We are excited to finally talk publicly about a version of Radeon ProRender that supports Blender 2.80! Blender 2.80 is has a great deal of interest from users due to its radical changes to the workflow, and we thought it was only appropriate to give the ProRender plugin the same attention. We have been working hard over the last few months and this is just a preview of what the final product will be. Expect updates weekly-ish until Blender 2.80 is released and a final plugin ready when Blender is. Hats off to the Blender Institute for such a game-changing release!
Radeon ProRender is a GPU and CPU rendering engine. It is built into Maxon's Cinema4D and other software (coming soon). AMD also provides plugins for various other applications including Blender. One nice aspect is that is hardware agnostic: any GPU that runs OpenCL should run ProRender. On macOS in particular it takes advantage of the Metal2 api to run faster, where many renderers do not support GPU raytracing on macOS. Particularly with Blender 2.80, the built in Cycles renderer no longer runs on GPU's on macOS so hopefully this fills a gap there.
So why have we been quiet and working hard over the last few months? Since Blender 2.80 changed their API for plugins significantly we had to adapt the plugin to that. Also we decided to take this opportunity to rewrite the plugin from the ground up for a few reasons.
Better integration into Blender and overall user experience. One ask we heard many times was to support Blender's built in nodes more. But also that users really appreciated RPR's Uber Node as an "expert mode". So what we did was try to satisfy all those asks More on this later
Achieve the best stability possible. The architecture of the old plugin was frankly a bit of a mess that was limiting the stability in some cases. We took a ground up approach to make it simpler, more stable and maintainable in the code
Provide a "Best of both worlds" User rendering experience. Obviously Blender 2.80 users are excited about EEVEE. It is a real time rendering engine similar to semi-modern (pre-hardware raytracing) game engines providing a good viewport experience. However, because it is essentially a game engine, the results with area light shadows, subsurface scattering, GI, etc are less than what users expect with RPR or Cycles. With RPR, and we are working to bridge the gap: Provide the full path-tracing final renderer and a "fast viewport mode" without the approximations of a game engine so what you get in the viewport is closer to your final render. The new plugin is rearchitectured to take advantage of this upcoming work.
In particular I will highlight the shader workflow. Many users are used to and have setups using Blender's built in nodes. What the RPR plugin does now is let you keep these (some nodes aren't supported yet) and simply hit render, no conversion required. Particularly we convert the "Principled BSDF" directly to our Uber shader. For users who want a more "advanced" shader they can convert Principled to Uber. So keep your Blender Node setups and augment with advanced RPR nodes! This in particular is an area we would like feedback on and testing.
Like I said, we will be updating weekly-ish with new builds. Please give them a try and give your feedback, it will only make the final software better for you. Also if you have programming experience and are willing to help with the plugin code, we would love to hear from you.
Brian + the whole AMD ProRender Team.
PS! If you see answers from Bogdan or Mikhail here, please thank them for the hard work they have put in on the plugin!
In anticipation of Blender 2.80 release in July 2019 we are updating our builds. Blender has been changing their API so be sure to get a build later than 5/23/2019 (Best to just get the latest build of blender 2.80 Here .
A bunch of changes have happened since the last beta builds so here are all the changes:
The Radeon ProRender for Blender plug-in has been completely rewritten for Blender 2.80. This includes many changes to artists workflows:
Blender native shader nodes are supported out of the box. Including the Blender Principled Shader node. Most common nodes are supported, but a few, noted in known issues, are not translatable.
Additionally, RPR nodes, particularly the Uber node is provided for a more “expert level” shader setup.
Viewport and final rendering are more robust and optimized.
AI-Accelerated Denoiser (windows only for now) provides an extra denoiser based on machine learning technology.
Adaptive Sampling allows the renderer to focus samples on areas of the render that are higher in noise, while ending early in areas without noise. This allows the artist to raise max samples and get less noise without raising render times as much.
Blender hair geometry is supported as well as “Halo” (sphere) particles.
A tiled rendering option allows rendering images by tiles, allowing higher resolution renders without using as much VRAM. Additionally, the size and order of tiles can be adjusted.
As this is a complete rewrite of the plug-in, many stability bugs are fixed, and changes made.
Various fixes to Uber shaders to improve physical correctness. Note geometry using Uber shader may look different but will be more physically correct.
Fixed issue with camera inside a refractive/sss/volume object.
Fixed issue with anisotropy in Uber producing a checker pattern.
Fix for textures with .jpeg extension (.jpg worked fine).
Fixed an issue of adaptive subdivision with displacement map spinning the CPU at 100% before render starts.
Fix light motion blur on CPU.
Mesh export time is improved.
Fix refraction + volume on CPU.
Fix CPU crash for using "Opacity" AOV with volume objects.
These Blender Nodes are not yet supported:
UV Map (selecting which map)
Hue Saturation Node
Various Noise nodes
AI-Accelerated Denoiser is Windows only.
Files made in the Blender 2.79 version of the plug-in are not yet automatically converted.
Windows installers prompts for Blender location twice. This is due to Blender 2.80 being in Beta.
GLTF and RPR export are not yet supported (Blender 2.80 has its own GLTF exporter)
LWR denoise filter does not work on macOS.
A nightly beta build of Blender after 3/27/2019 is required
CHANGES FOR 2.0.85:
Object space lookup enabled in shader
Fixed a crash when removing emissive shader while interactive rendering
Fixed a crash with adaptive subdivision
Fixed artifacts on NVidia cards with curve objects
Double sided emission in Uber should work
"Hide Emitter" on particle or hair system is respected
Fix geometry corruption in isometric view
Normal map strength more closely matches Cycles now
Mesh export time is faster in many cases
Fix corruption in interactive view with adaptive sampling enabled
Object visibility options are expanded to include reflection/refraction/shadow/ etc visibility. Furthermore toggling with interactive rendering works
Objects can be enabled to act as portal lights
Blender Curve/Text/Meta objects are rendered
New Nodes supported:
Hue Saturation (only fixed values for now)
An "RPR" menu is added to the viewport to enable different render modes like Ambient Occlusion
Nested node groups in shaders are supported
Fix out of place hairs in particle system hair
Made material preview swatch renders more iterative
Border rendering in viewport works now
Volumes are rendered as well as principled volume shader. Note, volume should be cached. Volumes might look blocky for now, as a temporary workaround increase volume resolution.
Shader menu in "Add Nodes" now has RPR Uber, and Principled, Emission, and a few others. We want to discourage users from using legacy shaders such as glass and diffuse, etc.
RPR render device is saved in preferences, not per scene.
Environment light world settings include sun & sky option.
Environment light can be over-ridden for background, reflection, refraction etc.
.rpr export format is available
RPR AOVs show up in compositor nodes
Some denoiser features may be unstable. Please test ML denoiser and report issues.
CHANGES FOR 2.0.94:
Render statistics collection. We are removing the activation key from installers very shortly. As part of that, instead we are making an optional render statistics collection. This is easily disabled in the render settings. However, we encourage users to contribute to the Radeon ProRender ecosystem by leaving this on. We collect no personal information, simply information about how long a render takes, what hardware was used, how many polygons were in the scene, etc. With this information we will continue to focus our development of ProRender. Thank you!
Removed Intensity parameter from sun and sky
Image textures which are "packed" in .blend file export faster by caching to disk
An issue with animated cameras not exporting correctly is fixed.
"C" component of RGB Curve nodes is handled correctly now
Add RPR Procedural UV Node (CPU only on macOS)
Better handling of internal math in complex shader nodes