This is the first release of Standalone version 2. A lot of work went into this release and some features have been in the making for almost a year. Beta testing started in April and although the testers kept us quite busy, I'm sure not all quirks have been found and will be exposed in the coming days. We will fix them as soon as possible while we move on.
Before I give an overview of the new features, some more organisational things:
- Some general information and pricing can be found here.
- Although we gave the plugin developers access to the 2.0 SDK as soon as possible, they had (and still have) a lot of work to integrate everything into the plugins. Only because features are easy to use doesn't mean, they are easy to implement and integrate So bear with the developers if they can't release a plugin upgrade immediately. They are working as hard and fast as they can.
- We still have to figure out how we are going to synchronize plugin and Standalone releases. In the past it wasn't critical, but now with network rendering, plugins and slaves (currently provided with the Standalone version) need to have exactly the same version otherwise they don't work together. We have a bunch of options and we will see what works best.
- The 2.0 demo version is available now and can be downloaded in the OctaneRender downloads sections.
- You can find the online help in the Standalone under
Help -> Open Online Manual...or here.
Quick fix update (13/6/2014)
There have been three issues we found or were reported and which we wanted to fix as soon as possible. They didn't warrant a new version, so I replaced the installers on the web server. The fixed problems are:
- Fixed a bug that caused net render slave results being discarded when you save the current render result as HDR image (it was a problem on the slave side, see viewtopic.php?f=27&t=40510).
- Alembic files that are larger than 2GB are now loaded correctly on Windows (Mac OS X and Linux didn't have this problem).
- Made the Windows version run on Windows XP again.
Overview of Changes
The following list is an overview of the major changes. Since Octane is a GPU renderer, there are some limitations which are hard to overcome, which is why some features come with some caveats. Those will be highlighted. For detailed information, please check out the manual.
- Displacement mapping: It's a new pin in the material nodes, which allows you to create detailed surfaces without providing such a detailed geometry but by using a detailed image texture (height map) instead. The way it works, the geometry must not and should not be very detailed. Displacement mapping is currently limited to image textures and UV mapping only. We are also aware of some artifacts that can occur on strongly curved convex meshes when a negative offset is applied. We are working on it and try to fix it as soon as possible.
- Hair rendering: This feature consists of a new primitive, that allows you to store and render hair much more efficiently than using triangles. The Alembic importer supports reading spline/polyline data and converting it into hair primitives, by either using the hair thickness stored in the Alembic file (if available at all) or using the default thickness specified in the import preferences. But the real power of hair unfolds if it's used by one of the integration plugins.
- Object motion blur: Object motion blur will become visible as soon you render a scene with moving objects (for example from an Alembic file) and the shutter interval that is no 0. If sub-frame motion data is provided (i.e. multiple transformations during one shutter interval) that data is taken into account to. In other words, objects can describe quite complex movements during one shutter interval.
- Vertex motion blur: If vertex positions are animated or vertex speeds are provided, that movement is rendered with motion blur, too. Vertex motion blur is currently limited to triangle and hair primitives and to one linear movement during the shutter interval.
- Sun light with user defined texture as sky: Provided by two new pins in the daylight environment node - "Sky texture" and "Importance sampling". The latter one toggles the importance sampling of the sky texture (similar to the texture environment node).
- Random colour texture: This is a texture that calculates random greyscale values for instances of the same mesh. These colours are stable as long as the geometry graph and instance count is stable. To convert from greyscale to a colour you can use the gradient texture node.
- Local DB: Allows some simple asset management in OctaneRender Standalone. You can find it next to the Live DB tab and you can set the root directory in the application preferences.
- Changes in the UI: The aim of the changes was to reduce clutter in the user node inspector. Any feedback is very welcome. Some hints: To enter numbers via the keyboard, you have to right-click the numeric fields. The right mouse button also provides the mouse slider functionality.
- Region rendering: It's a new tool next to the camera target picker in the render viewport toolbar. When enabled you can select a rectangular area to which the rendering will be restricted. Some additional feathered border is placed around the selected area. Region rendering also has a second mode: If you have a render region enabled and you make a change in the scene that would restart rendering, only the render region is wiped and the feathering of the borders is disabled.
- OpenSubDiv: It's a new import preference of mesh nodes and scene node graphs (Alembic). There you can specify the amount of sub-division you want to have (be careful with high settings), how much edges / corners should be rounded and which method should be used. Alembic files usually define which objects should be subdivided and which should not. You can also override this by subdividing everything.
- Rounded edges shading: A new float value pin in the material nodes, which controls how large the "virtual" bevel/chamfer should be (in meters). Rounded edges can be rendered only on geometry that has shared vertices.
- Stereo rendering: The thinlens camera node got two more options to control stereo rendering - "Stereo mode" and "Stereo output".
- Network rendering: Can be enabled via the application preferences. It allows you to use multiple computers (the master plus one or more slaves) to render one image. Conceptually the slave computers are handled like additional GPUs. Since the slave is basically a special build of Octane Standalone it (currently) requires a standalone license to run.
The total number of GPUs (local + remote GPUs) allowed is 12.
Since last week we also experienced problems with network rendering on Mac OS 10.9, which seem to be caused by big delays during time critical system calls. -> Network rendering doesn't work on Mac OS 10.9 at the moment.
Since the setup of network rendering requires multiple programs to work together, I would like to refer to the manual for details.
- 64-bit installer
- 32-bit installer
Mac OS X
- 64-bit installer
- 64-bit archive
Your OTOY NZ Team