Thursday, October 26th, 2023 Posted by Jim Thacker

Otoy releases OctaneRender 2023.1

Otoy has released Octane 2023.1, the latest version of the GPU production renderer.

The update adds a set of fast-rendering ‘analytic lights’ that mimic mesh lights, improves layer workflow, and adds the option to add fog, blur and lens flares to renders as post processes.

OctaneRender 2023.1’s new analytic lights, shown in renders with values of 4 samples per pixel.

New analytic lights mimic mesh lights, but generate little noise at low sample values
New features in OctaneRender 2023.1 include five new ‘analytic primitives’ that give a “fast approximation of direct light from large direct light sources on diffuse or glossy materials”.

They include a directional light, and disk, quad, sphere and tube lights, which described as “similar to mesh lights” but generating little noise at low sample values.

Improvements to layer workflow
The update also introduces support for adjustment layers in the Composite texture, making it possible to fine tune a composite at a specific point in the layer stack.

Layers can be grouped into isolated or non-isolated groups, which generate the output of the group using a transparent background and the current state of the texture stack, respectively.

Output AOV nodes have also been reworked to make them layer-based.

OctaneRender 2023.1 can apply effects like chromatic aberration (right) as post processes.

Other new features
Other changes include the option to add fog, blur, lens flares and chromatic aberration to renders as post processes, reducing calculation times at the expense of absolute accuracy.

The update also introduces animation time transforms, intended when bringing two or more animated files together; and improves output of the rounded edge shader on large angles.

So where are the major features announced for the Octane 2023 release cycle last year?
The release doesn’t include the more major features annnounced last year for the Octane 2023 release cycle, which include neural rendering, meshlet streaming, and the much-delayed integration of the Brigade spectral rendering kernel.

You can read a more recent list of features in development for 2023 in this forum post from May.

In the latest release thread, Otoy says that the next release will now be OctaneRender 2024.1 rather than OctaneRender 2023.2, but that a “test release” is “definitely happening this year”.

It will include at least one of the features from May’s list – cross-platform network rendering, which will restore network rendering to Octane X, the macOS edition, and enable users to combine machines running any operating system as render nodes on the same network.

Price and system requirements
OctaneRender 2023.1 is available for Windows, Linux and macOS.

The Windows and Linux editions are compatible with 64-bit Windows 7+ and Linux, and require a CUDA 10-capable Nvidia GPU.

The macOS edition, Octane X, is compatible with macOS 10.15.6 to macOS 12 on Macs with AMD GPUs, or macOS 13+ on Macs with Apple M1/M2 GPUs.

The software is now rental-only, via Otoy’s Studio+ subscriptions, which cost €23.95/month, and which include integration plugins for 21 DCC applications, plus a range of third-party software.

Otoy also provides free ‘Prime’ editions of both OctaneRender and Octane X, which are limited to rendering on a single GPU, and which come with a smaller set of DCC integration plugins.

Read a full list of new features in OctaneRender 2023.1 on Otoy’s forum

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