The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has awarded a Scientific and Technical Achievement award to Intel’s Embree ray tracing library, in recognition of its role as a contributing innovation in the moviemaking process.
The Embree ray-tracing library is open source and is part of Intel’s oneAPI Rendering Toolkit. It is also integrated into popular rendering tools, including Blender, Chaos Group’s V-Ray, DreamWorks Animation’s MoonRay, Kitware’s ParaView, Corona Render, Maxon Cinema 4D and Cinebench.
The rendering has contributed to movies including How to Train Your Dragon, Lego Batman, Peter Rabbit, The Grinch, and Trolls.
Embree uses ray tracing techniques to mimic the effects of light on 3D objects and their surface materials and generates lifelike images, including mathematically correct reflections, refraction, and shadows. Embree also has production-ready features to handle effects such as reflections and shadows on hair, fur, or mirrors, as well as complex motion blur for multiple moving objects like vehicles, propellers and birds. It can also be used for particle effects such as sand and foam.
Under the covers, Embree is a collection of high-performance ray tracing kernels, aimed at graphics application engineers who want to improve the performance of their photo-realistic rendering application. The kernels are optimized for the latest Intel processors, and Embree supports runtime code selection to choose the traversal and build algorithms that best matches the instruction set of your CPU. Embree contains algorithms optimized for incoherent workloads (e.g. Monte Carlo ray tracing algorithms) and coherent workloads (e.g. primary visibility and hard shadow rays).
Embree makes it possible for developers to optimize rendering applications on existing hardware and achieve fast render cycles and cost-efficient production. Intel plans to expand the Intel oneAPI Rendering Toolkit from use by professional studios to individual home content creators and small businesses. The Rendering Toolkit can be downloaded or used in the Intel DevCloud for free. The code for Embree is available on GitHub.
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