3DsMax is a computer graphics program for creating 3D models, animations, and digital images. It’s one of the most popular programs in the computer graphics industry and is well known for having a robust toolset for 3D artists.
In this article, we are going to focus on the big five: Redshift, Octane, Maxwell, V-Ray and Fstorm, which are the five most render engines supporting most major 3D platforms (Cinema 4D, Maya, 3ds Max, Houdini, etc). One intention of our testing is to discover the best render engine for 3DsMax, and, from experience we’ve come to expect some and sometimes many surprises.
|Maxwell||Next Limit||GPU||Unbiased||Path Tracing Photorealistic|
|Unbiased (optional)||Path Tracing|
|Fstorm||PinkSoft LTD||Hybrid (NVIDIA CUDA GPUs, CPUs)||Unbiased||Ray Tracing|
Redshift Rendering Technologies Inc was founded in early 2012 in Newport Beach, California with the goal of developing a production-quality, GPU-accelerated renderer with support for the biased global illumination techniques. It offers a pretty comprehensive toolset for any 3ds Max user looking to up their render output, in terms of both quality and volume, as it is both powerful and efficient. Supporting the latest developments in shader technology and volumetrics, there is clearly a lot on offer, and it’s easy to see how Redshift could fit into many different pipelines and workflows.
While there is a certain amount of competition out there this can only be a good thing. As long as the development team keeps up with what they have done here, there is definitely a bright future in store for Redshift.
Redshift has the capability of “out of core” rendering which means that if a GPU runs out of memory (because of too many polygons or textures in the scene), it will use the system’s memory instead. In some situations, this can come at a performance cost so it is typically better to use GPUs with as much VRAM as you can afford in order to minimize the performance impact. Certain types of data (like textures) actually work very well with out-of-core rendering. This means that even if your scene uses the 4K/8K textures, you can still expect great rendering performance!
OTOY is proud to advance state of the art graphics technologies with groundbreaking machine learning optimizations, out-of-core geometry support, massive 10-100x speed gains in the scene graph, and RTX ray tracing GPU hardware acceleration. Octane is tightly integrated into 3ds max. Much of Octane’s functionality can be found in the Render Setup window. The latest version of Octane now includes a menu item as well which can be used to set Octane as the current renderer.
Octane RTX hardware acceleration brings 2-5x render speed increases to NVIDIA ray tracing GPUs with multi-GPU support. RTX acceleration speed gains increase in more complex scenes and can be benchmarked using RTX OctaneBench.
Maxwell Render is an unbiased 3D render engine, developed by Next Limit Technologies in Madrid, Spain. This stand-alone software is used in the film, animation, and VFX industry, as well as in architectural and product design visualization. Its trademark Multilight feature, which permits the changing of light intensity and colors in real-time, was used in the feature film The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.
If you have ever heard that Maxwell is slow. Well, it was. Our commitment to developing the most accurate render engine on the market wasn’t negotiable. The story has changed in Maxwell 5. A fully rewritten multi-GPU core now delivers final results in minutes. So, you get accurate previews in seconds, keeping physical accuracy intact.
Maxwell 5, for a “more than 50x speed-up, this plugin compared with a high-end CPU”. With multiple GPUs working in parallel you’ll get an unprecedented experience. To put it another way, with Maxwell 5, time is now in your hands. In addition, Multilight now runs on the GPU engine, while the GPU engine itself now natively supports Nvidia’s new Ampere GPUs, including the GeForce RTX 30 Series. The new version also provides integrated cloud rendering for use across an internal network or third-party render farms.
Vray is one of the best plugins for 3ds max, it was developed by the Bulgarian company Chaos Group, which was established in Sofia in 1997. It is a commercial plug-in for third-party 3D computer graphics software applications and is used for visualizations and computer graphics industries such as media, entertainment, film and video game production, industrial design, product design, and architecture.
Chaos Group has two different versions of their rendering engine: (1) V-Ray Next CPU and (2) V-Ray Next GPU (previously V-Ray Adv and V-Ray RT, respectively). The first is a CPU-based rendering engine that benefits greatly from having a high number of CPU cores. In fact, it scales almost perfectly with more cores which makes a high core count CPU – and even configurations with multiple physical CPUs – excellent for performance. On the other hand, V-Ray Next GPU (V-Ray RT) uses GPUs – as the name indicates – to perform the rendering calculations.
The GPU-accelerated version of V-Ray is able to utilize multiple GPUs and does so very effectively. It will not be a perfect “4 GPUs is 4x faster”, but you can expect significant performance improvements with every card you add. However, since V-Ray is using the cards for compute purposes they do not need to be in SLI mode.
FStorm is a GPU-only renderer being developed by PinkSoft LTD since 2015 and becomes the most popular GPU render with architectural 3d artists due to its speed, quality and simplicity. It is straightforward, fast, and realistic with convenient materials and light sources. Currently, FStorm render engine is exclusively available for 3Ds Max software. Hope that this amazing renderer will be available for major 3D software in the near future.
There are many unique features in FStorm renderer such as improved tone mapping, glossy reflection shader, glare effects, light sampling, improved raytracer, and optimized QMC sampling. It is deeply integrated into the 3Ds Max environment and supports all necessary and key features. Build-in scene converter easily and carefully converts any scene from Corona, Octane, and Vray render. Users can move the camera and get real-time updates in the frame buffer window.
FStorm Render is based on CUDA technology, which allows this renderer to work well on NVIDIA graphics cards. Interestingly, FStorm is likely to be compatible with multiple GPUs on one computer. For instance, if it’s scalable to 6 or 10 GPUs simultaneously in a single machine, users can utilize the robust computing system to render their job while using FStorm Render.
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