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Dimension 5 ships D5 Render

Wednesday, May 27th, 2020 | Posted by Jim Thacker

Dimension 5 has shipped D5 Render, its hotly tipped RTX-accelerated GPU renderer.

The commercial release comes after several months in public beta, during which time the software created a considerable buzz in the architectural visualization community.

The community edition of the software, intended for personal and educational use, remains free; the commercial version now costs $480, including free updates for a “lifetime”.

Version 1.6 of the software also adds support for keyframe animation.

A promising RTX-accelerated ray tracing renderer
D5 Render generated a buzz when the original demo video was released at the end of last year.

The DirectX-based GPU renderer, which makes use of Nvidia’s RTX platform for hardware-accelerated ray tracing, generates interactive previews and final-quality visualisations of architectural scenes.

Although it’s a completely new tool, Nvidia thought it significant enough to include in a blog post rounding up RTX-powered creative apps, alongside Unreal Engine, KeyShot and Redshift.


Import FBX files or 3ds Max scenes and light and render them in near-real time
D5 Render offers a basic range of scene layout and rendering options, controlled by a slider-driven interface.

Users can import models as FBX files or in SketchUp’s SKP format, apply PBR materials, and assign HDR sky lights, photometric lights and LUTs in HDR, IES and CUBE formats.

A separate free D5 Converter plugin makes it possible to import 3ds Max scenes. Support for Rhino, Revit, Cinema 4D and “more 3D formats” is planned in future.

Rendering features include an automatic exposure system, depth of field selection, camera clipping, and support for volumetric effects like environment fog.

Users can tonemap rendered output, or adjust the white balance and colour balance inside D5 Render itself; or export ambient occlusion, material ID and reflection passes for use in external compositing software.

Still images can be rendered at a resolution of up to 8K.

Most importantly, D5 Render is fast: Dimension 5’s demo videos show materials and lighting updating in the viewport in near-real time when changes are made to a scene.

However, it is still early in development: this thread on the D5 Render Forum lists some of the current limitations: key feature requests include UI support for Hi-DPI monitors, light instancing and object soloing.

New in version 1.6: new keyframe animation system, new ‘D5 Passport’ for commercial use
With D5 Render 1.6, released earlier this week, the software officially moves out of public beta, and becomes a commercial product.

The community edition, intended for “individual usage and educational purpose[s]” remains free.

There doesn’t seem to be a EULA restricting its use for professional work, but clearly for commercial projects, the intention is that you buy the new ‘D5 Passport‘.

It costs $480 and provides access to “exclusive updates and free assets for [a] lifetime”.

New features in version 1.6 available to everyone include the keyframe animation system, intended for simple move/scale/rotate translations of scene objects.

Passport holders can render video at resolutions of up to 4K.

On top of D5 Render’s free built-in library of materials, LUTs and HDRIs, Passport holders will get access to a set of 3D plants, characters and vehicle models.


Updated 16 July 2020: Dimension 5 has released D5 Render 1.6.1.

The update adds a new object scattering system, plus support for transparent shadows in renders, and support for volumetric fog and multiple light bounces in rendered reflections.

Pricing and system requirements
D5 Render is availble for Windows 10 v1809+. It requires a current-generation Nvidia RTX GPU or a compatible GeForce GTX card: Dimension 5 recommends a GeForce GTX 1060 or higher.

The D5 converter plugin is compatible with 3ds Max 2017+ and also requires V-Ray 3.6+.

Read a full list of features in D5 Render on Dimension 5’s website
(Includes the product roadmap for future updates)

Watch video tutorials on using D5 Render of the software’s YouTube channel

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