LuxRender is coming up with lots of improvement with the new 0.7 version including new absorption, new gui... one that stands out for me was new particle support.
Changes since 0.6.1:
- New Qt GUI (not yet packaged for windows, dynamically linked for linux, that's why there's an additional package for a statically linked version of the luxrender executable).
- New version of the QBVH accelerator, should be faster but might still have issues on 64bits.
- New supersample option (default on) to the mitchell filter providing both sharp results and almost no ringing artifacts.
- Lots of improvements to the metropolis sampler.
- Improved bidirectional integrator.
- More direct lighting sampling schemes available for the path integrator.
- The previous glossy material has been renamed glossy_lossy and the new glossy material should give better results by having less energy loss.
- Environment lighting now has importance sampling options to improve convergence.
- Volumetric objects supporting absorption for glass through the new glass2 material and volume properties (more options should be available in upcoming versions).
- Vastly enhanced brick texture.
- New tabulated data texture to allow loading of spectral data from files (including PBRT2 spectrum files).
- Various speed enhancements and lots of fixes.
- Improved and polished Qt GUI.
- Bugfixes in LuxBlend, improving instances export and adding hair support.
- Upgraded image loading to use FreeImage which brings support for more file formats.