Using the Octane Dirt Node

September 19, 2016

In this video, we are going to break down some awesome uses of Octane’s Dirt Node.


This video covers the same aging technique we demonstrated in our previous Arnold Curvature Map video found here.

Otoy’s Octane renderer is a fantastic GPU renderer that has gained popularity due to its incredible speed (if you have the hardware). Here is how they describe Octane on Otoys site:

“OctaneRender is the world’s first and fastest GPU-accelerated, unbiased, physically correct renderer. What does that mean? It means that Octane uses the graphics card in your computer to render photo-realistic images super fast. With Octane’s parallel compute capabilities, you can create stunning works in a fraction of the time.”

We plan on bringing you more useful videos covering more of Octane’s features, so be sure to keep your eyes peeled or subscribe to our YouTube Channel.

Chad’s “Beast Rig”:

AVA Direct Workstation
2 x Xeon® E5-2640 v3 Eight-Core Processor 2.6 – 3.1GHz
4 x GeForce GTX 980 Ti
2 x 500GB SSD
Windows 10 Professional

UPDATE 09.19.16
How do I choose my Octane Kernel?

I’ve gotten this question quite a few times so I figured I’d add it to this post. Octane has several “Kernels” or methods of calculating it’s renders. The most common is Path Tracing because it’s unbiased and often gets you the most physically realistic results. HOWEVER, I prefer to start every job using the Directlighting + GI Diffuse as my Kernel. This is not un-biased and therefore much faster than Path Tracing. If you set the bounces high enough on Spec, Glossy, and Diffuse you can sometimes get just as realistic results as full on Path Tracing but at a fraction of the render times (see image below). I’ll always start with Directlighting/GI Diffuse and then switch to full PT and see if the difference is significant enough to switch to full PT. Hope this helps!


The Tutorial:


Software:  , ,

  • Great to see some Octane tutorials on GSG! Looking forward to going through this one, more please!

  • Chad!
    I have a question, is it possible a displacement map like this into Arnold?

    Cheers! love your tuts!

  • Keep it up, Chad. Your contributions to this site are invaluable; loving the direction this place is going now!

  • awesome tutorial!!!! Please do a full totrial on the grunge technique in octane.

  • Ive been cursing the Octane dirt node all weekend, trying to emulate your Arnold tut. How did you know I was stuck?! Your timing is impeccable!

    I would love to see some content on photo-real texturing in Octane from you. Maybe for architectural rendering. I do a lot of those types of projects, I’d love to see what you have up sleeve on the subject.

  • awesome.awesome. let’s Learn more about Octane, please.

  • Great tutorial. I have an all mac setup but would love any solution to getting octane in my render process. Any advise would be greatly appreciated.

    • I also work with Mac and Octane since a few month. First I had an Netstor external housing with 2 NVIDIA cards.. but now I have an extra PC with 4 GPX 980Ti cards which works great with my Mac and Octane net render.. This requires an extra license.

      Great tutorial Chad. Thanks.

  • Great tut, thanks! Would love to see your full workflow recommendations for linear compositing. It gets a bit confusing setting the tonemapping and color profile in multiple places in Octane.

  • Chad,
    this was very helpful. Direct and to the point.

    One topic i would like you to talk about with Octane is getting a clean and clear alpha out of your renders. or get rid of the white out line that octane adds to the render out put.

    • White outline? I’m not sure I’ve seen that. Can you share a screenshot?

    • Allan,

      I’ve found that turning off “straight alpha” in c4d render settings, and making sure “pre-multiply alpha” is either checked or unchecked – whichever looks better in live viewer seems to help with alpha issues when I have them.

  • Great tut as always chad. love ur vids!

    more Octane please! 🙂

  • Please do more Octane specific tutorials. I think that Otoy doesn’t give as detail explanation for those nodes as it should be, so every tutorial about this stuff is helpful. I mean it, i’ve watched all of them 😀

  • Hey Chad,

    nice to see some more Octane Tutorials on here. Looking forward to see more ! Keep it going 🙂

    ~ Jens

    • Thanks Jensen!

      • I recommend to talk about the render passes in Octane. That seems very confusing for me at least.
        All the stuff for a nice workflow to comp it in AE for example.
        – Render multiple Layer ID’s at the same time for different alphas ( Buffer Object )
        – Different light passes / shadow passes
        – and so on 🙂

        ~ Jens

        • I’m thinking about an intro to Octane and an intro to Arnold course…this would be something I would cover. Thanks for the comment!

  • Thanks for the tut Chad, I’m still a newbie with Octane and would like to see more stuff on Octane. Especially since my last project that I used Octane I couldn’t figure out how to render separate passes like object buffers in the regular c4d rendering. I had to stay up all night duplicating each scene and killing all the octane textures and setting it up with buffers the old fashion way this was a time killer for me and I’ve been trying to figure it out ever since. It seems as though the Otoy folks are recommending that octane render is so killer that there’s no need for it as of now. Don’t know if I can agree with that though. I also still have to learn how to texture using bitmaps for example I’m trying to put a logo with an alpha on to like a hood of a car. Anyway, I’m stoked that Greyscale Gorilla is starting to do more Octane videos! Thanks again Chad!

    • Octane does not have the most intuitive pass workflow. I’m thinking about doing an intro to Octane course…keep your eyes peeled! Thanks for the comment!

      • Here’s a vote for your intro to Octane course! Would be great to get your clear style on things like passes and different rendering settings/Kernels from the beginning.

  • Hello Chad,
    Great tut as always.
    If you don’t mind may I ask what is your motherboard?
    I am in process of building a new machine for rendering. Trying my best to build something affordable. 🙂
    Could you please give me your opinion about GTX 10 Series?
    Some articles say doesn’t work with octane and few video on youtube show they work .

    Thanks in advance


  • Such a pity it doen’t work on a mac very well:-/
    gr. Mikel

  • Thanks for the tutorial Chad! Very helpful.

    When I use an HDRI and check Alpha Channel on and uncheck Keep Environment. I get a checkerboard background not the nice black like you have. Any ideas what may be the issue?

    • Hi Jeremy,

      I hope this helps, in the octane live viewer Select options tab > Make sure “Show Alpha” is not got a tick mark by it.

      When this is ticked it will show the checkerboard, if unticked it replaces the checkers with black.

      Hope that helps

      Benjamin Keating

  • Great tutorial. Like that it’s short and informative. Can you share your Octane layout? Can you do a tutorial using Xparticles and Octane. Special interest: The Flip Solver. Thank you and once again, great tutorial!!!

  • Hey Chad. It is SO GREAT to see GSG finally providing tutorials for us Octane users. My question is, does GSG have any plans on creating an Octane version of their Texture Kit Pro? I know Octane doesn’t recognize the reflectance channel, and there are a ton of awesome TKP materials I’d love to use, but alas, they don’t work. Thanks, and I can’t wait to see the next Octane tut from you!

  • Thanks Chad.

    Octane truly is amazing software, would love to see more Octane videos on GSG.

  • Chad…awesome tutorial man…specially for people like me new to octane… Javier asked in an earlier post…do you mind to share your C4D Layout?


  • Looks like everyone is jumping unto Octane, it has the most beautiful renders i’ve ever seen . Can’t wait for your intro to Arnold tutorials and i hope you can show us how to get Octane level kind of quality with Arnold.

  • An awesome tutorial!
    Can i put a request here?:
    Could you please do a tutorial about textures like the once you can get from poliigon?
    Where you get all the mappings with the textures?
    Would really like to learn how to get everything out of those textures.

  • Thanks Chad. Great tutorial.
    PLease can you do a tutorial for how set motion vector pass from octane for cinema 4D to After effect.

  • awesome mate thanks, please more octane there is no much info about version 3 🙁
    I love the way you teach 🙂

  • How can i make these worn edges in c4d without arnold/octane/vertexmaps?

    • The inverse AO that ships with R18 will get you sort of close to this effect, but not completely. Hoping that a true curvature map makes it’s way into C4D eventually.

  • Matias Lecaros Delfau November 20, 2016 at 7:25 pm

    Hey Chad, just love your tutorials.
    I´ve been looking hard for a fog tutorial for octane 3 C4D, and there is no enough material on line yet.
    It would be great if you can show us how to use that new feature.
    All the best

    • I’ve not had much luck with volumetrics and Octane. It’s one if it’s weaker points. That being said, I’ll look into it for sure. Thanks for the comment!

  • I love Octane and I love your videos !

  • Hey Ashley,

    Great video on Octane! Keep them coming. One question I wanted to ask is in regards of getting a black background without seeing your HDRI image.

    For some reason, I keep getting the following:

    How would I switch on a black background instead?


  • This is one of the best tuts indeed

  • Greetings from 2-1/2 years later. This was simple and straight to the point, and not just applicable to C4D; you helped me figure out how to use the dirt procedural effectively with Octane’s LightWave plug-in. Great tutorial!

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