AMD Releases Radeon ProRender for Blender and SolidWorks

Subject: General Tech | June 28, 2017 - 06:24 PM |
Tagged: solidworks, ray tracing, radeon, prorender, nvidia, mental ray, Blender, amd

AMD has released a free ray-tracing engine for Blender, as well as Maya, 3D Studio Max, and SolidWorks, called Radeon ProRender. It uses a physically-based workflow, which allows multiple materials to be expressed in a single, lighting-independent shader, making it easy to color objects and have them usable in any sensible environment.

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Image Credit: Mike Pan (via Twitter)

I haven’t used it yet, and I definitely haven’t tested how it stacks up against Cycles, but we’re beginning to see some test renders from Blender folks. It looks pretty good, as you can see with the water-filled Cornell box (above). Moreover, it’s rendered on an NVIDIA GPU, which I’m guessing they had because of Cycles, but that also shows that AMD is being inclusive with their software.

Radeon ProRender puts more than a little pressure on Mental Ray, which is owned by NVIDIA and licensed on annual subscriptions. We’ll need to see how quality evolves, but, as you see in the test render above, it looks pretty good so far... and the price can’t be beat.

Source: AMD

June 28, 2017 | 09:14 PM - Posted by goosegrease

"Radeon ProRender puts more than a little pressure on Mental Ray"

Mental Ray is a dead product. It still roams the earth like a zombie of a software, but nobody uses it and nobody maintains it.
If anything, ProRender puts pressure on Iray and Optix which are also owned by NVidia.

June 28, 2017 | 10:17 PM - Posted by duttyfoot (not verified)

I agree, why waste time with mental ray when their is octane, arnold, redshift, etc

June 29, 2017 | 12:08 AM - Posted by CorrectOzMondoz (not verified)

It says:

"Radeon ProRender for Blender and SOLIDWORKS Now Available"

At the top of the linked Radeon ProRender page it says Blender and SOLIDWORKS"

Then Scott's write-up says:

"it’s rendered on an NVIDIA GPU, which I’m guessing they had because of Cycles, but that also shows that AMD is being inclusive with their software."

The AMD Radeon ProRender page(That Scott linked to) then goes on to list 10 Key features and the second one of the 10 on that list says:

"Hardware agnostic – if your computer can run OpenCL™ 1.2, it can run Radeon ProRender."

So if Nvidia cards(Or Intel dog food integrated graphics) can run OpenCL™ 1.2 then this software will work on any GPU that has OpenCL 1.2 support. It's probably better to have Nvidia or AMD graphics anyways as Intel's graphics choaks on high polygon count mesh models/scenes for some non gaming graphics workloads.

So it's AMD helping to kick vendor Lock-In(CUDA) to the curb andd that's a good thing. Maybe even a good thing for those that have AMD Terascale based GPUs(?) also!

Scott if you could ask the Blender and AMD folks about any Pre-GCN ProRender usage and even GCN 1.0 SKUs that may not work too well with Blender's Cycles renderer.

June 29, 2017 | 04:39 AM - Posted by Prodeous42 (not verified)

I'm eager to test this out against Cycles. Having more active viewport render would be great.

I might slap in my GTX 680 in the system again just to see how it runs on Nvidia cards (if it does at all)

But since Blender EVEE (or what ever their new PBR engine is called) that is going to be included in 2.8, does that make these engines nearly pointless?

June 29, 2017 | 11:20 PM - Posted by mikepan (not verified)

Correct, the current version of the ProRender can run on any OpenCL capable device, including Nvidia and AMD GPUs and CPUs. I've played around with it a bit on Nvidia hardware, and the PCIE bus usage is abnormally high (70% on an 8x link when rendering). So I suspect there is some room for performance improvement. Can't say how it performs on AMD hardware yet, but I suspect they will be a lot faster.

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