Thursday, October 8th, 2015 Posted by Jim Thacker

Autodesk Labs unveils Autodesk Raytracer for Max

Autodesk Raytracer in Revit 2016. Autodesk Labs has released a plugin implementing the physically based renderer in 3ds Max as a free tech preview. Unlike the Revit version, it exports both stills and animations.

Autodesk Labs has launched a free technology preview of Autodesk Raytracer (ART) for 3ds Max, a plugin that provides “easy-to-use physically based rendering” within the software, both locally and in the cloud.

The technology was originally developed for Autodesk’s design and engineering tools, but it has obvious potential applications in entertainment or visualisation work.

Previews launched in Autodesk Labs also often make their way into commercial builds of 3ds Max – as with the crowd animation tools, formerly Project Geppetto – so it’s an opportunity to provide early user feedback.

Simple, cloud-enabled physically based rendering
Autodesk Raytracer is already integrated into design tools like Revit 2016, AutoCAD and Showcase.

Intended as an alternative to mental ray or iray, it provides a simple set of parameters for controlling render quality, resolution and properties.

There aren’t many details on Autodesk Labs, but you can see the options for the Revit version here.

Renders can be run locally, or sent to the cloud. Multiple cloud jobs can be processed in parallel, and unlike the A360 cloud rendering service introduced in 3ds Max 2016, you can render animations as well as stills.

During the tech preview, stills can only be rendered in PNG format, and the resolution is capped at 4,000 x 2,000 pixels, while rendered animations are capped at 720p resolution.

Pricing and availability
Autodesk Raytracer for 3ds Max is available as a free technology preview until 31 December 2015. You’ll need to be using 3ds Max 2016, but it will work with the trial version of the software.

Download Autodesk Raytracer for 3ds Max from Autodesk Labs
(Registration required)