The Aqsis team has posted a preview video for version 2.0 of the open-source RenderMan-compliant renderer, demonstrating its new rendering core.
According to a post on CGTalk from Project Lead Paul Gregory, render speed is the focus of the new release.
“One of the negative points of comparison that has always been that of speed. Aqsis is perceived, often correctly, as being significantly slower than alternative RenderMan-compatible renderers. We have been working to address that. While there is some way to go before this work is fully capable and integrated back into the core product, it is clear to see that significant progress has been made in this area.”
The latest post on the Aqsis blog also names speed, render quality and simplicity of use as primary goals of the upcoming release, and notes that this has meant considerable changes to the code base.
On the subject of speed, developer Chris Foster comments: “The Aqsis sampler code is geared toward dealing with single micropolygons at a time, but it seems better for the unit of allocation and sampling to be the micropolygon grid as a whole.”
And on the subject of simplicity: “The old code has a lot of accumulated wisdom, but in many places it’s complex and hard to follow. Hopefully hindsight will lead us toward a simpler implementation.”