AMD to sponsor two Blender projects

Interesting news from Ton.

- Ton Roosendaal announces that AMD agreed on sponsoring Blender for two projects:
1 - supporting Mike Erwin’s work on Viewport and upgrading Viewport,
2 - internal project to hook up Blender with their new ProRender engine.
More will be announced next week at SIGGRAPH. More sponsors are likely underway too.

Thanks matali and doublebishop for the information

Personally I wonder what impact that will have on Cycles.

In general good news for AMD users.

I wonder if it will be a script exporter for the rendering engine. Can’t imagine that cycles would go anywhere.

Yep, I’ve read it yesterday and actually what poked me was their interest in their “ProRender hooking” thing.

I don’t think cycles development will receive direct benefits from it.

With any luck, this could be used as an opportunity to further flesh out the render API and get a more native experience in Blender for external renderers.

My hope is that this work will push AMD to do some OpenCL complier optimizations. Maybe, and that is a big maybe, the viewport work will in tern give Cycles a boost? Or was viewport work only OpenGL improvements?

We’ll know soon enough as SIGGRAPH is just around the corner. But waiting for this information is also annoying. OpenCL stack has been very stagnant outside of the kernel split (and recently addition of HDR lighting)

I guess I’ll remain hopeful.

With regards to the hook up with ProRender. It I would mean that it allows me to use all cycle setup and just render in another engine, I can live with that. Luxrender was a no go for me as there was a bit of re-tweaking the materials specifically for Luxrender (unsure if this has improved in the past 2 years though - so correct me if I’m wrong)

In the end, happy to see AMD set up to the plate more and more.

Very Impressive news, Thanks AMD and Blender Team :slight_smile:

I can see part of ProRender intergrated into Cycles as an alternate render algorithm using the latest OpenCL, or certain aspect of Cycles completely replaced by ProRender with similar render results.

I’d rather see them continue their work on Cycles/OpenCL, maybe by integrating their FireRays kernel. With what AMD has delivered in the past, I’m afraid that in the end, we’ll end up with an incomplete ProRender integration, in addition to an incomplete Cycles for AMD.

I wonder to what extend they’ll actually be sponsoring it. Just donate some hardware and a ProRender license (WTH is ProRender anyway?) and hope that someone else will do the work of writing the code for free?

Has anyone actually found any information on the internet as to what ProRender is? THe only thing from AMD that I’ve seen that sounds somewhat similar is FireRender

FireRender is not so much a renderer but an SDK on top of which to build an actual renderer for people to use, similar to Embree. This project sounds more like the latter.

Branding might also play into it, since “Fire” is known to cause property damage, but “Pro” is what the professionals use. Everyone in the IT industry knows that the name is the most important part of a product.

I doubt that will happen, Cycles (SVM) material compatibility would be both limiting and challenging from a development standpoint.

I really hope so, too.

:slight_smile: looks promising

Excited to see a bit of extra funding thrown towards the viewport modernization project (and hopefully this also leads to major drawing optimizations for editmode).

It looks like Ton’s dream of accelerating Blender development with sponsored work is coming to fruition now, and the supposed SIGGRAPH announcements coming may mean it’s only the beginning.

I would rather have them sponsor getting FireRays into Cycles but the viewport update will be sweet none the less.

I agree with this. I hope more renderer will use this opportunity and not just RENDERMAN.

I think, FireRay library coulld be injected in the OpenCL Cycles version, but it surely, at this point, more easy to create a complete new "addon " render with it ( similar of FireRender ) than try to convert Cycles ( material, code ) to Fireray. Support wil be more easy, developpement will be faster.

Cycles have been developped during years for CUDA or CPU, and there’s surely more things to change for get it allready working with OpenCL.

I will take Luxrender as example, extremely advanced features wise, damn fast with OpenCL GPU ( Luxcore ) because it use mainly OpenCL.

They dont have to port codes developped for another language, API or designed around workaround for something else than OpenCL.

Anyway the AMD conference is the 25th: ( lol, i had forget i have got an invitation for it weeks ago )

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That’s a strange statement. Are you referring to missing features or that OpenCL does not work?
I can successfully compile the Cycles OpenCL kernel with nvidia and Intel also for years.

It’s great to hear there is funding for the viewport project.

For the other part, am I understanding correctly that AMD is making a
FireRender addon, in the same way as for example Luxrender and PRman?
So outside of the Blender project, but perhaps written by a Blender
developer contributing improvements to the Blender render API?

Hi Brecht,

AMD only told me that they will add FireRender as internal project. I am in regular contact with them, and have a meeting at Siggraph. I will ask them to get in touch with the bf-cycles list, to discuss the best way to make an Addon or how to use the render API.

It is FireRender after all :wink:

I speak about the developement, the performance, the features, the optimisation, not that you can compile it. Or that it dont work. ( in fact it work pretty well )

Cycles have been developped and optimized around CUDA ( if i take the GPU computing ), performance optimisation, the codes, the workaround have been made with Cycles " CUDA " in mind. porting a code to OpenCL is easy, optimize it for OpenCL is another thing.

If you take Luxrender, it is the other way, it is developped for OpenCL directly, optimized for it and so performance and stability are just excellent.

. I just say that it need time and specific optimisation, work from the developpers, the same way they have need time and work for fix bugs on Cycles Cuda, optimize the performance .etc

Supporting another render engine… ok… hmm. So what happens with Cycles? Will that go the way of CPU/CUDA only? I hope Ton will provide some clarification on this after the even.

We should hear … well in 5 days.

Thought the viewport project is probably the thing that will have the most impact.