Hi everybody. Yep, I'm doing the weekly this time, as Jens is hard at work awesomefying the forthcoming Blender 2.60. I've been publishing these builds on graphicall.org for several months now, since they redid the site and added the LuxRender section. So these are now your weeklies for this round.
There are two builds, one is the "normal" build, other other a special optimized build. Let me explain these two a bit. The normal build uses the same settings that all the OS X weekly builds have been using for about a year now. They will run on any Mac that has a 64bit CPU and is running 10.6+ (the notes say 10.6.8, this is a reminder to keep your machine up to date.) The other build is my personal build (meaning the one I use myself), with a whole bunch of optimizations for my box turned on. It won't work on everybody's Mac, but it should work on any Mac that; A, has a Core i7/i5/i3 or equivalent Xeon CPU, AND, is running 10.7. ("equivalent Xeon" means the 2009 and 2010 model Mac Pros. If you have a Hackintosh, well, the technical reason is that this build requires SSE4, figure it out from there)
If you aren't sure if you can run the special build, or don't want to bother, just download the normal one. Although, the special one should be a bit faster (5-10%, I think, been awhile since I tested it).
So without any further ado…
Normal build (10.6/10.7, 64bit only): http://graphicall.org/78/
Optimized build (10.7+SSE4.1 CPU[Core i7/i5/i3] only): http://graphicall.org/148/
Changes since the last build:
-LordCrc has added a new material, glossy coating. This one takes some other material as a base, then puts a gloss coating over it. This is still a work in progress, report any issues in the thread
-SPPM no longer leaves flecking on glossy materials, and now handles the mix mat correctly. SPPM should now handle ALL materials correctly and efficiently. You might still have some photon fireflies early on, but they should clear up with time. Also, startk has been disabled, it was causing problems and needs to be reworked a bit. Also, the bug where normal smoothing wouldn't work on some mats is fixed.
-Hybrid bidir now supports camera <> light vertex connection (improves efficiency, very helpful for caustics). It's also now (probably) correct when rendering all-matte scenes, fwiw. There are also several other misc fixes I don't understand, but…hey, fixes!
-The default tone mapping and clamp method is now Auto-linear + Cut instead of Reinhard + Lum. In other words, it's now a lot simpler and acts much more like an auto-exposure camera.
-Guibou and Jeanphi have also fixed an issue with specular transmission. This mainly affected SPPM and exphotonmap, but it could show up with the other modes too.
-Carbonflux added a menu item and shortcut to show/hide the GUI sidebar, plus an option to show the statistics overlay within the GUI.
-Mac OS X only: the 16px Finder icons for scene files no longer have the text/backdrop, just the logo. Should make list view a bit neater.
-Hybrid bidir. isn't finished yet. It still has several errors, and is missing several important features found in the regular bidirectional integrator (all-uniform light sampling, MIS, tracing shadow rays through null or arch glass, to name a few I understand)
-SPPM images are darker than the other rendering modes, and oddly seem to grow darker as the renderer runs.