Monday, May 14th, 2018 Posted by Jim Thacker

LuxRender reborn as LuxCoreRender 2.0

An image rendered in LuxCoreRender by developer Charles Nandeya Ehouman. This month’s 2.0 release marks the ‘rebirth’ of the veteran open-source physically based renderer, formerly known as LuxRender.

The LuxCoreRender team has released version 2.0 of the veteran open-source physically based renderer, formerly known as LuxRender, adding a new CPU render engine and hybrid OpenCL/C++ rendering.

Other changes include the option to save and resume renders in progress; a new, much faster implementation of spectral rendering; and an angle spread parameter for area lights.

New name, core code, website and documentation, but fewer integration plugins
The “rebirth” of LuxRender, following a period during which the project was “dying under the weight of a lot of old abandoned code”, LuxCoreRenderer 2.0 is the first official version of the software since LuxRender 1.6.

As well as the change of name, the update has been accompanied by a new project website, forum and online documentation.

It also reduces the number of DCC tools into which the renderer is integrated: whereas LuxRender used to have plugins for a range of apps, including 3ds Max and Maya, LuxCoreRender only supports Blender.

New CPU rendering engine, improved performance for hybrid rendering on CPU and GPU
Structural changes in the new release include RTPATHCPU, a “new CPU rendering engine with fast scene editing support”, although the release notes don’t provide any more detail than that.

There is also now support for hybrid C++/OpenCL rendering when rendering on both CPUs and GPUs, which promises much better performance than the old, purely OpenCL-based architecture.

New features: resumable rendering, faster spectral rendering, new options for area lights
New features include the option to save and resume a render, in the same way that you can in V-Ray. LuxCoreRender can also now be set to generate resumable saves periodically as an automated backup.

There is also now a new implementation of spectral rendering – which, to judge from this forum thread, is much faster than that in LuxRender.

It works on GPUs, and renders can be switched between spectral and RGB modes on the fly.

Other new features include an angle spread parameter for area lights, a new image viewer, a new environment camera, and the option to make scene objects invisible to the render camera.

Those planned for future releases include a render denoising system based on the same open-source Bayesian Collaborative Denoiser library recently adopted in appleseed 1.9.

System requirements and availability
LuxCoreRender 2.0 is available under an Apache 2.0 licence. Binaries are available for Windows and Linux; Mac users will need to compile it from the source code.

BlendLuxCore 2.0, the current version of the Blender integration plugin, requires Blender 2.79b.

Read a full list of new features in LuxCoreRender 2.0 in the online release notes

Download LuxCoreRender 2.0