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  • Redshift - FAQ


    What is Redshift?

    Redshift is a GPU-accelerated render mode that speeds up rendering time without sacrificing quality. Redshift employs features like lighting, reflections, volumetric effects such as lit fog, camera effects, and anti-aliasing, which removes the jagged effect observed along straight edges. Redshift in Vectorworks 2023 also includes CPU support for computers with marginal GPUs, greatly expanding the availability of Redshift rendering.


    When and why should I use Redshift?

    Use Redshift when producing feature-rich, high-quality renderings that use blurry reflections, soft shadows, depth of field, fine details in global illumination, and/or anti-aliasing. Rendering time is greatly reduced for these features in Redshift and it can produce a higher quality rendering than Renderworks render modes.


    What are the current limitations to using Redshift in Vectorworks 2023?

    • Textures that use Grass Shader, Displacement Mapping (bump texture), or Caustics (how light gets reflected or refracted from a curved surface such as water or glass and projected onto a surface where they can be visualized) are currently not supported.
    • Parallax bumps, which give textures such as brick more apparent depth, are currently not supported.
    • Anisotropic metal (brushed, turned) will render with roughness but without directional scratches.
    • Area lights and Line lights are currently not supported.
    • The Use Emitter physical brightness option is currently not supported.
    • Custom lights (IES lights) are supported but the “From User Input” sub-option is not supported. Brightness is always “From Distribution File”.
    • Redshift renderings will be processed sequentially and automatically, one at a time.
    • You currently can’t set different backgrounds for environmental reflections. Lighting and background can be independent, but reflections only come from a visible background.


    Tech Tips

    • All lights should be set to cast shadows. Lights that don’t cast shadows will blow out, or overexpose, the scenes in Redshift renderings.


    What are the system requirements for using Redshift?

    • Minimum Requirements for Redshift using CPU only
      • macOS: Apple macOS 11.5 (Big Sur) or later
      • Windows: 64-bit Windows 10
      • macOS M-series:
        • Apple M1 16 GB
      • Windows:
        • 8GB of RAM
        • Processor with SSE2 support (Pentium 4 or better)
      • macOS Intel:
        • 8 GB of RAM
    • Minimum Requirements for Redshift using GPU
      • macOS M-series:
        • Apple M1 16 GB
      • Windows:
        • 8 GB RAM
        • NVIDIA GPU with CUDA compute capability 5.0 or higher (https://developer.nvidia.com/cuda-gpus) and 8 GB VRAM
      • macOS Intel:
        • 8 GB RAM
        • AMD "Navi" or "Vega" GPU or later and 8 GB VRAM
        • See the supported AMD GPU list below
          • Single GPU
      • Recommended Requirements for Redshift using GPU
      • macOS M-series:
        • Apple M1 Max 32 GB or better
      • Windows:
        • 16 GB of RAM or more
        • Core i7 or Xeon equivalent, 3.0GHz or better
        • NVIDIA GPU with CUDA compute capability 7.0 or higher (https://developer.nvidia.com/cuda-gpus) and 8 GB of VRAM or more
      • macOS Intel:
        • 16 GB of RAM or more
        • AMD "Navi" or "Vega" GPU or later and 8 GB VRAM or more
        • See the supported AMD GPU list below
          • Multiple GPUs - macOS: List of supported AMD GPUs for Redshift
            • MacBook Pro
            • Radeon Pro Vega 16/20
            • Radeon Pro 5500M/5600M
            • iMac
            • Radeon Pro Vega 48
            • Radeon Pro 5500XT/5700/5700XT
            • iMac Pro
            • Radeon Pro Vega 56/64
            • MacPro
            • Radeon Pro Vega II / Vega II Duo
            • Radeon Pro W5500X/W5700X
            • Radeon RX 6800/6800XT/6900XT
            • Radeon W6800X MPX
            • Thunderbolt eGPUs
            • Radeon RX Vega 56/64
            • Radeon Pro WX 9100
            • Radeon VII
            • Radeon RX 5500/5500XT/5600XT/5700/5700XT
            • Radeon RX 6800/6800XT/6900XT
            • Radeon W6800X MPX


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    User Feedback

    Redshift render engine natively supports multiple Nvidia GPUs (in Windows) when you use it in other 3D render software like Blender, Cinema 4D etc. However, it does not seem to be supported in Vectorworks. Why? Intentionally limited to a single GPU or something that will come later?

    • Like 1
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    Redshift appears to support displacement mapping outside of Vectorworks.  Is this functionality expected to be implemented in future releases?

    • Like 1
    Link to comment



    We have now reached Vectorworks 2024,

    which of the above limitations still apply and which are obsolete.

    Please update the FAQ.


    It would be fantastic if Vectorworks could get Physically Based Rendering (PBR) in the future!


    Best regards

    Edited by Tobias Kern
    Link to comment
    • Vectorworks, Inc Employee

    Same limitations apply today.  We are working to improve alignments between Shaded/Redshift/Renderworks with regards to lighting and texturing.

    Link to comment

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