While working on CONSTRUCT, Kevin Margo decided to experiment with the new stereo 6 x 1 cube maps for VR. Currently, one of the best ways to view these images is through the Galaxy Gear VR, which gives a very high pixel density through the Samsung Galaxy S6. While the process itself to make stills this way is fairly simple, part of the challenge is that images need to be a very large images to take full advantage of the pixel density of the Galaxy S6.
The image is 6 x 1 cube map for each eye, which means it ends up being 12 x 1 total. Each side of the cube needs to be 1,536 pixels, which means that the final resolution of the image needs to be 18432 x 1536 which is 28 megapixels, or equivalent of an 8K image, 16 times more then a traditional HD image.
The challenge therefore is that render times, especially on very complex scenes could take a very long time. A one hour HD frame would take 16 hours for a stereo 6 x 1. Considering that CONSTRUCT was made entirely on GPU rendering with V-Ray RT GPU with CUDA, Kevin wanted to see how the GPU advantage would work on rendering these large images.
The hardware used for rendering was an older Boxx 3920 workstation, housed with 3 x NVIDIA Quadro K6000 GPUs. Kevin used 3ds Max 2015 with the nightly build of V-Ray 3.2
The first image is an exterior image and took 40 minutes to render: