Solid Iris Technologies has previewed Thea Render 1.3, the forthcoming upgrade to the hybrid renderer, which adds a new physical sky, camera Z-clipping for creating cutaway diagrams, and micro roughness.
If you’re using the Presto GPU-based render engine – for which you’ll need a CUDA-enabled Nvidia graphics card – you also get support for instancing, and some very nice-looking GPU-based subsurface scattering.
Core performance of the engine has also been improved: changes to the sampling algorithms have led to an increase in render speed of up to four times over Thea Render 1.2 in scenes with area lights.
The Presto engine can also be set to perform calculations using both the GPU and CPU.
New open-source Blender plugin
Thea Render 1.3 is due out in December. The developer has also just released a new native plugin for Blender, released under an open-source GPL licence to fit “the spirit of Blender development itself”.
Native plugins are also available for 3ds Max, Cinema 4D, Modo, Rhino SketchUp, Softimage and Motiva’s Colimo.
The base software runs on Windows, Mac OS X and Linux, and costs €295 (around $400).
Tags: Blender, CPU, GPL, GPU, hybrid, instancing, micro roughness, new features, open source, physical sky, Presto, renderer, rendering, Solid Iris Technologies, speed, SSS, subsurface scattering, Thea for Blender, Thea Render, Thea Render 1.3, Z-clipping