When Philip Lunn, CEO of Bunkspeed, announced that the company’s future path from HyperShot was bifurcating due to a technology licensing dispute one of the first things that came to mind was concern about the underlying technology’s support for Mac users. After all, the core technology behind HyperShot was home-grown and innovative and from the very beginning was destined for the Mac. In fact it sort of debuted on the Mac at COFES in Apple’s technology suite there.
SHOT to run on Mac
The newly licensed iray technology from mental images, as well as other core technology behind the new Bunkspeed SHOT, does support the Mac, says Lunn. “Since 95 percent of our HyperShot business was on the PC,” adds Lunn, “we have focused on that first, for obvious business reasons.” SHOT will run on Mac but not in the next-up release. It is not clear when the Mac version will ship as the company is focusing its attention on the general release of SHOT.
Bunkspeed SHOT’s new rendering engine will be iray by mental images GmbH of Berlin, Germany. This is a company with a prestigious background in rendering technology and its branch offices include San Francisco and Melbourne, Australia.
mental images and the Mac
Early on mental images powered the rendering in Softimage and Wavefront’s 3D animation technology packages. Today its rendering engine technology are used in many of the world’s leading CAD and DCC applications.
mental images’ flagship produce is mental ray, which is offered both as a stand-alone application and as an OEM integration software technology. Today it is integrated into many of Autodesk’s products, including AutoCAD, Revit, and Inventor, as well as those products from Alias (Maya) and Softimage (Softimage). It is also integrated into SolidWorks, and Dassault Systemes Catia v4 and v5.
mental ray is supported on both Windows, Mac, Linux and Sun Solaris operating systems, both 32 and 64 bit. It is Intel only for the Mac platform (no PowerPC support).
iray technology is a bit different from mental ray. The company’s description says that iray is a high-performance global illumination rendering technology that achieves its high performance by taking full advantage of the Nvidia CUDA architecture programming model, allowing interactive previewing on a single GPU and scaling almost linearly on multi-GPU platforms. There is an iray “rendering mode” in mental ray 3.8 and is supported in mental images’ RealityServer 2.4. It is also inside a product named SceniX but mental images’ documentation says details and a release date for that product to be announced.
Answering the question “who needs iray,” the company says it is ideal for programs that need a “push button” renderer of final frame photorealistic images with correct global illuminations. That would basically be the philosophy behind Bunkspeed’s SHOT (formerly HyperShot).
Thinking of iray in Architecture
A quick “push button” approach to excellent global illumination (GI) based rendering would also be ideal for architectural visualization programs, especially those tied to conceptual modeling or CAD or BIM where the final image needs call for accurate lighting more than a particular edited and enhanced final render approach.
iray technology is dependent on CUDA-enabled GPUs and memory requirements will make Nvidia Quadro, QuadroPlex and Tesla units particularly helpful. iray wil also run on GeForce and Tesla.
To learn more about iray go here.
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