arnold or redshift? h18

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I'd like to invest in one of these two renderers.

I love mantra, but as a dad with a toddler, I just don't have the time to wait for results/tweaking. Currently running houdini 18. Im trying to transition from compositing to fx, or just get it under my belt.

How are both doing with pyro/flip?
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There's a third option:

https://www.3delight.com [www.3delight.com]


>>Kays
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I can - currently - only give a highly emotional, probably unfair recommendation: Don't go with Redshift.

Recently I “upgraded” my license and I am now convinced that this was a - although maybe not overly expensive - nonsensical mistake. For once, with large scenes (heavy geo, lots of objects), Mantra isn't that much slower for me (yes, it does run slower to get first “usable results”, but running a full render in a couple of scenes I did with some experimental data definitely wasn't faster in RS).

My biggest gripe is this: With RS you are nailed to a “production release” version of Houdini quite often. I am experiencing a lot of random crashes with Houdini 18.348, that I do not blame on H (SideFX provides daily builds and fixes issues pretty quickly). Yet, RS has been “out of sync” for a few weeks, lagging behind, so I cannot update to the latest production release and I cannot update to a daily build if I want to use Redshift.
I fully realize that SideFX is changing their API rapidly with Houdini 18 and I cannot EXPECT Redshift to follow up on a “daily” base (or, maybe, even weekly). Yet, I do kind of paid for “frequent updates” and I have expressed my slight feeling of being unsettled in the Redshift forum. My comment - along with others, who have also been polite about it, was simply deleted, censored out, washed away.
Also, I filed a bug report with SideFX about a crash in a Lab tool happening with Redshift. They took care of that quickly, as usual, but pointed out that there needs to be a minor fix on Redshift's side as well. SideFX and Redshift don't seem to talk directly to one another, I was asked, kindly, to report the issue to Redshift's development team. They don't have a “bug database”, you have to publish a bug report openly in their forum (which I find highly unusual for a professional tool, but that - again - is just me). They were absolutely reluctand to talk to SideFX about the issue, even though I gave them the bug report ID on SideFX' side. So I had to negotiate the “bug fixing” between two companies, both of which get money from me to continuously update their respective tools to work together. I don't like that. To be fair, Redshift fixed their side of the problem extremely quickly as well. Unfortunately, I cannot use their fix, because they still haven't released the new plugin version that holds that bug fix.

At the end of the day, right now it seems like the two companies are holding some kind of grudge against one another and I simply don't want to be the moderator of that, so next time an update to a license to one of the two tools is immanent, the company that provides constant, frequent updates gets my money. The other does not.

Again: This is a personal, subjective, probably unfair but still honest response. I would never have posted in this form if Redshift hadn't deleted my expression of unease on their forum. They lost my trust.


Marc Albrecht

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malbrecht
I can - currently - only give a highly emotional, probably unfair recommendation: Don't go with Redshift.

Recently I “upgraded” my license and I am now convinced that this was a - although maybe not overly expensive - nonsensical mistake. For once, with large scenes (heavy geo, lots of objects), Mantra isn't that much slower for me (yes, it does run slower to get first “usable results”, but running a full render in a couple of scenes I did with some experimental data definitely wasn't faster in RS).

My biggest gripe is this: With RS you are nailed to a “production release” version of Houdini quite often. I am experiencing a lot of random crashes with Houdini 18.348, that I do not blame on H (SideFX provides daily builds and fixes issues pretty quickly). Yet, RS has been “out of sync” for a few weeks, lagging behind, so I cannot update to the latest production release and I cannot update to a daily build if I want to use Redshift.
I fully realize that SideFX is changing their API rapidly with Houdini 18 and I cannot EXPECT Redshift to follow up on a “daily” base (or, maybe, even weekly). Yet, I do kind of paid for “frequent updates” and I have expressed my slight feeling of being unsettled in the Redshift forum. My comment - along with others, who have also been polite about it, was simply deleted, censored out, washed away.
Also, I filed a bug report with SideFX about a crash in a Lab tool happening with Redshift. They took care of that quickly, as usual, but pointed out that there needs to be a minor fix on Redshift's side as well. SideFX and Redshift don't seem to talk directly to one another, I was asked, kindly, to report the issue to Redshift's development team. They don't have a “bug database”, you have to publish a bug report openly in their forum (which I find highly unusual for a professional tool, but that - again - is just me). They were absolutely reluctand to talk to SideFX about the issue, even though I gave them the bug report ID on SideFX' side. So I had to negotiate the “bug fixing” between two companies, both of which get money from me to continuously update their respective tools to work together. I don't like that. To be fair, Redshift fixed their side of the problem extremely quickly as well. Unfortunately, I cannot use their fix, because they still haven't released the new plugin version that holds that bug fix.

At the end of the day, right now it seems like the two companies are holding some kind of grudge against one another and I simply don't want to be the moderator of that, so next time an update to a license to one of the two tools is immanent, the company that provides constant, frequent updates gets my money. The other does not.

Again: This is a personal, subjective, probably unfair but still honest response. I would never have posted in this form if Redshift hadn't deleted my expression of unease on their forum. They lost my trust.


Marc Albrecht

dammit. i just bought redshift. lol
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> dammit. i just bought redshift. lol

I wonder why you asked for oppinions.

Marc Albrecht

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I'm agree with almost all malbrecht points, but I will keep you recommending Redshift. Obviusly this depends too much of what kind of work your are doing. I find the combination of Redshift/Mantra really good for me. Redshift for quick or more simple scenes (specially when animation is required) and Mantra when things are getting complex or working with volumes.
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> dammit. i just bought redshift. lol

I wonder why you asked for oppinions.

Marc Albrecht
I “was” considering RS, now I will not. I'll hold off and just use Mantra for now.
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Yeah, long story, but just one person. Hardly representative.

I've been using RS quite literally since day one (meaning back in the XSI days, in early RS alpha stage, only much later adding Houdini) and I would say Redshift as a company has very high standards. They are exceptionally responsive, friendly, open to critique, provide bugfixes at an insane speed as well as continuous release updates. Just my experience, maybe. I have a similar opinion of SideFX, I love their level of support, openness to improvements, speed of bugfixes and updates just as much. In my experience, both are companies that listen to their userbase.

Speed comparison between RS and Mantra? RS as a render engine may have issues we can discuss but it is most certainly faster than Mantra buck for buck (amount of money spent on CPU vs GPU). What is open for discussion is rather on the field of what features are supported and what not, how well RS handles different scenarios, etc. As you would with every other 3rd party renderer.

On the H18 front, it is an uncommon situation. With SideFX breaking HDK each update atm, you can't expect third party renderers to keep up with that. This will iron out in time. Unfair (and not doing yourself a favor) to base your judgement on that.

I would say, congrats on buying Redshift.
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Also 3.0.17 is now out with support for H 18.0.391. As an ex-softimager who has also used RS for a long time, and now using it with maya and houdini (and soon blender) I'd say the value of a licence is good, don't have to worry about plugins for each dcc etc. Also would agree with druitre that the developers listen to the userbase, and are quick to respond to bugs. Maybe the progress feels slower than I'd like sometimes, but that comes with an expanding software suite. Also I've been used to the fast progress from the early days.

I've held off using houdini 18 so far until the bugs are ironed out, but will jump in from .0.391 onwards.
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For clarification: My gripe is about deleting unhappy customers' feedback, not about delays in development (I know about TWO deleted posts by different users, so how many else have been deleted?).
By deleting feedback from a forum a company can shape public impression of how happy customers are with their product - that is something I have never felt comfortable with.

I am almost happy with Redshift's technical features.

Marc Albrecht
Edited by malbrecht - March 15, 2020 11:02:11

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I “was” considering RS, now I will not. I'll hold off and just use Mantra for now.

At the risk of sounding like a broken record, you should really look at 3Delight, I was skeptical too until I started using it, and I'm really impressed so far. They seem to be adding new functions on a daily basis, and the Discord group is fantastic.


Regarding Redshift, as a Mac user I'm officially sidelined until they release the promised Metal port (perhaps the only positive development from the Maxon acquisition….ok, ok, I'll give them the C4D Noises too).

While the RS devs tend to be ok for the most part (kudos to Juanjo), I really dislike a lot of the user base who seem to have a cult-like adoration which leads them to reject any criticism no matter how legitimate.

I also am skeptical that Maxon isn't having some sort of influence on the RS development for other platforms like Houdini (although I do think they bought the wrong render engine…Octane would have made so much more sense for C4D).

Ultimately, I remain convinced that render engines will move to the cloud (and for the most part be platform-neutral), while more and more day-to-day basic needs will be addressed by real-time solutions. We're still a few years off from that, but not many.
>>Kays
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malbrecht
For clarification: My gripe is about deleting unhappy customers' feedback, not about delays in development (I know about TWO deleted posts by different users, so how many else have been deleted?).
By deleting feedback from a forum a company can shape public impression of how happy customers are with their product - that is something I have never felt comfortable with.

I wasn't aware that was happening, can understand your stance in that case.
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I'm also convinced the real-time developments will revolutionize the render business, Houdini seems to be nicely aware of this.

And Marc, I agree, it's a bad thing if a company monitors their forums in such a way. I have not had this experience on RS forums, also I'm under the impression Juanjo (the Houdini developer for RS) has good connections with SideFX. But again, I haven't had your bad experience.
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Redshift is a great renderer, and in many situations it's considerably faster than other options. Redshift licenses are also permanent so that's a nice plus.

That being said… lately I have some reservations about the direction of RS and the pace of development. There's a list of noteworthy features that people have been waiting on for a minute now. Things like volume multi-scattering, correct volume motion blur, volume noise support, volumetric GI, Randomwalk SSS, toon shader, OSL, complete ACES support. I also absolutely hate the fact that they lock down the forums from Google searches. I don't understand the reasoning behind it but it feels very anti-consumer because you're at the mercy of their terrible forum search when trying to resolve technical issues.

Personally I'm keeping my options open and also looking at 3Delight and RenderMan. I like that I can just freely chat with the 3DL devs on Discord (hi Aghiles ).
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Edited by Daryl Dunlap - March 17, 2020 11:13:09
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Mr. Dunlap, I do not appreciate the tone of your comment.
I tried to keep it civilized and merely report my personal experience, which I expressively marked as subjective and emotional. If what I wrote is a “rant” in your eyes, I'd be curious what your comment is supposed to be.

BTW I do not see any “abandonment” of Mantra, you clearly know more than I do, why don't you share your knowledge?

For your convenience, I am out of the discussion - if anyone wants to know more or discuss things, I am available by direct mail. The way you “communicate” is not my way, this religious over-the-top approach I don't want to deal with.


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BTW I do not see any “abandonment” of Mantra

Yet, you are attempting to advise the community about current best practices? LOL This is again, hilarious!
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There's a reason SideFX has abandoned CPU rendering and has invested heavy R&D into GPU rendering with Karma

Abandoned CPU…with Karm? Not to be sarcastic but it would be interesting to know why you say that. Karma is CPU based and that is the current development cycle to improve upon (of course I'm sure they are also doing work to bring out GPU karma).

But my understanding is their intention is to have both CPU/GPU options fully developed that a user can employ to their liking of what type of rig/farm they want to set up for.

It's interesting that I have noticed also on some Karma node parameter mouse overs that there is still some reference to Mantra - like in building Karma CPU they simply copied and pasted sections of Mantra base code in the process, i.e. Karma isn't built from the ground up from scratch.

I think Karma was built to have seamless integration within USD context primarily, of course plans to improve/introduce additional elements of rendering I'm sure is in the mix - like the ‘big’ one (for SideFX); GPU rendering.

But to me it hardly represents an ‘abandonment’ of CPU rendering; again not to be sarcastic - but would be good to know why you have such a view.
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SideFX has clearly stated, months ago, that Mantra has been put in bugfix ONLY mode. They also clearly stated that Karma is a brand new engine, written from scratch to work with USD, and that their end goal is the GPU.

https://www.sidefx.com/faq/karma/ [www.sidefx.com]

Obviously Karma works in CPU mode, and will continue to do so, but my point was, is that GPU is the future for Production render engines, and especially with realtime and AI assistance on the horizon.
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GPU is the future for Production render engines

I don't know of any production using non-biased rendering that finishes on the GPU. Everyone uses CPU to render final quality, as it scales and the renderer is fully featured. Please let us know if this is incorrect.
Edited by goat - March 16, 2020 21:33:35
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