This is pretty cool. ARTVPS (which stands for Advanced Render Technology – Virtual Photography Solutions – snappy eh?) has been active in the rendering and visualization business for years with its RenderDrive, Pure cards and RayBox products. These worked with 3dsmax and Maya to use custom hardware (using an ART-VPS design ray tracing chipset) to accelerate the ray tracing calculation times to mere fractions of what they would be with a standard workstation. And with some tweaks that the company also added to the host applications (such as really usable depth of field), the images that could be produced were breathtaking.
Of course, today multi-core machines, and rapidly advancing graphics card tech means that those hardware acceleration solutions have become a little dedundant. ShaderLight is ART-VPS’ next core technology. As you’ll see its integrated into 3dsmax, but the company has plans elsewhere. Now, its video time:
Watch and learn. See how the scene doesn’t all recalc massively when you play with materials/textures and light sources – now that’s slick and appears to be an interesting step on from standard progressive rendering. With Bunkspeed, Luxology and now ARTVPS back in the game, perhaps 2009 is going to be year where rendering finally gets easy.