Monday, November 28, 2011

Temporary solution for Ompf forum

Since the forum (the one and only forum for ray tracing aficionados) has been down for over a week, and only the administrator can bring it back online, Jacco Bikker has set up a server with a temporary replacement for the forum (see comments in the previous post) and asked me to point the readers of this blog who frequented ompf (and who are -like me- craving for a daily dose of ray tracing news with accompanying withdrawal symptoms) to the new address at:

UPDATE: there's an interesting discussion and technical details on the improvements in the Brigade path tracer in this topic

Friday, November 25, 2011

New videos of Brigade!

The developers behind the Brigade path tracer (Jacco Bikker and Jeroen van Schijndel) have released two very impressive videos on Youtube and the jump in quality and performance is quite huge. The scene in the video runs smoothly on just one GTX 470 at 8spp and 640x360 render resolution (1280x720 display resolution) with very little noise:

This latest version of the Brigade path tracer contains at least two major improvements compared to previous versions: multiple importance sampling and a Blinn shader for glossy materials (e.g. the floor) which greatly enhances the realism of the scene (and seems to converge very fast). The kernel now runs on the GPU only.

Very impressive what they have achieved so far. With an extra GPU, the noise should almost vanish and become imperceptible after playing a while. And with Nvidia's Kepler and AMD's compute-focused GCN (HD7000) on the horizon, this path tracer is going to become very interesting (when the code will be ported to OpenCL in AMD's case). Something like real-time photorealistic chess rendered on the GPU is very close now. Jacco also mentions in the comments under the video that a new game is in the works with support for animated objects (including skeletal animation).

The mere thought of having truly real-time, photoreal global illumination in games is the most exciting thing that has happened in computer graphics over the past ten years. The last time I was this excited was with the introduction of real-time lighting and shadowing with normal mapping in Doom 3, first shown to the world on the MacWorld Expo 2001:

I can't wait to get my hands dirty and experiment with the new Brigade code.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

CentiLeo paper available

A paper about the out-of-core GPU ray tracer CentiLeo, entitled "Out-of-core GPU ray tracing of complex scenes" is available at ACM here: (behind a paywall).

If you don't have an ACM subscription, you can still read a free version of the paper by downloading the file "Supplemental files" under the tab "Source Materials" on the same page.

The paper contains an interesting analysis of the overhead of the out-of-core GPU ray tracing algorithm compared to the in-core Aila/Laine GPU ray tracing algorithm.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Photorealistic animation rendered with Octane Render from within 3ds Max UPDATE: new video of Octane/3ds Max integration

Details about the scene and system used are in the video description (average rendertime 2.5 min at 720p HD resolution with only 1 GTX580).

Besides the fact that it looks so unbelievably real, the most interesting part about this animation is that it was rendered from within 3ds Max, using an in-development plug-in version of Octane Render that is completely integrated with the Max software. This will enable users to edit, move, add and delete geometry and lights in the scene and see the results instantly rendered in the viewport with Octane Render's photorealistic quality. It also eliminates the lengthy per-frame export times (in some cases longer than the actual rendertime of the frame itself) which will do wonders for animation rendering. I think this integration is going to become Octane's new killer feature which will take insanely fast photorealistic rendering on the GPU to the next level.

UPDATE: a new video appeared on the Octane Render forum, showing fully integrated Octane in the 3ds Max environment: