Faster Physically Based Rendering For All!
Exciting times coming up for Reality users. The recent release of LuxRender 1.5 is everything many LR users have been waiting for, and a huge step towards what others are nervously scratching themselves raw for – full featured LuxRender GPU rendering. Taking advantage of the recent release, Reality 4.1 is a grand update for both DS and Poser users. Both Reality and LuxRender have had an extraordinary impact on the community over the years, bringing many artists (hobbyist or otherwise) their first taste of physically based (and accurate) rendering.
For much of that time users have struggled to balance render times with quality, but now with LuxRender 1.5 we are seeing large speed gains on CPU – up to 21 times faster according to the latest YouTube post by Paolo Ciccone. This is the big draw for current Reality users, and will likely be an equally big draw for those considering their PBR options. On top of the gains in CPU rendering, LR 1.5 also includes updates to their OpenCL GPU based renderer.
It would be hard to argue that the inclusion of Iray in DAZ Studio, and to a lesser extent, since the development of Poser, DS and Carrara plugins for Octane, there hasn’t been a diminished interest in LuxRender. I’m one of them. I’ve always stuck with the budget mid level AMD cards, but with Iray effectively halving the “get PBR quickly” entry point, it was too good to pass up. So seeing these latest developments with LR and Reality (not to mention the tantalising future LuxusCore hints at) is a very welcome development. It feels as if balance is returning to the force. Artists wanting in on the PBR racket now have more choice. It’s no longer a matter of go CUDA or wait for the glacial beauty of LuxRender. AMD or Nvidia, CPU or GPU; all DS and Poser users can look forward to faster PBR on a budget that suits them.
It’s Not All About Speed With Reality 4.1
For me, the Reality interface has always been a weak point of the product, particularly when it comes to editing materials. In versions prior to 4, like many other users, I found configuring materials, especially in larger scenes with many surfaces (sometimes with obscure naming conventions), a frustratingly laborious task. Even with updates in this area included in Reality 4, I still often found the messy but natively integrated Luxus much quicker to use. Now it looks like Reality 4.1 is set to squash even more UI nitpicks with the ability to easily bulk edit materials within and across objects.
There are many more very welcome upgrades and additions in Reality 4.1, but I won’t go into them here. Some can be seen in Paolo’s YouTube presentation.
4.1 will be a free update for all current Reality 4 users. Users still on older versions can buy an upgrade direct from Preta 3D – currently $9.95. Reality 4, for those that don’t own it or a previous version, can also pick up DAZ Studio and Poser versions from the previously mentioned Preta 3D, from DAZ 3D, or just about every conceivable DAZ/Poser community store around.