MoonRay review: DreamWorks Animations' superb rendering software is free for all

The 3D tools behind Kung Fu Panda 4 can now be yours.

MoonRay review; a cartoon panda
(Image: © DreamWorks Animation)

Our Verdict

MoonRay has already achieved great success with an array of feature films. Now the renderer is open source, the CG world can expect to see a whole new swathe of MoonRay-powered animations; something I’m very excited about.

For

  • Features for VFX workflows
  • Open source
  • XPU rendering

Against

  • Designed for big studios
  • Steep learning curve

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MoonRay features

Price Free
Company
DreamWorks Animation
Features
Ramp control for volumes, telemetry overlay system, supports GPU render denoising via Open Image Denoise 2, offers XPU mode – hybrid CPU/GPU rendering

MoonRay has been on quite a journey these past few years. What originally began as an in-house renderer at DreamWorks Animation has now gone fully open source and is following a similar path to Pixar's RenderMan by making a powerful CG tool available to everyone (though MoonRay is free and Pixar's renderer has a fee attached).

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The Verdict
4

out of 10

MoonRay review: DreamWorks Animations' superb rendering software is free for all

MoonRay has already achieved great success with an array of feature films. Now the renderer is open source, the CG world can expect to see a whole new swathe of MoonRay-powered animations; something I’m very excited about.

Paul Hatton
Writer

Paul is a digital expert. In the 20 years since he graduated with a first-class honours degree in Computer Science, Paul has been actively involved in a variety of different tech and creative industries that make him the go-to guy for reviews, opinion pieces, and featured articles. With a particular love of all things visual, including photography, videography, and 3D visualisation Paul is never far from a camera or other piece of tech that gets his creative juices going. You'll also find his writing in other places, including Creative Bloq, Digital Camera World, and 3D World Magazine.