Published 11 February 2010
Posted by Al Dean
This last week has seen some resolution for those users involved with Bunkspeed’s HyperShot product as their rendering tool of choice. As we discussed a few weeks ago, disagreements between Bunkspeed and Luxion saw the code revert back to the developers, Luxion, while the product name remained with Bunkspeed. Now the mists have cleared somewhat and we’re seeing how things are panning out.
In the Red corner: Bunkspeed Shot
Not too many details except plans and a few images posted to show what the iRay rendered can do.
The Hyper prefix has been dropped, so it’s just SHOT from now on. The product is now being built on Mental Images iRay technology, which allows you to take advantage of both CPU calculation and GPUs - assuming that you have the Nvidia CUDA-enabled graphics hardware in place. The product will start to ship in the second quarter of this year and will be available as a free 30 day trial, an upgrade to all current HyperShot customers, and no charge to all those on maintenance or pre-order (there’s been some concern over this in the comment stream). More info at www.bunkspeed.com/shot
In the Blue Corner: Luxion KeyShot
New Icons and a few tweeks - but KeyShot is what HyperShot users are used to working with.
Luxion is headed up by the team behind the original product, Henrik Wann Jensen and Thomas Teger (formerly of Bunkspeed). The product has been renamed KeyShot (www.keyshot.com) but the same core is still there, using the CPU-based renderer Henrik developed. They’ve just launched the product and it’s available to download here. There are a few things to note here.
- New material library.
- New HDR library - new scenes in partnership with HDRI-locations and LightMap (Developers of HDRLightStudio).
- New data translators - Pro/E isn’t there yet, the SOlidWorks data import is and there’s now IGES and STEP for Mac).
- Snow Leopard Certified for Mac users.
I’ve been playing with the latest cut of the code and it looks like the guys have tweaked things a little - seem a bit snappier in terms of realtime performance and there’s definitely been some work done on the ground shadows, which look much more… realistic. In terms of migration, the team are offering a free upgrade or transition for existing HyperShot users and your content will migrate pretty nicely too with the Migration Assistant (particularly key as KeyShot has a slightly different folder structure for the various components).
Packaging is staying much the same but with the following name and price changes:
KeyShot is $995 and gives you up to 2.1 megapixels realtime rendering resolution, up to 4.1 megapixels offline rendering resolution. KeyShot Pro is $1,995 (which is a $1,500 price drop from HyperShot Pro) and gives you unlimited realtime and offline rendering resolution (64bit OS and 4+GB RAM recommended) and adds a render queue, turntable animation, render in separate process, and region rendering. Subscription to updates for KeyShot Pro is $500 annually and there’s a floating license option too. If you’re in education, there’s a KeyShot for Education version that’s $95. It’ll available now at the store www.keyshot.com/store
An intriguing situation
There you have it. One product became two. Team members swapped and moved and the products got rebranded. I guess what it comes down to is how are both organisations going to perform in the coming months. Yes, in one case, there’s a change of rendering code and approach (the GPU thing might be interesting), but HyperShot was about being effective at producing photorealistic imagery, not just the renderer under the hood. Let’s see. The nice thing to see is that while there’s been a lot of turmoil around the situation, things are settling, users have options and are being treated fairly by both sides. Luxion has hit the ground running and is shipping the product. While there’s been an announcement, there’s no product from Bunkspeed as yet - and the clock’s ticking. Users will be making their decisions based on what’s available now to solve their needs.