Almost all artists ask a lot of that question, so I want to try to break it down in this article.
To have the best choice, you should research renderer software that you use suitable for your own project. In this case, should Cinema 4D users go with Arnold or Octane and why? Let’s explore them with me!
Arnold is best known for being the built-in renderer for Autodesk 3D applications. It’s also been used in film production for over fifteen years. This renderer has been built around rock-solid features and uncompromised quality. Arnold is a ginormous, customisable tanker that can take any size or type of scene but it takes a while to get there.
There are advantages of Arnold:
- Versatile – The most versatile out of the three boasting CPU and GPU versions, works both on Mac and PC, and even includes a robust Toon system. It’s also widely supported on cloud-based render farms like Pixel Plow.
- Feature Rich – The most feature-rich renderer in its class matched by one of the best plugins out there.
- High Quality – There is a reason Arnold is synonymous with quality. It’s been the go-to for feature films for over 15 years.
- Easy to Use – Arnold has fewer knobs to fiddle with and that’s something I appreciate.
- Fun – I can’t stress this one enough. If a plugin/tool isn’t fun or a pleasure to use, I’m gonna be looking for alternatives. Arnold never gets in my way.
- Unbiased – easier to achieve photorealism with all the goodies (GI / rough reflections / sss etc)
- The IPR is great, every engine should utilise that as a workflow for developing materials and lighting. It’s perhaps deceptive when playing with simple scenes when it clears nice and fast, then you go up a level of complexity and it becomes pretty slow to clear.
- The major one for a freelancer – you hit a wall where you need to clear noise and it takes an extremely long time on my dinky 6-core. I’ve optimised and optimised and it eventually just gets to the point where you need lots more CPU power to brute force it.
It’s wonderfully suited to a big pipeline. Lots of Renderfarm support, include iRender.
OctaneRender is the world’s first and fastest unbiased, spectrally correct GPU render engine, delivering quality and speed unrivaled by any production renderer on the market. Octane really is a game-changer with speed. And the way it handles displacement (almost no noticeable speedy penalty) will change how you think about modeling details.
There are advantages of Octane:
- Fast – Octane is the fastest GPU renderer I’ve ever encountered. Its speed is unparalleled and often feels like some sort of magic.
- Beautiful – I think the look Octane delivers is reliably gorgeous. Due to it’s unbiased spectral approach to rendering, it’s just friggin sexy. It’s actually hard to make an Octane render look bad.
- Innovative – Otoy’s CEO is sort of like the Elon Musk of our world. Jules Orbach is just as much a personality as the mogul behind the Tesla. His vision and wild ideas are gonna push Octane into exciting new areas (holo-deck?).
- Community – Octane is used by MANY artists and often many studios. Its large user base can be a blessing and a curse.
But have a biggest issue – No sizable farms at the moment support Octane. Otoy’s own farm ORC is yet to release so animations, even with sub 10 min / frame times, aren’t as viable to render in time if you have a long sequence.
If you are fine with building your own render farm with GPUs (which would need to be renewed eventually every cycle the VRam gets increased, CUDA or other instruction sets get updated etc) and can live with some other limitations in trade for felt speed dominance, try Octane. Else try Arnold now.
General knowledge of artist from forums