Tuesday, November 8th, 2011 Posted by Jim Thacker

Refractive Software unveils OctaneRender for 3ds Max

An animation rendered in OctaneRender for 3ds Max. You can see full specs for the demo here.

Refractive Software has announced OctaneRender for 3ds Max, a new plugin embedding its GPU-based physically accurate renderer directly within Autodesk’s industry-standard 3D software.

According to a post on the company’s forums, OctaneRender for 3ds Max will offer “a fast workflow and rendering pipeline suitable for interactive editing and fast final rendering output by using Max’s environment for scene setup, fine-tuning and animating all parameters for objects, materials, lights, media, etc.”

Although the plugin makes all of Octane Render’s* features accessible through 3ds Max, it does not make it an ActiveShade render engine, instead using a custom render interface, shown in the video below.

OctaneRender for 3ds Max in action.

OctaneRender for 3ds Max is due for an open beta release on 1 December. The plugin will cost €99 (around $135) during the beta, rising to €199 ($270) on its commercial release.

However, unlike V-Ray or finalRender, OctaneRender for 3ds Max is not a completely self-contained product and requires the user to have an existing licence of the standalone version of Octane Render.

Things get slightly more complicated here, since the standalone edition of Octane Render is also currently in beta, so the two can be purchased as a beta bundle at a further discount.

Refractive Software says that the two products will emerge from beta simultaneously – although, as yet, there’s no definite date for this.

The old, free 3ds Max exporter for the standalone edition of Octane Render also remains available. The company addresses the issue of pricing in more detail in its product FAQs: essentially, with the commercial version, you’re paying for tighter integration with Max and guaranteed customer support.

The company plans to announce similar plugin versions for other 3D packages over the coming months.

Read the initial announcement on the Refractive Software forums

Read a further FAQ later in the thread(Includes a discussion of pricing)

*Editor’s note: Yes, we’re not sure if it’s one word or two either. The website still refers to the standalone product as ‘Octane Render’, but the forum thread consistently refers to the plugin as ‘OctaneRender® for 3ds max®’.