3ds Max 2013 beta tester Juan Gea compares render performance for mental ray and iray.
3ds Max 2013 beta tester Juan Gea has produced a sneak peek video showing depth of field and motion blur in the software’s GPU-accelerated iray preview renderer.
The video was uploaded to YouTube by Autodesk itself, so it’s probably best to regard it as another of the company’s in-house previews than an independent test, but it’s still an interesting look at iray’s capabilities.
Gea describes the difference in speed between iray and mental ray as “amazing”.
In his depth of field test scene, running on a workstation equipped with a 4.0GHz Core i7-2600K CPU and twin GeForce GTX 570 and 580 GPUs, the iray render takes 70 seconds to complete. mental ray takes 138 seconds, and produces noisier results.
The video raises the usual question of whether the settings for the two renderers are directly comparable, which Gea addresses in the comments thread on YouTube.
It also looks likely to reopen the thorny question of whether iray is a viable production tool or still currently more of an interesting technical novelty.
Gea admits that he usually generates depth of field and motion blur as a post effect, but comments:
“iray is simple to use and it’s fast. I use it because [for the ratio of image quality to production time] it’s a lot better than mental ray, but if you want cheaper or trickier results, you’ll always have mental ray.”