Monday, March 31st, 2014 Posted by Jim Thacker

Cebas announces moskitoRender for 3ds Max


Output from moskitoRender, cebas’s newly announced GPU-based 3ds Max renderer. Cebas says that accurate sky light rendering is one benefit of its “unapologetic” use of physically based spectral rendering.

Cebas has announced moskitoRender: a new GPU-accelerated physically based renderer for 3ds Max that the developer describes as “[possibly] the closest thing ever to completely replacing a CPU renderer”.

An unusual approach to GPU-based rendering
As well as simply being a new render engine from a well-known developer, moskitoRender has a few interesting features.

First, it doesn’t have any materials of its own, simply supporting all standard 3ds Max materials, and all of the materials from the Autodesk Material Library.

Cebas describes this approach as preventing ‘scene poisoning’: its term for the network rendering problems caused when a file is sent to a render farm using features of a plugin not installed on the render nodes.

The second is its “unapologetic use of unbiased path-tracing with physically based spectral rendering”, intended to simulate real-world illumination and camera effects directly.

Soft shadows, depth of field, motion blur, caustics, ambient occlusion and global illumination are all generated naturally by the code, without the need to add extra algorithms to fake the effects.

In particular, cebas cites “a new skylight model that is more accurate and solves several issues with existing skylight simulation models”.

What happened to finalRender 4 GPU?
If you think this all sounds eerily reminiscent of cebas’s long-awaited finalRender 4 GPU – previewed in 2011, but still not shipping – you’re probably right.

According to cebas, finalRender 4 GPU will “use moskitoRender’s core technology to transform finalRender 4 into something the industry has not seen before”.

finalRender 3.5 users who buy moskitoRender will be able to upgrade to finalRender 4 GPU on its release. The full price of moskitoRender “will be honored against [the] upgrade, so the difference will be minimal”.

Pricing and availability
What that upgrade cost will be is a moot point, since cebas hasn’t announced either pricing or a shipping date.

However, we do know the system requirements, kind of: moskitoRender will support three versions of 3ds Max back from “the current shipping version” – presumably, the version shipping when it is released.

The plugin is CUDA-based, so you’ll need an Nvidia graphics card to use it. Mixed multi-GPU set-ups are supported, but according to cebas, are “not optimal”.

Read more about moskitoRender on cebas’s website

Read the discussion thread on Max Underground about moskitoRender
(Includes interesting comments from a beta tester)