Gelato 2.0 Review: Harnessing the GPU
Price and Performance Of course, Gelato 2.0 also offers speed and image improvements, and installing Gelato and its accompanying plug-ins was a smooth process. Gelato arguably renders scenes up to twice the speed of RenderMan, with comparable image quality. Sorbetto sweetens the deal by allowing you to quickly relight your scenes without having to recalculate the entire scene. Lets explore Sorbetto in more depth.
Gelato is positioned to compete with Pixars RenderMan and mental images mental ray renderer. Gelato 1.2 was priced at $2,750, with an additional $525 annual maintenance and support fee. Gelato 2.0 is priced much more aggressively at $1,500, including your choice of Mango or Amaretto and one year of maintenance, support and upgrades. Sorbetto costs an additional $2,200 and supports Maya, with 3ds Max support in development. Volume discounts, site licenses and leasing options are also available. Obviously, to take full advantage of Gelato, youll need a system with a Quadro FX video card in it, including your render nodes. A server will cost you between $3,800 and $4,300, which include a Quadro FX 1400 or 3450 and a Gelato license. Gelato is certified and tested with the complete lineup of NVIDIA Quadro FX professional graphics solutions as these cards are all manufactured by NVIDIA. The professional cards also offer a number of features, such as overlay plane support and anti-aliased points and lines, that improve overall performance when working in applications like Gelato. For users with limited budgets, it may be possible to run the software on other graphics cards, like NVIDIA GeForce consumer cards, but these are not certified or guaranteed to work by NVIDIA.
Price and Performance
Of course, Gelato 2.0 also offers speed and image improvements, and installing Gelato and its accompanying plug-ins was a smooth process. Gelato arguably renders scenes up to twice the speed of RenderMan, with comparable image quality. Sorbetto sweetens the deal by allowing you to quickly relight your scenes without having to recalculate the entire scene. Lets explore Sorbetto in more depth.
(Re)light My Fire
Sorbetto is the star of the Gelato 2.0 show. As previously mentioned, Sorbetto is Gelato 2s new relighting system, and although it costs an additional $2,200, the gain in productivity will quickly justify its cost. Gelatos Mango plug-in for Maya supports Sorbetto, and soon the Amaretto plug-in for 3ds Max will support it as well. And since Sorbetto is accessible through the Gelato API, any tool that can use Gelato as a renderer can make use of Sorbetto as well. Since youre working with final image and not a proxy, Sorbetto allows you to view your changes in a true WYSIWYG environment. And Sorbetto requires no special scene preparation or custom shaders; any scene that can be rendered in Gelato can be re-rendered with Sorbetto. For example, lets say your studio is creating a vfx for a movie, and the director wants you to match the existing scenes lighting exactly. Sorbetto speeds the visualization process of matching the existing scenes lighting by allowing your lighting technicians to add extra fill lights and tweak ambient lighting, then rapidly test those changes. An example of Sorbetto in action is shown in Figure 4, where the original scene was rendered in 3 minutes, 30 seconds, and then light characteristics were changed, a light was added and the scene was updated in 30 seconds. Making a simple lighting change, such as the one to the glow around the display at the right of the bottom image, allowed the scene to be updated in a mere five seconds.
(Re)light My Fire