Originally published May 27, 2020. Scroll down for news about the 1.7 update.
Chinese developer Dimension 5 has shipped D5 Render, its RTX accelerated GPU renderer.
Commercial release will come after several months in public beta. During this time, the software for architecture visualization caused a sensation in the community.
The community edition of the software for personal and educational use remains free. The commercial version is now $ 480, including free updates for a "lifetime".
Version 1.6 of the software also includes support for keyframe animation.
A promising RTX accelerated ray tracing renderer
D5 Render generated a buzz when the original demo video was released late last year.
The DirectX-based GPU renderer, which uses Nvidia's RTX platform for hardware-accelerated ray tracing, generates interactive previews and visualizations of architectural scenes in final quality.
Despite being a completely new tool, Nvidia felt it was important enough to include in a blog post that aggregates RTX-based creative apps alongside Unreal Engine, KeyShot, and Redshift.
Import FBX files or 3ds Max scenes and light them and render them in near real time
D5 Render offers a basic range of scene layout and rendering options controlled by a slider-controlled interface.
Users can import models as FBX files or in SKP format from SketchUp, apply PBR materials and assign HDR sky lights, photometric lights and LUTs in HDR, IES and CUBE formats.
A separate free D5 converter plugin enables the import of 3ds Max scenes.
Rendering functions include an automatic exposure system, selection of depth of field, camera clipping and support for volume effects such as ambient fog.
Users can tone map the rendered output or adjust the white balance and color balance themselves in D5 Render. or export of ambient occlusion, material ID and reflection runs for use in external compositing software.
Still images can be rendered with a resolution of up to 8K.
Most importantly, D5 Render is fast: the Dimension 5 demo videos show materials and lighting updates in the viewport in near real time as changes are made to a scene.
However, it is still in the early stages of development: this thread on the D5 render forum lists some of the current limitations: Key functional requirements include UI support for Hi-DPI monitors, light instances, and object soloing.
New in version 1.6: New keyframe animation system, new "D5 Passport" for commercial use
With D5 Render 1.6 released earlier this week, the software is officially leaving public beta and becoming a commercial product.
The community edition, which is intended for "individual use and educational purposes", remains free.
There doesn't seem to be an EULA restricting its use for professional work, but clearly for commercial projects the intent is for you to purchase the new “D5 Pass”.
It costs $ 480 and gives you access to "Exclusive Updates and Free Assets for (a) Lifetime".
One of the new features in version 1.6 available to everyone is the keyframe animation system, which is designed to easily move / scale / rotate translations of scene objects.
Passport holders can render videos at resolutions up to 4K.
In addition to D5 Render's free built-in library of materials, LUTs, and HDRIs, Pass holders get access to a range of 3D assets, characters, and vehicle models.
Updated on July 16, 2020: Dimension 5 has released D5 Render 1.6.1.
The update adds a new object diffusion system as well as support for transparent shadows when rendering and support for volumetric fog and multiple flare when rendering reflections.
Updated October 19, 2020: Dimension 5 has released D5 Render 1.7.
The update adds a render queue so that multiple render jobs can be lined up and processed by the software in the background.
Other new features include video footage to use video as animated textures. six new preset orthogonal camera views; and the option to superimpose a 3 × 3 grid over the viewport as a composition aid.
There are also new integration plugins for ArchiCAD, SketchUp and Revit, while Rhino users can import their scenes directly into D5 Render.
Since we last wrote about the software, Dimension 5 has also released a Blender integration plugin.
Pricing and system requirements
D5 Render is available for Windows 10 v1809 +. It requires a current generation Nvidia RTX GPU or a compatible GeForce GTX card: Dimension 5 recommends a GeForce GTX 1060 or higher.
The D5 converter plugin for Max is compatible with 3ds Max 2017+ and also requires V-Ray 3.6+. The other plugins support ArchiCAD 21+, Blender 2.82+, Revit 2017+ and SketchUp 2017+.
The software is free for personal and educational use. The Pro Edition is priced at $ 480.
For a full list of features in D5 Render, visit the Dimension 5 website
(Contains the product roadmap for future updates)
Watch video tutorials on using D5 Render on the software's YouTube channel
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