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Mac 3D: OTOY introduces ORBX — Powerful Interchange File Support System

ORBX enables precise renderings across 15 of the top 3D modeling applications.


OTOY has updated its OctaneRender™ software and introduces .ORBX, a powerful new interchange file format supported across more than a dozen top 3D modeling applications popular on Windows and Mac operating systems.

[Editor’s note: see also, Architosh, “Autodesk talks to Architosh about Octane Cloud Workstation: Autodesk Edition at Amazon,” 20 March 2014.]

An Autodesk and Mozilla Collaboration

Designed in collaboration with Autodesk and Mozilla, the new format houses comprehensive computer-generated scene data at the subatomic level for perfect rendering across mediums. The general update to OctaneRender also introduces numerous new features and flexibility for artists and animators.

Version 1.5 of OctaneRender is now available as a standalone client and also via OTOY’s Octane Cloud Workstation with updated plugins for 3D applications rolling out shortly. The new .ORBX file format improves considerably on traditional 3D formats such as .OBJ, .CAD, or .STL, going beyond storing simple geometry to include all aspects of a 3D scene, such as materials, properties, textures, lighting, transform hierarchies and cameras, all in a self-contained file format.

01 - OctaneRender 1.5 from OTOY offers many new features and new .ORBX format.

01 – OctaneRender 1.5 from OTOY offers many new features and new .ORBX format.

Unlike the Alembic file format, .ORBX was designed in close collaboration with Autodesk and Mozilla to be a flexible container for a wide range of uses beyond computer graphics, including video, 3D printing, holography, design and engineering.

Down to  Atomic Level Precision

The .ORBX format allows for incredible granularity, supporting the modeling of physical properties of a scene or object down to two hundredths of a nanometer, or a quarter of the size of a hydrogen atom.

OctaneRender™ 1.5 and related plugins allow artists and animators to perfectly import and export extraordinarily complex 3D scenes in .ORBX format across 15 modeling programs, appearing in the same final render quality as the program they were originally created in. The flexibility of the .ORBX format has implications for media and entertainment companies who can now effectively use their computer-generated assets and IP across a variety of mediums, from feature film and television development, to video games, web sites, and toy production for example. The format is expected to be open sourced in the second half of this year.

New Node System

The node system, an essential part of OctaneRender’s scene management and user interface, has been rebuilt to allow simpler management and navigation of all elements in a scene, particularly as more intricate elements such as Alembic or .ORBX files are used with greater frequency. Users can now seamlessly and intuitively group and ungroup nodes, edit nodes, and nest and copy nodes, while benefitting from a cleaner, more compact user interface in OctaneRender 1.5.

OctaneRender 1.5 supports the importing of .ABC Alembic files and users can set visibility properties for objects, useful for creating fade-in and fade-out effects. The new Time slider allows artists to scrub through the camera animations of Alembic files and version 1.5 now supports viewing of animated geometry and camera data with camera motion blur.

OctaneRender 1.5 has an  scriptable API giving users and third-party developers the ability to add functionality to the standalone edition, such as the creation of widgets, using a scriptable API based on Lua.

“The new version of OctaneRender introduces one of our most significant developments yet: the .ORBX file format,” said Jules Urbach, Founder and CEO, OTOY. “.ORBX solves the longstanding challenge of asset interoperability, not just among 3D graphics applications, but with a view to expanded use across a wide range of mediums. It presents an incredible amount of scene detail and complexity in a simple, self-contained, and versatile format, one that we feel will come to play an increasingly important role in the modern 3D ecosystem.”

OctaneRender™ 1.5 is available now for 199.euro or at no charge to paying users of previous versions. It can be downloaded at

OctaneRender 1.5 runs on Mac OS X (10.5+) and Windows and Linux. Fully integrated products include ArchiCAD, CINEMA 4D, Lightwave, Rhino, Maya, Poser and many more, including SketchUp in development.

For more information on OctaneRender™ 1.5, visit


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