updated 04:55 pm EDT, Fri April 30, 2010
Requires NVIDIA-based GPUs
New Zealand's Refractive Software has released a beta of Octane Render, a new rendering tool for Mac, Windows and Linux systems. The software is notable for exploiting NVIDIA's CUDA architecture, which accelerates ray tracing on systems with one or more NVIDIA videocards. Octane can run 10 or more times faster than apps using CPU-based ray tracing, Refractive claims.
The software is also said to use physically-based materials and lighting, while avoiding biased methods to approximate output. A camera model supports real-time depth-of-field effects. The renderer costs $99, and requires a minimum of Mac OS X 10.5 and an 8000-series NVIDIA card. It is limited to running in 32-bit mode as a result of CUDA.