This long time we were working on performance, bugfixes, interface, stability and a couple of features. From now on we will divide the work better and release new versions with less delays.
This is a list of changes
[core] CUDA 8 support. NVIDIA Pascal GPUs should be supported.
[core] Reworked render algorithm. Now it is progressive/bucket which on the first render iteration shows the entire Beauty pass and for any subsequent render iteration it computes Beauty pass and all enabled AOVs in parallel using buckets.
[core] One render iteration (“Iter” in IPR) now means one render over entire image with guarantee that every pixel received several samples. Before 0.43 the single render iteration stochastically fired up to one million samples over entire image (and it could lead to significant noise for large resolution images). The new sampling layout of 0.43 which is automatic and adaptive leads to significant noise reduction.
[core] New AOVs: Environment, Reflection1, Reflection2, Base, Transmission, Emitters. Now up to 16 AOVs can be computed in one render process in parallel with negligible (<5%) compute overhead. All this works also in IPR mode same way.
[core] Alpha channel support added.
[core] 15% faster render iteration computation in general.
[core] 3x faster render convergence for image parts with materials with several enabled layers like: multi-material, reflections+diffuse, reflections+transmission, reflections+diffuse+SSS. For example: glass with reflections, glossy and carpaint implementations are rendered much faster.
[core] All layers of material (reflections, diffuse, transmission, SSS are combined based on weights that are relative to each other). So all the layers have equal rights inside material. Stack-based policy is removed.
[core] Faster render convergence for shadow regions (perceptually2x faster).
[core] Rendering large resolution images like 4K or 10K is 30-50% faster.
[core] Render limitations are introduced for robustness. They are indicated in IPR window. For example, smallest GPUs with 1.5-2GB memory support 30-50M polygons and 100K mesh instances. GPUs with 3-4GB+ memory support 250-400M polygons and 1M mesh instances. These limitations will be further pushed forward.
[core] Bugfix: now render can work with at least 896MB of provided GPU memory by OS/driver. This low memory budget may be available on 1.5-2GB GPUs attached to display. Switching off other GPU applications may increase available memory for renderer.
[core] Bugfix: now environment map not blurred if seen through the glass.
[core] Bugfix: now absorption renders correctly.
[core] Bugfix: fixed rare overflow problems with complex shadows.
[IPR] IPR priority is introduced (see in render settings -> IPR). Larger priority increases render speed (samples/sec indicator) but can make GUI lags. Lower priority decreases render speed by 10-20% but makes work with GUI much smoother.
[IPR] Separate render resolution setting for IPR (see render settings -> IPR).
[IPR] Render region support.
[IPR] Render pause/resume.
[IPR] Render camera lock.
[IPR] Render enable/disable automatic scene updates.
[IPR] Full scene reload button.
[cntlmax] Material layers (Reflections, Diffuse, SSS, Transmission) now can be unrolled or hidden.
[cntlmax] UBER-light source. Create single light source, several instances of it and then change it’s type (Area, Sphere, Spot, Directional) on the fly for all instances.
[cntlmax] cntlTexture shader now can be seen in Viewport too (if enabled).
[cntlmax] native Bitmap is translated by CentiLeo (however still limited, need to implement the functionality for Output parameters).
[cntlmax] Improved converter for 3rd party light sources (now understands instancing and more lights).
[cntlmax] Bugfix: substantially improved stability when Camera is updated while working in IPR.
[cntlmax] Bugfix: substantially improved stability when Environment is updated while working in IPR.
[cntlmax] Bugfix: debug console can be enabled from the Hardware Settings rollout.
Known issues to be solved
- No yet multi-GPU
- May not initialize if AMD GPU is in your computer together with NVIDIA GPU.
- Very limited scene converter tool from other renderers (only diffuse property and textures from Standard material and Vray material)
- UVW mapping change of parameters may not be accounted by IPR scene auto update mode. To be solved.
- Resource collector for CentiLeo shaders and proxies is under construction
- Multi Texture and cntlRandom shaders are under construction yet.
- Still need to integrate ForestPack and Multiscatter with IPR.
As some of you may know the texture system creates the cache files *.mml together with original textures.
Currently the recomendation is to use cntlTexture for your images.
Please, test it and say what you think!