Yes SPPM mode sucked every time I tried it. things looked really bad.
Doesn’t take very long for me to convert materials in octane, a genesis figure can be done in a few minutes. I map all the limb textures to the same material macro, same for the torso. So when you need to tweak later because you changed the lighting, you only have to tweak a few materials instead of all 20 or whatever.
Same idea for clothes and hair i set up macros for them so I can end up editing a lot less separate pieces in the long run. There isn’t a free version of the DS plugin, there is a free demo of the 3D max one, but since I’m not currently a MAX user I never tried it. The DS plugin will allow you to edit multiple materials much faster.
one thing about Octane to remember is that just because the “best” mode is PMC doesn’t mean it’s really needed. Also it defaults to 16 steps for the light bounces and for outside environments it really should be set to 4. interiors can be set to 8. But the direct lighting mode set to diffuse looks just as good as PMC in many situations and takes a fraction of time to render.
Render time for me varies greatly, from 15 minutes to a few hours. But there are a lot of variables in there. With lux I usually stopped at 1k samples, sometimes I would wait till 2k, but with octane I never do less than 2k and typically go for 4k. My average render time with lux was like 12 hours, going into 60 hours. My longest render in octane is typically about 4 hours.
EDIT: if you need to edit the environment heavily then this does take a good bit of time, but using macros can help there too. Also if I need the environment in multiple renders I just save a different version of the file so I don’t have to redo settings. Also you can copy and paste from one open instance of octane to another. Also octane uses instances, so if you need 100 trees, just export one tree as an obj, load into octane. Set up its materials and then use multiple placement nodes to replicate the tree as needed. this way you only edit the material for that tree once. Use of geometry groups and placement nodes will eliminate the need to edit the same leaf texture 100 times. or just make one macro for the leaf and link all the separate ones to it if you like.
That’s the thing…and yeah the plugin will eliminate a lot of it…but go back to the first few times you set up a material. Heck half the time is spent just figuring out what you want to group together under a single macro. Once you get that down, yeah you can cut down the amount of time. But even with that, a moderately complex scene is going to take time…
As to instances..Lux and 3Delight both do them, too…so that isn’t a ‘selling’ point (I believe Cycles can, too…but I’m not 100% sure on that).
Speed…maybe a selling point. A couple of ‘cons’...price. Need of a medium to high end Nvidia card.
What I’m saying is there are lots of options that are much cheaper…that can give just as good results. Maybe not as fast, but they don’t have to be as slow as most Lux renders are set up to be. A $100 plugin? To get to an over $200 renderer? Come on…really?
Now, if I were in a production environment/churning out renders for profit…maybe it could be a ‘justifiable’ expense…maybe.
It seems to me that they are pricing themselves right out of the hobbyist market…especially with the DS plugin. If/when I buy Reality it will not be at full price, because even though I really like Lux, I don’t like it enough to spend over $50 on a plugin to get me there. (I’ve been porting stuff back to DS3 to use the free plugin by Tofusan for any Lux renders I’ve done lately.) And I’ve been playing some with Cycles…
Yeah, I played with the Octane demo for a few weeks, but overall wasn’t convinced it was worth the price…at least not for what I usually do.