New in 1.3 - LuxRender Wiki
Luxrender GPL Physically Based Renderer

New in 1.3

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SLG Renderer

Image by John Doe

Since 2010, SmallLuxGPU has existed as a testbed app for GPU rendering in LuxRender. It functioned as sandbox of sorts, but quickly gathered a following as its own rendering engine, and eventually grew up into the popular LuxMark OpenCL benchmarking tool. In LuxRender 1.3, SLG reaches its logical conclusion: it is now a rendering mode within LuxRender. This means the powerful PathOpenCL renderer used in LuxMark can now be used on regular LuxRender scenes.

Materials and shapes are auto-translated as possible. Existing LuxRender scenes can be modified to use SLG by merely editing a few lines in the render settings section. The full LuxRender GUI can be used as usual, including queuing and network rendering.

The PathOpenCL renderer is contained entirely in an OpenCL kernel, and can be run on AMD GPUs, Nvidia GPUs, and CPUs. Even all at the same time.

Hair and Fur

Image by Piita

A new hair primitive has been added, based on the cemyuskel hair format. It allows strands to be exported in a binary list and tessellated at load time. Hairs can be rendered as ribbons or as cylinders, and view-adaptive tessellation is supported for both.

Material Improvements

Image by John Doe

Talk about vertex colors and the double-sided mat here.

Heterogeneous Volumes

Image by John Doe

LuxRender 1.3 extends the participating media system to support ray-marching of heterogeneous volumes. This allows for rendering of clouds, smoke, ground fog, and so forth.

Scattering is defined through the normal texture system, so scattering values can easily be mixed with procedural noise textures. A special procedural cloud generation texture is also included, as a well as a voxel loader for smoke and fluid simulations.

Like the existing clear and homogeneous volumes, they support spectral absorption and multiple scattering, with arbitrary bounding shapes.

Light Instances

Image by John Doe

The light instancing function introduced in LuxRender 1.2 have been extended in LuxRender 1.3, and now supports instancing and 3D motion blur of area(object) lights as well as CG lamps.

Additionally, the "light strategy" function adds a new "Auto Power" mode to allow simple use of the rendering hints system. With the help of rendering hints, LuxRender can ignore direct sampling of large numbers of weak lights, while still allowing them to be visibly bright and cast a glow on nearby objects.

Combining rendering hints with light instancing, LuxRender 1.3 can efficiently handle near-infinite amounts of light-emitting faces, such as bioluminescent forests or sci-fi control panels. (note that powerful main scene lights should still be kept to as few faces as possible)

Luminance Measurements

Left: linear tonemapping. Right: false color luminance readout of the same image. Image by JtheNinja

There's a false colors tonemapper

Core Improvements

Image by John Doe

A new QMC sampler has been added, which uses a Sobol sequence. It is based on Blender Cycles' sampler, and is fully compatible with the refine-area brush and noise-aware adaptive sampling.

Initial, experimental support has been added for on-demand geometry loading. A shape definition can be "wrapped" in a special primitive which prevents that shape's geometry from being loaded until a ray hits it and LuxRender is sure it will need it. This can act as an automated "prune non-visible objects" function and can save considerable memory in scenes such as architecture flythroughs.

Blender Exporter Updates

Node editor.png

LuxBlend includes a new node-based material editor using the new Pynodes API in Blender. This allows for a far more flexible and efficient way to create and mix materials.

In addition, LuxBlend has been updated to support the latest LuxRender features, as well a various small UI and workflow improvements