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Blender 2.54 exporter to Thea Render beta


Pentti Lahdenperä writes us that the beta version of Blender 2.54 exporter for Thea Render is now available (user guide included in the plug-in package). Thea Render can either do biased and unbiased rendering and is available on Windows, Mac OS X and GNU/Linux.

Pentti Lahdenperä writes:

Blender 2.54 exporter to Thea Render beta is now available. New exporter allows two way connection, so when one changes scene with new interactive render, objects and lights position can be sync back to blender.For those that haven't heard of it, Thea is a state-of-the-art biased/unbiased renderer with a rich set of innovative features, a powerful material system and its own advanced studio, all-in-one. Plugins are available for 3dsMax, Blender, Cinema4D, Rhino, SketchUp and SoftImage.

You can find more info on Thea Render website where you can also download and evaluate Thea and Plugins. Take advantage of our promotional offer (45% discount) during our beta phase, soon to end.

Your feedback is deeply appreciated and we will be pleased to see you in our forum.

Thea Render Development Team



  1. @abhifx: Im not sure if kerkythea is abandonned. I think that it will get some love when Thea is out of beta, but i dont know...

    @jakk: It is implemented, and like you said, it sure is sweet :)

    The blender plugin is really neat too, it has recently had a new feature added which makes it possible to "sync" your blender scene with Thea studio, so you don't have to keep export the whole scene again when you have a change you would like inside the studio. I like that :)

    But, still, i like that there is an exporter for 2.49 aswell!..

    The blender plugin can actually export without a license, it just adds 7 or 8 seconds each time you export with it, until you close blender and open it again.

    Well, i have just spent 20 minutes editing this post to not make it sound like i am a raving fanboy. But its kinda impossible for me, so maybe you should just go ahead and try it :D

    Did i mention: Multiplatform! Both Unbiased and Biased Engines! Awesome Tonemapper!

    Ok, ill stop know..


  2. Based on the material system and render modes this seems to be a very decent product.
    Thea is much better then the old Kerkythea interface.

    Materials are so easy to generate now and the interface provides fast access to all
    options you need.

  3. Besides the issue with the exporter which can easily be the Blender beta issue
    you can also import OBJ files, merge additional models into the Thea scene.

    Since Thea offers from direct light to Photon mapping / Irradiance Cache also unbiased path tracing
    it comes equipped with everything one might need.

    The material system as mentioned is very complete from diffuse to specular and SSS and emitting.
    Materials can also be layered for more complex combinations.

    The interactive render is well a progressive render refinement system not equal GPU but very usable
    for scene set-up similar to the preview renderer in Blender 2.4x. It can feature biased as well as
    unbiased methods and with various settings be faster but less precise to more precise but slower.

    It also features a neat point and click auto focus and depth of field selector which makes dof effects
    a one mouse click job.

    With unbiased rendering you also have a relight tool like in Indigo or Lux were you can change light
    emission from lamps after rendering.

    With photon mapping or final gathering you can also save the GI maps so you only need to
    calculate them once and safe that step.

    The render speed is good and you can render also over a network. Of course this all depends on
    the render mode, settings, and material types you setup.

    I made some comparison renderings and must note that the unbiased mode is pretty decent and
    already producing good results with few passes which could be send to a de-noise filter since most
    of the noise is only visible on single color surfaces and not on textured materials.

    It also comes with an animation system but I am not sure how much that is more a simple point a
    to point b movement and usable for character animation.

    I come more from the area of product rendering and stills are the main tool.

    Under this umbrella I must say Thea is a very rock solid product and for the price it offers a very
    rich set of tools, packed into a very easy to use interface.

    Other products offer only one render style for that price or cost vastly more.
    VRay is at a 1000 dollar price tag for example.
    For people on a budget Thea is I think now an option worth to consider.

  4. I got it working with 2.54, and I must say, that Blender is falling way behind with its internal renderer. I think after bug fixes are done with 2.5x, focus should really be put on updating Blender Render. It's fallen too far behind now.

  5. Now, I don't mean to sound mean or anything. I think this sounds/looks like an awesome product. But...

    Is there any type of image that you can render with Thea, that you CAN'T render with Luxrender, or any of the other free/open source solutions? I don't mean particular features (the user interface looks unmatched from the videos), I just mean rendering-type features.

  6. Tynach

    you do not sound mean at all. But I have to say since I work with open source
    I can only say that this was a swizz cheese experience. A lot works but not everything.

    As a hobbist doing workarounds are fine, as a professional were time counts not really.

    Lux offers only biased and unbiased engines in its well film development approach,
    which also comes with a relight like tool.
    Yafaray offers path tracer and photon mapping.

    Both are only render engines and you need a host system to render from and with
    stability issues with exporters this is a problem.

    This all might change when Yafaray gets into a finale build again.
    But till now it is not really that usable with Blender.

    There are certain overlaps in features, true, but Thea combines all into one system
    and prevents you from having to bunny hop apps and fight with exporters.

    The material system in Thea basically leaves nothing out, the interactive render mode is good,
    the interface is fast and easy to use, and it runs very stable.

    Yafaray gets SSS now but I am not sure if it is on the same level as Thea. Plus thea can
    save photon maps which helps in renderspeed reduction as well. The render engine in general
    seems to be pretty modern.

    I do not want to sound critical towards Yafaray - I understand that they are limited to the
    developers they have. Same with Blender. As Terrachild mentions for realistic rendering Blender
    is to be honest useless. And that is just a fact. It missed the train.
    I am sure Ton wants to change that but manpower is a big issue he is fighting with.

    On the other side it has terrific modeling and animation tools and Thea is pretty cheap to be honest.
    Looks to me like a great combination.

    I just recently evaluated Houndini's render system and the modeling tools and yuk Houndini and
    fast polygon modeling is not really that great compared to Blender at all.

  7. Tynach

    what I forgot to say is that you can layer materials in Thea.
    Yafaray can only blend between materials and mix them together
    as far as I know.

    It also has some cool other features like software controlled light
    energy adjustment to make the image look good based on perceptual basis.

    GPU rendering as well as particles are in the works now as well.

    Just take a look at it.

  8. I like Thea from playing with it so far.
    Im on linux and cannot get Blender to find Thea to render directly.

    This renderer looks fast, is there a GPU version in the works?

  9. I would be great that you credit the dinosaurs & museum hall scene you have used all over you site, as suggested in the web pages you downloaded it from.

    "It is OK to post your own renders of these scenes on a webpage or demoreel, just please give credit to whomever did the modeling."

  10. Has anyone tested to see how this works with modifiers and animation?

    what are the limits? I'm just playing with it at the moment and am smiling to myself at how awesome the renders are -

    looks impressive

  11. Matteo: I haven't really had any issues yet with modifiers. I think it was mentioned that particles are in the works. Other than that, i can't say that i have needed anything from the plugin yet. I am no poweruser though ;)

    Tynach: I do love Luxrender dearly. I can't imagine not having an opensource unbiased render engine! But like Daas said, there are areas where Thea has a major upperhand. I think that the material system is the best i have tried. Very intuitive for me. Plus, energy conserving materials is a great thing!

    It just feels like a complete package. It has everything i would need to get good renderers. That can be intimidating, but it sure as hell beats browsing the web all day looking for that magic package that will make my work better :D

    Also, sitting here in linux, its great to have a studio where you can import your models whether its from wings3d, topmod, or blender.

    But remember Thea is in Beta. Someday it will not be so cheap, i would give it a fair chance... Im all about Opensource/FOSS. Thea render is the only commercial program i have on my computer, if you dont count the flashplugin, java and that stuff also..

    This is just my opinion, im sure it is much better to give it a try. Maybe you will love it as much as me, maybe you will hate it :D

  12. Matteo

    animation - well I am not sure but I do not think that this is the target for Thea.

    It has an animation module but it is very basic and only meant for an "A" to "B" keframe.

    For the animation area I think that is where either Blender internal or Yafaray will come
    in and be a very strong counter part.

    Yafaray simply because it works so well with Blender.

  13. (Thanks for the info daas!)

    Is there an expected price for when Thea leaves beta status?

    My concern with renderers like Thea, Octane, etc is that people purchase in beta stage, they learn to love the software, then at some point there is the possibility that the price will jump to an unaffordable level.

  14. better is that jakk,

    I am not sure if any of you is a student but they offer a edu price soon, I think end of next week.

    I got an email about it today.

  15. I am certainly enjoying THEA!! This is a very well put together renderer in my opinion! Easy to use and nice features. The rendering options just keep on getting better around here :)

    I might have to set aside some money for this one :)

  16. Wow, I'm so happy that Blender is finally getting these properly integrated commercial renderers. Kerkythea was good, Thea seems excellent.

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