Here's the thing. When I first read about Iray, I was excited because I genuinely like the Iray renderer, but upon giving the matter some thought, I'm a little hesitant about putting it in my shopping cart.
I got into iClone because I wanted to do animation. Of course I want the best looking animation possible, but I realize there are some trade-offs, so when I make a purchase I try to keep in mind what can be gained. Faceware was an obvious advantage, and so were Speedtrees and so was Popcornfx. But what I am seeing at the moment makes me hesitant to make this purchase, strictly when it comes to animation. Iray doesn't seem to be compatible with PopcornFX at the moment, or won't be at launch. So when I saw that my heart kinda sank because animation without special effects is not going to work.
You make these leaps forward with PopcornFX, and then it seems like you take a step backward. So I can say at the moment that I may purchase Iray at the time I purchase CC3 Pipeline, but I won't go trying to do much with it if it doesn't support the plugins that matter to me as an animator. It would make more sense to me to pursue adding SSS to the iClone Render Engine which already supports all of the features that animators are using. I'm all for choice but I don't see a value in Iray if it doesn't support the wonderful plugins you've given us thus far.
I'd be more inclined to make this purchase if there were definite plans to support the special effects plugin. So I'm curious to know if there are plans for Iray to support PopcornFX and the other special effects features of iClone.
First at all, I love PopcornFX and I also interesting in coding. PopcornFX it's design for real-time purpose, nothing else for non real-time render.
What I known about RL they said "maybe" implant PopcornFX as Iray rendering at future, but I didn't see any point to do this.
Iray plugin is a toy, 50$ buck toy. Therefore, don't take so serious about it.
Just hope, more and more visual improvement at future, but not iray one.
If RL can co-operate with Blender, sure be win-win situation.