Your experience with Octane for Blender

Hi people,

those of you who have some experience with the full version of Octane for Blender - would you recommend it, would you buy it again if you had too? :slight_smile: I’m considering getting it for photo real renderings especially for components for photo-compositings (CG background, real people (female models :slight_smile: ). I’m playing a bit with the demo at the moment which isn’t the latest version (the Blender demo is still based on Octane 2.06 with the problem that PMC isn’t supported for my graphics card (Geforce GTX970)), which seems to work in the standalone version of Octane (based on a later version…) When reading the Blender specified threads in the otoy forum I get a bit the impression that the Blender plugin isn’t being developed with their “highest priority”… :slight_smile: Are you missing special features, did you come across bugs that haven’t been solved for a longer time or are you happy with Octane so far?

By the way: Are fog and volumetric light supported by Octane in any way?


Don’t know for fog and volume, I didn’t tested yet, but I like the plugin integration.

The difference between the SA and the plugin would be on the vram, The plugin with blender use more vram than the SA.

For the rest, I like it.

Buggy, hard to use, unnecessarily complicated to set up, and unreliable, not to mention the usual GPU rendering woes. Requires a special version of Blender as well, which is an added pain. I find the cases where I end up using it somewhere between slim and none.

I didn’t use it really much, but sadly I had the exact same feeling as m91005826… The limited time I spent with it was in a big measure due to the pain in using it. Not really stable, lot of problems and so on. On the other hand I didn’t use it since a long time, maybe they improved it.

Anyway, I also did not like really much the policy in the update of the engine, so I did not upgrade my licence to version 2… Too bad, I had this product since its early days, I liked it.

To be honest I find vray much more interesting right now. You also have to use a special blender build, but is far more stable and usable than the octane one. I hope they are releasing vray 3 standalone soon, they should then release the first official blender build.

Octane has one amazing this over Cycles;
the advertisement and word of mouth. It gets praised by some like it is the new Arnold …
skin rendering works even on 1GBVram GPUs

Octanes biggest ugh moments for a Blender user;

the custom Blender versions are extra work to manage.
Do not transfer files between different Blender versions or you may loose nodes and more!
slow updates to newer Blender versions.

youhave spare pcs where you wish or need to render?
not available/ allowed unless you have deep pockets for additional licences.

as a betatester of the Blender<>Octane bridge,

I would say thanks but no thanks, not recommendable.
they lost me with their limiting and hostile eula + the upgrade price while it was in Beta stage.

I have no problem on the last version of octane and between versions.
On my PC it’s stable, no crash, it’s fast and I have good results.

If you still are on the 1.0, this version is not really great indeed.
The 2.0 is great for me.

By the way, vray 3 is available, you just need to by a node render and the blender build for it :wink:

Thanks a lot for your comments, guys! Really appreciate that. Sounds like the majority of you have problems with it. Somebody recommended Thea render - maybe I have a look on that one, too…

thanks again

I would recommend it, although I have been using Octane since it first came out so I’m a bit biased. :wink: The cost wasn’t too much of an issue for me because of that. At first it was free, then I took advantage of the beta pricing, etc. If I had to buy it again it would be hard for me to come up with the cash, but I would do it if I had the cash on hand.

They just released a new version of the plugin that supports all of the new render passes (about 26 of them I think). So this would be very helpful for what you need to do. Support for the Maxwell cards (970, 980) have been in the plugin for some time now, but not in the demo. The only thing that wouldn’t work in the previous versions with the Maxwell cards was the PMC render mode. I have a 980 and don’t have any issues with any of the render modes now in the plugin.

The developer Jimstar splits his time between the Blender plugin and the Maya plugin, so it can take him some time to get back to the Blender plugin. He does release a new version about every couple of months, so it’s not bad (about the same or a bit faster then the Blender official releases).

There will always be bugs, that is what the RC releases are for, but I haven’t had many issues with the latest 7.0 version. You do have to convert any BI or Cycles textures to work in the plugin, that can be a pain, it would be nice to have a built in converter. Also Cycles is not included with the plugin. Not for nefarious reasons, but because Jimstar wasn’t able to get it to compile with the added Octane code. I have both the official Blender version and the plugin version installed to cover the bases.

I find Octane to be much faster than Cycles, it has more features, and the renders clean up faster. Now with the coherent ratio and the path termination power settings it’s faster still. Also the next version of Octane standalone will have out of core textures, which means that vram will be less of an issue.

Both fog and volumetric light are supported.

Thanks, Grimm!

I have the Octane Standalone and the Blender plugin but I have only bought them recently so haven’t had a full test of it. I love that it’s fast but I’ve noticed from using the MSI Afterburner that when I’ve finished rendering something on it that the GPU clock and Memory clock readings remain high as if it’s permanently in render mode which kicks out a lot of heat because the readings won’t reduce back to default minimum settings.

I don’t have this problem with Cycles however.

That’s about as far as my experience is with Octane at the moment.

Oh, and in terms of the rendering speed of Octane, I did a recording of a render test using four titans:

What I forgot to do was to allow the rendering to finish (you can see the progress bar near the lower left) so what you don’t see is that the entire time to complete rendering took only 26 seconds. For a complex scene like that with 1000 samples, that’s amazing! That would take Cycles far longer.


thanks for the explanations, :slight_smile:
I might be looking again into Octane…

Octane is worth it in my opinion. I just hope they add a few more features into it before 3.0 (don’t think I have the money to update it again to 3.0, I’m just a poor student). As the 2.xx finally has Render Layers and Passes can also say that it’ll be good for animation/vfx work in the future as well (that and the fact that they have a Nuke plugin version in the works now).

Although the Blender version is a bit slow to update it is not completely slow enough for me to really complain too hard. I find that in comparison to Cycles or even Vray Maya that the node system in Octane is far easier to work with than both of them. Largely because Cycles although good certainly has some round about ways of doing things. Vray Maya is a bit cumbersome to be honest, not the worst but I do prefer the way Cycles and Octane Blender handle them. They’re just a bit easier to find. Although I have not done very large scenes in Blender compared to Vray though. Octane’s materials are just easier to set up in general for me. I don’t need two extra nodes in order to add a texture to a Shader (cycles) and I don’t need to look through a huge list of icons in the Hypershade (vray maya). It does feel faster than Cycles and I can’t do a comparison with it to Vray as I can only access my schools computers in order to use Vray and they are far far far better than my little laptop I got 4 years ago.

Also to be honest Octane has better quality renders compared to Cycles. If you compare professional work of Cycles and Octane, Octane often looks better. In regards to Vray I think Octane has the same level of quality to be honest.

Also as a little bonus (in regards to the Octane VS Vray debate), I like Octane more than Vray largely due to the fact that it just handles GI so much better. Vray gives me blotches and I have yet to figure out how to get rid of the effectively without resorting to the Bruteforce method. Although I haven’t really worked with the 3.0 version as of yet so maybe that will change. Needless to say Octane just does it and the only thing it needs to make it better is time rather than fiddling with 20 different settings. It does have more control over it’s rendering now in 2.xx which is good but still far less complex than Vray which is nice.

Hope that helps a little. Cycles is still a good engine and there isn’t anything really wrong with sticking with it until you feel comfortable enough to move on to a commercial engine though. You can get portfolio quality stuff out of it no problem. Cycles does make really nice work as demonstrated by this forum.

Thanks again for all your comments. Finally I bought Octane for Blender after playing around with the demo a bit. So far so nice :slight_smile:


Hi all, just for info, Otoy release 2.21 standalone which support “Out of Core” Memory.
It can store textures in system RAM if the VRAM of your GPU is consumed.
So you have no limit for textures except your system RAM and ~19 million triangles. o_O

Cheers, mib

This is great !

Hope to see this in the blender addon.

I like Octane too… Running the Demo Version. Did somebody figured out how to setup displacement? Would be nice to have some help with that.

My main interest was in testing Archviz and GPU rendering. This is an interior test scene I did from Laurent aka Tartiflette check the Foundry link I compared the performance and quality of the GI for Octane, Thea (presto engine), and Cycles GPU rendering. Use the same original textures, use basic materials, sky light sun and mesh emitters on the windows. Image size 1125x750 render with 2x780 OC GPU. I try to maintain lighting and materials as close as possible between render engines. Do click into the images for a better comparison.

Octane 6 min 21 sec.

Thea 6 min 18 sec.

Cycles 12 min 38 sec.

As you can see can archive pretty nice results with any of this renders if you expend enough time. Octane and Thea are close in performance and quality Octane being a little cleaner GI and faster. Cycles being about 2x slow, noisier GI and ceiling glass caustic a little less developed.

Grimm cover pretty well the Octane features. Thea advantages are advance material system with layers and coatings allowing to create some really nice materials easily. The materials are not node based. Thea has other CPU renders with better GI quality but are much slower. The Thea Blender plugin is free, but not as well integrated into Blender like Octane. Another nice feature about Thea is their standalone version is a lot more complete and useful than Octane’s standalone.

Hi eklein,

one question about the Thea test, did you only use GPU or did you also use GPU+CPU with presto?

I did use GPU+CPU on an Intel I7-4770k.