Furryball Possibly Coming to Blender?

For those who don’t know, Furryballis a GPU render engine that was initially made for Maya to create production quality real-time animations for both commercials and films. <a href=“http://youtu.be/deTmPXvIFAk” target="_blank">
https://youtu.be/deTmPXvIFAk

However, it seems as though the developers are now pushing to create a standalone version of it that is able to render out scenes from various packages including Blender:

Programmers wanted We are looking for PROGRAMMERS / DEVELOPERS who has experiences with writing plug-ins. Cinema, Softimage, Lightwave, Blender, Unity…
http://aaa-studio.cz/furryballforum/viewtopic.php?f=18&t=4010

it sounds like they are hoping for someone to code it. not that they are going to make it themselves (but what do I know? :stuck_out_tongue: )

Well clearly, but I’m guessing it’s not without pay. Perhaps it’s an opportunity to gain a position with a salary? Who knows at this point…

Those characters in that video are nightmare fuel…

not any more than the ones in Elephants Dream! :smiley:

but in all seriousness, some of the renders on their website are great. however, “Goat Story” has the look of being rendered in a game engine. i’m curious if that’s the fault of the renderer or user?

When I looked through the website, it gave me the impression that the engine is based on advanced rasterization techniques similar to game engines, but don’t cut near as many corners in terms of realism because it doesn’t have to be at a solid 60 FPS.

Correct me if I’m wrong, but when noticing things like caustics in the todo list for future versions, I assumed that they aren’t using pathtracing.

doesn’t look like it; it doesn’t mention raytracing algorithms anywhere on the website.

It does, SSS and refraction. Is that something that can be faked without path tracing? Also they say that the GI is simulated.

I think the image gallery is full of examples from earlier versions. ( which I think the film used) The current version seems to have more features such as IL and IBL. That will make a big difference. Some of those stills look to be lit with Spotlights and Shadow Maps. Ouch. That hurts just writing it.

I have Maya and a copy of the FB trial. I am going to give it a whirl soon.

Does anyone recall StudioGPU? Similar approach, though Furryball seems to be more evolved. The company behind StudioGPU unfortunately went bust, and a couple of months before their downfall StudioGPU was a free download (I think it is still downloadable on the net). StudioGPU was great as a non-photorealistic solution, and incredibly fast.

I really like the idea behind a renderer like this - if a plugin for Blender and other apps would be made available, I’d give it a good try.

whoaaa, just noticed the price tag. yikes. never mind, i’ve lost interest altogether, haha.

i know many renderers are >$1000 USD, i’m not turned off by that; but this doesn’t look like it merits a price tag like that. i assumed it’d be like octane or v-ray standalone, somewhere between $250 to $500, something interesting to invest in and play around with once there’s some integration.

As I recall, the SSS approach used in BI was more in line with creating lightmaps rather than making use of raytracing.

As for refraction, there was once an old plugin texture for Blender that created a fake refraction effect. (Requires a very old version of Blender to use).

And then there’s the GI itself, I’ve seen Youtube demos of some advanced radiosity solutions (some of them progressive), as far as I know the Furryball engine may very well use raytracing in places, but it would depend on whether it’s possible to produce such fast sampling algorithms.

Interesting information. I am looking forward to having a go with it and see what it can do.

As for the price tag… very attractive if it can produce decent images. I would not expect it to be competing with the other renderers being made now. It is going in another direction - and that is a little refreshing considering you still need lots of power to toss at these solutions even with GPU. This approach even smokes other GPU renderers out there. It is more of a thought process of, how much you will spend on a farm. If it is at least 20 times faster that is a lot of cash you just saved. Also add to the fact that most pro integrated renders are in this price range. And you still have to shell out for boxes and/or cards.

Another added benefit is that with this solution what you see is in fact exactly what you get. No surprises - in nearly real time. So that shaves a lot of time off of production and can even reduce or even eliminate the need for passes. But that is still an option.

Boils down to what it is going to look like. And it is still a question I think.

Here is the response I got from the owner/CEO after submitting an inquiry.

But there is one problem with Blender and it’s that is’s free. FurryBall is not free…

We can give you free FurryBall standalone license and API how to send data from Blender. But we can’t pay you for plugin for free software.
You can develop exporter for Blender, it could be yours and you can offer it for free.
But I’m little bit afraid, if Blender users will buy FurryBall standalone in the future - they are used to have all free… ?

Now if I was a Max or XSI scripter does that imply they would be willing to pay me something?

I think they just want someone to make an exporter for free so they can then claim, yes we have X number of packages supported.

I still want GPU non-photorealistic stuff available in the existing BI pipeline. (If such a thing exists, by Python or any other means, please PM me since I must have missed it.)

There was a commercial app called Mach Studio Pro by Studio Gpu which AMD was pushing until it went under, pretty much lets you something very similar if not better.

Last I heard they are giving it away for free now as its no longer supported.

I suppose using the BGE to render is a totally dumb idea? :eyebrowlift2:
I’m sure the BGE guys would love to see this type of functionality added to their engine.

Wow…nice find on MachStudioPro.Does this support models made with Blender?I am guessing it does not have a blender plugin?Also does it support Nvidia cards cause I read it was designed for ATI firegl cards?Too bad it doesn’t have support anymore.I am going to try it out.It does look better than Furryball somehow.
The only advantage furryball has are its supported,works in the viewport of ur primary software and has support for Nvidia cards.I doubt MachStudioPro would work with Nvidia or if it does,might have a lot of issues.

Whoa, cool. Makes me feel a little less bummed that I have a Radeon :smiley: Thanks for sharing that!

Hi guys,
I just found your discussion and interest about our FurryBall for Blender.
We just finished porting to 3DS Max and released new version FurryBall 4 with COMPLETE Raytrace and Physically-based full global illumination.
http://furryball.aaa-studio.eu
We are open to start development for Blender, but we are not so much familiar with Blender and also we are afraid make COMMERCIAL plugin for FREE software. Make it sense? Are Blender users open to pay for plugging??

Thank
Jan


Good to see official presence on the forums!

Yes, there are people who would buy (and have bought) commercial plugins for Blender. If you’re interested I would seek out Jonathan Williamson (Contours), the developer of bSurfaces (commecial before released as GPL), and the developers behind Thea. The Thea plugin has since been released under the GPL as well, but it would probably be useful to talk to them anyway to see what sales were like before they switched, as well as getting some potential pointers for how they got their plugin working. It is one of the only examples I’ve seen to date that is pure python while not violating the GPL license and retaining excellent speeds for export/buffer management.

Now, integration would have to be pretty good for people to consider buying. A simple exporter probably wouldn’t pass muster (and that’s not just a Blender thing). Indeed, many Blender users are hardcore Open Source fanatics, but those of us using Blender professionally know that with a good feature set and support, the price of a plugin will be paid for in a very short amount of time. And there are quite a few of us here using Blender professionally on a day-to-day basis.

Hopefully you guys will move forward with this, I’d love to give FurryBall a try, as I’ve heard some great things!