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View Full Version : Caustic Graphics, Inc. Real-time Ray Tracing



precedia
03-09-2009, 03:11 PM
From today's Wall Street Journal article (http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123655461519565819.html) by Don Clark.

Caustic Graphics, Inc. (http://www.caustic.com/) Founded by an Apple engineer in 2006. Based in San Francisco. $11 million in funding. 35 employees. Their goal is to bring real-time ray tracing hardware to the market. If they are not financially successful, maybe they can serve as a small kick to ATI and nVidia to develop the equivalent, or simply have nVidia acquire Caustic after they do all the hard work.

It would be interesting if LightWave Core could take advantage of their hardware and libraries.

FPrime on steroids.

Daniel

Titus
03-09-2009, 04:36 PM
Hardware accelerated rendering has been a bad investment. Pixar tried the RenderMan machine and failed, nVidia with Gelato failed, even those expensive ARTVPS cards become obsolete very soon.

Red_Oddity
03-09-2009, 04:41 PM
Seen it, done it, move along.

I'm not getting exited anymore on hardware like this unless they show it working in a production environment coupled with normal of the shelve software (Maya, XSI, LW, whatnot)

These type of gizmos seem to popup every couple of years and are underwhelming and obsolete fast everytime.

harlan
03-10-2009, 10:31 AM
Don't knock it til you've tried it folks.

I'm not saying that this is a particularly great product or anything, but just because similar products have failed in the past doesn't mean that someone can't great a better badder mousetrap. Sheeeeesh, I guess we shouldn't even try NewTek's CORE as it's pretty much already been done before too. ;)

Anyway, a few differences exist between this CausticRT system and the other render accelerator things out there. The CausticRT is supposed to be in the low-cost GPU price bracket, works in conjunction with your GPU as a coprocessor type device, and it works through OpenGL so that any app using OpenGL will take advantage of it.

Again, not saying it's great, just that people shouldn't piss on it until it's been proven to be piss worthy.

Titus
03-10-2009, 10:35 AM
Don't knock it til you've tried it folks.

I'm not saying that this is a particularly great product or anything, but just because similar products have failed in the past doesn't mean that someone can't great a better badder mousetrap. Sheeeeesh, I guess we shouldn't even try NewTek's CORE as it's pretty much already been done before too. ;)

Bad comparison dude. It is proven that hardware rendering solutions are expensive just for the obsolecense timeframe, let alone any price you put on it.

Sonk
03-10-2009, 10:35 AM
Larrabee will be the answer

Red_Oddity
03-10-2009, 11:46 AM
Anyway, a few differences exist between this CausticRT system and the other render accelerator things out there. The CausticRT is supposed to be in the low-cost GPU price bracket, works in conjunction with your GPU as a coprocessor type device, and it works through OpenGL so that any app using OpenGL will take advantage of it.


Actually, that's probably not quite correct, they use an API 'based' on OpenGL and GLSL (so devs familiar with the OpenGL API can have quite a fast grasp on it), but that probably doesn't mean when your program uses OpenGL it will magically start Raytracing your scenes all of a sudden : http://www.caustic.com/caustic-rt_caustic-gl.php

And i'm not knocking it, i'm just saying i only get exited when they actually have something to show (other than some text and images, most of them i remember seeing on the Splutterfish gallery, so those would be rendered in Brazil, which as far as i know, has no CausticRT support, yet.)

Lightwolf
03-10-2009, 12:19 PM
Nitpick alert!

...and it works through OpenGL so that any app using OpenGL will take advantage of it.
It doesn't. It's API is based on OpenGL plus extension, which means that it is similar to code for.
However, that doesn't mean that it is OpenGL, nor that it replaces OpenGL (insert favourite car analogy here).
Besides, no production renderer uses OpenGL (except for a few parts of mental ray if I remember correctly), which means that extending one of them is probably not as easy as it initially sounds.

Cheers
Mike

harlan
03-10-2009, 08:29 PM
Yeah yeah yeah, I know what an API is. ;) Okay, so I should've said "can take advantage of it" rather than "will take advantage of it" - whoopdeewoop... point being that any openGL based app can take advantage of it very easily as CausticGL is very easily implemented.

As far as production rendering goes, the CausticRT product isn't really meant as a production rendering accelerator (although it could be used to do that), it's meant as an accelerator for ray-tracing, GI, caustics, etc... in the GL viewport - ie: seeing and interacting with fairly realistic raytracing & GI effects in the viewport or game itself.

It works like a GPU does, however it's specifically for certain functions - in fact, the CausticRT chip itself could actually be added by nVidia & ATI to their GPU boards which would offload the raytracing & GI effects to the CausticRT chip freeing up the GPU to handle the rest of the GL or even OpenCL/cuda/etc..

The CausticOne card is just an accelerator card with the CausticRT chipset on board to allow you to perform the aforementioned functions to your existing GPU.

I really have no vested interest in the product or anything, it's just a neat idea that is fairly different from the ARTVPS and other render accelerators.

harlan
03-10-2009, 08:34 PM
Bad comparison dude. It is proven that hardware rendering solutions are expensive just for the obsolecense timeframe, let alone any price you put on it.

I don't consider any of my GPU boards to be expensive. I think the natural thought is to compare this to the ART VPS type products, which it really isn't the same thing.

archijam
03-11-2009, 04:51 AM
I think this is another dead idea manifested physically.

It will fail.

You are a banana.

IMI
03-11-2009, 07:36 AM
I am actually a human being cleverly masquerading as a banana. I thought you would have seen that by now. But then again, it is a clever disguise that will fool all but the most observant.

You mean you're not really... never mind.

Mike_RB
03-11-2009, 08:46 AM
I am actually a human being cleverly masquerading as a banana. I thought you would have seen that by now. But then again, it is a clever disguise that will fool all but the most observant.

I want you to get the little cloud as your avatar. And put his saying in your signature! :) And not the 'everybody dance' part! :)

Exception
03-11-2009, 07:13 PM
You are a banana.

You have an awesome avatar, james.

Ernest
04-20-2009, 07:28 PM
A pretty detailed preliminary analysis on this has been posted today at

http://www.pcper.com/article.php?aid=694&type=expert

caesar
04-20-2009, 11:01 PM
Article in Anandtech http://www.anandtech.com/video/showdoc.aspx?i=3549