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Indigo Renderer 4 public beta

Indigo Renderer 4 public beta Glare Technologies has released a public beta of Indigo Renderer 4.0, the long-awaited update to its unbiased renderer, adding a new pure GPU render mode capable of running on multiple GPUs from any manufacturer.

The new render mode was first announced when version 3.8 of the software was released in late 2014.

Work-in-progress support for pure GPU rendering
Although there are a number of other under-the-hood changes – both CPU rendering and viewport OpenGL performance have been improved – pure GPU rendering is by far the headline feature in Indigo Renderer 4.0.

It’s still a work in progress: normal maps aren’t supported in the current beta, and nor are light layers, double-sided thin materials or architectural glass, although Glare hopes to remedy this before the final release.

Pure GPU support for subsurface scattering and bidirectional path tracing is even further off, and is expected to follow later in the 4.x release series.

Works with multiple GPUs from any manufacturer
However, the new GPU render core supports multiple GPUs, and as it’s OpenCL-based, can be used with cards from any manufacturer, although Glare’s online documentation suggests performance is best with AMD GPUs.

It’s an interesting counterpoint to the approach taken by GPU rendering giant Otoy, which recently chose to cross-compile CUDA for non-Nvidia GPUs, arguing that it enables richer functionality than OpenCL.

Other new features: support for measured BRDFs, new fast subsurface scattering material
In addition, Indigo Renderer 4.0 introduces a number of other significant features, including support for measured BRDFs to help replicate real-world materials, and a new Fast-SSS material.

You can read a full list of new features in the release thread on the Indigo Renderer forum.

Glare is also encouraging people to download the two test scenes linked in the release thread and report their render times and hardware specs.

Pricing and availability
Indigo Renderer 4.0 is available for Windows, Mac OS X and Linux as a public beta. Exporters are available for 3ds Max, Maya, Cinema 4D, Blender, iClone, SketchUp and Revit.

Both versions 3 and 4 of the softwarew are available to buy. A new licence of Indigo Renderer costs $835, while Indigo RT, which lacks network rendering and some advanced features, costs $199
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