Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Aqsis 1.8 released

Aqsis 1.8 has been released as of Feb 29, 2012, a long awaited release build which brings some of the most exciting new features in this renderer in some time. Of these new features, the Point Based Global Illumination functions are the most obvious and anticipated. This release was not without it's problems however as the Windows and MacOS binaries were broken due to the move from FLTK to QT4, work is underway to fix this so expect a 1.8.1 patch release soon. The QT4 switch changed the GUI appearance only slightly, though in some tests Piqsl seems to respond much slower than it's FLTK predecessor, however the point cloud viewer program makes up for that. The PartIO library is a great addition as well, which will allow particle data to be used from various software such as Maya and Houdini. Despite the binary problems, this is one of the most exciting releases from the Aqsis team in years.

LONDON, UK - February 29, 2012 - Aqsis Team, the developers of professional open source rendering software, announced today the immediate release of Aqsis Renderer 1.8.0; its leading cross-platform 3D rendering solution adhering to the RenderMan standard.
This is the accumulative effort of many developers and community members around the world, resulting in an even more competitive solution.

Global illumination and software integration have been the primary focus for this release, with improvements including:
  • Point-based global illumination, providing bake3d()indirectdiffuse()occlusion() and texture3d() shadeop support.
  • Partio library integration, providing Houdini, Maya and PRMan compatible pointcloud support.
  • New pointcloud viewer application (ptview).
  • Qt library integration, providing native 64-bit support on all recommended platforms.
  • BSD licensing for all new code.

In addition, key feature enhancements have been made with improvements including:
  • Memory optimisations.
  • PNG read/write support.
  • Updated SLO interface, matching other renderer APIs.
  • Improved RIB parser, including precise syntax error reporting.
  • Reinstate command line support for frame selection using -frames and -framelist.
  • MinGW support.

Further information regarding the changes in this release can be found within the release notes distributed with the software.
Aqsis Renderer 1.8.0 is freely available to download from the Aqsis website, with installers for Windows, Linux and OS X: