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MachStudio Pro photo-realistic rendering

Posted: November 05, 2009
There have been several CG artsits asking if MachStudio Pro (which lets you work and adjust images in real-time) can produce the kind of photo-realistic images that architectural and product visualization professionals need.

To help answer this question, StudioGPU's lead scientist rendered several images in the style of V-Ray. The images and video produced for the StudioGPU blog were an example without too much fussing (basically set up and tweaked in about 5 hrs from model download to final render).

The images are from the Evermotion Archexteriors vol 9. All lighting, materials, AO and HDR exposures were set up in MachStudio Pro.

The StudioGPU blog has links to two high res images and one video which are worth checking out.

Modern exterior rendered at 1200 X 1469 at x36 samples anti-aliasing in 84 sec.

Airport terminal rendered at 1000 X 1200 at x36 samples anti-aliasing in 51 sec

The 200 frame MP4 video at 850 X 480 rendered in about 2 hrs.
Posted: April 15, 2010
I have been looking into it and it really seems very impressive. This are great times for 3D artists and modelers because the whole panorama of rendering seems to be starting to move to faster real-time, near real-time rendering or at least much, much faster rendering anyway.

It seems that this software program in particular has a much more modern rendering technology that renders high quality scenes that are comparable to the same scenes rendered in other slower rendering engines but way, way faster.

But this trend is starting to happen all over the place, witness the Hypershot renderer that already rendered very fast using only CPUs and now it has support for CUDA and renders using CPU and GPUs together so is even faster.

Several other renderers are also making the move toward GPU computing with very huge performance gains too. Some good examples are the unbiased renderers that were more physically accurate but had the tendency to be very slow and now with GPU acceleration are running way, way faster. One of those is Octane unbiased renderer which is in beta 2 and now has CUDA support and is working much, much faster than older unbiased renderers.

The Luxrender renderer people (a free open source unbiased renderer) are also starting to do several tests with GPU acceleration with similar results but this is in the early testing stages.

There are other GPU based renderers that are also showing a lot of promise in this area like the FurryBall renderer for Maya.

Now, the GPU acceleration is only part of the game because some of these newer renderers are also using more modern algorithms to render much faster than the old ones, witness how fast Hypershot was already even without GPU acceleration but there has been talk for several years of faster raytracing and faster global illumination etc. so newer software was starting to make use of newer faster algorithms but now with the new GPU computing added into the mix this is changing the rendering panorama, it's a whole new ballgame.

I think that because of the results that have been obtained with these newer rendering methods have shown such tremendous performance gains the rest of the 3D software industry will have to respond to this changes and rise to the challenge.

I think that is likely that most mayor companies that produce rendering software will have to adapt their engines to run on GPUs or they will have to produce more efficient rendering methods to remain competitive or they will be left out.

Because of this I expect mayor changes in the next few years in rendering software performance. I would not be surprised to see that in the next ten years those long waiting times for high quality rendering disappear altogether and artists gain the freedom of doing virtually whatever they want without needing a plethora of computers to do it and I would not be surprised if one day in the near future rendering farms become completely obsolete. Time will tell.