OctaneRender 4 stable is out today! One chapter wraps up while another one begins.
We're very excited to release 2018.1 XB1 today - many of you have seen the videos at Siggraph, if not here is a recap:
We plan to get to RC1 after 1-2 more XB releases (we're close to RC1, as 2018.1 is largely feature locked already - anything that requires retraining the AI denoiser from the above video is now going in 2019.1).
You may have noticed since Octane 3.08, things have been moving fast. We've gone from V3, to V4 and now 2018.1 (V5) in about 12 months. Octane 2019.1 (V6) is in active development for early next year with Vulkan and RT Core support pretty far along - and we're finally crossing into 400 OB per GPU:
Our plan going forward is to have to 2-3 major releases a year and use this faster update cycle to better incorporate more feedback from all of you.
Octane 2018.1 XB1 Release Notes
As with all experimental releases, please do not use this for production purposes. A lot of things have been changed since V4, and we're expecting more significant changes to come in XB2, which means that we may end up breaking scenes you create with experimental builds.
Important: 2018.1 XB1 will be available for those with a version 4 licence for a limited time. In order to try 2018.1 XB1 you need to upgrade your version 3 licence to a version 4 licence. You can do this for free via our web shop: https://render.otoy.com/shop/upgrade.php
2018.1 XB1 will expire in 60 days, and this is shown in the bottom right corner of the standalone. During this time we will be preparing further experimental builds, and arrive at an RC1 as soon as we are able.
What's new in 2018
- NV Link support on RTX 2080 and RTX 2080 Ti
- Vertex Attributes (Houdini/C4D plug-in soon!)
- Vectron (Vector Primitive)
- Spectron (procedural volumetric light system)
- Deep render passes
- Way less Volume Render Noise (see images below)
- Direct Levelset surface rendering (can be fed into Vectron)
- Scatter depth limiting (i.e. fast fog rendering)
- Overall 5% faster than V4 stable (about 315 OB vs 298 OB in our tests)
- GPU compressed textures are now cached (big time saver for many - based on your V4 feedback )
2018.1 XB1 Feature Overview
A cryptomatte pass contains the masks for all object layers or for all materials in a scene. These masks can be used in post-processing to select one or more materials. The masks will be correctly anti-aliased, taking into account motion blur and DOF.
Vertex and User Data Attributes
You can now use vertex colours or other vertex attributes directly in Octane while rendering materials. Octane will load and interpolate automatically both real numbers and colours over the triangles in the scene, and provide them directly to your OSL shaders.
NVLink on consumer GPUs: RTX 2080 Ti and RTX 2080
Experimental NVLink support is available in this build - giving you the ability to effectively double GPU VRAM by combining two cards into one pool of fast shared (not mirrored) memory. NV Link in this build will currently only work with 2 cards, which either need to be both Quadros, or RTX cards.
SLI mode needs to be enabled for non-Quadro GPUs (TCC mode for Quadros). Ensure you use the bridge over your cards, or you may experience a large performance drop.
Octane Vectron (Vector-Polygon) is a new procedural ‘uber’ primitive, providing infinite procedurally generated scenes, volumes, and geometry which bypass meshes and volumes. Vectron is revolutionary in that it has zero memory footprint, driving increased efficiencies when compared to meshes or volumes generated on CPUs. This enables Vectron to provide procedurally generated scenes entirely on the GPU without using GPU VRAM. Vectron provides awesome new tools in an artist’s workflow - and render triangle-free geometry using all of Octane's built in OSL and texture shaders and more.
Procedural Primitives using OSL [Open Shader Language] vector geometry nodes enable artists to create complex shapes, surfaces, volumes, warps, operators and effects. By ‘vectorizing’ meshes and volumes into Vectron objects, artists can now manipulate Vectron nodes in revolutionary new ways. Examples include: spheres, strands, sound waves, infinite planes, liquids, clouds, oceans, flow field and more.
Geometric Operators allow the procedural OSL geometry node graphs workflow to follow the same structure as OSL texture node graphs with 4D mixing, blending, and boundary operator nodes for skinning, Metaballs, and procedural resurfacing. Finally, Boolean operations are also enabled in Octane Vectron.
Octane will render SDF surfaces defined using OSL shaders directly without the need to mesh them first. You can change the surfaces with input variables without having to wait for any processing, and you can also create networks of set operations such as unions, subtractions, intersection, and their smooth variants also. None of which need to be meshed before rendering, and all compiled using OSL.
You can also easily take samples from shadertoy and feed them into the OSL Vectron geometry node like this:
Less Volume Noise with Fast Fog (new scatter depth limiting)
We have modified the way we integrate over volumes and also introduced a new mechanism that allows you to limit the scattering depth in kernel settings. Often a good result needs only a scatter depth of 2 or 3 bounces, and if you limit the scatter depth to this, you should see a good gain in performance.
We have also improved our integration which results in less noise, particularly near the boundaries of volumes. For this we keep a legacy volume rendering setting in the kernel settings, because volumes look slightly different, but render faster with less noise.
Spectron and Procedural Volumetric Lights
Octane Spectron is a procedural lighting system enabling artists to create procedurally driven volumetric lighting - like spot lights - with blockers, barn doors, gels (in the distribution pin) and more.
We introduce a basic procedural light node type in 2018.1 XB1 which can be used for quick volumetric effects and spot light generation - more can be built on this framework once RC1 is completed with the full Spectron API.
Direct Rendering of Levelset Surfaces
Octane can now render level set surfaces, including those from VDBs, such as this example below without first converting them to meshes.
These level sets will also work with Vectron, so that you can add procedural effects over surfaces defined by VDB level sets:
Current status and known issues
- Vectron is not yet complete, and you'll notice that materials are not fully supported yet.
- We may change how direct light AO behaves in volume render, because while it is more accurate now, volumes tend to be darker as a result of correctly using the AO distance, where it did not before.
- The volumetric light is very new and we anticipate there will need to be some usability changes.
- Performance-wise we have not spent significant resources to optimise 2018.1 XB1 yet because there are still some significant pending changes.
- In future Houdini exported alembic can be loaded with vertex attributes intact into Octane, but this is not yet complete.
- We are hoping that we can move the scatter depth from the kernel settings into the Medium nodes. They are currently in the kernel settings, to avoid performance issues.
Downloads for users with a regular license
regular version for Windows (installer)
regular version for Windows (ZIP archive)
Downloads for users with a subscription license
subscription version for Windows (installer)
subscription version for Windows (ZIP archive)
Vectron and Spectron Example Scenes:
A small demo with some specific samples of Vectron & (still WIP) Spectron is available below with nearly a dozen examples:
A larger demo below also includes the Bunny VDB with more examples of Vectron Displacement on a VDB:
And a tiny package with only the Spectron/Spotlight Scene:
Pricing/Upgrade from V4
UPDATE: Full FAQ on this topic is here - viewtopic.php?f=7&t=69646
Once Octane 2018.1 is stable it will be released as a paid (but we hope fair and reasonable) upgrade to this and newer releases for V4 boxed users. We are moving to an annual 'all-access' maintenance plan for all boxed licences that want updates past V4, at the same $20/month we charge for monthly subs . If you want to pay even less, it's 25% off and only $14.99/month if you sign up before Black Friday (1 year minimum, 3 years maximum at this price).
It is a good deal - and it gets you more than newer versions of Octane:
- You get an extra slave node node
- In Q1 you can also access all DCC subscription plug-ins being added to the bundle
- ORC is also covered (used to be a $10/month sub) as is RNDR.
NOTE: If you cancel this annual access plan, you can and will always be able to still use any V4 boxed licences you've already bought. You can also reset your offline dongles from 2018+ to go back to V4 offline mode - that is never going away.
V4 is a perpetual licence that is yours forever - whether you bought it or upgraded to it from V3, and We put a lot of effort into V4 to ensure that users could feel great about what they are getting even if they choose not to upgrade.