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Thea Render v2.1: A physics-based, high quality global illumination renderer!

Thea Render v2.1 Thea Render is the most versatile renderer featuring state-of-the-art Unbiased, Biased and GPU engines....

Thea Render v2.1

 

Thea Render is the most versatile renderer featuring state-of-the-art Unbiased, Biased and GPU engines.

 

Versatile Renderer

Thea Render is a physically-based global illumination renderer of high quality. It is a unique renderer that is able to render using state-of-the-art techniques in Biased photorealistic, Unbiased and GPU modes.

 

Presto Engine (GPU+CPU)

Thea Presto is an advanced rendering engine that has been written from the ground up and is optimized for simultaneous GPU (NVIDIA & AMD) and CPU execution, maximizing your computing power. The engine has been tuned for fast, interactive rendering. This pushes GPU+CPU computing to the limits while keeping the high photorealistic quality of Thea Render.

 

ADVANCED MATERIAL EDITOR

In Thea Render, we have created a compact number of highly realistic materials using the most accurate physically based models. These models are designed to produce highly energy conservative material combinations.

 

The physically based material system has features such as an advanced layering system and a spectral color picker that are the heart of the render engine. These features allow realistic and convincing renders to be created.

 

SPECTRAL RENDERER

A strong mathematical framework has been developed leading to a very robust, unbiased core. It can also be considered a light simulation tool, performing calculations in the full visible spectral space (380-780nm) including advanced phenomena like volumetric scattering and spectral index of refraction.

 

UNLIMITED RENDER NODES FOR FREE

Render times can be improved dramatically by having more computers contributing to rendering static images and animations. This is done transparently by installing and connecting our render node application to the main Thea Render integration. And even better, the render node application is free of charge, thus you can use all your spare machines to accelerate render results.

 

NEW FEATURES IN V2.1

 

Thea Render v2.1 comes with a redesigned core engine and new features such as:

Beveled edges, Worley Noise & Edge Ramp procedurals, Triplanar Mapping, NVIDIA® OptiX™ 6 integration for RTX cards, support for LUT files and more…

 

RENDER ENGINES

 

PRESTO

With our engine running on both the GPU+CPU, interactive photorealistic rendering was never better.

 

Thea Presto is optimized for simultaneous GPU (NVIDIA & AMD) and CPU execution, maximizing your computing power.

 

Thea Presto is a render engine that has been written bottom-up and is running on both GPU and CPU simultaneously, harvesting all your computer raw power. The engine has been specially tuned for fast interactive rendering and pushes GPU+CPU computing to the limits while keeping the high photorealistic quality of Thea Render. Take a Tour and see benchmarks for Presto here.

 

Fast Interactive Render

One thing that is impressive about Presto is the interactiveness rate that one can achieve. It is certainly the most fun engine to work interactively with and its response is great particularly in the case you have a separate graphic card for display. Presto comes as an add-on engine for Thea Studio and all Live Plugins.

 

Presto GPU+CPU

For coding Presto on the CPU, we didn’t want just a “port” of the code from Nvidia CUDA architecture to x86/CPU architecture. We wanted to squeeze the CPUs to the max and see a real performance comparison between GPUs and CPUs. For this, we decided to adapt Intel’s Embree library. What does this mean? With every GPU and CPU core running Presto, it means fast, very fast, rendering!

 

Instancing & Volumetrics Support

Presto has full instancing support. After various small and big memory improvements, millions of instanced polygons can now be rendered without a problem. Presto can now handle all the geometric complexity you want. Additionally, subsurface scattering and volumetrics are supported by Presto and they are also delivered fast, truly realistic, without any approximations.

 

Material and Lighting System

Presto has been coded on the GPU with the same principles for materials and lights like on the CPU so that you can get the same superior quality of Thea Render. The GPU engine is particularly useful for product design and external scenery with dominant direct lighting; this is where Presto particularly shines!

 

Ideal for Animations

Presto can be used for rendering complex animations in a fraction of time compared to others. Adding also the new network render mode, which allows to render frames separately on each node, one can render complete product and exterior animations always in time.

 

Two Render Modes

Presto comes with two different render modes; one for very fast preview which accounts mostly for direct lighting and uses also ambient occlusion and a second one, truly photorealistic, unbiased-like mode. They both are progressive render modes and can be used for rendering inside the Viewport and the Darkroom.

 

Based on Nvidia CUDA Technology

Presto GPU is based on Nvidia CUDA, which means that a compatible graphic card is needed to run it. It also supports Multiple GPUs (for Darkroom and Interactive rendering) and co-operative rendering over the network. All the CUDA supporting cards can be used.

 

UNBIASED

The unbiased core of Thea produces the most accurate results and stunning photorealistic images.

 

A superior unbiased core delivering stunning images without any compromises. All possible paths of lighting transfer are explored, delivering the highest accuracy without any artifacts.

 

With the term “unbiased” we mean that rendering, seen as a simulation process, converges always to the ground truth, computing all ways of lighting transfer without any artifacts. Thea superior unbiased core is the most sophisticated in the market and delivers stunning images without any discounts.

 

High Accuracy and Performance

Many render packages rely on brute force optimizations but in Thea Render we introduced innovative techniques taking advantage of algorithmic optimizations for achieving superior performance. All possible paths of lighting transfer are explored, delivering the highest accuracy.

 

Light Simulation

In Thea Render, we have developed a strong mathematical framework that has led to a very robust unbiased core. This way, it can be also seen as a light simulation tool, performing calculations in the full visible spectral space and including advanced phenomena like volumetric scattering and spectral index of refraction.

 

Zero Setup Time

One of the great advantages of using the unbiased core is that no effort is needed to setup the engine itselft. Results come out as they are in reality, without any artifacts. This way, the artist and designer can focus exclusively on bringing his ideas into life without fiddling with any engine parameters.

 

Two Variants to Choose

In addition to the above, Thea comes not with one but two, finely-tuned, engines that are optimized, in terms of performance, for different kind of scenes. Unbiased engine TR1 is optimal for exteriors and scenes with dominant direct lighting while unbiased engine TR2 is optimal for extremely difficult indirect and caustic lighting.

 

Attention to the Details

Having paid attention to the details, Thea unbiased core is the only one that can robustly resolve situations where other commercial unbiased renderers cannot. Such case is the sun-pool caustics problem, a particularly difficult problem to solve using unbiased methods. Another is the terminator artifact, where our solution works out-of-the-box producing smooth artifact-free renders.

 

ADAPTIVE

When it comes to faster and higher quality rendering or walkthrough animations, the biased engine is the real deal.

 

Thea Biased engine (Adaptive BSD) uses interpolation schemes such as irradiance cache to render in shorter times and is implemented in a way that more effort is put where it is needed most.

 

The abbreviation “BSD” comes from the word “biased” and we use this term here as an identifier of this engine that uses interpolation schemes (like irradiance cache) to render in shorter times. The word “Adaptive” on the other hand means that we implemented the engine so that more effort is put where it is needed most. Furthermore, this effort is driven by perceptual criteria in order to arrive at a high-quality result according to the human perception.

 

Field Mapping – A New Revolutionary Approach

Field mapping is a new proprietary technique that evaluates consistently the lighting than cannot reach easily the viewer. With traditional biased engines, the global illumination is often noisy, even when Final Gathering is coupled with Photon Mapping, resulting in blotches in the final render. With Field Mapping, evaluation becomes easy and it brings the expected high quality result without any troubles.

 

Presets and Easy Tunning

Due to our robust engine, we have the luxury to create presets that work in almost all cases, without further tweaking from the user. This way, the time to tune the biased engine is minimized and new users can get nice results right from the beginning. Using perceptual criteria, the engine adapts better to the local scene difficulties and the settings are simpler than before.

 

No More Thick Walls

The issue of shadow and light leaks has been a “traditional” problem with biased render engines, especially the ones using techniques like Photon Mapping. This is for example the case, where light or shadow from one side of a wall appears on the other side as well, showing an unnatural effect. Field Mapping makes an accurate evaluation and, leaks, that are so common with Photon Mapping, are not present.

 

Improvements – Shadow Catcher and Bump

The shadow catcher enables a model to be naturally embedded inside a photograph, showing its shadow from the environmental lighting. Shadow catcher is now supported by Adaptive BSD and it is very fast! Even more, the bump and normal mapping under global illumination are also dramatically improved, giving a realistic look to bumped surfaces when indirectly lit. And this, without any speed drop.

 

Walkthrough Animation

The Adaptive BSD engine is also the best one to use when it comes to walkthrough animation. This is because the global illumination solution can be calculated for the whole sequence and reused afterwards for rendering all the frames. With our specific implementation for walkthrough animations, the engine gives a flicker-free animation without any floating “blotchy” patterns.

 

ENGINE FEATURES

 

High Accuracy & Performance

In Thea Render, we introduced innovative techniques and algorithmic optimizations to achieve superior performance. All possible paths of lighting transfer are explored, delivering the highest accuracy.

   

 

Unique Material Editor

The material system with Physically Based material primitives and Advanced Layering System is at the heart of the render engine. These features lead to the most realistic and convincing renders.

   

 

Fast Interactive Rendering

Presto is great fun to work with, especially since you can get immediate feedback with production quality due to its fast, interactive response.

   

 

Volumetrics & SSS

Participating media and Sub-Surface Scattering are resolved with full accuracy utilizing our optimized volumetric scattering techniques.

   

 

Split Frame

Systems with multiple GPUs can use the Split Frame option to vertically divide the rendered image into as many parts as there are devices on the machine, for faster interactive refresh rate.

   

 

Tone Mapping

Two new Tone Mapping operators have been added in Thea Render. Filmic allows the user to have complete control over Highlights and Shadows while Reinhard provides a robust way to automatically compress high dynamic range renders.

   

 

Resume/Merge Render

The user can stop a rendering and resume later without losing any progress. This is ideal when resources are limited or render job needs to be transferred to other workstations.

   

 

Triplanar Mapping

Triplanar is a special mapping technique similar to Cubic Mapping with the addition of blending together the projections from each axis (x, y, z). Triplanar Mapping along with the Cut-Off and Sharpness parameters can be used to eliminate the seams of a texture without the need of proper UV Coordinates.

   

 

Edge Ramp Procedural

The Edge Ramp procedural makes it possible to apply color to the edges of a surface based on the minimum angle of adjacent faces and the radius of the edges.

   

 

Cuda 10 Support

Thea Render supports Cuda 10 making it possible to use High-End GPUs like Titan-V and RTX.

   

 

Light Simulation

A strong mathematical framework that has led to a very robust unbiased core. It can be also considered as a light simulation tool, performing calculations in the full visible spectral space and including advanced phenomena like volumetric scattering and spectral dispersion.

   

 

Zero Setup Time

One of the great advantages of using the unbiased core is that no effort is needed to set up the engine. Realistic results are produced without any artifacts. This way, the artist and designer can focus exclusively on bringing their ideas to life, without fiddling with any engine parameters.

   

 

Instancing

Millions of instanced polygons can be rendered without an issue due to our geometric compression techniques. And even if scene cannot fit in GPU, Presto can still run entirely on the CPU.

   

 

Denoising

There are two denoising methods to choose from. NVIDIA® OptiX™ delivers fast unsurpassed denoised renders. And in case that NVIDIA GPU graphic card is not available our built-in denoiser can still be used to accelerate production rendering.

   

 

Custom Component Evaluation

Custom Material and Light Evaluation allows the user to select which components (such as Diffuse, Translucent, Reflectance, Transmittance, and SSS) will be evaluated for a given material and light, thus removing unwanted contributions and accelerating render times.

   

 

Back-Face Material

A separate material can be assigned to the back face of a surface. This is very useful for models without thickness like labels, leaves, etc.

   

 

Beveled Edges

Beveled Edges can be used to smooth out the edges of an object with controls over the radius of the effect and the minimum angle of the adjacent faces.

   

 

Support for LUT files

LUT stands for Look-up Table and the files can be used to change the overall color and tone of an image.

   

 

Worley Noise Procedural

The Worley noise procedural is able to create cell-like structures that simulate textures of water and stone among others.

   

 

AMD Open CL Support

Support for AMD Graphic Cards rendering has been added through OpenCL. Please note that this feature is Windows only and under continuous improvements.

 

More features…

  • NVIDIA® OptiX™ 6 integration
  • Presto support for all procedurals
  • Linearized Roughness
  • Blackbody & Full Spectral Color support for Presto
  • IOR sampled files support for Presto
  • Adaptation for many light sources
  • Optimized GPU Kernels
  • Interactive Position Updates

 

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