free v1.0 final for beta licenses, etc... everything remains the same.[/b]
  1. v2.0, which is still a long way off, will not become expensive.
  1. OTOY Inc. is only 40 people big, so not a big corporation.

  2. They develop cloud technology and actor capturing technology so they do not have people right now (at this very day) to start work on Octane, they will be hiring/expanding, so expect things to slowly chang during the next few months, it’s a lot of logistics work. I can say that Sam Lapere is joining us in a couple of weeks (a coder with an excellent blog), and much more coders during the next months, development will skyrocket.

  3. We will have offices in NZ (development) and LA (development, management), so we can offer faster support in different timezones.

  4. Octane standalone and the plugins will remain as they are, and cloud versions will be optional, eg, you will be able to buy Octane v2.0 or whatever in the future to run on your machine.[/b]

  5. Autodesk HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH THIS.[/b] OTOY Just develops cloud tech for them that’s it. They have no say or any contact at all with the octane team. They cannot interfere with it either as they do not have any control whatsoever. I personally don’t even know anyone at Autodesk, it’s a cloud thing between the cloud department at OTOY and Autodesk only. The AutoCAD plugin is purely coincidental.

  6. Regarding blender, we are still evaluating options for a blender plugin product. It’s quite difficult due to the GPL restrictions on linking the octane engine into blender, and we wonder if the demand is big enough, since brecht joined our company, only to vanish 2 weeks later with a copy of our engine code and 4 months later announce ‘cycles’, which is now integrated into blender. Maybe a poll would be in order here to see what demand there is, as it costs time and money to develop these plugin products.[/b]

  7. I (eg, Radiance) will stay working in the OTOY New Zealand and LA offices, managing octane development, aswell as all the current staff of Refractive Software LTD, eg nobody is going to go.[/b] I will be titled ‘Chief Graphics Architect’ at OTOY Inc. (sounds pretty spiffy eh I don’t care much for titles though, they came up with it )

    I understand some of you will reconsider helping new customers with questions on the site due to this announcement, but the truth is that it’s going to take us at least 1-2 months to train people to provide support, so I ask everyone considering stopping offering help to reconsider for a short while, until we have the trained manpower we need. Just do it for me, and my gift to you of a 99 Euro GPU engine

    I hope this answers most of your questions, and please ask me more, I will respond here…



I guess he did the right thing for his company :slight_smile:


As much as I disliked a lot of the business decisions made in the past, I can respect the sale to OTOY. Here’s hoping Octane has a bright future and Radiance’s health recovers.


Formal announcement with a bit more information regarding OTOY as a company and the future of Octane:

Refractive Software® and OctaneRender® now part of something bigger…

We are very pleased to announce that Refractive Software® had been acquired by OTOY® Inc.

OTOY® has been a strong partner of Refractive Software® since 2010, we finally agreed this progression was the next logical step for us to take.
All of us want to see OctaneRender® get to the next level, from both a business and technology perspective. When we found the right partner to make this happen, the opportunity was clear and the timing was right.
We are now 40 people strong, and that is a big change from the size we were at before.

What does this means for Octane Render?

First, there will be more corporate resources, engineers and staff which is currently being hired to work on the product - making OctaneRender® the best possible product it can be. I (Radiance) will become the Chief Graphics Architect at OTOY®, and remain the lead developer and architect of OctaneRender®.

There are some very talented people at OTOY® - including Paul Debevec, the inventor of the HDRI map as we all use today, whose LightStage® technology has been successfully commercialized by OTOY® since 2008. Last year, Autodesk® invested in OTOY’s cloud rendering technology.

All that OTOY® is involved with is now potentially part of Octane’s roadmap as we move forward as one company.

Jules Urbach, the CEO of OTOY®, started out as an OctaneRender® customer, just like everyone else on the licensed customer forums. His passion for OctaneRender® and his faith in this product is a big part of why this has happened.

Rest assured, the development team is more focused than ever, and OctaneRender® is not being changed or tampered with; we are not dropping plug-in support for any 3rd party products, and we are not altering the price-point of the final 1.0 product (199e), nor changing any promises we have made regarding beta licenses etc…

During the course of the next few months, we plan to focus 100% on getting OctaneRender® out of beta and into final release. This means final release of our major plug-ins for many 3D animation and modeling packages, some have been announced and some not yet, as well as instancing and other core rendering features that go alongside that.
Once this milestone is behind us, we will complete the transition to a brand new website, improved community forums and payment system to a new back-end being worked on at OTOY® LA.

Developing OctaneRender® has been an incredible experience, and we couldn’t have made it here with you all of you. With the team backing OctaneRender® today, the future of the product we all care so much about is looking better than ever.

Radiance (aka Terrence Vergauwen), Jules Urbach and the OctaneRender® Team.