Review: Ozone 5
This atmospheric plug-in adds V-Ray support to version 5, delivering stunning content with little difficulty
Starting from a preset, about half an hour of tweaks and low-res tests, you get skies that would make photographers jealous
- Full software: £223 / $295 / €246
- Render node: $95 per node
- Upgrade from Ozone 4: £71 / $95 / €79
Windows / Mac
- Photo-realistic skies
- Cloud systems
- Scene lights work as sunlight for your sky and clouds
- Atmospheric lighting and fog effects
- Environment lighting
With Ozone 5, e-on software has brought realistic sky creation to a whole new segment of the industry.
In addition to supporting the native render engines for its five host packages – 3ds Max, Cinema 4D, LightWave, Maya and Softimage – this environmental plug-in is now compatible with mental ray (in 3ds Max, Maya and Softimage) and V-Ray (in 3ds Max and Maya).
Let’s take a look at the integration of Ozone 5 with both V-Ray and mental ray rendering systems here.
In both mental ray and V-Ray (with GI on), the colour of the sky is added to any environmental colour you’ve chosen.
Adjustments made to the Lighting Intensity setting contribute to the lighting of the scene as well as the sky background, just as adjustments of the lights in the scene affect brightness of the sky background.
You might think that this could lead to a round robin of tweaks, but Light Balance adjusts the atmosphere’s contribution to the scene.
Light sources become sunspots in the sky, which show up in any reflective materials, along with the rest of the sky.
You can add and edit cloud layers easily in the editor.
Haze and Fog settings will soften or obscure objects placed further from the camera, adding realism.
Ozone works in the same way with mental ray’s Sun and Sky systems, V-Ray’s Sun and any standard lights, so whatever method you prefer for lighting your scene, Ozone delivers the same stunning result.
Setting up network renders for mental ray and V-Ray is a breeze: install the render licence, and you’re off to the races.
Taking advantage of V-Ray’s distributive render was equally easy; mental ray’s was more difficult.
Ozone 5 comes with the same presets from previous editions - some updates would have been nice
Ozone 5’s integration into mental ray and V-Ray is great: it works seamlessly with render elements for both engines.
Your compositor will not have any technical headaches, but render times at production resolution are pretty hefty.
Throw 500 frames of HD exterior camera at it, and you are looking at some serious CPU time.
Render times for mental ray vs. V-Ray actually have mental ray as the faster. However, this is only if you take that render as is: if you add render elements to the mental ray scene, render time goes up.
The time difference between no passes and all passes in mental ray is staggering. Rendering all passes in V-Ray, on the other hand, takes no longer than rendering no passes.
How you output an image has distinct advantages or disadvantages depending on what engine your pipeline
is built around.
The other negative is the necessity to have additional render licences to manage either network or distributive rendering.
Consider your pipeline’s capabilities before trying to push through long sequences.
Ozone 5 is a great package. It’s easy to install, fast to set up, and simple to adjust to what you want.
Sitni Sati’s Dreamscape, a terrain and sky plug-in for 3ds Max, is more expensive, but doesn’t require render
Ozone’s render times are heavier, but the results are fantastic, as the clouds are fully 3D and can be
An upgrade for existing users may not be necessary, but for new users (especially if you have V-Ray), this is
a great addition to your toolset.
In addition, a free unlimited PLE version gives you all the time you need to run it through the paces to see if it’s right for you.
• Beautiful output
• Easy setup and adjustment of scene
• Compatible with most major 3D suites and rendering engines
• Heavy render times
• Pricing makes Ozone expensive to license on a large render farm
Ozone 5 quickly creates photo-real backgrounds for your renders, freeing you to focus on the foreground elements and stay productive.
on Monday, May 30th, 2011 at 12:00 pm under Plug-ins, Reviews.
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Tags: atmophere, e-on software, environment, ozone 5, sky creation, V-Ray