Years ago the differences between the various render engines was vast at times. Today, the differences are more subtle. However, I still view render engines as any tool. Meaning, I want to make sure I’m using the best tool suited for whatever task I’m assigned. With that in mind and with some new-ish hardware on hand it’s time (past time actually) for me to review the latest rendering software options I have here.
I need to know the strengths & weaknesses of these tools in order to know which one I should use for a project. Reading reviews & comments from other users will give me an idea of these strengths & weaknesses. However, I also like to run my own tests on my hardware and on my “typical” scenes. Keep that in mind here. My tests will be very specific to my work (mostly automotive). Someone in arch-viz, game content creation, or VFX industries will likely have different needs & hurdles to overcome than I do.
With that in mind, here’s what I’m planning for my review(s). I will be breaking this ongoing project down into three tests.
1. Automotive exterior hdr/backplate shot. I’m going to render it at 7k, 15k, and 30k resolution. Those size ranges cover most of my day to day work and will expose any issues the engines have with large resolution images or other aspects of this type workflow. If the render engine has glow/glare/lut options I will take advantage of that directly. However, there will be no outside program post-processing because my focus is on using the built-in engine options only.
status: Currently underway. Featured image is the test scene.
2. Automotive interior shot. I’ll use the same 7k/15k/30k resolution sequence for this series. It will be a night shot because they are more complex & taxing on the engine & hardware than a daylight shot.
status: Will begin after stage 1 is complete.
3. Animation (?). I’m not sure what I’ll setup for this test at this time.
Render engines I’ll be using:
Corona Render, VRay, Octane, FStorm.
Ryzen threadripper 1950x (Overclocked @ 3.9 GHz)
ASUS ROG STRIX x399 with 64GB RAM
2x GeForce GTX 1080 ti’s