I just uploaded my first video created by Bongo. This was really just a test video just to see if I can really upload on this forum. I plan on uploading more of my work but I was wondering what rendering software I should get for realistic renderings. I want to move beyond the cartoonist look.
Depends on what type of work is your primary focus. There are several really terrific rendering plugin’s for Rhino out there. So, without knowing a little more about what types of projects you take on, here’s a list of some I’d check out. And I’ll be the first to admit, I’m a little biased here, as I’ve personally used all of these in the list below and have a favorite, so I’ll discuss why a little.
Maxwell - amazing render quality – however, to be honest, it’s too slow for animation work, unless you have a LOT of processing power. But, some of the most photorealistic images out there come from this program. CPU and GPU options here. http://www.maxwellrender.com/
Vray - awesome render engine, very popular, great for stills and animations. With the latest version you can use both CPU and GPU. It is my understanding that development has gotten a little slow, at least for the Rhino plugin. If you do lot’s on interior work, this is probably the one to go with right now. If that’s not the case, read on. https://www.chaosgroup.com/
Octane Render - this is my personal favorite and what I do my work in. GREAT for product shots and animations and exterior architecture shots and animations. It does a great job with interior shots as well, however, with Vray you’ll get a faster interior rendering vs.Octane. The plugin developer, Paul, is very responsive and listens to feedback from the Rhino community. Material creation is very easy and fast, and there are very few settings to tweak for final render quality. This engine is GPU only. It’s very easy to use which is why it’s one of my favorite engines out there. I don’t think about settings, I just create. One thing to note here, is that with the next version of Octane, they will supposedly integrate Brigade into the core, which will make rendering extremely fast. https://home.otoy.com/render/octane-render/ And here’s the brigade engine I mentioned: https://home.otoy.com/render/brigade/
Thea Render – great quality here as well, both CPU and GPU. Development has been very slow. I followed Thea for quite a while using the Rhino plugin and eventually just gave up to be honest as it was moving at a snails pace. Everything else was maturing much faster. I can’t think of anything that Thea offers that Vray or Octane don’t. But, it’s still worth a look and might fit your work mindset the best. https://www.thearender.com/site/
Personally, if I were you, I’d download a couple of these, or all of them, and try out the evaluation versions. See what program works best with the way you think. Watch some online videos and tutorials. While I don’t think you could go wrong with any of these, if animation is your key reason, I’d really look hard at Vray and Octane. And I’d also really look at GPU rendering (vray has both, octane only GPU) as I think you’ll get a much faster frame render time if you have a nice GPU system (unless again, you’re doing primarily interiors, then CPU is probably still your best bet).
Hope this helps,
Thanks for the quick and the vast amount of info! Great advice about trying each program and comparing before deciding which program to purchase. My goal is to animate building construction drawings to show how structural elements and hardware are installed. I am a hardcore structural engineer trying to break into the artistic and graphic side of detailing drawings (i.e. semi realistic animated drawings). I am absolutely certain animation is going to be the next big evolution for structural drawings. Architects are light years ahead of Engineers but I hope to break the barrier and be ahead of the curve. I will be asking a lot more questions once “I know what I don’t know”. Again thank you so much for your help!
I would test two engines - Vray and Octane.
Octane needs GPU power, Vray can work with GPU or CPU, but not at the same time. I use Vray (2) for my daily still image work and some times Octane for animation, but in full biased mode (direct light based on ambient occlusion). The AO of Octane is great fast. It can be used for lighting interior shots too if you set a low AO distance. OK, it’s not 100% photoreal anymore, but I think a nice looking look will be possible.