You're blocking ads, which pay for BlenderNation. Read about other ways to support us.

Kerkythea v1.3.02 is out!


Kerkythea logoSince Yafray development seems to be frozen anyone got interested in finding a good external GI renderer to be used as a real alternative; actually there are a few options, most of them are in a early stage of development, only two of them are good for production level: the first is Pov-Ray, which can be used with Blender 2.41 thanks to RCRuiz's custom builds, the second one, which I'm using in my daily workflow, is Kerkythea, a commercial quality renderer which boasts a straightforward standalone GUI and different GI solvers.

I hope that Kerkythea will become a powerful renderer in the future, among the other popular freeware ray tracers. My intention is to add things and improve along with user interaction, so feedback is always welcomed.

Those are the words of Ioannis Pantazopoulos, the guy behind the project, and looking and the full Kerkythea's feature-set it seems that he is a few steps from achieving his goal:

  • Easy and fast rendering - Optimized ray tracing kernel
  • Easy and consistent XML configuration for a scene
  • Standalone application, navigation and scene setup with integrated OpenGL viewer (GUI based on Fox toolkit)
  • Material library - Reusing your saved materials
  • Material editor - Materials supported (Phong, Ward, Lafortune, Dielectric, Thin Glass, Layered)
  • Bump Mapping, Clip Mapping, Edge Outlining
  • Support for many image formats (based on FreeImage library)
  • HDRI support - image based rendering
  • Real depth of field (using stratified ray tracing)
  • Camera projection models: planar, cylindrical, spherical
  • Importing 3DS and OBJ files
  • Exporters for Blender, 3dsMax and SketchUp
  • Basic/Iterative antialiasing based on brightness difference
  • Texture filtering (based on ray differentials)
  • GI support based on various methods (Path Tracing, Photon Maps/Mesh Maps + Irradiance Caching, Diffuse Interreflection)
  • Light sources (Point, Spot) + Self-Luminant area lights
  • Soft/Area shadows
  • Caustics (based on Photon Maps or quick heuristics)
  • Basic Chromatic Dispersion
  • Material (BSDF) SDK and plugin support upon initialization
  • Thin Glass physically accurate material
  • Script support and execution (kst batch files)
  • Real field of view (thin lens model extension)
  • Irradiance gradients
  • Secondary/arbitrary gathering depth
  • Available on both Win32 and Linux platforms

Actually the Python exporter for Blender suffers from a couple minor issues which will be fixed soon (a new major version is on the way too) but it will work good in most cases, exporting to 3ds/obj is an option if you'll find any problem using it.

Give it a try and post your thoughts on the project's forums.


  1. Look very interesting- I will however have to wait for the new exporter for it to work - I get this error trying to export a pretty simple scene:

    Traceback (most recent call last):
    File "", line 484, in ?
    File "", line 476, in main
    write_meshes(file, mesh_objects)
    File "", line 329, in write_meshes
    file.write('\n' % (material.getAlpha()>0) ) # Bit of a hack, but easy to make invisible emmiters.
    UnboundLocalError: local variable 'material' referenced before assignment

    Looking at the gallery Im very impressed by it.

  2. It only hurts your reputation when you claim this stuff is "commercial quality." Even the author of Kerkythea has said it isn't, so why lead people on?

    It's one thing to promote good software, and another thing to propagandize it, I guess. (And I suppose some people believe that as long as you can make money while using it, it's professional...)

  3. ... I was about to post the .blend but after I modified it somehow the script worked - I did several thing so I can't tell what did it :(

    I will post (should I email you?) if I encounter other problems with the exporter.

  4. @Claws: if you'll encounter the problem once again post the blend file on the Blender related sub-forum on the Kerkythea Bullettin Board, thanks.

    @Edmond: So what's commercial quality and what's not? At Redmond they think that a buggy OS is commercial quality, guys at Cebas think that their famous (artifact-non)-photorealistic-rendering-system is commercial quality, Doom3 had more bugs than NPC skins but it was commercialized and heavily advertized, so why a rendering system with a full standalone GUI, integrated material editor, Plugin/shaders SDK, internal scripting system, multiple GI solvers, crossplatform support, videotutorial collection, support forum and which has passed version 1.0 cannot?
    As I said on Kerkythea forums, it is commercial quality expecially if you compare to the other free/OSS options.

  5. I would love to see this renderer added into 2.42 with an xml exporter until it can be made a plugin. Secondly, I hope that this, and others will evolve soon with Blender's (currently) internal-only multi-texturing noodles.

  6. Complex scenes that I rendered with kerkythea is far to be better than yafray ones !!
    definitivly not a commercial renderer !

  7. coff-maybe you're not as good using Kerkythea as using Yafray since K has several additional settings?-coff...


    coff-I bet other people can say this of Mental Ray-coff coff- as long as they have a basic knowledge of that one?-coff...


  8. I had same error trying to export:

    |>Starting to export:"/data/users/GraphicsFiles/BlendFiles/Cockroach/cockroach.xml"
    |>Traceback (most recent call last):
    |> File "", line 484, in ?
    |> File "", line 476, in main
    |> File "", line 329, in write_meshes
    |>UnboundLocalError: local variable 'material' referenced before assignment

    with the standard cube that appears when i start Blender. I believe this is because material was undefined. I assigned a flat white material to cube & retried. export worked without issue. I haven't checked code to see if this would work but maybe having a default material in script would eliminate problem.

  9. Eh, something will be of commercial quality when it has the same quality as the mainstream commercial alternatives. Using the term when it is better than the worst commercial alternatives would be "correct" but considered as sleazy marketing. Using the term because it is better than all the free alternatives is definetly incorrect.

    Using terms like this inappropriately, will lower the credibility of both the person making the claim and whatever he is promoting. Instead of going "hey, this is pretty good stuff" they go, "hey, this is bullshit, no way does this compare to commercial alternatives".

    I have not tested the software and don't know if the term is used correctly in this case (even though I would guess it is not, simply because of the difference of manpower used on development, and the fact that it would get a whole lot more attention if it was).

  10. Only a very important question for me... What's the distribution license of Kerkythea? Yafray is GPL, and (of course) the source code is available. This kind of freedom is one of the most important thing for me.

  11. Nitpicker

    1) I never said that kerkythea is bullshit ...
    2) you do not tested the software but you have an opinion, be serious ! I test yafray for a long time an Kerkythea, and i just said that the rendering output of exactly the same blender scene is far better in Yafray, may be cause K is a little bit young

Leave A Reply

To add a profile picture to your message, register your email address with To protect your email address, create an account on BlenderNation and log in when posting a message.