MDL support across Create's 'realtime' and 'pathtraced' RTX modes

In testing so far it seems that the idea that Create ‘supports’ MDL in general seems to apply to Iray and the ‘pathtraced’ RTX mode reasonably well, but is obviously not really bourne out in ‘realtime’ mode at the moment.

I can understand why this might be the case of course - the ‘realtime’ mode is having to do a lot of ‘optimisation’ sort of things to enable its performance, and this is not at all likely to be decoupled from way shaders have to be written to support that.

But it does beg the question if general MDL support will ever really apply across the whole application in practise?

Is there some potential future state where you see some smarter version of the MDL compiler really being able to configure shader compilation so that the realtime mode just works with MDL as much as the RTX pathtracing mode does? Or is the practical reality a bit more that realtime is always going to support only a limited subset of MDL features (eg no multi-layered BSDF’s) or will be practically limited to carefully constructed ‘native shaders’?

We are investing heavily here, MDL will be our core material across realtime and offline rendering for physical materials.

Right now we have 3 modes,

Realtime, best approximation of MDL , but focused on medium quality \ highest speed
Pathtrace high quality / medium speed
Iray highest quality . / low speed, including spectral rendering

For realtime, we are soon to introduce the MDL distilling capability. This will allow us to do things like clearcoat and better representation of most MDL’s

We also have high speed SSS in progress with is really coming along.

Lastly, this summer Create will ship with a full MDL Material Editor for graph based editing.


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