Light Tracer Render 2.2 Launched

The Light Tracer team announces hot improvements they've been working on for the last several months.

The model was uploaded from Sketchfab, designed by Karol Miklas

Light Tracer Render is a 3D rendering software and physically-based GPU renderer, the tool allows you to render your projects on the web or inside the downloaded version. 

The platform is commonly used not only for art projects, but also automotive projects, product designs, jewelry projects, architecture visualization, voxel art, and more.

The Light Tracer team announced updates in the 2.2 version:

Physically-based Sky & Sun

The fresh update is based on papers written by Lukas Hosek and Alexander Wilkie, the current best approximation of atmospheric light scattering.

The position of the sun is specified using Elevation and Latitude angles. The elevation angle is the angular height of the sun in the sky measured from the horizontal. The elevation is 0° at sunrise and 90° when the sun is directly overhead. The longitude angle defines the sun's position relative to the west or east and is measured from 0° to 360°.

Turbidity is another important parameter, which defines the reduction in the transparency of air because of the scattering of light by dust and smoke particles and water droplets. Increase the turbidity to make the atmosphere denser – hazier.

The model was uploaded from Sketchfab, designed by mohjeha.

Import from specular-glossiness datasets

The next point is a significantly improved import of materials from 3D assets using specular-glossiness workflow. While the metalness-roughness workflow is dominating now, there are a lot of 3D assets in outdated but widely used formats, such as OBJ and FBX. The specular-glossiness workflow is also regularly encountered in glTF format. All such datasets can now be properly imported in Light Tracer Render, which performs on-the-fly conversion of specular-glossiness parameters into metallic-roughness counterparts. Take a look at the rendering of an Amazon Lumberyard Bistro imported from the OBJ format. All materials and texture maps (about 6 Gb of data) were converted automatically:

Physical bloom using FFT image convolution

The fresh release brings a new physically plausible bloom effect based on the image-based (FFT) convolution. Bloom effect is used to create a large, soft glow around bright regions on the render, ideal for adding softness around light sources or bright specular highlights. The new implementation provides cinematic quality and works in real-time. Check out the two renders below with the bloom effect turned off/on:

1 of 2

In comparison with the previous implementation, the new one can reach very big bloom radiuses (up to half of the image size independently of its resolution). This allows for a wide range of cinematic tricks.

"Later, we plan to provide support for custom bloom kernel shapes specified via UI.", comments the Light Tracer team. 

Material layers

Material layers allow separating scene materials into non-overlapping parts. For the active layers, corresponding parts are visible in the image, while other parts are fully transparent. The layers allow different materials to be rendered into separate images. These images can be post-processed and composed into a final render using external photo editing software. Materials layers can be turned on/off on the Material tab of Scene Explorer:

Below there is an example provided by the Light Tracer team, with a workflow of creating a shadow catcher for car rendering. If the layer is too dark or light for the chosen environment map, you can render the catcher and the rest of the scene into two images, edit the catcher image, and then merge the layers:

UI improvements

Starting from version 2.1.0, you can get support right from the app. If you have some troubles with registration, logging in, or experience any other issues, you may use the Support form available on the login widget:

Enter your E-mail (used as a login for Light Tracer Render), describe the issue you are experiencing, and click Send. The team will assist you with any questions. 

You may download Light Tracer Renderer here or run the online version in the browser there.

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