Octane vs Arnold vs Physical – What Renderer is Right for You?

March 29, 2016

In this video I examine my three favorite renderers at the moment, Physical, Arnold, and Octane. One of the most common questions I get asked by C4D artists these days is, “What renderer should I use?” Well, hopefully this video and it’s clever analogy will help clear that up for you. This video runs through some of my favorite (and not so favorite) features of these renderers.


Let me start by saying that I deliberately did not include some renderers that you may have been hoping for. I chose these three because they are, in my opinion the most exciting. Although, I am watching Redshift very closely and anxious to see their C4D plugin. Also, these are MY opinions and I’m guessing there will be artists that do not agree or have their own set of likes/dislikes. I encourage everyone to share their opinions in the comments, but remember to keep it professional.

My Top 3 List for Each:

Physical (CPU Based) – Sedan

  • No additional cost
  • Full integration has benefits
  • Free team/net rendering (with exception to command line)

Arnold (CPU Based) – SUV

  • IPR window/RT feature – huge timesaver
  • Works well on both Mac & PC
  • Node Based Material Editor

Octane (GPU Based) – Formula One

  • Insanely fast (if you have the GPU hardware)
  • IPR/RT window feature – huge timesaver
  • Crazy fast SSS, DOF, and Motion Blur

My System Specs:

  • Custom AVA Direct PC Build – Windows 10 Pro
  • 2 x INTEL Xeon E5-2640 Eight Core Processors 3.4GHz
  • 32gigs of RAM
  • 4 x EVGA GeForce GTX 980ti Cards

More Information:

GSG HDRI Collection
Solid Angle Arnold
Otoy Octane
Pixel Plow – Cloud Rendering
Car Model by SQUIR

Tutorial Focus:  , , , ,
Software:  , , ,

  • Amazing review guys.

  • Great review and very useful thankyou :).

    So can you just confirm, will Lightkit Pro work out-of-the-box with all three renderers, or does it only work with Physical Renderer?

  • 4x EVGA 980ti cards LOL

    • Michael Bischoff March 29, 2016 at 1:58 pm

      Haha, my eyes just about fell out when I saw those specs.

    • well, i don`t think it`s too crazy, if you can afford 3K software 😀

      • E5-2640 is a 2.6GHz with a 3.4 GHz turbo speed….so not quite an accurately stated set of specs. This may help keep your eyes in place.

        • It is accurate, once you start doing something that needs cpu power it overclocks the cores to whatever the “turbo speed” is set to.

        • Actually, isn’t that a xeon? They don’t turbo/OC. I run a 10 core 3.2ghz xeon E5 and on the x99 mobo at least; you don’t OC or turbo a xeon. I believe this has always and will always be the case because they are for workstations and need to be consistent in heat and performance. I also decided to get the ECC RAM though some may agree it’s not necessary. I found ironically in Premiere, my main goto for editing other than AE, turning on ECC VRam in nvidia control panel hurts performance drastically. I spent a lot of extra cash for this box when I spec’d it and only got a quadro K5200 card. I should have just gotten a bunch of 980ti’s in a non workstation build. Always so hard to choose on a tight budget.

  • Great post! Thank you so such!

  • Hey, great video!
    I think you covered everything pretty well.
    I used to work with Octane Render but I think it messes up layering materials. It would be great if you could talk a bit about it on the next video. Making a car paint material with some flakes would be really great!

  • Thanks for the review. A lot of incredibly helpful information.

    I’d love some tutorials on octane if you ever have the time!


  • Hi thanks for this tutorial and yes we are intersted in tutorials for arnold and octane :).. hope more people gona put this reques 🙂

  • Just because V-Ray doesn’t have an RT component makes it not worth reviewing? Octane is the best option for speed at the moment if you don’t have CPU power. But you can scale V-Ray DR as much as you want. Having 120+cores at your fingertips, for free (10DR nodes), that isn’t limited by RAM (it’s pretty easy to fill up 120GB in a complicated scene) seems like a bad idea in a production environment. I’ll be more equipped to judge it when they support OCL, but by that time, VRay will have an RT component as well.

    • vray for cinema4d is currently years behind the 3dsmax and Maya versions with no real clue when there will be feature parity. There’s a 3.x beta for paid customers, but that’s missing a ton of stuff. Unlike 3dsmax and Maya, the middleware for cinema4d is developed by a 3rd party, who has unfortunately been having great difficulty in getting vray up to date on c4d.

  • I realize this might be a very naïve question, but in this context: What is a map? You use it so much in this presentation and I realize I am not sure what it means? Texture?

    • No worries Jim, when I use the word “Map” I’m usually referring to a texture map or if say “mapping”, I’m usually referring to how a texture map is UV’d or “mapped”.


  • Great review! Here is a plugin that allows to use node materials for standar and Physical render


  • I know I’d appreciate some tuts on Octane Render. This is what I primarily use. Thanks

  • Great review, thank you. Would love an Arnold tutorial about how Beau Wright creates his Arnold textures and surfaces, please: http://www.aspenexcel.com

  • FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, ARNOLD OPTIMIZATION PLEASE!!! Seriously IPR is great, but getting final renders out grain free takes wayyyy long, Arnold is king pass the knowledge! Great video.

  • Good point for everything. I wonder how will battle look if you will compare VRay vs RenderMan vs Corona. Corona seams to be quite good (its like “simply” arnold), VRay is on the market for years, and its not easy to learn but work results are pretty awesome. And of course “the king” – RenderMan 🙂

  • Generally, I think if Physical will get 200% speedup, and works really good with IPR (Maxon – maybe its time to add some GPU support 😉 ) Blender got really good renderer integrated – Cycles. Blender is freeware and it takes some time go learn it but Cycles are really good. Its working with CPU & GPU rendering (you can switch between modes) and its strictly QMC/Brute force based (like Arnold/Corona). If our loved C4Ds Physical can work way like Cycles – it would be perfect combo

    • Yes, Cycles is a good one, but the workflow between C4d and Blender is not gonna work, I’ve been working with Cinema 4D and Blender (I like the material preview and the material node based system) but I prefer Physical render or Corona (my favorite render engine) 🙂

  • Good review . For myself chose Physical and Thea Render

  • Great review!!! Unbelievable… I’m used the Arnold to C4D and i like it. But i look on Octane Render and i’m he has is quick and high-quality. Thank u so much for the review. I will share this link with my followers. Thanks man 😉

  • very nice tut

    keep going tuts about octane

  • Great video, very informative. I’d love to see some Octane tutorials… For me, something on Octane texturing/node based workflow would be incredibly helpful.

  • Seems like a lot of what makes Arnold a versatile ‘SUV’ will be available in Octane v3 – assuming v3 will be released someday, in which case it’s hard to make a compelling case for anything else. Kind of like a skyjacked Hummer that runs on good vibes and breaks landspeed records. The only drawback is the time consumed loading up really heavy scenes.

    Looking forward to Octane tuts. Arnold does look really cool as well, but speed with quality is king IMHO.

    • A GPU renderer will always have limits compared to a CPU renderer. Aside from RAM, it’s hard getting procedural stuff to work in a GPU environment. The case for Arnold is knowing that whatever you throw at it, it will render, though it might take an entire renderfarm to do it in time for the deadline 🙂

  • I’m on a recent iMac and, as Octane has not been an option for me so far, I would really like to know a bit more about Arnold. It’s been used for such a long time in the Industry but just wasn’t available for c4d yet, so here you got one vote for doing a video regarding that render engine 🙂

  • Great video!

  • Thank you for this. It came at a time where I am building a machine that is both CPU and GPU render friendly. I am purchasing Octane after demoing it for a bit. Count me in on wanting as many Octane tuts as you care to make. Thanks Chad!

  • Thanks for the info Chad – I hope you create some more octane specific content! I recently switched to a pc in order to take advantage of cuda. I currently am running with 3x980ti.

  • Wow…thank you so much for making this. I had a basic understanding but now I feel better. I would love for you to make an Arnold and an Octane in depth tutorial. I have been learning both and feeling good about it. It is nice to get the point of view from someone that has knowledge of the 3. Once again thank you.

  • Very nice review, much appreciated! Since I got Octane, I never get back to physical or standart renderer. It renders faster on my 1x GTX 980 (4 gb VRAM) then standart or physical on my i7 5820k.
    It would be realy great if there is more Octane tutorials and tips.
    I have only one question, which motherboard you’re using that can keep two CPU’s and four GPU’s, is there water cooling system as well? Cause that’s a build I’m looking for my next workstation.

  • What about Vray? Would be great to compare it as well

    • See vray comment above, vray for cinema4d is currently years behind the 1st party plug-ins.

      • I honestly doubt you’ve used it if you’re throwing that much hate towards it. Yes it doesn’t have ALL the features that Max/Maya has, but it has all of the important ones (Curve based IOR falloff). I would be very interested to see why you think it’s not even worth adding to the discussion. There are a lot of things that Octane is good at and I’ve been impressed by a lot of renders. They’re the same thing if you know what you’re doing. Anyone that says otherwise is inexperienced with multiple rendering applications.

        The discussion should be about efficiency. Octane has amazing render times compared to a single Vray machine. But when you need to scale that up, Vray is MUCH cheaper to do so. Look Dev is also faster in Octane, but if you have DR set up; it can get pretty close.

  • You can texture map a light in Physical/Standard [@22:30]. It’s called gel and works by putting a shader on the light, with a texture map in the transparency channel.

    • Henrik, thanks for the tip! I’ll have to try that out!

    • i was scrolling through the comments hoping to find this :). yeah, you can texture lights in C4D.

    • Ok, I did some digging and unless I’m missing something, you cannot texture map an Area Light using this technique. The “Gel” technique is a projection method designed for spotlights. What I was talking about was the ability to put an HDRI texture on an area light and the energy of that HDR would not project out of the light, but EMIT the light. It would also show up either in the viewport or in reflections. I hope this makes sense and thanks for tipping me off to the “Gel” projection feature in C4D.

  • Awesome !! Thanks for putting light into the darkness.

    Put my vote in the bucket with OCTANE TUTORIAL REQUESTS 🙂

  • Still no download link?

  • Hi guys, amazing work as usual

    Do you know how I can use OCTANE in a MAC PRO? it seems is not supported by my graphical card…any advice?

    • A soon to be released version of Octane will support AMD cards, but Otoy has not said when it will be released.

      • My understanding is that support for AMD cards is on the back-burner and WON’T be a part of the initial launch of Octane 3. Everything I’ve read has indicated that Otoy would like to support AMD, but is viewing it as a *potential* feature for future versions of Octane 3.x. I’d love to be wrong about this and welcome any evidence to the contrary.

    • When you say Mac Pro you mean the newer overpriced ones not the classic Mac Pro? A lot of people don’t realize that a 12-core classic Mac Pro can outperform a newer Mac Pro for literally 1/4 the cost, plus you have PCIe slots which you can use for expansion, like a proper PRO computer. My classic Mac Pro 12-core has a geekbench score of 29,000, similar or better than the new Mac Pro 12-core. I am currently building an external GPU chassis for my Mac Pro that will be usable by any PC with PCIe slots as well. Spread the word that you don’t need to wait for Octane to add AMD support, and you certainly don’t need to change your entire operating system just to run a bunch of GPUs!

  • Nice thoughts you shared!
    What motherboard runs all your hardware?

  • Fantastic overview! Thank you very much.

    I’ve used pixel plow for an arnold project and i loved it. A friend of mine pointed me to this online render farm for octane: http://ultrarender.com/

    I didn’t use it personally but he said it was reliable. Its a little different than pixel plow though, you rent a setup for a specified amount of time.

  • Hey Chad! Great overview of those engines. I’ve been using Arnold for a while – in Maya and now C4D – and I think one of the concepts about Arnold that gets lost, particularly in the mograph community, is that it’s a production renderer. Meaning, it’s designed to handle massive data sets efficiently without a huge memory footprint. I’ve used Octane as well and was surprised to find it choking on relatively small scenes in comparison to Arnold. No slight on Octane – both are amazing engines – but they’re different tools for different jobs.

    And in terms of Arnold noise, you hit the nail on the head earlier: it all comes down to where you put your samples. Spend a little time with Arnold and you can quickly get a feel for where samples and bounces need to go and adjust accordingly.

    Anyway, keep it up, man. Loving your contribution to GSG!

    • Thanks Rich! Agreed, Arnold is a fantastic PRODUCTION renderer. It really shines on complex, big scenes. I also love it’s simplicity for tiny things as well. Thanks for the great comment!

  • Great video. Thank you.

    Just wondering where you got the Cadillac model (if you bought it and didn’t model it yourself)?


  • I’m interested in Octane tutorials

  • About your demo with Octane, I see you use DirectLighting method.
    Altough it’s quite fast, no doubt about it, it has a lot of limitations (No true GI, fake refractions, no caustic… – try to put a simple light behind a glass panel and see how strange it behaves by default).

    When you’re dealing with interiors scenes and/or transparent products for example, you have to switch to the pathtracing method. And it gets very slow and noisy.
    It’s like bruteforce GI and I get noise-free results faster in other render engines (Vray or even Physical)

    So Octane is definetly not a jack of all trade, I agree with you, it’s more like a formula 1 on very specific scenes. You really have to think about it before landing 3k$ on graphic cards.

    • Yes, there is no “magic bullet” renderer for sure. I have heard that interiors with path tracing can be troublesome, it’s something I believe they are working on in 3.0. There are tricks to eliminating noise in post that you may find useful (NeatVideo plugin). Thanks for the comment!

      • A brute force renderer will always have trouble with interiors, without light caches it takes an enormous amount of rays to get clean noise. That’s why Redshift is so interesting, a biased GPU renderer with lightcaches!

  • Excellent review, Chad. Thank you! I have 2 questions…

    1) Do you know if Maxon is working on adding GPU support to the physical renderer?

    2) Since I’ve never worked with a 3rd party renderer, I don’t understand how these renderers handle materials. For example, if I were to get Octane, then open a model that I created with Cinema and Texture Kit Pro materials, would I have to redo the materials to have them work with Octane?

    Thank you!

    • W.r.t point 2, holding thumbs. Maxon has been advertising a job vacancy for a GPU rendering programmer, so hopefully they’re looking into getting GPU support on their renderer.

  • That was a great review Chad. I’d love to see a tutorial about how to speed up your workflow, and optimize your machine. I’m on a MacPro and I feel like everything I do is slow. I’d love to learn some tips on speeding everything up. Thanks!

  • Such an amazing one as always:D

  • Nice review Chad.

    Rarely see many talk about Maxwell Render for c4D.

    I’m still early to learning c4d but have been using Maxwell (Full Suite) and Sketchup for the last 3 years for interior still renderings. Itching to get to grips with C4d and then the C4d to maxwell workflow.

    Maxwell is awesome in terms of realistic materials, lighting and environments. Specifically in relation to how it is based on photographic principles, has RT, a huge variety of matt options (Channels) and post render adjustments options.

    Can take a while to fathom the maxwell material system and can be real slow as CPU based unbiased renderer.

    I tried Vray, but never got the results I wanted and it kept falling over. perhaps need to demo Arnold and wait for AMD compatability with Octane.

    • Thanks Njay…I’ve seen some nice things in Maxwell, but as I said, I wanted to keep this to the three that interest me the most. However, I am keeping an eye on Redshift.

  • Awesome video! thanks! I would personally love to see some Arnold explanations.

  • Don’t discount Corona,
    Has its bugs, in alpha development,- but even as a CPU renderer it crushes octane for speed when using several light sources. and hey- its free!!! Great beta tester team too,

    • Yeah, I was going to ask for corona render, is a powerful render engine, is not perfect but in speed is a huge monster considering that is cpu based and a completely new render engine.

  • I prefer the F1.

  • Christoph Rüppell March 30, 2016 at 2:16 pm

    I am on octane for a few weeks. Sometimes I am amazed by the speed and quality even with little tweaking. Sometimes it’s hard to get rid of noise. So some tuts will be very nice.


    • Noise is a constant battle for many renderers. I recommend doing noise removal as part of your comp process…check out Neat Video’s plugin…it’s awesome.

      • Google for Aleksey’s review of Innobright as well, it works by comparing the noise from two seperate renderers and returns a clean frame. Still faster than doing a longer render.

    • Indeed, I find that the physical renderer is much less sensitive to noise.

  • Thanks for this detailed review, if there could be some more info regarding Octane that would be really helpfull.
    Also it would be great if GSG would develop some plugins/products designed for Octane since it’s becoming a very popular.


  • Hi Chad, great tutorial.
    Are you the Chad Ashley that works as creative director at DK Chicago? The same that made great tools for 3DSMax with A&G Tool Company? I’ve remember watching you make lighting tutorials with Max/MentalRay.

    Did you abandon compleatly the 3DSMax workflow? Are you transitioning to C4D?

    • Hi Bruno! Yes, I’m that same Chad! Not many of us chad’s out there. 🙂

      I made the switch to C4D from Max and haven’t looked back! It’s been amazing!

      • Thanks for the reply. Sorry for bugging you with my questions 🙂 but we’ve opened a channel for communication and I’m a curious guy . Since your transition what are your thoughts on the modeling tools of C4D and rigging inside C4D (character etc) ? Because Max is well known for its modeling power.

  • +1 more for more Arnold tuts please?! Thank you guys for staying up to date with current trends and professional queries!

  • Great review !

    Octane 3 removed the triangle limit. There is a Alpha version so you can try it. I use Vray on Maya and Octane on cinema 4D. My scenes are complex, full of objects and working for 4K resolutions. Vray have great tools to optimize your workflow. Octane force you to pay atention to your hardware capabilities and poly count. But still, for me both renders are awesome ! I have a x 4 Titan X and I’m pushing it, still, a 4K sequence with complex shaders can take up to 3 to 4 hrs to have a noise free image.

  • Wow, great review Chad!

  • Octane render – AMD only(X) NVIDIA only (0)

  • Great info and well presented. Thank you.
    Can anyone give any insight into the pros and cons of the different GPU renders available for C4D?

    Octane vs. Indigo vs. Thea vs. etc

    There’s been a lot of talk about Octane, both on the (outstanding) GSG website and on SIGGRAPH presentations. And recycling old gaming cards to speed up my renders is a wonderful idea. Is Octane the only solution, or are the others contenders?

  • Great Tut – Loved it!

  • Don’t know about everyone else, but quite a lot of my time spent centers around ‘Speed’/effort time and lighting- volumetric, fog, glows.. none of the ‘Renders’ have ‘speed’ and ‘lighting.
    Yes there are ‘fake’ methods.. boxes within boxes and placements of cameras and eventually.. restricted possibilities…
    LuxRender had as good a system, or better, 10 years ago. I don’t know how the most used effort/lighting/ fell behind the ‘Neato/cool’ things like particles in development needs.

  • Physical uses standard C4D shaders, which apart from the BRDF reflections update, are cack. A proper PBR workflow requires decent shaders, and if you look at how vray for c4d or octane converts them, you notice how lacking they are. Doing metals, even with the new fresnel settings in standard c4d shaders, is horrible. I do wish maxon would clear out the presets library and replace all the awful metal presets with useful metals – or do a proper PBR preset library like Quixel or Substance. In fact supporting Substance would be a huge step for both C4D and OTOY.

  • Very useful. I’ve been looking for a comprehensive explanation like this for a while, thanks for listening to the people! 😉

  • Awesome comparison Chad. I’ve wanted this for a long time, specially for Octane. I’ve using Arnold for a while and with this comparison you did I’m really happy with my choice. Thanks!

  • Nice Comparison. Some in depth tutorials on Octane would be nice. For example I never knew what the normalize function inside the lights was about..

    • Its a tricky little setting. They have one in Arnold as well. Basically it means that you can change the size of the light and it will not impact it’s intensity.

  • Thank you very much for the tutorial. I look forward to more on Octane.

  • Just one question. Why did you chose 4x GTX980 boards instead of a Quadro Graphic Board ? Because of CUDA ? Thank You. Keep the good work

  • Why did you chode fou GTX980 instead of a Quadro graphicBoard? Thank you

    • I love the Geforce cards because they are more affordable than the Quadro’s. I can get the same amount of Cuda cores for much less $$$. Hope that helps!

  • thanks Chad, great review.

    One point on cost, Arnold is $790 USD per node locked. Octane is $512 USD + (in your case) $2800 USD in GPUs (4 x 980Ti’s). So Octane can get pretty expensive. Sure 1 Arnold license is going to be slow in production, however, on our latest TVC we used a cloud render farm and it cost just $150 USD to render 1 x 30 second commercial.

    more Arnold content please! 🙂

    • Thanks for the comment James! Can you share what render cloud service you used. I’ve used Pixel Plow with Arnold and it was great!

      • Happy to. We used Ranch Computing. Their process and tools are cumbersome, but it worked and was very cheap. Rebus has better integration and download tools but their support for Arnold was poor. I just tried Pixel Plow last week and it took all day to upload a 4Mb file – not sure what the problem was there.

    • Hi James

      is that really true. You need 4 Octane licenses if you have 1 machine with 4 GPU cards?


  • Diego M. Bonati April 1, 2016 at 5:35 am

    Thank you very much for this cool and useful review, the car comparison is simply clever.

    For me the winner is Arnold, is much faster than Physical and has no the noise problems that have Octane which is apparently fast but in long 4k productions with high polygon count does not seem to be competitive.

  • Hey Chad thanks for the tut.,

    Have you looked at Iray nvidea?
    It is also a real time render and is free at this point for C4D…

    • You’re welcome Titus! Yes, I’ve tested IRay and although it is interesting, there are some things that I didn’t like. For instance, at the time I tested it there was no master material and currently no way to edit MDL files without some serious work. There also wasn’t a whole lot of materials to learn from and the forum was sparse.

  • Hi Chad, thanks for the comparisons. Do you have any specific reasons for not expanding the review to cover V-Ray other than the RT component it is missing in C4D’s current version?

    • Travis, you’re welcome! As for V-Ray, I was an avid V-Ray user in the 3ds Max world for nearly ten years. After some research, I learned that the C4D version of V-Ray is not exactly the V-Ray I was used to, so I started exploring other options.

  • Running Octane for the last few months on an iMac with 2 x GTX 980ti with an eGPU setup. Love the speed, hate my lack of knowledge. So Octane tutorials please!

  • Hi Chad,

    Thanks for the tutorial. If you want an IPR window in physical render like Arnold render you can try the Magic Preview plugin from Nitroman. It’s very fast and useful.



  • aleksey voznesenski April 4, 2016 at 2:56 pm

    Nice coverage, i made a similar article a while back. Results of my research into alternate render engines.


  • +1 for more arnold tutorials. Thanks for this breakdown.

  • I have 12 core mac pro with duel d700. I was wondering how fast you think octane will be when version 3 comes out? should I wait. or should i just sell and build a pc. I primarily us c4d and after effects for motion graphics.

  • Great breakdown! Anyone looking at Corona Renderer? Just in the alpha but looks good.

    • I’ve tested Corona and it has great promise, but is still lacking some key features IMHO. I’m looking forward to what they do next with it.

  • Curious…

    If Vray *were* up to date & incorporated all the bells/whistles that Maya/Max offer, would this have affected your choices?

    Just watched presentation by Pixar on Presto, http://www.digitaltrends.com/computing/pixar-shows-software-at-gtc-2016/

    It would seem to me, having both GPU & CPU capabilities would be ideal – especially when scene size/requirements eliminate the GPU. I believe that is what several commenters suggested when discussing the scaling issues.

    In any case, thank you very, very much for the info! Speaking for myself, not having the time to wade through all these different engines, including the design software, e.g., Cinema, Maya, etc., series like this are extremely helpful. Its training I would gladly pay for, especially, lol, for un-biased (as much as is possible, since we are all human) opinions 🙂

    Final comment – I am a vRay user – not advanced by any means – Im an Mechanical Engineer, and spend far more time in CAD and FEA; but I do on occasion get a chance to explore the marketing side of things, hence Cinema, Greyscale, etc. vRay, especially in the hands of the talented folk, gosh, the images are stunningly beautiful. Im sure that’s why some of us *want* very much for this to be viable.

    The team team behind vRay for Cinema are a great bunch, but the development time is very long. At the end of the day, I can see why its necessary to consider these other alternatives.
    Again, thank you for a well done presentation.

    • Shelley, thanks for the comment! To your first question, the answer is yes. I think if the V-Ray for C4D were utilizing the most recent V-Ray code/features, I would most likely have included it. To your second point, I agree a renderer that can utilize both GPU and CPU at the same time would be ideal. That is exactly why I’m interested in Red Shift. From what I can tell, it does exactly that. Sounds like it’s going to be full of great features too.

  • I keep seeing this HDRI Link tag from GSG for Octane in some videos, is this out? where can I get it? do I just buy Light Kit or HDRI Collection to be able to use it with Octane and C4D?

    Somebody please some info!

  • Apple! No…! With my new retina I can’t use Octane ’cause doesn’t work with AMD graphic card! I’m waiting for release 3 (now beta)… but I’m not sure…

  • Would using substance help to get around the material editor issues? My concern with using any renderer outwith Physical is that you can’t use most of your plugins which imho are essential to get the most out of Cinema 4D. Not being able to use Substance, Vue, X Particles, all of the GSG plugins, Turbulence and every other material that I have purchased within the renderer is a massive negative for me and putting me off buying one.

  • Hi
    I would really appreciate a step by step beginners guide to Octane. We have it at my work but I really don’t get how it works and always end up just defaulting to what i know because I don’t have the time on the job to learn it as I go.

  • I hate octane for c4d. buggy, crappy support, lots of promises but no grit. it’s really not reliable at all, its integration is terrible. I’ve shed many tears with it.

    I absolutely love redshift for Maya though. incredible support, solid code base. Think Arnold on a GPU. Very professional people to work with. Used in production on movies and shows. And only getting better.AOV passes are solid.

    When octane finally releases something, their customer base is a QA team fixing stuff. When redshift releases something, everything is smooth, everything works. It’s just way more professional. That matters a lot for when you’re on the clock.

  • Amaaaazzziiing Review 🙂 …Love the Octane Render Speed :O

  • Awesome stuff! I definitely would love to see a few more tutorials on each one these. Especially Arnold.

    Thanks you

  • Matthew Bowden May 5, 2016 at 11:26 am

    Hey Chad,

    Thanks for the video. Great information. I have a couple questions about your pc. I’m in the market. Could you e-mail me?


    • My machine is a custom PC built by AVA Direct. If you ask for Joe Mundy, you can get a small discount for mentioning me. I love their work.

  • Nice video, nice voice, nice content. Keep it up!

  • Que buena comparación, ojala algún día un vídeo en español… personalmente Octano es muy bueno y tal cual como algunos dicen aquí, solo es cuestión de probar la velocidad que tiene, para tener un ejemplo mi PC es un AMD FX 8320 @3000 Mhz, 10 GB DDR3 @1600 Mhz con una vieja GTX 560 de 2 GB GDDR5 y la verdad en promedio cada cuadro toma de 4 a 11 minutos, y hacer lo mismo vía render físico de una hora en adelante, lo cual es un tiempo que ahorra de forma asombrosa, la visualización desde el Cinema también toma solo segundos y eso que es desde una GTX 560, espero pronto cambiar de equipo, aprendo Octane y Cinema 4D por ahora como “pasatiempo”.

    Se supone que el 15 de mayo sale la versión 3.0 de Octane que tendrá soporte a CPUs y GPUs que usen OpenCL, y eso de ser así pues excelentes noticias.

    Un saludo a todos ustedes maestros, gracias por inspirarnos y compartir estos vídeos.

    Larga vida al arte.

    • Octane 3.1 estará próximo a salir, y ahora según pruebas de Otoy, el OpenCL sera soportado, aun así con la versión R19 y la integración de ProRender habrá que ver que tal es el rendimiento ¿estará a la par que Octane?, imagino que Greyscalegorilla tendrá nuevos tutoriales sobre las ventajas y nuevo flujo de trabajo en la nueva versión de Cinema, sera interesante ver como funciona con TFD, X-Particles y OpenVDB.

  • @ 07:06 COMMENT ABOUT THE LAYERING IN THE PHYSICAL RENDERER… I think it misses the mark a little bit

    LAYERING materials in cinema 4d is HELLA straight forward.

    in fact using the LAYER option inside the material editor is perfect for managing bitmap texture maps / mixed with procedural shaders in C4d.

    In fact sometimes I use a single PSD to create layer groups which allow you to keep specific sets of textures in a PSD file for optimizing your workflow for future changes.

    You can use the layers as an alpha, it can generate alphas from the layers, you can mix alpha layers from multiple PSD layers etc…

    This feature is often overlooked but its really like having photoshop built in to the material editor and having all of your procedural and bitmaps there as well…

    • Xpez, thanks for the comment! I think you may have misunderstood. Yes, putting materials on a layer for scene organization is very straight forward. Also, the layer texture is very easy to use and understand, but I was not referring to the layer texture but the ability to layer actual shaders/materials. In C4D this is done using the Alpha and stacking materials on top of one another. This is very limiting if you’ve ever tried node based material editors which make this process even more functional (Octane, Arnold, etc). In most other renderers you can mix different materials not only by means of an alpha, but some will actually give you transfer modes on material mixing! Pretty cool stuff.

  • What about V-Ray and Corona?

    • Both great renderers for sure. I chose not to cover them for two main reasons. V-Ray for C4D is not IMHO a true version of vray and is using a very dated version of it’s engine. As for Corona, it looks promising but is not yet commercially available for C4D. Thanks for the comment!

  • Brigitte Lattanzio June 7, 2016 at 4:49 pm

    HI Chad,

    In order to view the AREA LIGHT in the interactive render region, or in your scene
    you have to turn on show in render, show in reflection, under detains tab.

    Hope this helps!

  • Hi Chad

    If I use 2*980 Ti’s plus a 970, will the extra memory in the Ti’s be deemed redundant by Octane? I’ve been getting some conflicting information.

    • I’m not sure why they would. Have you tried posting this question to the Octane forum? They are usually pretty good about getting back to you.

  • Hi Chad

    Great assessment there. Given me much to think about.

    I hear that there are VRAM considerations one must take into account when purchasing GPU for Octane. How have you found your 980 Ti’s? Do you ever have VRAM issues with scenes?

  • Hi Chad

    really liked the way you’ve reviewed the 3 renders. No doubt your heart beats for Arnold. By the way, mine too in the meanwhile.
    But what I could not figure out is, if Arnold only uses CPUs or if Arnold could also take advantage of GPUs.
    So in your case are your 4 GPUs of your graphic cards simply unused when rendering with Arnold?

    Many thanks for your review

    • Alas, Arnold is CPU only for the moment. BUT, I have heard that a GPU version of Arnold is in development. Fingers crossed! Thanks for the comment!

  • Excellent video. I’m pretty familiar with Physical renderer. The question for me is which will be easier to learn. Arnold seems much more complicated than Octane, but I do not know. Thoughts?

  • The perfect comparison I was looking for

    Thanks a lot¡

  • Any plans to review Cycles 4D from Insydium?

  • This video was very helpful for me on my way finding the best renderer for my needs. I have experiences with iray for C4D, but the main disadvantage is the lack of render farms and node locked licensing is also not acceptable for me. Therefore Octane is not a choice. And CPU-only renderers are just too slow.

    So what do you think about Thea? I just run the demo and it looks like the perfect allrounder. You have a Biased CPU renderer, brute force ray tracer and a so called Presto engine that can use CPU and all my GPUs! Fantastic! And the license is sticked to the c4d serial and it allows 3 installations. Support for Team Render and there are also render farms supporting Thea.

    And additionally: It’s quite cheap! 400 EUR is a fair price.

    I’m searching for a snag (do you say so in English?) but I can’t find any. Maybe a bit too much parameters for beginners.

  • Will be interested to hear what you guys think about AMD ProRender? It would be great if it was similar to Octane

    • Prorender is not there yet. I may get there someday with enough development resources, but I cannot endorse it at this time. There are far better third party rendering choices out there right now.

  • Hey can you guys profile redshift as well please?

  • Looking at the iMac Pro. I might be wrong but it seems that it will only have 1 GPU? Does that mean that you might not get the same speed benefits from Octane as you might with other hardware setups or is the GPU good enough to compensate a bit for this?

  • I think I may be one of the few people that hates Arnold with a passion..it is “extremely” slow when it comes to the final render. I’ve tried giving it a chance so many times, but I don’t see what the love for Arnold is. I think the list should go like this: 1.) Octane: Tesla Model S P90D, 2.) Vray: Bugatti 3.) Arnold: McLaren F1 4.) Physical Renderer: Corvette

    • The speed of Arnold is directly tied to your CPU. If you have more power in your GPUs than in your CPUs, you’re definitely not going to like the Arnold experience. However, in production speed is not the only metric to measure the usefulness of a renderer. Many studios use Arnold because of its ability to handle large, complex scenes without effort. That cannot be said for Octane or even Redshift. Each renderer has its strengths. It’s all about what works for you and the type of projects you’re producing. thanks for the comment!

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