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Indigo 2.0 Released


indigo-rendererIndigo (which recently went commercial) have released version 2.0 of their renderer.

Ben Nolan wrote:

We've released Indigo 2.0 as a stable. We talked with the community and increased the size of the free-version renders, and reduced the size of the logo - to make it more useful for the free users. Our announcement for Indigo 2.0 is at:

We're really happy to see the new users come on board with Indigo (even though we went commercial) and I've personally been amazed at the quality of modelling that people are getting out of blender. Like these renders from seanser or wytraven.

From the announcement:

The Indigo graphical user interface (GUI) has been rewritten to improve power and ease of use. Interactive tone mapping, layer blending etc.. is now possible with the GUI. Major new Indigo features include motion blur, easy network rendering with a customised render node GUI, and full Unicode support. Sub-surface scattering has been sped up, and aperture diffraction (glare) has been improved.

The Indigo exporter plug-ins have also been greatly improved, and now come with easy-to-use installers. Indigo exporter plug-ins can also now read and write Indigo material files, allowing artists to make use of the Indigo material database (, a free online repository of high-quality Indigo materials.


About the Author

Bart Veldhuizen

I have a LONG history with Blender - I wrote some of the earliest Blender tutorials, worked for Not a Number and helped run the crowdfunding campaign that open sourced Blender (the first one on the internet!). I founded BlenderNation in 2006 and have been editing it every single day since then ;-) I also run the Blender Artists forum and I'm Head of Community at Sketchfab.


  1. I don't really understand these reactions.

    Indigo is a very good renderer, and remains totally free in version 1.1.18 and free for personnal use in 2.0 version, with some restrictions.

    Its commercial licence is not as expensive as other render engines, and the exporter from Blender is better and better. For freelance artists and small companies, it is a very good choice in my opinion.

    For my own, I earn very few money so far, but I have purchased a licence, because it is a renderer that I want to have close to my hand in case I'd need it.

  2. Maybe blender users feel little being used for betatesting the product that have gone commercial?

  3. Blender users are still more than half of our installed userbase, and we are glad to support commercial and free users of the software. We hope those of you who aren't 100% opensource will try us out - especially the 2.2 branch which takes half the time to produce noise-free renders.

  4. Im very happy with their decision to go commercial. Commercial software is usually better maintained, progresses faster and the developers dont starve. Even Blender has some kind of commercial department and probably could not evolve so fast without it.

  5. Source Defender on

    "Maybe blender users feel little being used for betatesting the product that have gone commercial?"

    Thats it! People contributed to the source code of Indigo, wrote exporters and docs and now that...
    I respect your decision but for me it is the wrong one!!

  6. "Source Defender", Indigo was never opensource, and is the sole work of one hard working and very talented programmer.

    Blendigo - the exporter, is GPL licenced, and always will be. People are free to take that code and use it in their own exporters or for other renderers. And all our documentation remains available under a creative commons licence. ;)

  7. Source Defender on

    Still these docs etc help selling the commercial product now ;-)
    They were written for good, to help a free project. I am not talking about open source, i know it was freeware only.
    Anyway, good Luck with it.

  8. @Grandmaster B so your saying that blender or luxrender are not well maintained applications

    @Ben then you should have made that well clear from the begining instead of dropinf the bomb
    on people like that. What you did by letting people use your render for that long of a time with out
    restriction is like a dealer giving a user a free sample for months then out of the blue telling them that
    they need to pay to get a fix that was free until then. maybe thats why people are mad.

    @ROUBAL check out luxrender its a powerful free renderer also check out this post

  9. @ewomer all the current maintainers of Indigo exporters are paid by Glare for their time, even though some of them contribute to opensource software. :)

  10. Anyone have right to have private property. but as far as I'am concerned Indigo had the period in which it was freeware and gained interest of community, and then the commercial version was released. If I will make a software I will claim it commercial from the very begginning, to not make impression that it can be freely used.

    Of couse that when a project is commercial is well mantained, but when corporate thinking is on run then quality of software can be lowered, not always but...

  11. wow in just five minutes three posts,

    @ewomer Grandmaster B said usually! however ya Ben will be in the dog house for a while about that, he dint really slap that on the front page!

    @Ben maybe you should have made it exceedingly clear about the the fact it may have gone commercial, but after seeing the way people are reacting I can almost see why you dint. ;-) you'll be in the dog house for a while...

    HOWEVER... The Indigo renderer was NEVER opensource Indigo is the sole product of Ben's sweating over a screen for months, and he let us use it for free. Hey I'd love to test out a free ferrari or toyota every once in a while, but I wouldn't be complaining if I'm not getting paid for it!

    Do you people realise we are practically demanding someones hard work for free??

  12. We should probably feel honored for getting commercial render support in Blender, so I'm wishing you guys the best of luck. The quality of your product will be the final proof of your future success.

  13. No one is demanding someone 's hard work for free.

    But sometimes the humanity have the great luck to have Persons like Ton Roosendaal that enabled free and open source access to 3D technology. That should be clearly emphasized.
    And it is a shame that someone is complaining that The Creator of Blender is making money on it.
    He have the moral right to do so. And anyone who is seriously concerned with humanity progress should be grateful for that. This is really a kind gift. Thanks to Blender many people from all the world who never have their chance to immerse themselves in the world of creation because of lack of money now are able to.

    I think that producers of Indigo should be honored that their product gained attention of Blender community.
    If not, it would be only "another plugin for maya". Th autors of Indigo probably well know that when studios will switch into blender Indigo will have better chance to be choosen as renderer than many others.

  14. how about we just keep blender related news on blendernation, indigo is fine for the people who use it but its not really blender related, the export script is, i wouldn't like blendernation to just turn into an advertising portal for indigo just because at one time, the two were slightly more related

  15. @gord: Just because Indigo is a commercial product doesn't mean it's not Blender related. We'll keep reporting on products like this if we feel it's relevant.

  16. gord allott:

    don't you thing that Indigo is one of the best renderer for Blender? And that's why it's quite Blender related. ;)

  17. I think in the long run things like this are good for Blender. If commerical companys see Indigo making money by providing a renderer for Blender than its very possible that you get a PRMan, MentalRay, Vray or Maxwell for Blender.

    If you were a freelance arch-vis artist using Blender paying for something like Indigo would make sense, I know I would only thing is I don't make money of my 3dwork so right now this would be an unjustifible expanse.

    let all keep an open mind

  18. From the posts of some users I can feel the adoration of commerciality as if it was something that is making the Blender more noble if there is bunch of commercial add-ons. No plugins and commercialism will make us proud of Blender but the Artists that will use it.

  19. And of course good luck on the business -renders from indigo looks really nice. Only the marketing should be more subtle:)

  20. Anthony, Ireland. on

    Well done on the 2.0 release. Looks impressive.

    I personally don't see anything wrong with going from freeware to commercial. No biggie.

  21. I don't understand why BlenderNation is reporting on this.

    Do we did info on VRay? Nope. Do we need info on Indigo? Nope.

    On Luxrender? Of course!

    They cheated helping developers with their commerzialisation.

    No thanks. No more Indigo news.

  22. Forget Indigo, Luxrender all the way. Any chance Indigo had was blown out the water as soon as they went commercial.

  23. Cheering Indigo on!! All the way!!!!

    Commercial is well deserved as they put a ton of work into this baby!!

    Sadly I can't afford it yet, but will definitely add this to my wish list!!

  24. Wow look at what people is saying here. A variety of opinions and reactions.

    As for me I never made a render with Indigo but I heard it was great. Since I never used it, I never had the same attachment others have here. I read the Indigo forums and there are a lot of people angry of it going commercial. It seems that many members of the community has some sense of "ownership" over Indigo and was angry when it was ported to commercial by the developers especially when it was suddenly dropped like that.

    I think such reactions means that the community is very attached to Indigo (not professionally but emotionally), but I think that would change now somewhat. It seems like going commercial are cutting the emotional attachment of some of the members.

    Still others warmly agree with the decision. They are not disturbed or anything about it. Seems they had anticipated this or understand what the Indigo license really means or totally understanding for the developers needs.

    Since I never used it, I will never be able to make an opinion on how Indigo will fare in the commercial venue. There are a lot of commercial renderer out there that is more established in this area that Indigo has to compete. I hope they make it.

    Ahh. I somewhat agree with gord. In a pure sense this is not Blender related news even if Indigo can be used with blender. It is somewhat minor in Blender terms and many(or most) would not care, only those Indigo guys/users. I do hope there is a much more strict restriction on what goes in here. Still its the site maintainer who makes the final decision.

  25. Bart, some weeks ago I sent a piece of news about the contest we organise in that hasn't been published for the first time, as it was published the other two previous years. The contest is alredy finished anyway.

    However, there aren't any problem to publish news about commercial propietary software, that many times use the Blender Community to quickly grow users base, with a completey disregard for open source principles and the free collaborative enviroment that helps them to grow in the first place.

    I hope you know where to draw the line.

  26. Hi there,
    i agree with many of you, i spend a lot of time to test indigo, waiting for a best of it...and i was follow it because it was free with all features, because it was in principles of the free collaborative enviroment that i expect for my students (i'm teaching blender and open source multimedia in South India), i was so disappointed about the last news that i don't talk anymore about indigo...

    for me, that's not fair ! you know, there is only two choice, free OR commercial...nothing in the middle !
    Commercial softwares are there to produce a level-step between companies, the one who spend more get more and can sell more...disgusting !

    please, consider that there is no way for us to share the free digital world...noway !

  27. TheANIMAL (marcus) on

    @ uriel; i think you are over reacting and only seeing it from the users point of view.

    When coders put alot of work into programming something they eventually want to be paid for it. Indigo developers have done nothing wrong, no-one is being hard done-by and you've still got use of a good renderer for free if you are willing to put up with a water mark. You cant expect coders to keep putting work into something that will never pay them back, that's not how the world works.

  28. At the begining of this thread, I said that I didn't understand the bad reactions against indigo developpers, and after reading all the topic, I still don't understand.

    Not everyone works with Linux, and I'm sure that through people who say they will no more use indigo because it is commercial, there are plenty of people still working with Windows for various reasons (like me), and Windows is far from being free...

    I think that what matters is what we need. If you play with Blender for personnal pleasure only, and don't need indigo, don't use indigo. If you need a free renderer and don't want or can't afford the (cheap!) indigo license, use LuxRender or previous free indigo license (1.1.18 is still free for any use).

    If you really need a good and not expensive renderer for your work, then indigo is available. There is no need to be hangry. Everybody can make its own choices, and there are tools for everyone.

    Please keep your energy to shout against the price of food. indigo is very affordable compared to other renderers, and I have seen no hangry people when were released exporters for other commercial render engines. Nobody said that these renderers were useless or that commercial renderers were the evil.

    For LuxRender, I have tried it several times : I have not been able to get good result with it, and I found it slow. This said I will try the coming new release, because it is good to have a choice between several tools, but even if I can get something good with Lux, it doesn't mean that I will not use indigo any more. I'm more comfortable with Indigo, and so far I haven't seen better results with Lux.

  29. @ROUBAL hey,

    The users are divided into two groups: Those who know what is going on on the world and those who not.

  30. Stop bringing up Open Source vs Commercial issues! i never said that indigo was open source. This isn't about commercial vs open source this is about honesty vs dishonesty if they would have told people from the beginning that it would go commercial then there wold be no feelings hurt. instead they kept people in the dark then slammed them with the bill. The worst part is they probably never even apologized to those that they hurt. Its dishosesty lik that will do more harm then good to the blender community.

  31. Would a piece of news about Maxwell Render make the Blendernation page? Then why Indigo does? I wonder how many Blender users have purchased a copy of Indigo. Ah wait, we still can use it for free, as in a free beer. With limited resolution and a watermark. Because this is what the Blender Community is about!

    Anyway they can pay you a banner [email protected] Ben, stop treating us cheap and show us the money!

  32. @ewomer: the developer did not know in the beginning that indigo would ever go commercial. he ran out of resources and AFAIK it was either:
    a) go commercial
    b) stop developing indigo and/or sell it

    those two are pretty much the same fro the freeware user: no more indigo. would it be dishonest to stop devloping because he just cant affort it anymore? i think not!

    You can still use Indigo 1.1.18 for free, also for commercial work. Without any limitations.
    I fail to see the problem here. Lux gets "advertised" here, too. (yes its open source, but indigo has a free version with quite ok limitations, imho).

  33. I think the reactions are funny.
    They show that Blender Fanboys are not open for any other than their beloved app.
    Lux of course is ok, because it's free, free as in beer, that is.
    It's a pity.

    Oh and I really would like blendernation to report if a VRay plugin for Blender is avialable, or a plugin for any other commercial renderengine.
    Simply because it makes Blender more attractive for professional users.

  34. @fused developers that make free apps or services that run out of resources usually turns to the community that helped build it(not as it the dev side of build but on the user base of things) and ask for money or starts a fundraiser instead of turnig them and saying "O by the way if now I'm going to need some money" out of the blue.

  35. @SaphireS

    And how many people realize WHY the Blender is different from all other apps? The problem comes from
    the stage in the world is. Unequality between people on the economical basis from the beginning excludes large social groups from access to 3D applications. Even if Blender was not as good as it is it will be a light point in the
    world of open source. And there is constant development going even if the flow of money for development is not
    as if it would be with commercial product. Many volunteer developers work only for the sole purpose of software improvement and how it is organized still makes me stay in wonder.

    Blender has gained recently interest from Universities and now it not represent the application that it was in past, but is becoming an another along with Linux The Application of free world.

    The market and economy is an advancement of civilization, but in hands of some who rejects the ethics it becomes the caricature. The problem is caused by human evil, not the economy. And rules of "free market" are cruel.
    Blender could not enter the monopoly ruled market and became erased. Luckily it was recovered by the community and now is OUR. It gives us a chance to enter. Thats why it cannot be treated as any other application. Someone who do not have an positive emotional connection with it is probably sent from Autosomething:)

  36. @Agile

    I agree completely with you, that's why I use Blender.
    And I like it far more than Adesk products, just to make clear.
    But what i dislike are the unnecessary negative reactions here.
    What are the reasons behind bashing a product, many Blender users would profit from?
    If they don't like it, simply stay away but don't force everyone to use Lux instead.
    That's childish and unprofessional in my opinion.
    Again, that's just my opinion.

  37. I agree with the angry users in that the Indigo developers could have open-sourced it instead of going commercial or killing it. After all the hard work done by some volunteers there's a lot to say for that. However, it's their choice in the end and they decided to go commercial. Not that I believe their product will amount to anything since there are so many excellent products out there which handily outclass it such as Maxwell and Fry Render.

    OTOH the users should have known that Indigo *might* go commercial since no GPL source code was ever released. I myself hardly ever use free software if there's no OSI-licensed source code accompanying it. I see open-source as something eternal whereas closed source is very temporary. If commercial sales go down the owners may sell the product and it will get gobbled up by some big, cash-rich corporation (such as Adobe).

    LuxRender is at least as good as Indigo (although not as fast) but may take a while to catch up to Maxwell and Fry, but people will keep working on it relentlessly and tirelessly, forever.

    I'm certainly willing to pay for a world-class product such as Maxwell or Fry, but NOT for a so-so product such as Indigo which barely outlcasses open-source offerings (read: LuxRender). I still think there are easier to use 3D modellers out there than Blender but since it's open-source and 'eternal' I put up with its quirks.

  38. Dear Ben Nolan, Going commercial is one thing, and limiting the free use for non-commercial projects would been nice, but limiting the size of a render or putting a logo (watermark/stamp) on the renders is something I will not use, sorry.

    Not to say that I would not encourage an commercial project like a renderer, but using the 'freeware' approach got most of us off guard. It seemed to give something back to the community. Since a long time that is why I avoid 'freeware' applications alltogether as theres 3 ways it can go: abandoned, commercial and open source. And the first 2 are much more common...

    Goog luck!

  39. Hey folks, take it easy, easy ! :)

    You guys went commercial !! I hope you will earn some money. Because, people talk about emotional stuff are just babling. What if Blender Foundation cannot have money from pre-orders, advertisement and etc.

    Look here, even has google ads and its trying to get some money. Because, it s the real world guys. Not everyone can work for your needs and create you all open source stuff and give you a link to download it.

    If you are not satisfied with this commercial product, then why dont you think "not to buy it".

    Don't talk too much, only don't buy it. And, if they cannot sell it well, then they will be punished themselves anyway. rigth ?

  40. Jesus Christ, some people are like a bunch of 8 year old who can't distinguish between "my stuff" and "their stuff". Indigo provides a good renderer, in many aspects better than the Blender internal one or Yafaray and in many aspects worse. IF you need that kind of rendering, you will have the money to buy it anyway. If you DON'T – or if you think that paying for software is somehow bad – then Yafaray and Blender are perfectly fine.

    In the end, it's the artist who created good art, and no amount of fancy rendering techniques will change that. If you're an artist who cares so deeply about the renderings, you can probably save up for Indigo in due time (it's not _that_ expensive!).

  41. @getbigger: quote: "people talk about emotional stuff are just babling"... does that mean me? People always get emotionally attached to a lot of stuff whether immaterial or not: God, story characters, books, necklaces, wedding rings, dolls, teddy bears, antique collection, friends, homes, neighbors, cars... you name it. Some even go over and personify those things (like God and pets). We always say things as our "favorites", "like", "best"; and the time when we speak that we get even more emotionally attached. Try someone who said that "this stuff is the best ever" that he is wrong and see if he don't get angry with you. Even with reasonable arguments, his emotional attachment would cloud his judgment and defend his claim fervently, making him cling more to his belief.

    If Blender Foundation has problems, the community would come to the rescue. Now that is emotional attachment. Well in comparison, look at sourceforge and see other open source projects that you never even heard of. If those projects ever go to problems would you come to help them?

    quote: "Don't talk too much, only don't buy it," Its human nature for people to talk about anything of there interest. I assume that you like Blender, well, if it was possible for Blender to go commercial and suddenly a news say that "BLENDER IS GOING COMMERCIAL" lets see if you could keep your silence and just "don't buy it".

    Emotions has always swerved humanity to do many incredible and horrible things, from Women's Rights to World War, from children's first drawings to Picasso's "Guernica" . Emotions has always been the center of it all.

  42. @Samo: It's not that expensive? For you, [REMOVED - BART. NO PERSONAL INSULTS ON THIS SITE], it wouldn't be expensive. I don't live in Europe. My currency is worth less than an Euro, and for me, it'd be a great effort to purchase even the "cheapest" license.

    But let's not talk about me... How about a great Blender artist such as Pablo Vazquez? (venomgfx). He lives in Argentina, where even if the license would cost half of its current price, it would be offlimits for him!


    Don't misunderstand me. I don't want everyone to just give out their work for free. If I'm against Indigo, it's because their developers actually lured Blender users with the promise that their renderer would be free and community-driven, just as Blender is.

    Indigo could be faster, better, and more realistic than any other renderer... But it wouldn't be anything without an exporter (which was done for free, by a member of the Blender community). They took the community's support and effort for free, and even used it as a cheap bait that could "attract potential customers".

  43. I would choose Indigo over Luxrender because it's faster and it's giving me fewer fireflies in certain scenes. I could live with size limiting for the renders but the watermark in the "free" version is killing it for me. So the "free" Indigo version is just a DEMO, nothing else. Calling it free is somehow misleading.

  44. @Ventum:
    "But it wouldn't be anything without an exporter (which was done for free, by a member of the Blender community). They took the community's support and effort for free, and even used it as a cheap bait that could "attract potential customers"."

    dude... it was said before. he's not doing it for free anymore. he is getting his piece of the cake. any exporter writer is getting a piece of the cake.

    IMHO, you look like a guy whose agruments are based on fiction. and above that i dont think you should call anyone a retard, it makes you look like one.

    re - ask for money.
    same as for ventum, except that you are not insulting people. which is honourable :)

    (means it was tried for years but "pay if you like" is not even enough to pay hosting)

  45. Bart you are ruling here. And you can moderate all comments that are posted here. You edit comments when you think that they are in conflict with good manners or are offensive.

    Then when someone is using the word "God" in context that suggest offensive use you do nothing.

    I insist that you be more careful with the words...

  46. @Bart: When did this rule got encouraged? Like, 30 seconds after Ventum's post? I'm just saying this because Kajimba's post become a flamewar (with insults far more personal and aggresive) in front of you, yet you didn't do anything to moderate or edit the comments. Even this post has had a fair share of attacks between users, but you seem to act only when a friend of yours is "offended".

    While I don't share Ventum's opinion, I must say that he was right on saying that Samo's "it's not that expensive" isn't an objective comment. In fact, taking into account the economical situation in my country, I can take it as an insult, because to me, it's far from expensive. Plus, he attacked anyone who didn't share his oppinion by comparing them to 8-year old kids without sense of posession.

    About Indigo: Everyone has the right to do whatever he wants with his/her work. Going commercial was a surprise, as no one expected it. But it's the Blender community that should judge whenever they wish to continue supporting them or not.

  47. @Agile: I think you mean me. I didn't use it to be offensive. If you read Greek and Roman literatures you'll read stories about Gods like Aphrodite/Venus, Hades/Pluto and what not. Those Gods are personified i.e. given human like traits. (I also think that we always personify God so that he/she becomes much understandable and hence closer to us. Examples: we made images of him/her (in human form) and we think of him/her as male. Now those are clear evidence of personification).

    I don't understand why you consider my comment offensive. I post it as a defense for what getbigger said (which I think is the offensive one). If you get offended of me for using God as an example, sorry, but that is quite different form of offense from swearing, backstabbing, name calling, and other demoralizing use of language which I tried to avoid.

    Using my "offense" as an example why disregarding other even more harmful offenses is rather an offense itself. I not only insist that you be more careful with the words you write but also with words that you didn't. Its better you give several examples or not at all.

  48. @ralmon
    This is the problem of connotation of the word used by you in specific context (comparisons with pets).

    And also denotation:
    As you probably know "personification" refers to the personal attitude of attributing 'inanimate object as being living person or animal' -
    And use of this term implies that author is aware that the entity of his attitude has not that qualities.

    If you used the plural form 'gods' from the beginning, with lowercase letter THEN the meaning of this word based on international convention refer to gods of ancient Greece and Rome.

  49. @Agile: ? I did not compare God with pets but I did place them side by side (like God and pets), so I don't think that the connotation you got is reasonable.

    Personification applies also to abstract ideas (like nation, generosity, feelings, ). He is immaterial (like thought, ideas, creativity... though God is in a completely different level, God is spiritual (is it the right word?)) hence abstract. Then, we give him/her material form and in our own image at that.

    I did make that mistake. Sorry. I should not have. I always used God with capital G and without s. It turned out wrong in this situation.

    Still that doesn't give you the right to offend. It really aggravates me when you write this:

    "I insist that you be more careful with the words…"

    The trailing ellipsis indicates a threat and you say that when you yourself is guilty of the same error in the same post. Don't complain about the snow on your neighbor's roof when your own doorstep is unclean. You had to be careful when preaching such stuff especially when you aren't practicing what you preached. It is hard to swallow to me as a receiver.

  50. Every culture has its
    "conception" of God and treatment even this word with disrespect
    could invoke strong reaction. And You should notice that in the developed world dominating conception is The Personal God and denying it could be treated as strongly offensive.