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Presto Engine (GPU+CPU)
Thea Presto is a render engine that has been written bottom-up and is running on both GPU and CPU simultaneously, harvesting all your computer raw power. The engine has been especially tuned for fast interactive rendering and pushes GPU+CPU computing to the limits, while keeping the high photorealistic quality of Thea Render. Take a Tour and see benchmarks for Presto here.
Fast Interactive Render
One thing that is impressive about Presto is the interactiveness rate that one can achieve. It is certainly the most fun engine to work interactively with and its response is great particularly in the case you have a separate graphic card for display. Presto comes as an add-on engine for Thea Studio and all Live Plugins.
For coding Presto on the CPU, we didn't want just a "port" of the code from Nvidia CUDA architecture to x86/CPU architecture. We wanted to squeeze the CPUs to the max and see a real performance comparison between GPUs and CPUs. For this, we decided to adapt Intel's Embree library. What does this mean? with every GPU and CPU core running Presto, it means fast, very fast, rendering!
Instancing & Volumetrics Support
Presto has full instancing support. After various small and big memory improvements, millions of instanced polygons can now be rendered without a problem. Presto can now handle all the geometric complexity you want. Additionally, subsurface scattering and volumetrics are supported by Presto and they are also delivered fast, truly realistic, without any approximations.
Material and Lighting System
Presto has been coded on the GPU with the same principles for materials and lights like on the CPU so that you can get the same superior quality of Thea Render. The GPU engine is particularly useful for product design and external scenery with dominant direct lighting; this is where Presto particularly shines!
Ideal for Animations
Presto can be used for rendering complex animations in a fraction of time compared to others. Adding also the new network render mode, which allows to render frames separately on each node, one can render complete product and exterior animations always in time.
Two Render Modes
Presto comes with 2 different render modes; one for very fast preview which accounts mostly for direct lighting and uses also ambient occlusion and a second one, truly photorealistic, unbiased-like mode. They both are progressive render modes and can be used for rendering inside the Viewport and the Darkroom.
Based on Nvidia CUDA Technology
Presto GPU is based on Nvidia CUDA, which means that a compatible graphic card is needed to run it. It also supports Multiple GPUs (for Darkroom and Interactive rendering) and co-operative rendering over the network. All the CUDA supporting cards can be used (see here for a detailed list).
Find here more tips for running Presto at its max effectiveness.