Podcast: Let's Talk Shaders, with Mike Farnsworth

We will talk about:

  • What makes the Arnold rendering engine so special, and why it was kept a secret
  • What Cycles excels at
  • Why developers can't answer your emails

We've all heard of the rendering wars between VRay, Luxrender, Mentalray, Octane etc. People arguing over which is better than another. But what's it all about? What makes one rendering engine better than another? That's what this post is about: taking a peak behind the curtain of the software, and hearing how rendering engines work.

And who better to talk to than a software engine for the now famous Arnold rendering engine! Mike Farnsworth has an impressive resume, being an engineer for movies like Harry Potter, the Twilight Series, Ted, After Earth and many more. And if that's not impressive enough, he's also worked on games like The Godfather and a handful of EA games.

But what's even more surprising is that in his spare time he coded 3 very important features for Cycles! HDRI lighting, Multiple Importance Sampling and the Anisotropic Shader. Three cheers for Mike.

For more from Mike, check out his site where he goes into more of the technical details raytracing and other shading concepts.

Andrew Price