by Phil Miller

SIGGRAPH has traditionally been the conference at which NVIDIA’s Advanced Rendering Center’s innovations have been announced, and this year is no exception. We’re proud to unveil Autodesk’s upcoming 3ds Max 2012 Subscription Release with ActiveShade iray at SIGGRAPH 2011.

Of the many 3ds Max artists adopting iray, quite a few have voiced the desire for an interactive solution to reduce their design turnaround time. They recognize that iray is inherently suited to interactive editing, since it progressively shows full global illumination results over the entire image.

Now, the good news – attendees at the SIGGRAPH 2011 conference will have the opportunity to see a preview of interactive iray in 3ds Max. This preview is not just a technology demonstration, but a sneak peak of new functionality coming in the Autodesk 3ds Max 2012 Subscription Advantage Pack later this fall (see Autodesk for ship dates).

For those of you not at the show in person, check out this video of our demo from the NVIDIA booth on the show floor:

So, in the near future, 3ds Max subscribers will be able to interactively edit their scenes while iray renders live in the 3ds Max ActiveShade viewport. They will be able to edit geometry; add, delete and move objects; create, position and orient lights; and edit materials and light characteristics – all while watching the scene render with full global illumination and no compromises.

Even better, the image shown developing in the ActiveShade viewport is exactly the same as what they will get in the iray final-frame production renderer in 3ds Max, not just a limited preview of it.

To take things even further, “Project Maximus”-based workstations will allow 3ds Max to run with full viewport interactivity, while accelerating iray rendering on one or more attached GPUs.

SIGGRAPH 2011 will also provide attendees an opportunity to see where photorealistic rendering may be heading in the future. Last year, at SIGGRAPH 2010, we demonstrated a technology preview of iray rendering in the cloud, utilizing large-scale, on-demand GPU resources to accelerate photorealistic production rendering, as well as live design reviews via the web.

This year we will be showing off this capability as part of a 3ds Max workflow, allowing any Max seat to render like a supercomputer by leveraging an Amazon cloud cluster of dual-GPU machines.

Anyone interested in physically-based interactive rendering in Design and DCC should stop by the NVIDIA booth (#453) or the Autodesk booth theater to see how the combination of iray rendering, 3ds Max and NVIDIA GPU technology will revolutionize the way you produce photorealistic scenes.