Here are the current release notes for the most recent major release of 3Delight for Maya. This is followed by all previous release notes since version 2.0 released in May 2006. For the details of what is coming in the next version, refer to the Changelog.
3Delight for Maya 8.0
- Introducing multi-light technology. This allows output of per-light AOVs without significant performance hit. Environment and incandescence can be output in their own channels.
- Introducing a novel real-time re-lighting technique using i-Display's Light Mixer. Mix lights or groups of lights together interactively in i-Display; Maya lights are updated automatically.
- Introducing a new Image Layers UI to easily manage AOV and multi-light output.
- Introducing XGen support.
- Introducing multi-mask workflow for easy management and rendering of masks and mattes. Masks can be declared using sets of objects or materials and can be output alongside AOVs to EXR files.
- Greatly improved the progress indicator in Maya. A progress wheel inside i-display now shows the progress of the scene translation when a rendering starts.
- Added an easy to use color management workflow. Intelligent decisions are made about which textures should be color corrected or not. For example, displacement textures are not color corrected.
- Added artist friendly support for OpenVDB. An easy to use shader is also provided, it is well suited to render volumes from Houdini.
- Area light lights can now be defined using arbitrary geometry.
- Maya Shaders are now assignable using 3Delight's assignment tools (Assignment Panel, Relationship Editor). This allows for a set based assignment and hierarchical assignment materials.
- RIB export UI has been simplified and RIB Archives can now be exported using format has been added to "Export All...", "Export Selection..." and "Import..." Maya operations.
- Outlining is now driven by HyperShade networks so it is more flexible and more artist friendly.
- Introduced physically plausible metal and hair material.
- Improved responsiveness of "IPR" renders, especially for material changes.
- Added swatch rendering for all 3Delight materials (2015 and up).
- Displacement shader has been improved in many ways. Displacement bounds are now computed automatically and displacements can now run on mesh vertices only for faster rendering.
- Added support for UDIM and PTEX textures.
- Added cylindrical and fisheye camera projections.
- Added support for Maya's Viewport 2.0.
Performance & Quality
- Noteworthy is a x10 performance boost for volumes when using the path-tracer. Overall ray-tracing performance has been improved (up to 30%).
- Improved support for deep image files. They are now 10 times smaller than in previous versions.
Added support for Maya 2015 and deprecated support for Maya 2010 and older.
Free License Upgraded to 8 cores.
The free license can now take full advantage of an 8 core computer (previously it was limited to quad-core). We will continue to provide more frequent updates for the free version.
3Delight for Maya 7.0
- Introducing a state of the art path tracing algorithm. Users are able to choose between path tracing and REYES algorithms. Path tracing performs exceptionally well for high complexity environments.
- Added "IPR" support. In an IPR session, lights, cameras and materials can be modified interactively.
- Improved usability: rendering options are simplified, better organised and presented.
- Added a shelf for the most common operations 3Delight for Maya.
- Improved Maya Render View support. Renders in the render view do not mobilise Maya and can be stopped rapidly.
- Overhauled AOVs so it becomes clear how to comp them together to get the "beauty" image. In particular, global illumination AOVs are very easy to work with.
- Renders are now launched in background and do not block Maya anymore.
- Added support for deep image (EXR 2.0).
- Introduction of physically plausible materials (3Delight Material, 3Delight Skin, 3Delight Glass) to render a large variety of different materials.
- A new environment node provides a very easy way to create environment for global illumination and reflections.
- Added ability to load RenderMan shaders and co-shaders directly into the HyperShade.
- Our image viewer – i-display – has been greatly improved and is more integrated with the AOV workflow.
Performance & Quality
- Overall ray-tracing performance has been improved. This includes GI, shadows and glossy reflections. Performance improvements are up to five times.
- Rendering startup time has been reduced, especially when ray-tracing is used.
- A new global illumination algorithm allows for much faster GI rendering as well as a very rapid time to first pixel.
- Fluids rendering is closer to Maya software rendering and is 25% faster. Intersecting fluids now renders properly.
Added support for Maya 2013 and deprecated support for Maya 8 and older.
Free License Upgraded to quad-core
The free license can now take full advantage of a quad-core computer (previously it was limited to dual-core). In addition, users of the free license will now have access to the more frequent updates we offer to paid customers. This will enable to follow more closely all the improvements added to 3Delight for Maya.
Online documentation has been improved significantly and is now available through a new Wiki powered by Atlassian.
3Delight for Maya 6.0
Starting from this release, 3Delight for Maya becomes available as an individual package. This package is meant for artists and small to medium sized studios wanting to integrate the 3Delight renderer into their pipeline. Compared to the 3Delight Studio Pro full package 3Delight for Maya excludes:
- RIB archive import (although scene caching using RIB fragments is functional).
- Network caching.
- Command-line tools (such as
renderdl) and libraries.
Note that RIB export is functional and doesn’t take any license. Here is a list of new features and improvements since version 5.0.
- Added intuitive and simple to use global illumination controls. These controls are available in each render pass and make both ray-tracer and point-based global illumination very easy to use. No shader programming or pass setup is necessary.
- A new point-based global illumination aglorithm enable for rendering of high quality and smooth global illumination.
- Introducing a new multi-bounce global illumination algorithm that combines point-clouds and photon-maps for realistic image synthesis.
- Added progressive render mode for faster image preview.
- Introducing “Minimal Passes”: each pass can be created with a minimal set of attributes that are suitable for the intended task. This reduces clutter and risks of errors by hiding attributes not needed by the artist. “Passes templates” further improve pass management.
- Added support for multi-channel EXRs and “half-float” types.
- Improved Maya Fluids support with a look that matches Maya more faithfully. Note that only 3D Maya Fluids are supported and attributes that are new to Maya 2011 are not yet supported.
- UI improvements. All around improvements to the user interface for a better user experience.
Quality and Performance
- The shading interpreter (the "virtual machine" which is responsible of shader evaluation) is now using in-house just-in-time compiler technology which translates RenderMan shaders into SSE2 machine code. This makes the shader interpretation up to three times faster and have a net speed impact on the entire render of up to 30%.
Multi-segment motion-blur can now be shaded “once per-frame”. This can lead to speedups proportional to the number of segments used.
Ray-tracing of occlusion and transmission rays has been greatly improved. Speedups can go anywhere between 10% and 300%.
Ray-tracing of displacements has been optimized, speedups of 30% are expected for transmission rays.
Improved performance of area lights when using the ‘illuminance’ sampling mode. Acceleration can reach an order of magnitude with high sample counts and deep ray levels.
Photon mapping quality has been greatly improved and photon maps are now 50% smaller. The photon-casting process has been multi-threaded. Speed improvement is linear with the number of cores.
Point-cloud baking process produces a more even distribution of points and the IO (reading and writing PTC files) has been multi-threaded.
Maya Fluids have been accelerated by an order of magnitude.
Improved Maya Fur in both quality and performance. The fur now closely matches the one in Maya under various parametrisation. Startup time and memory usage has been reduced significantly.
Improved support for HyperShade nodes, including skin and architectural material.
The performance of the Relationship Editor has been greatly improved. Response times are faster when adding or deleting nodes. It is no longer updated when not displayed.
Added Maya 2012 support for all platforms.
3Delight for Maya 5.0
Introducing RIB Fragments: a user-friendly and flexible way of creating and managing RIB archives. This feature is useful to accelerate re-renders.
- The display drivers UI has been improved and simplified making it easier to manage and visualize output variables (AOVs). “Primary Displays” and “Secondary Displays” have been collapsed into the same UI.
- Major performance improvements to the 3Delight Relationship Editor which make it responsive even with very large scenes.
- Improved UI in the 3Delight Relationship Editor by using distinctive icons for different shaders and attributes.
- Added support for many useful Hypershade nodes, most importantly: misss shaders, car paint, metallic paint, glossy reflection and glossy refraction.
- Scene parsing optimizations reduce RIB output time by 20%.
- It is now possible to render Shave and a Haircut nodes without loading the 3dfmShave plug-in: 3Delight for Maya automatically uses Shave plug-in’s RIB export function in that case.
- Maya sprite particles can now be rendered as “volumes” for correct shadowing.
- Maya fluids implementation enters a beta stage. All current limitations are listed in the user’s manual in the Rendering Guidelines chapter.
- Added Maya 2010 support and dropped Maya 8.0 support.
3Delight for Maya 4.5May 2009
- Introducing the 3Delight Relationship Editor. This new user interface replaces the now deprecated Shader Manager and Attribs Node Manager and makes it much easier to view, assign and modify 3Delight shaders and attributes, in a centralized location. The usability of shader and attribute collections is substantially improved thanks to this same feature and one can inspect, for each pass and at a glance, what attributes and shaders are in effect.
- Introducing “Pass Templates” It is now possible to save a given render pass as a template and create new passes based on existing templates.
- A new "round edge" features enables automatic edge rounding of sharp geometric features. Using this feature, one can round edges at render time (such as a table edge) instead of performing a costly modeling-time operator.
- Added a dicing camera attribute in the geometry attributes node (in the Culling and Dicing section). This features is useful to stabilize popping displacement during animation.
- Updates to HyperShade:
- The “useBackground” node is fully supported.
- Checker node with much better anti-aliasing.
- 3D texture nodes now use texture reference objects if these are exported.
- Scene export has been optimized and runs twice as fast for certain scenes.
- The following MEL bindings have been added: RiBound, RiDetail, RiDetailRange, RiOrientation and RiShadingInterpolation.
3Delight for Maya 4.0
- The way 3Delight attributes are connected and interpreted has been much improved for greater flexibility and ease of use: it is now possible to connect only a small subset of attributes to any given node. This feature enables a hierarchical attribute interpretation scheme in which undefined attributes for a given object/node are looked up higher in the scene hierarchy.
- Images can now be rendered in background so artists can still use Maya while rendering frames.
- The Coordinate System node can now display an environment dome in Maya’s view for easier image based lighting.
- Added render-time CSG support (boolean modeling operators).
- Improved HyperShade translation and support:
- The following nodes exactly match Maya’s look: cloth, ramp and contrast.
- Added support for mia_material, mib_ambient_occlusion and particlSamplerInfo.
- Photons can trigger HyperShade shader evaluation to get the correct surface color.
- The plug-in now honors Maya object visibility attributes (“Render Stats”) in case no 3Delight visibility attributes have been defined.
- Added more control on how particles are rendered. For example, particles can now have a sub-pixel size.
- Added support for area lights.
- Advanced features include:
- RenderMan shader writers gain control on how parameters are presented in the AE using a new parameter grouping functionality.
- User definable light nodes gives the necessary flexibility to customize RenderMan commands output when issuing light sources.
3Delight for Maya 3.5
- The plug-in is better integrated into Maya. It now registers itself as a standard Maya renderer and is thus accessible through the Render Settings. Batch rendering and command line rendering (through the standard Maya Render command) is now possible.
- Improved HyperShade Translation:
- 3Delight for Maya tracks HyperShade network modifications and only translates and compiles shaders which have changed.
- The following hypershade nodes are now supported: ocean, remapValue, lightInfo, layeredTexture and volumeLight. The Image Sequence options of the File texture node are now supported.
- HyperShade networks for light sources are correctly translated into their RenderMan SL equivalent.
- The RenderMan Code shader can now declare output variables and those can be output using secondary displays (advanced).
- Support for RIB archives creation and reading using a user friendly, yet flexible, interface.
- Out-of-the-box support for Shave & a Haircut and much improved Maya Fur support.
- Object Instancers are fully supported.
- Shadow Maps can be rendered using arbitrary cameras. This allows for better shadow map view framing and thus better quality.
- More output variables added to secondary displays.
- Maya 2008 support.
3Delight for Maya 3.0
- Maya Fur support using efficient procedural geometry.
- Enhanced Hypershade support.Hypershade networks that contain animated attributes are now handled correctly.
- Secondary displays can now output many useful components from HyperShade materials, such as diffuse, specular, etc.
- A “rendermanCode” Hypershade node has been added. It can be used to execute RenderMan SL code in Hypershade networks.
- Support for Maya 8.5.
3Delight for Maya 2.5November 2006
- HyperShade support. 3DFM now automatically converts HyperShade networks to RenderMan shaders. 3DFM produces clean, human readable code and is easily extensible to support specific HyperShade nodes.
- Shader collections. A powerful feature that enables a per-pass RenderMan shader assignment mechanism.
- Complete geometry support. Paint effects, Maya hair, Maya subdivision surfaces and particles (including blobby particles) are now supported.
- Direct rendering to Maya’s render view.
3Delight for Maya 2.0May 2006
The 3Delight package now comes with a Maya plugin (3Delight for Maya) that uses 3Delight for rendering. The plugin provides a user friendly interface to many 3Delight features and comes with a RenderMan MEL binding for increased flexibility.
3Delight for Maya is developed in conjunction with soho vfx (www.sohovfx.com). It is based upon their Build A RIB File (BARF) tools developed by Berj Bannayan and used in production since 2003.