Monday, December 18th, 2017 Posted by Jim Thacker

Otoy releases OctaneRender for Unity

Otoy has released OctaneRender for Unity, a new edition of its GPU-based renderer for Unity Technologies’ game engine, providing a PBR viewport within the Unity editor and support for rendering cinematics.

The software is free for use on a single GPU and available on a subscription basis for multiple GPUs.

Use OctaneRender inside Unity for look dev work or pre-rendered content
Announced last year at Unite Los Angeles, OctaneRender for Unity makes Otoy’s GPU-based production renderer available inside Unity, both as a viewport preview and for rendering offline content.

The integration, which supports both standard Unity materials and OctaneRender’s own materials – OSL is coming in future releases – provides a real-time PBR viewport within the Unity editor for look dev work.

As well as the beauty pass, it’s possible to display individual render passes, lighting contributions and information passes within the viewport.

The separate OctaneRender Recorder can be used to render animations or frame sequences created using Unity’s Timeline offline, either as cinematics or for VR and AR content, for which there are a range of presets.

OctaneRender for Unity can also import content in Otoy’s ORBX format generated by other editions of OctaneRender, or export ORBX files for rendering via ORC, Otoy’s subscription-only cloud rendering service.

Lightmap baking now in beta, support for real-time projects may come next year
The initial release also includes beta support for baking lightmaps within OctaneRender for Unity.

The system should work on legacy Unity scenes, with Otoy claiming that it provides “10x the speeds of current solutions” – presumably including the new Progressive Lightmapper introduced in Unity 5.6.

What you can’t currently do – and what many users will be most interested in doing – is to use OctaneRender in Play or Game mode: that is, in actual real-time Unity projects.

Otoy’s blog post hints that this will change with the release of OctaneRender 4.0, which is due to incoporate the firm’s Brigade real-time path tracing engine, and which is currently scheduled for next year.

However, it’s worth noting that Otoy has a way to go on its roadmap for OctaneRender before that can happen: to date, we haven’t had version 3.1 of the software, originally scheduled for last summer.

Pricing and availability
OctaneRender for Unity is available now for Unity 2017.1+ running on Windows only.

As a CUDA-based solution, you need a compatible Nvidia graphics card – which rules out current Mac Pros and MacBook Pros – though Otoy is “working on an integration with AMD for Apple workstations”.

The renderer is free to use on a single GPU, but for multiple GPUs, you’ll need a paid subscription.

A Studio subscription costs $20/month, supports two GPUs, and provides access to an OctaneRender plugin for one additional DCC application – the Nuke and After Effects plugins come free, as does access to ORC.

A Creator subscription costs $60/month, supports 20 GPUs, and provides access to three additional plugins.

Read a full list of features in OctaneRender for Unity
(Includes link to download the free Prime edition)

Read Otoy’s FAQs document for OctaneRender for Unity