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Radeon ProRender for Blender gets ‘full spectrum rendering’

Thursday, September 26th, 2019 | Posted by Jim Thacker

AMD has released a beta preview of a feature it calls “full spectrum rendering” in Radeon ProRender for Blender, the Blender edition of its free, physically accurate GPU renderer.

The new viewport rendering mode is a Vulkan-based hybrid rasterisation/ray tracing system, enabling users to balance visual quality against performance.

New rendering mode balances the speed of rasterisation against the visual quality of ray tracing
Updated for Blender 2.80 earlier this year, Radeon ProRender for Blender uses path tracing for final-quality rendering, for which it uses the hardware-agnostic OpenCL API.

The new full spectrum rendering backend, based on the newer Vulkan API, is for viewport rendering only, and uses a user-controllable mixture of rasterisation and ray tracing.

The base render is rasterised, onto which Radeon ProRender can add ray traced effects including reflection, refraction and ambient occlusion, achieved using “compute shaders and smart denoising”.

By adjusting the renderer’s quality settings, users can change the balance between rasterisation and ray tracing, enabling them to trade interactive performance against the visual quality of the output.

AMD describes the new rendering mode as filling a “wide gap” between OpenGL viewports like Blender 2.80’s new Eevee renderer and full path tracers like Blender’s existing Cycles render engine.

According to the firm’s blog post, “users can get a more interactive experience like Eevee with more physically correct soft shadows, reflections and refractions”.

Available in preview for Windows 10 only
Currently, the new full spectrum rendering functionality is available as a beta feature in Radeon ProRender 2.0.133 for Blender, available for Windows 10 only.

The Linux and macOS editions also get an update, Radeon ProRender 2.0.132 for Blender, which adds support for denoising in viewport renders, although it’s otherwise largely a bugix release.

You can read a full list of changes in both versions via the link below.

Availability and system requirements
Radeon ProRender 2.0.133 for Blender is compatible with Blender 2.80 on Windows 10 only.

Previous builds of Radeon ProRender 2.x for Blender are compatible with Windows 7/10, Ubuntu 16.04/18.04 and macOS 10.13.3+. All are free downloads.

Read more about full spectrum rendering in Radeon ProRender for Blender on AMD’s blog
(Includes a download link for the beta preview build)

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