Frequently Asked Questions
- What is RenderMan®?
- Can I use 3Delight with Houdini?
- Can I use 3Delight to render Cinema 4D scenes? What about 3ds Max scenes?
- Can I use 3Delight to render DAZ Studio objects?
- Can I use 3Delight to render Rhino3D objects?
- Which Macintosh 3D software export RIB files?
- How can I distribute my rendering on several computers?
- Should I enable hyper-threading for 3Delight to perform at its best?
- What rendering algorithm does 3Delight use?
- Can I use the free license for commercial work?
- I have a few more licensing or pricing related questions, where should I ask?
Although this is not necessarily a frequently asked question, we thought we'd answer it anyhow for those of you who may not have it quite right or are simply curious. So, here it is, plain and simple: RenderMan® is a technical specification for interfacing between modeling and rendering programs. For a renderer to be considered a RenderMan® compliant renderer it must meet all of the standard requirements laid out in the spec. There are a few more requirements which are mentioned in the Usenet: comp.graphics.rendering.renderman FAQ.
Yes, there is an excellent compatibility between 3Delight and Houdini and some of our clients work with Houdini and 3Delight as their primary renderer. Details to setup 3Delight with Houdini are described on this wiki page.
Cinema 4D does export RIBs for rendering using RenderMan compliant renderers and specifically offers supports for 3Delight. For 3ds Max there was a product called MaxMan from AnimalLogic to export RenderMan-compliant scenes, but it is not supported anymore. There might be other 3ds Max plug-ins to export RIBs, but we are not familiar with them.
3Delight is already integrated into DAZ Studio for rendering. It is also possible to export RIBs and use the 3Delight Standalone application to render outside of DAZ Studio. The details to setup this workflow are described here: Rendering with 3Delight standalone application.
3Delight can render one single frame on several computers without any additional package(s) using special options to the renderdl command. For sequence rendering one can use Sun's Grid Engine, a powerful, well documented (and open source) distributed computing solution. DrQueue is also a good open source distributed rendering manager that readily supports 3Delight, it is probably easier to setup and use than Sun's Grid Engine.
On the more recent CPUs (such as the Intel Core i7) some of our clients have reported performance gains of up to 30% by enabling hyper-threading. But on older CPUs the gains were negligible, if any. So you may have to do rendering tests with and without hyper-threading on your computer and decide for yourself. Also consider that if hyper-threading is enabled, rendering will consume more memory and if you dont have enough, it may start to slow things down. So, if you encounter a situation where you are running low on memory and your computer starts swapping too much during rendering, you may want to try disabling hyper-threading (or as effectively and more simply tell 3Delight through the rendering options to use only half the cores during rendering).
3Delight is built around the REYES algorithm. This algorithm was first described in 1987 in a paper by Robert Cook, Loren Carpenter and Edwin Catmull entitled, "The Reyes Image Rendering Architecture." This algorithm enables 3Delight to efficiently compute displacements, motion blur and depth of field effects. In combination with REYES, 3Delight also implements an advanced ray-tracing algorithm and uses it when necessary to accurately render effects such as reflections and refractions, ambient occlusions and global illumination.