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Bunkspeed SHOT 3D – Photorealistic Rendering Simplified

by on June 23, 2010

How many times have you found a great model either online or in some library and simply want to render a beautiful photorealistic picture?  You don’t want to mess with building materials and fancy caustic or final gather settings, or perhaps you just don’t really understand what all that means.  Maybe you’re just in a big rush and don’t have the hour or two it would take to build the scene, place the lights, build the materials, and then wait for it to render.

If this has ever happened to you, then you should check out this new product announced today: Bunkspeed SHOT 3D Rendering software.  The first ever product released using the mental images ‘iray‘ product, it is a model renderer designed with simplicity in mind.  I had the chance to meet with Mental Image’s Micheal Kaplan and Bunkspeed’s Philip Lunn and see a live demonstration of this, and I have to admit it is impressive.

He had a rather powerful demonstration rig (A BOXX system with 2 Tesla 2050’s and a Quadro) showing off the new CUDA-capable rendering abilities of Bunkspeed SHOT & iray, and could reach a percievably perfect scene in a handful of seconds.  Of course, the solution would continue to compute for some time, but the beauty of their solution is that it is designed to mimic a photographer’s usual workflow.  Simply construct the scene (No modeling is really possible beyond basic geometry placement and scaling), and then enter your camera parameters (focal distance, f-stop, etc) and then “Snap the picture” to begin the full-quality rendering.  Rendering takes just as long as you want it to take, as the iray process is an incremental one and can be stopped early or extended to set the desired level of detail you want.

Beyond just the rendering capabilities, they also have several features you will find interesting.  One particularly useful one is their ability to replicate models.  In the example they showed, he loaded a highly detailed car model and dropped on some default materials to make it lime green with a white racing stripe.  He then simply cut-n-paste it a few more times in the environment.  Selecting all of the cars, he could then select an “arrangement” from a nearby menu to put them in a line, in a V-formation, or several others.  He selected a line, and then added a slight angle so that all of the cars were at about a 30-degree angle.  Then, he simply dropped colors on each car to change them so that he wound up with a variety of cars in a beautiful arrangement, all in a matter of about 10 seconds.

The next demo was even more astounding.  Loading a simple Sketchup scene, you saw the geometry of a small kitchen with stove, lights, countertop, etc.  The SketchUp model was of a good quality, but the SketchUp rendering engine left much to be desired.  With a few mere clicks he started the iRay renderer and generated a scene that would make any CAD designer’s jaw drop.  That is the main focus of the package:  Take CAD Models and render them photorealistically, with a minimum of fuss.  Currently the package supports a wide variety of inputs including COLLADA, FBX, SketchUp, OBJ, and more.

Finally, he built a very basic scene using some of the basic geometry tools.  He added a simple sphere, and then two perpendicular quads (one floor, one wall).  Drop a “Mirror” material on one, select the “Studio” HDR Environent map from their library, and bam the scene is complete and rendered. No more do you have to deal with setting the number of bounce rays, the final gather samples, or the complex shadow parameters.  All of this is done for you, and the rendering is in near real-time thanks to iRay and the NVidia Quadro architecture.

Lest you think this all a gimmick, the cover of the upcoming Watch Journal will, for the first time ever, feature a CG rendering of a watch on its cover.  Who created this rendering, you ask?  Bunkspeed Shot.

The Devon Treat Watch, Cover Image for the Watch Journal

Of course, CUDA isn’t required, the software will run just fine on CPU-only, even on a small laptop, however the performance boost from the CUDA cores is undeniable.  They claim that in their tests they’ve found a single Quadro to be equivalent to 12 Nehalem cores, and their 3-GPU system (a Quadro and 2 Tesla’s) equal to roughly 120 cores.

Bunkspeed Shot is available today for $995.  Full press release after the breakl

BUNKSPEED Launches Next-generation Bunkspeed SHOT 3D Rendering Software with mental images iray Technology

Single NVIDIA Quadro GPU based system delivers 12x speed-up for ray tracing

CARLSBAD, CA – June 23, 2010 – BUNKSPEED, a leading global provider of 3D rendering and animation software for the design and creative industry, announced today the release of Bunkspeed SHOTTM, a completely redesigned “interactive photograph for 3D data” software application.

Bunkspeed was first to bring interactive ray tracing to the market in 2007 which revolutionized rendering, by empowering anyone to create photographic-quality images, but it was limited to using only the CPU. The new Bunkspeed SHOTTM leverages the power of NVIDIA graphics processing units (GPUs) and is built on the massively parallel computing architecture of NVIDIA CUDATM to dramatically accelerate the user’s workflow.

Even the most complex scenes render interactively, and in real-time.

Bunkspeed SHOTTM incorporates mental images’ innovative iray® technology to provide an interactive, 3D rendering solution that brings the power of the GPU to creative professionals everywhere, enabling rapid and fluid feedback. Bunkspeed SHOTTM provides stunning, photorealistic accuracy, and empowers users to intuitively create the highest quality image output without the steep learning curves required of other rendering products.
Bunkspeed SHOTTM with iray® also enables users to scale up rendering over multiple NVIDIA GPUs or machines. An entirely new level of performance and realism is now a reality at less than 20% of the cost for achieving the same level on multiple CPUs.

“As a user of the previous generation software from Bunkspeed, I knew the standard set at the time was tough to beat,” said Peter Crowther, a UK-based, computer graphic artist and illustrator. “Bunkspeed has done it again. Bunkspeed SHOTTM offers breakthrough usability, performance and quality, and is a pleasure to use. I went straight out and bought a ‘Personal Super Computer’ with a Quadro 5800 and three Tesla 2050’s for a total of 1584 CUDA to utilize what SHOT has to offer. The solution has dramatically accelerated my workflow. I am rendering at speeds unimagined just a couple of years ago, and for unbiased interactive rendering it’s simply revolutionary. This truly is another revolution in power and performance and has increased my efficiency significantly.”

The re-imagined, all new interface of Bunkspeed SHOTTM further simplifies the rendering process. The workflow and user experience is more intuitive — packed with more features, interactive lighting, superior shadows, and rendered images that require no quality settings.

Designers, engineers, marketers, and photographers, without expertise in rendering will be impressed with how fast and easy it is to create stunningly realistic images. Architects and interior designers will be equally amazed by how quickly they can render their ideas and designs.

“With the introduction of Bunkspeed SHOTTM, the next-generation “3D interactive photograph”, we have eliminated the last of the traditional boundaries associated with 3D rendering by delivering a software solution that allows anyone with creative desire to easily create photo-realistic images from any 3D digital data”, says Philip Lunn, Bunkspeed founder and CEO.

“With its innovative new SHOT software, Bunkspeed is the first to integrate and bring our interactive iray® rendering technology to market,” said Rolf Herken, CEO and CTO of mental images. “SHOT combines unprecedented ease of use with the most accurate simulation possible. Leveraging the power of the GPU, iray® provides creative professionals with the simulated digital camera they could only dream of in the past.”

“Only NVIDIA delivers the truly interactive ray tracing experience when running Bunkspeed SHOTTM with iray® technology,” said Jeff Brown, general manager, NVIDIA Professional Solutions Group. “Our collaboration with Bunkspeed has resulted in a solution that is designed for the growing community of professional designers and digital artists that demand real-time solutions that easily make their work flow.”

Pricing and Availability

Bunkspeed SHOTTM integrated with iray® rendering technology leverages NVIDIA Quadro professional graphics solutions to enable a combination of unprecedented power, elegance and accuracy. Bunkspeed is raising the bar once again, enabling users to continue to “Render them speechless”TM.    Bunkspeed SHOT ™  is available today starting at $995.

For more information about Bunkspeed SHOTTM, please visit www.bunkspeed.com/SHOT. For more information about mental images and iray®, please visit www.mentalimages.com/iray. For more information about NVIDIA Quadro professional graphics solutions, please visit www.nvidia.com/quadro.