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Indigo News


Introducing Indigo's pure GPU rendering

Written Friday 1 Aug

One of the worst-kept secrets in the Indigo community is the forthcoming pure GPU rendering support, and today we'd like to show you some exciting first results!

Indigo's pure GPU rendering is based on OpenCL, a vendor-neutral standard for GPU computing that notably works on AMD GPUs (which don't support CUDA), and also both Intel and AMD CPUs besides NVIDIA GPUs. This means your CPU can contribute to GPU renders, and some newer CPUs even have built-in GPUs, which are also fully exploited; for example Intel's i7 "Haswell" processors have an excellent built-in GPU that is competitive with many mid-range stand-alone GPUs.

Here is an example render of a scene by Indigo forum user cotty from a Windows PC using only two mid-range GPUs, a GeForce GTX 750 Ti and an AMD FirePro W5000, along with the usual CPU cores:

Skipjack scene running on 2 GPUs plus CPU cores

Normal Indigo CPU rendering gets about 1.8 million samples per second on this scene with a very fast overclocked Intel Core i7 4770k CPU, so we see about a 7x performance improvement in this case! Keep in mind that these are mid-range GPUs, and higher end GPUs can perform much better.

We've also tested multi-GPU rendering on Apple's new Mac Pro running Mac OS X Yosemite, which features dual AMD D700 GPUs:

Toy bunny scene running on Mac Pro with dual D700 GPUs

Apple have been a great help in getting Indigo's GPU rendering working on Mac, and we're looking forward to posting more GPU rendering results on the Mac Pro soon.

Keep an eye out for development updates as Indigo's GPU rendering mode matures with more features and faster rendering!


Animations by Zom-B

Written Friday 4 Jul

Indigo user Arthur Liebnau (aka Zom-B), has posted two finished animation projects using Indigo. In his own words:

Victoria Camera Animation

"I'll start with a short 3D camera animation I did for a fashion show directed by a friend.
First time "organic" stuff from me, it was quite hard to get something with an dark mood and be convincing."

Cabin Design

"Here another animation aroject for a ship cabin design. The whole scene is rendered with Indigo, but the water was done in C4D and edited into the whole composition during post process. The whole Video has some explanation of the concept with a photo sideshow at the beginning, go to min 1 for the 3D!"


Sloppy coating material

Written Wednesday 28 May

This material uses the world-space normal and the curvature of the surface to simulate a sloppy paint job.

The world-space normal is used to simulate paint only sticking to the top and bottom facing surfaces.
The curvature is simulating paint sticking in crevices on the surface.

You can find the material in our material database.


Indigo 3.6 competition results

Written Wednesday 26 Mar

The Indigo 3.6 competition concluded with some amazing entries, and a lifetime licence for first prize winner Oscar J! Congratulations again to Oscar and the other prizewinners.

Indigo 3.6's features were to be highlighted for this competition, and they were put to especially good use for an entry featured previously on this blog which unfortunately was too late for the deadline.

Thanks to all who entered, and we look forward to seeing you all again for the next competition!

Here are the winning images:

First place: Oscar J

Second place: bubs

Third place: Sroka888

Be sure to check out all the entries in the final entries thread!


The Cosmonaut by aleksandera

Written Wednesday 19 Mar

Indigo user aleksandera created this beautiful piece, inspired by Jeremy Gedde's paintings, for the recent Indigo 3.6 competition; however, his final version unfortunately didn't meet the deadline, and since it's such a good showcase image we'd like to feature it here.

Here is his finished work, "The Cosmonaut", which makes great use of Indigo 3.6's new compositing and shadow pass features:

(See the forum thread here)


Indigo 3.8 beta released

Written Thursday 6 Feb

We are pleased to release the first Indigo beta in the 3.8 series. This will be a free upgrade for all Indigo 3.x customers.

We have a ton of changes in this beta release. The big ones however are the large speed increases, which, while depending on the scene, may be 80% or more, and the introduction of arch glass, which should be extremely useful, especially for arch viz renders.

You can read a little more about some of the changes in this release in these blog posts:


For the full changelog and the download links, check out the 3.8.0 release post in our forum.


More bidir optimisations

Written Friday 31 Jan

A little while ago (1st december last year) I wrote that I had achieved a 20% speedup of bidir (bidirectional path tracing) on a reference test scene, measured relative to our last stable release, 3.6.

Since then I've been continuing to optimise bidir and the indigo render core in general. Indigo now renders 1.8x faster on the test scene! (80% faster).

This is measured on a pretty simple scene - speedups for more complex scenes will be somewhat less. However I think it's a pretty big speed boost for what will be a free upgrade (version 3.8) for all Indigo 3 owners.

-- nick


Cloud Render

Written Wednesday 29 Jan

Following on from the last blog post about Atmospheric and volume rendering improvements in Indigo, here's a render using procedural clouds and Indigo's atmospheric simulation.

This scene (or an improved version) will probably be bundled as one of the example scenes for the next Indigo version.

There's two layers of volumetric clouds - the wispy cirrus clouds at high altitude and the fluffy cumulus clouds at low altitude.

Click for full image.


Atmospheric and volume rendering improvements

Written Sunday 5 Jan

Recently the Indigo users Yonosoy and CTZn have been pushing the limits of Indigo in terms of procedural terrains and clouds, all rendered with Indigo's powerful and accurate atmospheric simulation.

(See the forum threads here: http://www.indigorenderer.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=12050&start=30 and here: http://www.indigorenderer.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=125277#p125277)

Something I find remarkable is that the scene file that produces the image above is just 17KB, and contains only about 40 lines of Indigo Shader Language code. Yet a very lifelike and complex image is produced.

Their work has inspired me to improve Indigo's support for volumetrics and atmosphere rendering even more.
As a result Indigo's next version will be able to render extremely complex volumes faster and more accurately than before.

As an example, this image is a test of something called pyroclastic noise, which can be used for rendering volcanoes, explosions, and cumulus clouds among other things:

This pyroclastic noise should be useful for rendering clouds. These were rendered with another technique:

Indigo renders such images in a completely unbiased way, with multiple scattering etc..

I've improved the accuracy of the atmospheric simulation in Indigo by adding ozone absorption, which lends a nice blue colour to the sky around dawn and dusk. In this render the sun is directly behind the camera. You can actually see the shadow of the earth (the dark band above the horizon). The ozone in the atmosphere preferentially absorbs the longer wavelength visible light, giving the higher elevation sky the bluish colour.

With ozone:

Without ozone:

Note that all the colours in the images above come directly from the laws of physics, and from the measured scattering and absorption profiles of atmospheric gases and particles. None of them were 'put in by hand'.

These improvements will make their way into a new Indigo beta soon, I'm looking forward to what the talented Indigo users can do with them.


Rendering optimisations in Indigo 3.8

Written Wednesday 11 Dec

With the 3.6 stable release out the door, it's time to show some of the new stuff we have been working on for the next version of Indigo!

Indigo 3.8 will bring some important optimisations for arch-viz users, particularly the common case of rendering sunlight through glass: a brand new arch glass option will be available for specular materials, which uses some trickery to accurately approximate the flow of light through thin glass while rendering much, much faster than before!

Indigo arch glass correctly handles multiple reflections, as well as absorption in the glass. It's as easy to use as ticking a checkbox on the specular material settings, and does not require its own rendering mode like the the previous glass acceleration approach.

The second new feature is a change to the way exit portals work - you will now be able to see through them, so for example you can use them in a window, even if the outside of a room should be visible as well. You can even use them for exterior shots looking into a building.

There are a few simple renderings showing the impressive image convergence improvements on the Indigo forum: http://www.indigorenderer.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=7&t=12735

Also keep an eye out for news about other optimisations and MLT improvements in Indigo 3.8!

Indigo 3.8 will be a free update for all customers with an Indigo 3.x licence.