Monday, December 17th, 2018 Posted by Jim Thacker

Uppercut launches U-Render in early access

U-Render, Uppercut’s real-time PBR render engine for Cinema 4D, in action. Formerly known as Tachyon Render, the engine renders the scene above at 14fps on a Nvidia GTX 1060 GPU at 1,920 x 960px resolution.

Originally posted on 2 April 2018. Scroll down for news of the early access release.

Uppercut broadcast & visual technologies has renamed Tachyon Render, its much-anticipated real-time physically based render engine for Cinema 4D, to U-Render.

The firm has also posted a detailed feature list for the software, which will go on show at NAB 2018.

A genuine real-time render engine with good support for Cinema 4D’s native features
Tachyon Render attracted a lot of interest on community forums when the first teaser video for the renderer was posted back in 2016.

Users were attracted by the prospect of genuine real-time rendering – the software is designed more like a game engine than a conventional offline renderer – with good support for Cinema 4D’s core features.

OpenGL-based PBR shading, with automatic conversion of native C4D materials
Since then, things have been quieter, although Uppercut did launch a Vimeo channel with more previews.

The change of branding, which is accompanied by a new product website, brings some real detail about U-Render, including a complete feature list for the software.

As well as its own PBR materials – it supports specular/glossiness and metallic/roughness workflows – U-Render now supports Cinema 4D’s native shader, baking it to a 2D texture at the resolution chosen.

The software also comes with an automated converter for Cinema 4D materials,

It supports screen-space reflections, transparency, emissivity, plus normal, bump and displacement maps; and supports C4D’s texture projections, meaning that it isn’t necessary to create UV maps for models.

Support for basic lights, cameras, instances and MoGraph cloners
U-Render supports a limited range of light types – you get spot, point and directional lights, but not area, target or IES lights – with real-time hard or soft shadow maps, plus image-based lighting.

As well as the standard perspective camera, it comes with its own top, side and isometric views, with support for a range of effects, including DoF, bloom, vignetting and chromatic aberration.

U-Render also supports Cinema 4D instances, MoGraph cloners and multi-pass rendering, but not – at least in the initial release – particles, splines, hair, volumetrics, and spherical or panoramic output.

Updated 24 August 2018: Uppercut has released U-Render as a free public beta.

As well as the limitations noted above, the initial release does not support animation or motion blur, although Uppercut plans to introduce this during the beta period. You can find more details via the link below.

Updated 17 December 2018: U-Render has now moved into early access.

The release is described as a bridge between the free beta and an eventual, more expensive stable 1.0 release, and includes 12 months of updates.

Uppercut has posted an approximate U-Render development roadmap on its website, with the 1.0 release currently expected around September 2019.

Pricing and availability
U-Render is available in early access for Windows 10 only. The integration plugin is compatible with Cinema 4D R16+. As the renderer is OpenGL-based, it should support any modern Nvidia or AMD GPU.

A node-locked licence currently costs €199 (around $225); floating licences will cost €299 ($340), and are expected to become available in “early 2019”.

Prices will rise by €200 over the course of the early access period, phased in in increments.

Read a full list of features in U-Render on Uppercut’s product website

Read more about the U-Render early access program