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Dimension 5 releases D5 Render 2.0

Wednesday, October 13th, 2021 | Posted by Jim Thacker

Dimension 5 has released D5 Render 2.0, a major update to its RTX-accelerated architectural renderer.

The release introduces a path animation tool for characters and vehicles, a new weather system with support for cloud and wind animation, and a new PBR grass material.

In addition, the software’s UI has been reworked, and the maximum resolution for still images raised to 16K.

Dimension 5 has now made the paid-for edition of the software subscription-only, although the Community edition remains free, including for commercial use.

A rapidly evolving RTX-accelerated ray tracing renderer for architectural visualisation
First released last year, D5 Render is a fast, increasingly powerful GPU renderer with integration plugins for a range of DCC and CAD tools, including 3ds Max and Blender.

As well as rendering scenes directly from a linked DCC application, users can import models in FBX, Alembic or SketchUp’s SKP format, apply PBR materials, and assign HDR sky lights, photometric lights and LUTs.

Other features include object scattering, a physical sky system, support for volumetric and particle-based effects, automatic exposure, depth of field selection, camera clipping, and integrated denoising.

The software makes use of Nvidia’s RTX platform for hardware-accelerated ray tracing, and is capable of rendering 16K still images and panoramas, and 4K videos.

The community edition of the software is free for commercial use, and is not feature-restricted, with commercial Pro subscriptions adding access to product-support and a cloud-based library of stock assets.


New Path tool for animation and scene layout
D5 Render 2.0 extends the software’s scene layout capabilities, adding a Bézier curve-based path tool.

It can be used to draw out motion paths for animated stock assets like characters or vehicles, making it possible to set up animated scenes without keyframe editing.

The Path tool can also be used to distribute static objects like plants: for example, to lay out hedges.

New weather system and grass material
In addition, the release introduces a new weather system. The online release notes don’t provide much information, but the demo video shows both animated clouds and wind animation for vegetation.

There is also a new PBR grass material.

Workflow and performance improvements
D5 Render 2.0 also overhauls the software’s interface: according to the release notes, both to place key tools in more logical positions, and to leave space in the UI to add new tools in future.

Other workflow improvements include the option to copy and paste texture maps between materials; and to duplicate video clips, carrying over keyframes and parameter values from the original.

In addition, the maximum output resolution for still images and panoramas has been raised from 8K to 16K, and the maximum scene file size for animations from 50MB to 200MB.

The maximum number of scene objects has been raised from 100 to 1,000, and users can now view statistics like GPU usage, frame rate and poly count directly inside the software, helping to debug complex scenes.

Pro edition is now subscription-only
Dimension 5 has dropped the old $480 perpetual licence for the paid-for Pro edition of the software, which is now priced at $38/month or $360/year.

However, since the free Community editon isn’t feature-restricted, the subscription charge is effectively only for product support and access to D5 Works, the accompanying cloud-based library of architectural assets.

New features in the library include more granular asset categorisation and the option to favourite assets. There are also new models including animals, furniture, and particle-based assets like water features.

Pricing and system requirements
D5 Render 2.0 is available for Windows 10. It requires a current-generation Nvidia RTX GPU or a compatible GeForce GTX card: Dimension 5 recommends a GeForce GTX 1060 or higher.

Integration plugins are available for 3ds Max 2017+, ArchiCAD 21+, Blender 2.82+, Revit 2018+, Rhino 6.5+ and SketchUp 2017+.

The software is free for personal and educational use; subscriptions to the Pro edition, which provide access to product support and the online asset library, cost $38/month or $360/year. See a comparison table.

Read a full list of new features in D5 Render 2.0 on Dimension 5’s forum

Read an overview of D5 Render’s features on Dimension 5’s website

Read Dimension 5’s privacy policy
(The firm is based in China, and is governed by Chinese law)

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