Friday, April 26th, 2024 Posted by Jim Thacker

Dimension 5 Techs unveils D5 Render 2.7

Dimension 5 Techs has unveiled D5 Render 2.7, the next version of its GPU ray tracing renderer.

The update, which is due to be available “in a few days”, adds new AI features including texture tiling and upscaling, and an experimental text-to-3D generative AI system.

There is also a new D5 Scatter tool for quickly populating scenes with 3D plants, improvements to real-time GI and render performance, and beta support for SpaceMouse 3D control devices.

A rapidly evolving GPU ray tracing renderer for architectural visualisation
First released in 2021, D5 Render is an increasingly powerful architectural renderer with linking plugins for a range of DCC and CAD tools, including 3ds Max, Blender and Cinema 4D.

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

Other features include object scattering and shot dressing tools, support for volumetric and particle-based effects, and path-based animation tools for crowd characters or vehicles.

The software supports DXR-based hardware-accelerated ray tracing on current NVIDIA, AMD and Intel GPUs, 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 fully functional, with commercial Pro subscriptions adding access to advanced features and extra stock assets.

D5 Render 2.7: new AI features, including an experimental text-to-3D system
D5 Render 2.7 continues the rollout of AI features into the software, begun in D5 Render 2.6.

The most eye-catching is Text to 3D, which generates 3D models from simple text descriptions “in one minute”.

Although it’s described as capable of creating “realistic” as well as stylized or low-poly assets, most of the current text-to-3D algorithms we’ve seen fall on the low-poly side of that spectrum.

The demo above shows Text to 3D in use to create a figurine for set dressing, rather than a major component of a scene.

The feature is currently in beta, and seems to be credit-based, with users advised to apply for a free trial to get the credits necessary to test it.

Other new AI tools include Make Seamless, which automatically tiles textures, and Ultra HD Texture, an AI upscaling system that doubles the resolution of a texture, up to a maximum of 4K.

New D5 Scatter tool for populating scenes with 3D plants
The other major new feature is D5 Scatter, a new procedural scattering tool.

It’s currently intended for populating scenes with 3D plants, rather than other types of 3D model, and works with both custom plants and stock content from D5 Render’s asset library.

Users can create scatter areas by selecting materials or models within the scene, with the option to set reference points to create areas from which to exclude vegetation.

The result can be adjusted via parameters to control the size, density, spacing and clustering of the scattered plants, with options to randomize settings, or edit individual plants.

More accurate real-time GI
D5 Render’s real-time global illumination system has been updated, and now generates results closer to offline ground truth renders.

In particular, the accuracy of reflections has been improved, and spot lights, projectors, stage lights and area lights now contribute more accurately to GI.

Materials in video renderings now “reflect soft edges of shadows correctly”.

Performance improvements
Render speed has been improved, with Dimension 5 claiming speed boosts of “up to 45%” on still images, and “up to 100%” on video.

The software also makes better use of AMD and Intel GPUs, with increases of “over 60%” in frame rates.

For users with NVIDIA GPUs, D5 Render 2.7 adds support for AI frame generation via DLSS 3, which should also improve viewport frame rates.

Workflow improvements, updates to the asset library, and beta SpaceMouse support
Workflow improvements include new viewport controls for adjusting light orientation, and the option to switch one type of light to another without having to reset its position or parameters.

The update also adds beta support for 3Dconnexion’s SpaceMouse range of 3D control devices, and a new Spanish-language edition, plus a long list of smaller new features.

The accompanying asset library gets new low-poly characters, plants and vehicle models, plus 133 grouped character models and 19 new walking character models.

Pricing and system requirements
D5 Render is available for Windows 10+. It requires a compatible GPU: Dimension 5 recommends a Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060+, an AMD Radeon RX 6700 XT+ or an Intel Arc A3+.

Integration plugins are available for 3ds Max 2014-2016 and 2018+, ArchiCAD 21+, Blender 2.93+, Cinema 4D R20+, Revit 2018.3+, Rhino 6.1+ and SketchUp 2017+.

The Community edition is free; subscriptions to the Pro edition, which includes advanced features, access to the full asset library and sequence rendering, cost $38/month or $360/year.

Read a full list of new features in D5 Render 2.7 in the online release notes

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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