Indigo 3.6 New Features

New compositing features

Compositing features have been significantly upgraded in Indigo 3.6, with enhanced support for alpha output and a new shadow-catcher rendering mode that makes many product visualisation renders a snap.

New material types

Alpha export works much better with glass objects, allowing for easy compositing of buildings with glass façades against skyline photography.

The new shadow catcher material makes rendering objects resting on the ground a simple matter, with a specialised pass to produce a perfect, ready-to-use alpha PNG layer.

Indigo 3.6 introduces several new material types and options for greater flexibility in material creation.

The Coating material simulates a thin, smooth coating on top of a base material, which can be useful for adding shininess to surfaces, from wooden floors and car paints to wet concrete.

The Double-sided Thin material is especially useful for realistically modelling leaves, which reflect light differently on the top and bottom sides, and have a degree of scattering through them. Creating stunningly realistic foliage using this material is straightforward, and it is well documented in the online manual.

The behaviour of the Phong glossy coating has also been improved to better match the physical appearance and energy conservation of coated materials; the result is more realistic renders, without having to touch any settings.

Hiding objects from view

hiding objects in Indigo 3.6Objects can now be made invisible to direct viewing from the camera. They still cast shadows and interact normally with any other light, except they can't be seen directly by the camera.

It can be used to make invisible light sources or to peek through walls without creating unrealistic lighting situations.

Spherical camera

Another very useful new capability in Indigo 3.6 is rendering with spherical cameras to produce high quality panorama images in standard latitude-longitude format.

This can be used either to create new HDR environment maps from your scenes, or with an interactive panorama viewer to allow realtime 360 degree viewing.

Intensive ongoing development

Besides the many improvements and fixes in this 3.6 release, we have been working on other exciting new features which will be available in upcoming beta releases!

Object scattering is a very useful feature for distributing many object instances over a surface, which dramatically speeds up creating many instances, for example trees in a forest.

A new architectural glass material massively improves convergence speed in typical interior settings.

The Metropolis Light Transport implementation has been greatly improved too, producing much cleaner renders for the same rendering time. Further work on this will make the performance gain even more pronounced.

Subsurface scattering (SSS) has been optimised, resulting in 2x faster rendering in scenes with heavy scattering.

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About the Author

rich O'Brien

This article was written by 

Rich is SketchUcation's Managing Director and Certified SketchUp Trainer. He has a background in aviation technical training and is also the editor of CatchUp WebMag


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