Tuesday, September 14th, 2021 Posted by Jim Thacker

Maxon releases public beta of Redshift RT

New features from recent builds of Redshift, Maxon’s GPU production renderer. The firm has just made Redshift RT, the software’s new real-time preview mode, available as a public beta.

Maxon has made Redshift RT, the new real-time render mode in Redshift, its GPU production renderer for 3ds Max, Blender, Cinema 4D, Houdini and Maya, available in public beta.

The much-anticipated new mode provides a near-real-time preview of a Redshift scene for look development and scene layout work, using a mixture of rasterisation and ray tracing.

The news was announced at the 3D and Motion Design Show, alongside updates to other Maxon apps, including Cinema 4D R25, Trapcode Suite 17, VFX Suite 2, Magic Bullet Suite 14 and Universe 5.

Maxon’s 2020 preview of Redshift RT, posted by concept artist and matte painter Saul Espinosa.

New hybrid render mode provides a real-time preview of a Redshift scene
Previewed last year, Redshift RT is a hybrid rasterisation/ray tracing mode that provides near-real-time feedback on complex scenes, supporting the same materials and lights as the main Redshift renderer.

It uses Microsoft’s DXR (DirectX Raytracing) API for hardware acceleration, so it is currently Windows-only.

The 2020 demo, which you can see at 05:20 in the video above, showed Nvidia’s Attic USD test scene inside Redshift for Maya, running on a Razer gaming laptop with a Nvidia GeForce GTX 2080 Mobile GPU.

Interactive performance in Redshift RT is noticeably better than in Redshift’s existing interactive render preview, and the resulting image is less noisy.

Maxon is now expanding the initial closed alpha to an open beta, making it possible for any registered user to test the new render mode, which is available in Redshift 3.0.56, the latest release.

Public beta is suitable for look dev or less demanding final renders
Maxon describes RT as “perfect for artists to use during the development process of a project or even final render if the project does not need the same amount of fidelity as standard Redshift”.

Judging by the Redshift Trello board, its use in final-frame rendering would currently be quite limited: key features not yet supported include AOVs, motion blur, depth of field, subsurface scattering and displacement.

In addition, Redshift RT does not currently support multiple GPUs.

Pricing and system requirements
Redshift 3.0.56 is available for Windows 10, Linux and macOS 11.5+. The plugins are compatible with 3ds Max 2014+, Blender 2.83+, Cinema 4D R18+, Houdini 17.0+ (18.0+ on macOS), Katana 3.0v1+ and Maya 2016.5.

The software is now available rental-only, with individual subscriptions costing $45/month or $264/year.

Updated 16 September: For Redshift RT, Maxon recommends at least a Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 GPU.

The firm told us: “[The 3080] has a decent VRAM amount at 10GB, but most importantly more RT cores which are heavily utilised by Redshift RT. Nothing older than the RTX generation GPUs should be used.”

See an overview of the new features in Redshift on the software’s Trello board

Read more about Redshift on Maxon’s website