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You may not know it, but Otoy’s OctaneRender is an image renderer behind some cool film visuals like the opening of HBO’s Westworld, along with TNT’s The Alienist. And at the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco, Otoy is announcing that the Octane 4 update will merge game engine features into it, enabling game developers to create some awesome graphics.

Octane is a graphics-processing-unit (GPU) accelerated renderer, which uses the graphics card in a computer to render photorealistic images super fast. It can create high quality images at speeds up to 50 times faster than central-processing-unit renderers. It now supports the Unreal and Unity game engines, and Otoy is bringing its Brigade game engine into Octane 4.

“Now, you can get cinematic realistic effects in real-time graphics,” said Jules Urbach, CEO of Otoy, in an interview with GamesBeat. “All of it happens at 60 frames per second.”

Otoy has been using artificial intelligence to eliminate a lot of the noise that pops up in the images, and the latest version of Octane uses AI to remove the noise and complete the image without slowing down the graphics at all, Urbach said.


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Above: Jules Urbach, CEO of Otoy.

Image Credit: Otoy

“That results in a huge savings,” Urbach said. “Machine learning makes a huge difference. Between AI rendering and de-noising and an ability to … move objects around dynamically, we’re approaching being able to have full passive movies built with game engines.”

AI is also used in improving the lighting in the imagery, so it’s more accurate and rendered as fast as possible, he said.

Otoy is also working on a future technology that will make it easier to render great images using the Mac.

Previously, Otoy did some reverse engineering that enabled Nvidia’s general-purpose-graphics-processing-unit (GPGPU) software, known as CUDA, to run on non-Nvidia hardware built by Advanced Micro Devices. Part of the aim was to get GPGPU programs running on Apple hardware.

“That port didn’t get us on the map,” Urbach said. “We have worked on a new version of that technology that targets the Mac OS.”

Above: OctaneRender 4

Image Credit: Otoy

Now, Octane is being ported to run on Apple’s Metal graphics applications programming interface. That will be done some time in the future, Urbach said.

“After Octane 4, we’ll do smaller releases that target the Mac,” Urbach said. “We’ll get all of Octane running on Mac OS and iOS.”

Otoy is also making it possible for developers to get their imagery rendered in the cloud using Amazon graphics-focused data center computers, Urbach said.

Separately, Otoy is also moving forward with a plan to use blockchain and peer-based technology to create a crowdsourced rendering engine that could make hundreds of thousands or millions of GPUs available to render images for customers. Those GPU owners would be paid in cryptocurrency, dubbed Render Token. You can now use the Render Token to render real work as part of beta testing for the platform.

“Customers are getting back their work and not knowing if Amazon did it or the decentralized nodes did it,” Urbach said.

He added, “I’ve gone on record saying blockchain is like the Internet. It’s just as big. We’ll have that whole dotcom era that is just as crazy, but there are also the next Googles and Amazons that are going to emerge from this. There is crazy stuff emerging that won’t make sense. We’re still one layer away from the eureka moment that starts with a faster blockchain. A lot of research is being done on that, and we are following that closely.”

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