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Stereo cube maps rendered in V-Ray RT GPU for VR


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:

Download stereo cube map >


The second image is an interior and required a great deal more GI. It took nearly 2 hours to render:

Download stereo cube map >


If you have a Galaxy Gear VR, here is the best way to view these images in VR:

  1. Download the images on this page
  2. On the phone create a directory called Oculus
  3. Go to that directory and create a directory called 360photos
  4. Go to that directory and create another directory with any name, such as CONSTRUCT
  5. Copy the stereo cube map images into that directory
  6. Disconnect your phone and connect it to the Gear VR
  7. Start the app called Oculus 360 photos
  8. Browse the project CONSTRUCT
  9. View the images in there.
About the author

Christopher Nichols

Chris is a CG industry veteran and Director of Chaos Labs. He can also be heard regularly as the host of the CG Garage podcast which attracts 20,000 weekly listeners. With a background in both VFX and Design, Chris has worked for Gensler, Digital Domain, Imageworks and Method Studios. His credits include Maleficent, Oblivion and Tron: Legacy.

Originally published: July 10, 2015.
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