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Luxrender: Unbiased Rendering Engine


LuxrenderThere is a new open-source unbiased rendering engine in development, called Luxrender. The images produced with Luxrender, simulate light using physical equations. This means extreme quality and real images. And guess what? The developers are planning to make Luxrender integrated with Blender!

They already have binaries for Linux, Windows and MacOsX. Interested? If you want to check out Luxrender, visit their official web site to know more about it.

And here is a very good tutorial, showing how to render a scene created with Blender.


  1. So is Lux going to be integrated like yafray is or just as an export?
    And the same question goes for the Free Style Renderer.
    That is if anyone knows the answer to the questions at this point.

  2. Hi all,

    thanks for all the positive feedback ;-)

    we're currently hard at work getting the initial releases useable,
    the engine is already quite advanced but it's got a lot of 'hard edges' for users.

    the engine has a complete C/C++ api and we are indeed planning to
    align it with blender and hopefully get some interest from the blender development
    community to assist in integration, hopefully not too long from now.


  3. wow, an unbiased renderer integrated with the ol' blender!? Neat, I imagine wouldn't it be replacing Yafray but existing alongside it. Yea?

    Looking forward to it and can't wait to play with this one!!

  4. This is just too good to be true - I can't believe it!
    I guess people will stop using indigo with blender after this. Poor Nicholas :(

  5. Awesome stuff!
    It was fairly easy to use thanks to the exporter and the tutorial!

    Looking forward to use this in the future for those longer renders.
    Nice work!!

  6. Well, from my understanding a unbiased render engine will render until you stop it (like when using Indigo). The renderer will keep rendering (noticable by the grain in the image becoming less-n-less as render time passes). UNBIASED, it'll keep rendering forever, and refining/perfecting the render image until the user stops it.

    Kudos the Luxrender team! I haven't read up on the renderer yet, but will it support animation?

  7. Nah, not hyper inteligent, just from another planet/Universe. Hyper inteligent for us, but maybe average for their species.

    Can't wait to see this integrated!

  8. As I understand it, a universal extension to allow any renderer (with a smaller amount of support code or a configuration file), will be available in Blender 2.45. Yafray, Povray, MentalRay, Radiance, Renderman, Sunflow, TurboSilver, BRL-CAD, (and yes here, Luxrender) should all then be available. There are (undoubtedly) dozens more. I have no doubts that the great Blender coding team will produce excellent, well-optimized software that they will be justifiably proud of, and we will be very happy to use.

  9. Well, looks promising, keep up the good work!
    However, I'm not writing Indigo off just yet. It has really been well developed and produces stunning renders with much less grain and much faster than some versions previously, they recently released the stable 0.9 version. Plus the Blendigo export script integrates very well into Blender (direct rendering, etc.).

  10. Good news for Blender. But;

    Lux is based on PBRT right? An official fork. I understand wanting to have a gpl'd unbiased renderer for Blender but was the unbiased stuff in PBRT not good enough to have continued with or just too much work to cover all the bases. I believe the reason for the fork was to give the blender community a artists tool out of PBRT rather than a acedemic tool but I don't see unbiased renderers as an artists tool, they take so long to render anything cleanly that any artistic urge is long gone by the time a render comes out and biased renders are so damn flat and boring, looking photorealistic maybe but they look devoid of any artists intervention.

    BTW I think biased renders are based on being physically accurate (painfully slow) and unbiased are renderers that use every trick in the book to fake the biased look and more without the painfully slow wait, because biased is so damn slow. Nothing to do with if they stop or not. :-)

    Out of interest how do you use a biased render in blender with passes, from an artistic pov, biased just looks like you get what you get, sure you can tonemap it but what about just a shadow pass, just reflection pass, an indirect lighting pass etc it appears you just get an image out of the whole scene and rerender if it ain't good enough, will Lux allow you to tweak settings on the fly?

    Good news all the same and many thanks radiance for the work you;re doing.

  11. Yellow, I think you've got it backwards.

    Bias here refers to an tendency to make one particular selection over another.

    So, for example, a biased renderer will choose to sample the dominant lighting in a scene instead of using a purely random sample. This is referred to as "importance sampling", because the sampler has a bias to select the more important things in the scene, instead of the less important things.

    The result of adding bias to a renderer is that it converges more rapidly on a solution, but ignores some small contributions. So it's a tradeoff: accuracy vs. speed.

    In contrast, an unbiased renderer chooses not to cheat. The result is a slower, but more accurate image.

    "Physically accurate" can mean a lot of different things to different people. It looks like Luxrender can use spectral sampling (like Indigo and Maxwell), BRDFs (physically sampled materials) and pathtracing. It'll also support biased rendering - for example, you can use the irradiance cache to interpolate light samples.

    The main reason given for the fork is to support faster rendering. pbrt is a general framework, so a lot of different features can be added onto it. Because Luxrender is focused on being an unbiased renderer, I'm guessing that they want to optimize for those features and make it as fast as possible.

    I'm also guessing that better integration into Blender is a big reason. From what I see on the website, it looks like the Luxrender folk are primarily targeting Blender - probably because it's their tool of preference.

  12. Well - I positively can't wait!! I'm on the edge of my seat already!

    As a sidenote though, from what I understand, the new render API is on hold because of design issues and time constraints. The developer (mosani) intends to continue on the project, just that it will take much much longer. I don't know if these intentions will be realized or not, as without google funding, it will be less likely to be on the top of his todo list. Also, as far as I know, the google summer of code is only open to students, so I expect he'll be too busy anyway until next summer.

    As for unbiased renderers taking a long time, in the interests of a good image, the artist won't really care about the render taking several hours at the end, because, compared with the amount of time he/she spends modelling and getting it all set up, it's pretty neglegeable. However, these sorts of renderers are not designed to be used from the beggining, an artist may well want to use a biased renderer for previews and only do an unbiased render when he/she is sure of the output, just to give it that extra polish!...

    ~epat. :)

  13. wow, this is awesome! im pretty much a newbie to Blender but i've started on a couple of tutorials ... and then i find out about this. i tell ya, open-source is gonna rule the world! or at least be a great competitor.

  14. I've done a render. It is very slow, as expected for this kind of renderer, but very easy to use.

    So, a big thank you !

    One thing that I have not understood in the tutorial :

    the function of the PORTAL plane... ?

  15. @Crazy jack:
    Of Cource will be at least 10 times slower than yafray (p,s.:but in fact Luxrender (like other unbiased renders) hasn't the END point of rendering process ..)...! At least today no one of unbiased renders in the market are fast...Maxwell maybe is a little bit faster than Indigo and Luxrender, but in reality their render time is quite similar and that means they are all SLOW....

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