LuxRender 1.6 ships
The LuxRender team has released LuxRender 1.6, the latest update to the open-source renderer, adding variance clamping to reduce render artefacts, a new shadowcatcher option for materials, and a new HSV texture.
LuxBlend, LuxRender’s Blender exporter, also gets several new features, including support for node-based materials in LuxCore mode, and an automatic converter for scenes set up for Blender’s Cycles render engine.
Support for variance clamping and shadowcatchers
New features in LuxRender 1.6 include support for variance clamping, as shown in the video above. The system helps minimise ‘fireflies’ – bright single-pixel artefacts in renders – while preserving highlight colours.
There is also now the option to make any material a shadowcatcher to help integrate rendered objects into photographic backplates.
There are also several updates to the core engine: notably, extended GPU-acceleration via OpenCL, improving performance when working with complex scenes or high resolutions, and during real-time rendering.
New materials and light group options in LuxBlend
The LuxBlend exporter gets support for Blender’s node-based material editor while working in LuxCore mode, and a work-in-progress system for converting lights and materials from Blender’s Cycles engine to LuxRender.
Handling of light groups has also been revamped, including the option to edit light groups in real time during a final render. There are also a number of smaller new features, which you can see in the changelog.
LuxRender 1.6 is available for Windows, Linux and Mac OS X. As well as Blender, there are export plugins for a range of DCC tools, including 3ds Max and Maya.