This is cool, you got to see this! The pain of endless render times will soon be history. Companies around the world is working hard to develop the future of rendering. And that is GPU (Graphics Processing Unit) accelerated real-time rendering of ray traced photorealistic renderings! So instead of waiting two hours, you just have to wait two seconds, for a rendered result on your screen. As I mentioned there are quite a few companies working on this kind of technology out there, and here are some of them.
iray (mental images)
mental images and nVidia joins forces to create a real-time renderer using the mental ray and CUDA (wiki) technology. It will be available in mental ray 3.8 and the current version (3ds max 2010) is 3.7 so perhaps the next release of 3ds max (sometime mid-2010, perhaps) will include the iray renderer, wouldn’t that be awesome!
RealityServer (mental images & nVidia)
This is cool, nVidia is developing a server-side real-time rendering solution for web 3d. It utilizes the iray technology from mental images and renders the scene on a server and the image is then sent to all the client computers, all within just seconds! Check out a video presentation here: http://blogs.nvidia.com/ntersect/2009/12/nvidia-realityserver-30-now-shipping.html
Now wasn’t this really good news!