Sunday, March 3rd, 2024 Posted by Jim Thacker

DreamWorks Animation releases MoonRay 1.5

DreamWorks Animation has released MoonRay 1.5, the latest update to the open-source version of its in-house production renderer.

The ray tracing renderer, used on animated features like The Bad Guys and Puss in Boots: The Last Wish, has been updated to support VFX Reference Platform 2023.

A high-performance Monte Carlo ray tracer, used on all recent DreamWorks movies
Open-sourced last year, along with Arras, DreamWorks’ in-house cloud rendering framework, MoonRay is a high-performance Monte Carlo ray tracer.

It was designed with the aim of keeping “all the cores of all the machines busy all the time”, and has an hybrid GPU/CPU rendering mode with “100% output matching” to CPU rendering.

MoonRay is capable of both stylized and photorealistic output, and has the key features you would expect of a VFX renderer, including AOVs/LPEs, deep output and Cryptomatte.

It comes with a Hydra render delegate, hdMoonRay, making it possible to integrate MoonRay as a viewport renderer in DCC applications that support Hydra delegates, like Houdini and Katana.

MoonRay 1.5: support for VFX Reference Platform 2023
MoonRay 1.5 introduces support for the CY2023 specification of VFX Reference Platform, and for Rocky Linux 9, on which MoonRay can now be built, in addition to CentOS.

According to the release notes, CY2023 support makes it possible to use hdMoonRay in Nuke 15, the current version of Foundry’s compositing software.

The update also features the initial implementation of a new adaptive light sampling scheme.

MoonRay 1.1 to 1.4: GPU denoising and initial support for VR rendering
Other new features since the release of MoonRay 1.0 include a new ramp control for volumes, and a telemetry overlay system.

The software also now supports GPU render denoising via Open Image Denoise 2, and XPU mode – hybrid CPU/GPU rendering – is now MoonRay’s default render mode.

In addition, there is now a separate development branch of MoonRay with support for VR rendering via the PresenZ volumetric format.

Licensing, system requirements and release dates
MoonRay is available under an open-source Apache 2.0 licence.

The software can be compiled from source on Linux only. You can find a list of dependencies and build instructions in the online documentation.

It requires a x86-64 CPU with support for AVX2, so it should run on any recent AMD or Intel CPU. GPU acceleration is based on CUDA and OptiX and requires a Nvdia GPU.

Read a full list of new features in MoonRay 1.5 in the online release notes
(Includes download links for the source code)

Read more about MoonRay on the product website

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