Originally Posted by fluxlite
I doubt the frames in avatar actually took 20 hours to render (it would have taken years to render the 170*60*23 frames needed) - I assume you're just saying it would take a typical server 20 hours?
Saying visuals are 'on par' with such a thing is monstrous, anyway.
20 hours or more to render, heard from a friend at WETA that some shots were closer to 40 hours. This is on a single computer (which is how things are rendered; a single computer renders a single frame). Many of the quotes you'll see that cite "several hours per frame" might just be talking about a single element...like a Na'vi might take several hours, but then you need to render trees etc as well.
WETA Digital owns several thousand HP ProLiant DL blade servers, which means even if frames take 24 hours, you can still render several thousand frames per day.
High end VFX work is brute force at its finest.
Oh, and the renderers that the biggest blockbusters use are NOT raytracers, but are Reyes based renderers; generally RenderMan or a proprietary written software that is basically a version of RMan. I guarantee that 90% of their work would not be possible to render using a raytracer like VRay at all. They don't handle textures and geometry efficiently enough to get the frames out on current hardware.
Our company does CGI work for the Tier 2 VFX films like TRON and Three Musketeers. We use a raytracer to render everything, but it requires every machine in the studio having a minimum of 24GB RAM to even work with the files. Renders for us are generally around 12hr a frame (all elements added up) and our render farm is 500 blades compared to 5,000+ at WETA.Edited by kweechy - 7/18/11 at 9:47am