Is Iray Falling Behind?

LenioTGLenioTG Posts: 2,048
edited September 2 in Daz Studio Discussion

Don't get me wrong, I'm not going anywhere.
I love Daz Studio, and it's perfect for what I do: I don't want to rig and to model assets when that's not necessary, because I want to focus on my stories as much as I can.

Furthermore, Iray allows us to produce high-quality renders.
And, with the right hardware, it's not terrible in a matter of time.

Then, why am I worried?

  • I feel like Nvidia has forgotten about Iray.

I know it's not Daz fault if Nvidia is not putting as much attention as it could on Iray.

For example, in the latest slides about the upcoming RTX 3000, Nvidia has talked about Cycles, Arnold and Vray...not a single world about their own creature.

Do you remember how long it took for Daz to implement Iray 2019, to finally use the RT and tensor cores?

  • The competition is faster, requires less powerful hardware, and sometimes it looks even better.

I love technology, but I don't have the expertise to truly understand this rendering engines world. That's why I'm opening this thread: to ask for your opinion on the matter.

It looks to me like other rendering engines require less powerful hardware: ultimately, I think that Nvidia has started this Iray project to sell more GPUs, making it so that you can't render if you go over you VRAM. That trick has worked on me, at least.

Then, it feels like Iray is crazy slow, compared to other famous rendering engines. I have a RTX 2060, and it takes me around 40 minutes to get to 1500 iterations for an average scene. I can do that because of the external Intel denoiser, because Nvidia's one blurs things too much IMHO.
Take a look, for example, at the viewport. We live in a world with awesome real-time graphics, like that marble movie from yesterday's Nvidia conference. Yet, even with modern GPUs, the Iray viewport is unusable, compared to the Texture Shaded one.
Let's not talk about animations, that I don't consider very doable in Iray nowadays.

Sometimes, the competition looks even better. I couldn't believe my eyes when I first saw the Unreal Engine 5 demo: in real-time, it looked much better than what we can do with Iray, in hours. Even for stuff like hair physics, a field that has received a lot of attention lately.
I can imagine how different those two engines are. But, ultimately, I honestly only care about the result, not about how I get to it: I just want the best possible renders to represent my stories.
And I know we have bridges now, but it doesn't feel very easy and immediate to me to continuously transfer assets from one software to the other, and to have to tweak all surfaces and lights.

 

I know it would be a complete mess to change render engine in Daz, because of the materials that all the products have.
Plus, they can't just abandon Iray, because a lot of people will continue to use it indefinitely. So, PA should create tons of different materials for each product, and that's not convenient.
On top of that, we shouldn't fix what's not broken, and Iray still works fairly well.

But aren't you worried about its future?
Do you think Daz is looking for alternatives (look at Filament, or at the new bridges)?

I'm curious to hear your opinion! :)

Post edited by LenioTG on
«134

Comments

  • nicsttnicstt Posts: 10,650

    I have no idea what Daz are doing; I for one wish they had a different Render engine that wasn't tied to Nvidia.

    It's why I went to Blender; I now do all my rendering there; however, the new 3000 series cards do look (from the marketting hype) to be worth the cash.

  • Sven DullahSven Dullah Posts: 5,296
    nicstt said:

    I have no idea what Daz are doing; I for one wish they had a different Render engine that wasn't tied to Nvidia.

    They have, it's called 3Delight.

  • KitsumoKitsumo Posts: 1,112

    One thing I have noticed is that when browsing the Blender forums, I don't see nearly as many issues with Cycles as I do here for Iray.

    Am I worried about Iray's future? No, I've completely given up on it, especially since I'm on Linux and CUDA acceleration doesn't work on it. To be fair, Iray is rock-solid rendering on CPU.

    I don't think switching to a new PBR renderer will be a mess though. Going from 3DL to Iray was difficult because the two engines work in very different ways. Going from one PBR render to another shouldn't be as difficult, since they handle light/reflections/subsurface in a similar way. The diffeomorphic plugin is able to handle the conversion pretty well with only minor tweaks needed by the user.

    If DAZ is looking at alternatives, I hope they pick something that works with AMD/Intel and plays well with Linux.

  • Sven DullahSven Dullah Posts: 5,296
    edited September 2
    Kitsumo said:
     

    If DAZ is looking at alternatives, I hope they pick something that works with AMD/Intel and plays well with Linux.

    Well they could upgrade to 3Delight 13, that would make it possible to do blistering fast CPU rendering, and give the users access to the 3DL cloud rendering (very complex scenes with true volumetric shaders, 100 000 light sources rendered in seconds, dirt cheap). Won't probably happen though.

    Post edited by Sven Dullah on
  • lilweeplilweep Posts: 923
    nicstt said:

    I have no idea what Daz are doing; I for one wish they had a different Render engine that wasn't tied to Nvidia.

    They have, it's called 3Delight.

    ew.

    anyway, i think Daz and Substance are the only big players using iray.  And even then, Substance is really only for visualisation, so it's basically just Daz.

    wonder what nvidia's plans are for iray development.

  • Iray is the second physical light engine that can be used with Studio. Previously, Paolo Ciccone made a plug-in called Reality that worked with LuxRender. I loved it as I could finally think of light like a photographer. Things happened and Lux is now called LuxCoreRender, but the APIs have changed. Lux also supported network rendering and runs on Windows, Linux, and macOS. I put together a small render farm with older hardware running Linux. The only true constant is change.

    Here's one of my renders using Lux back then:

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/10528144776/in/dateposted-public/

     

  • TheMysteryIsThePointTheMysteryIsThePoint Posts: 1,382
    edited September 3
    Kitsumo said:
    No, I've completely given up on it, especially since I'm on Linux and CUDA acceleration doesn't work on it.

    Today is your lucky day because you are completely misinformed.

    Screenshot from 2020-09-02 18-13-48.png
    1320 x 1159 - 184K
    Post edited by TheMysteryIsThePoint on
  • KitsumoKitsumo Posts: 1,112
    Kitsumo said:
    No, I've completely given up on it, especially since I'm on Linux and CUDA acceleration doesn't work on it.

    Today is your lucky day because you are completely misinformed.

    Drat! Foiled by words. I should have said CUDA accel doesn't work in the current version of DS/Iray in Linux.

    Anyway, I've been happily rendering in Cycles for 2 months now.

  • Kitsumo said:
    Kitsumo said:
    No, I've completely given up on it, especially since I'm on Linux and CUDA acceleration doesn't work on it.

    Today is your lucky day because you are completely misinformed.

    Drat! Foiled by words. I should have said CUDA accel doesn't work in the current version of DS/Iray in Linux.

    Anyway, I've been happily rendering in Cycles for 2 months now.

    Well that's unfortunate... Have you given the Diffeomorphic Daz Importer a go? It handles IRay materials well and you'd get your CUDA/Optix on your favorite operating system :)

  • i53570ki53570k Posts: 174

    I read somewhere that Daz has added Google's open source PBR Filament in the latest beta.  What does it mean for us?

  • KitsumoKitsumo Posts: 1,112
    Kitsumo said:
    Kitsumo said:
    No, I've completely given up on it, especially since I'm on Linux and CUDA acceleration doesn't work on it.

    Today is your lucky day because you are completely misinformed.

    Drat! Foiled by words. I should have said CUDA accel doesn't work in the current version of DS/Iray in Linux.

    Anyway, I've been happily rendering in Cycles for 2 months now.

    Well that's unfortunate... Have you given the Diffeomorphic Daz Importer a go? It handles IRay materials well and you'd get your CUDA/Optix on your favorite operating system :)

    Sorry, you'll have to forgive me. I'm not so good with English, but it's my only language.

    I'm using DS in Linux with Wine and exporting through Diffeomorphic to Blender so I can render. The original point I was making was that CUDA acceleration doesn't work with DS in Wine.

    daz studio renderdragon flames render

    Going through all that is a pain in the neck, but once I get to Blender it opens up a lot of new possibilities. But it's still a pain in the neck.

  • nicstt said:

     

    They have, it's called 3Delight.

    With 3Delight only, I would have never switched to DS. I just don't like that orange render look of it.

  • LenioTGLenioTG Posts: 2,048

    @Sven Dullah Sorry, I agree with what has been said about 3Delight: I just don't care about it, if Daz hadn't had a photorealistic rendering engine, I probably wouldn't even have started rendering at all.

    @i53750k Yes, I've read about it! I still haven't understood if Filament will be just for the viewport, or if it'll be a rendering engine. It looks good enough for me, and it's crazy fast. The mystery is how it'll be with human figures, a field where not every rendering engine does a good job as Iray does. And I think most of us are rendering people.
    I've read they're trying to make MDL materials work in it, so I hope @Kitsumo is right about the switch.

    @brainmuffin And there's also Octane nowadays, that's even free now, if you just want to use a GPU. It even has an auto-conversion for the materials. And it can achieve great things.
    But...it needs a lot of tweaking. It just looks HORRIBLE if you auto-convert materials. So, in order for me to consider using another rendering engine, it has to bee as easy and immediate to use as Iray is.

    @lilweep That's the whole point, Daz can't do a thing about Iray! It's all in Nvidia hands, and they don't seem to care much anymore. I wonder if switching to something open-source, such as Filament or Cycles, would give them better control over the rendering engine they're using.

    So, I notice a lot of you have switched to Blender lately. That's said to read.

  • PerttiAPerttiA Posts: 493
    nicstt said:

     

    They have, it's called 3Delight.

    With 3Delight only, I would have never switched to DS. I just don't like that orange render look of it.

    Same here... One of the (many) reasons I lost interest in Poser some 10 years ago, was the quality or lack of it in rendering.

    Got back to the scene 5 years ago with DS, but wasn't impressed with the 3DL results either, it looked just the same as with Poser - Wouldn't pass for a real picture even with your eyes closed.

  • nonesuch00nonesuch00 Posts: 14,048

    If you saw the other thread about the nVidia Omniverse plans and the technology that involves you know that nVidia isn't abandoning iRay. If you are expecting DAZ Studio to keep pace with UE4, Unity, Blender, and just about any big speculative corporation (or nonprofit supported by speculative corporations like Blender is)  that's already done their IPOs or will be doing IPOs you will be disappointed.

  • nonesuch00nonesuch00 Posts: 14,048
    nicstt said:

     

    They have, it's called 3Delight.

    With 3Delight only, I would have never switched to DS. I just don't like that orange render look of it.

    That's just because typical indoor light temperature was 2700K - 3500K when artists were designing those materials & lights. Now with LEDs artists are using 6000K temperature light as the default now.

  • Sven DullahSven Dullah Posts: 5,296
    edited September 3

     

     

     

    One of these is an original IRay promo shot, the other is my 3DL conversion. Tell me which one has the orange lookcheeky

    Hint: The one with a bit of grain is IRay;)

    Post edited by Sven Dullah on
  • nicsttnicstt Posts: 10,650
    nicstt said:

    I have no idea what Daz are doing; I for one wish they had a different Render engine that wasn't tied to Nvidia.

    They have, it's called 3Delight.

    Good point, but if I had to use that I'd give up; although I render in Blender now with Cycles and much prefer it to Iray.

    Before Iray, my renders were terrible, well after Iray they are still too frequently terrible, but that's a different issue - I think.

  • nicsttnicstt Posts: 10,650

    If you saw the other thread about the nVidia Omniverse plans and the technology that involves you know that nVidia isn't abandoning iRay. If you are expecting DAZ Studio to keep pace with UE4, Unity, Blender, and just about any big speculative corporation (or nonprofit supported by speculative corporations like Blender is)  that's already done their IPOs or will be doing IPOs you will be disappointed.

    +1

    Studio is an amazing product, despite its flaws, and is produced by a small team of developers with limited resources; actually I'm presuming it's a small team but have no clue actually.

  • PerttiAPerttiA Posts: 493

    One of these is an original IRay promo shot, the other is my 3DL conversion. Tell me which one has the orange lookcheeky

    Hint: The one with a bit of grain is IRay;)

    There are no people in those...

  • LenioTGLenioTG Posts: 2,048

    If you saw the other thread about the nVidia Omniverse plans and the technology that involves you know that nVidia isn't abandoning iRay. If you are expecting DAZ Studio to keep pace with UE4, Unity, Blender, and just about any big speculative corporation (or nonprofit supported by speculative corporations like Blender is)  that's already done their IPOs or will be doing IPOs you will be disappointed.

    That's good news!

    So, what are they planning for Iray?

  • PDSmithPDSmith Posts: 696

    I believe there is a misconception about 3Delight.  Though it's realism may not be to every day standards, (It's quite a few years behing in updates, which isn't Illumination Research's fault...read on),  Iray on the other hand has yet to reach the lofty height that Octane has made as the standard. And we can't forgot Iray's failing memory management issues.

    Now, 3Delight, it's history is far more vast than Iray, being the first dirivative of the Pixar based Renderman, it's uses are much broader and have been used not only in hobby but in professional products.  If I recall, at one time DAZ's welcome screen enticed people with a comment of the Studio software was used in the production of Ironman , Captain America and such.  That would be through the use of 3Delight, not Iray.

    Take a quick look at what 3delight is/was used for...a google search of "Iray Movies" somes up blank.  But for "3delight movies" and you get a list and it's growing.

    https://www.3delight.com/gallery

    It's all about how you impliment and utilize your product.

    Sure most of 3Delight's current uses are for animation but movies like Dragon Prince and Trollhunters show companies like Dreamworks and such are not discounting it's ease of use and cloud based/assisted rendering. Per LenioTG's statement, about a lack of showing of Iray with the new Nvidia products says or hints to the fact Iray is slowing down in production or parts of Nvidia Corp don't even see Iray as a viable sales promotional product. 

    Mean while other products that I believed were better suited to Studio have moved on to bigger and better pastures and while Iray still has a foot hold in the hobby market, it's slipping. Memory management issues are all over the place and other rendering engine companies have found work arounds and implimented them immedately or like 3Delight; never had them to this extent.

    Current versions of 3Delight place it YEARS ahead of what is inside Studio, if only DAZ wouuld updated it...check out the current change log of 3Delight. That appears to be one heck of a proactive team covering multiple platforms.

    https://www.3delight.com/documentation/display/3DFM9/Changelog

    All we can do is hope Studio sees a 3Delight update and in turn the complanies, tinkerer's and the users of Studio could very well push the boundry of 3Delight capabilites to new ideas and directions. It's better than what is happening now. We're sitting back and watching what it does in the moveis and on TV. 

     I'll step off my soap box now.  Ya'll have a nice day.

     

  • WendyLuvsCatzWendyLuvsCatz Posts: 27,862

    the problem with 3Delight renders is not the engine but what shaders people use in it, I have certainly seen ones that had figures that were not orange or have the subsurface scattering of a wax museum or candle collection (I kept looking for the wicks coming out of their heads) both of which seem to be popular with many users.

  • PDSmithPDSmith Posts: 696
    edited September 3

    Firefly mastered the art of wax skin and I think that's what drove the 3Delight shaders to feebly mimic it.  PA's like Silver and such, they used it all the time in their promo's and people appeared to want that same look. I did too...for a while.

    And speaking of shaders, 3Delight suffers from a lack of shaders. My gut feeling on this is, the outdated engine provides zero insentive to really make much for it. 

    If it were updated, that could open up a new cash cow for DAZ.

     

    But a review of the current change log, looks like Iray and 3Delight are going to take a back seat to the new opensource render engine.... Google Filiment.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Post edited by PDSmith on
  • LenioTGLenioTG Posts: 2,048
    edited September 3

    Thanks for your explanation @PDSmith

    Filament looks interesting indeed.
    My perception is that, when an engine is open source, if the developers want to improve it, they can.
    With a 3rd party one, on the other hand, they can only hope the producer has future projects for it.
    The 3D industry has changed a lot since 2014, and what looked perfect back then, may not be perfect anymore.

    I surely don't want to see Daz slowly die, as it happened to Poser, that fell really behind the competition.

    Apparently, Daz developers are continuously updating Filament, so something is probably happening: http://docs.daz3d.com/doku.php/public/software/dazstudio/4/change_log

    Post edited by LenioTG on
  • nonesuch00nonesuch00 Posts: 14,048
    LenioTG said:

    If you saw the other thread about the nVidia Omniverse plans and the technology that involves you know that nVidia isn't abandoning iRay. If you are expecting DAZ Studio to keep pace with UE4, Unity, Blender, and just about any big speculative corporation (or nonprofit supported by speculative corporations like Blender is)  that's already done their IPOs or will be doing IPOs you will be disappointed.

    That's good news!

    So, what are they planning for Iray?

    In their (very short) talk about Omniverse they mention their using their MDL materials which are very tightly linked to being renderable via iRay. If you are nVidia you really can't separate iRay and MDL in developing drivers, software, or their GPUs. A ray tracer is a ray tracer though and light physics equations there are only a finite set discoverable to implement. They've done that mostly. Now they can continue to expand MDL definitions, use AI to do things like voice to face movement, animation AI, and other 3D things but those things aren't light physics (well MDL definitions are dependent on light phiysics) . Qualities and properties of light physics of iRay is now in their RT core of their GPUs. That's not abandoning iRay, it's making iRay integral to their hardware.

  • Iray is seeing improvements with Nvidia's new cards that are coming out. It will benefit greatly in Raytracing and the 3090 will help renders stay in the GPU instead of going to CPU.

    https://blog.irayrender.com/

    3Delight is much better as well but would need shaders replaced to work well with the new version. I doubt Daz would want to go through all the products and replace them. But in the meantime wowie's Awe Surface Shader does wonders. https://www.daz3d.com/forums/discussion/277581/awe-surface-shader-a-new-physically-plausible-shader-for-daz-studio-and-3delight/p1 ; My best 3DL renders in the old days were after wowie released his Photo Studio Kit.

  • LenioTGLenioTG Posts: 2,048
    edited September 3

    @nonesuch00 Cool, thanks for the info!

    @Kevin Sanderson I'm happy too about the new GPUs, and I'll surely buy a 3080 (3090 costs way too much for me), but that's not what I'd call an Iray improvement. For Iray, I mean the software.
    You could already achieve better performance with 4 TITAN RTX, so it just got cheaper, nothing has changed yet.
    Regarding the blog, I don't understand why it talks about RTX 6000 and stuff like that, instead of 2080 Ti etc.
    Then, I don't believe 100% in simulated performance, and does the stable version of Daz already feature Iray 2020.1?

    Post edited by LenioTG on
  • But Iray has. They've been making tweaks getting prepared for the new cards.

  • LenioTGLenioTG Posts: 2,048

    But Iray has. They've been making tweaks getting prepared for the new cards.

    But that's just to support them, right?
    Then the performance upgrade should be all on the hardware side.

Sign In or Register to comment.