Wednesday, June 25th, 2014 Posted by Jim Thacker

Five technologies to watch: appleseed

CG Channel is on holiday this week. While we’re away, check out five tools that caught our eye this year but somehow we never managed to cover. Today: an open-source renderer with a very beautiful demo short.

As far as we were concerned, appleseed was just one of a number of interesting new open-source rendering projects – at least until earlier this year, when Fetch, ‘a very short film’, was released.

Directed by François Gilliot and used to test the renderer in production, Fetch (above) is one of the most beautiful calling cards we’ve seen for a new tool. There’s a nice twist at the end, too.

What is it?
A “modern, physically based renderer designed for production rendering”, released under an open-source MIT licence. There are exporters for Blender and Maya.

Why is it notable?
The development team come from a strong production rendering background. François Beaune used to work for mental images, and also worked with 3Delight. Haggi Krey has worked on a lot of European CG features.

Similar to?
There are a lot of open-source render engines, some still being actively developed, some more or less abandoned. Of the physically based renderers, LuxRender is probably the best known.

Selling points?
Free to use. Developed with production in mind, and already used on commercial work by Studio aka’s Jonathan Topf. Development backed by Google Summer of Code. Has a very beautiful demo short.

Key technical features?
Find a full feature list here.

Runs on?
Windows, Linux, Mac OS X.

Includes exporter plugins for Blender and Maya. A native Maya exporter is in development.


See it in action at:
You can see Fetch, a beautiful CG short rendered with appleseed at the top of this story. Its website is here.

Find more information at:
Visit the developers’ website.

Normal news coverage resumes on Monday 30 June.