Light Tracer Render 1.7.0

First release for macOS!

For the first time, Light Tracer Render has become available for macOS. Light Tracer is fully compatible with macOS High Sierra or newer (including Big Sur). Your Mac will run Light Tracer if it has an integrated Intel GPU, AMD GPU, or even an older NVIDIA GPU. In particular, if your Mac is released after 2015 — you are covered.

Light Tracer Render running on macOS Catalina (model by T-FLEX CAD)

ACES color pipeline

A fresh release introduces support for the ACES (Academy Color Encoding System) pipeline created by hundreds of industry professionals. For CG artists, a big benefit is the ACES color gamut, which is a wide gamut allowing for a lot more colors than typically used sRGB. As a result, the colors in rendered images become significantly more “real”, especially at the extremes of brightness and saturation. You do not need to configure anything — Light Tracer manages all color transformations internally, allowing you to get the best from ACES without any efforts.

ACES pipeline delivers a much wider range of colors (model y Andrea Notarstefano)
Contrast UI controls in Light Tracer Render (model by Roland Schneider)

GLTF animation support

glTF™ (GL Transmission Format) is developed for transmission and loading of 3D models in web and native applications and used as a default format in Light Tracer Render. The new release brings support for reading an animation contained in a glTF file. However, the feature is very new, so currently only node animations are imported (while bone/skeletal animations can be imported only from FBX/DAE formats). Light Tracer has become particularly popular in the voxel art community. With the new update, you may expect that animated glTF models from VoxEdit and Blockbench are loaded into Light Tracer Render correctly, with all the animations kept.

glTF animation in Light Tracer Render (model by Glenatron, CC Attribution version)
New animation UI in Light Tracer Render (Ruby Rose model by theStoff)

New unrestricted camera model

The update brings a new camera model that can be conveniently positioned to any part of the scene. This is achieved through a dynamically adjusted orbital target (pivot). The camera always rotates relative to the part of the scene viewing by an observer. When you rotate the camera, this point is shown as a white circle.

Easy positioning of map emitters

Light Tracer features an environment map editor allowing you to adjust the existing HDRI environment or create your own. The new version simplifies the workflow even more, allowing you to position the sources directly in the viewport. With this feature, you can gain complete control over the appearance of light reflections. As you move the mouse cursor over the scene geometry, the emitter’s position is updated in real-time so that its reflection has become visible on the pointed area. In many cases, this is the most convenient way to set up emitters. However, you may also position emitters by moving them over the environment map preview. Check the video below to get an idea about these two options.

Positioning of map emitters in Light Tracer Render (model by Indians)

Improved import from CAD formats

The update significantly improves the import of CAD models (in STEP, IGES, BRep formats). Until now, normals have been calculated from tessellation, which led to a “dented” look of surfaces in some cases. In the updated CAD importing module, the normals are calculated for an actual curved surface, allowing for a much more accurate display of shapes. Below, you may see the comparison of two surfaces, which have exactly the same tesselations but differ in the way the normals are calculated.

The improved normal calculation is shown on the right side (model by J. Riend)
Mesh healing tools available in the context menu or in Scene Explorer (model by Aled J Taylor)

Real-time collision detection

Use this new function to detect collisions when objects are positioning in a scene with the 3D manipulator tool (moving, rotating, scaling). If a collision is detected, the action will not be applied. For example, an object can be moved down until it hits the floor, after which further movement becomes impossible. This tool can significantly save the time needed to set up the 3D scene and makes the process more intuitive and fun.

Run-time collision detection in Light Tracer Render

Other updates

Along with the above main innovations, the new release contains a large number of minor improvements. These include a lot of UI improvements and better support for high-DPI displays, nice-looking radial background, ability to add a separate opacity map to albedo map, more robust animation import for FBX/DAE, and better GPU rendering performance (on some scenes you may get up to 20% improvement in rendering times).

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Light Tracer Render

Light Tracer Render

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Light Tracer Render is an easy to use tool for photorealistic rendering. It works in browser and have a native version. It’s fast and works on any GPU!