Indigo FAQ - Please read before posting

General News and accouncements regarding the Indigo render engine
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Indigo FAQ - Please read before posting

Post by Soup » Thu Feb 04, 2010 11:15 am

Indigo FAQ

Got a question about Indigo? Here's a good place to start!
Post any suggestions to the list as it's a work-in-progress.


What is Indigo?
Indigo is a thirdparty software rendering solution. It is an Unbaised raytracer that simulates the physics of light to achieve photorealism from your 3d scenes.

What is an Unbiased Raytracer?

Raytracing works by firing light rays from the camera, and capturing the results. Unbiased is a term that means light is allowed to act as freely as physics allow, without the usual limitations. Biased renderers strictly control how many times light is allowed to bounce, if at all, and while this can allow for faster results, they are far less realistic.

Why use Indigo?
Indigo accurately simulates the physics of light which create many realistic effects that otherwise would have to be manually created. Because of this, it takes far less set-up time than traditional biased or 'global illumination' renderers. Simply creating a glass object and a light will produce beautiful caustics.
Effects such as:
  • Depth of Field – the depth of field (DOF) is the portion of a scene that appears acceptably sharp in the image.
  • Spectral effects – as when a beam of light goes through a prism and a rainbow of colours is produced
  • Refraction – as when light enters a pool of water and the objects in the pool seem to be “bent”
  • Reflections – from subtle reflections on a polished concrete floor, to the pure reflection of a silvered mirror
  • Caustics – as in light that has been focused through a magnifying glass and has made a pattern of brightness on the floor

What 3D packages are supported?

Currently SketchUp, Blender, Cinema4D, and 3ds Max are officially supported. There are other exporters, such as the maya exporter, that are currently in testing beta.

Is Indigo free?

There is a trail version of Indigo that is free and has several limitations on it:
  • Maximum resolution of 0.7 Megapixels – e.g. 1000 pixels by 700 pixels.
  • Indigo logo in the bottom right of the image
  • May not be used for commercial work.
  • No support (beyond that given in the forums at
If you wish to avoid these limitations, you will have to purchase a licence. You can do this from the Glare Technologies store.

Who is Glare Technologies?

Indigo Renderer is developed, sold and supported by Glare Technologies Limited, a company based in beautiful Wellington, New Zealand. Meet the team

Rendering with Indigo

Why is my render noisy/grainy?
This is akin to the graininess you get when you take a photo of a dark room with an exposure that is too short. The problem is that not enough light has been simulated to create an accurate representation of the scene. Leave it to render for longer to produce a clear image.

How long does it take to render?

Because it is an unbiased renderer, Indigo will not tell you when it thinks it is finished. It is up to you to decide when you think the render is clear enough for your purposes.

Why are parts of my render black?
If you are using a material that has a medium (a specular/glass material), the normals (direction of the mesh faces) must be facing outwards. Also, make sure it is a closed mesh.

How do I make the render faster?

Why do my lights appear to do nothing?

Why are there bright little specks still in my render?
These are called 'fireflies'. They occur when a ray of light randomly reflects into a bright light source, usually the sun. The first thing you can try to get rid of these little pesks, its to turn your Rendering mode to MLT (Metropolis) .


Error: Memory allocation failure while initialising Indigo.
This error is caused by the scene requiring more RAM than you have available. There are several steps you can take to address this:

Change the scene:
1. Decrease the Supersample factor. When rendering an image, the image is rendered at the specified resolution multiplied by the supersample factor, then reduced for anti-aliasing purposes.
2. Turn off Aperture Diffraction. This feature uses a noticeable amount of memory.
3. Decrease the amount of light layers. Each layer contains enough memory for a whole image.
4. Render at a smaller resolution.

Change your computer:
Indigo runs best with a 64bit operating system. You will need a 64bit CPU, 64bit OS, and the 64bit version of Indigo. This allows you to use more RAM, and it also allows Indigo to use your hard-drive more effectively. 4gb+ of RAM is suggested.

SceneLoaderExcep: Parser: Expected 'def'. Line 1, column 1

Look through your material settings, chances are you will have one of your material attributes set to 'shader' with no shader set. Change this to fix it.

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