Illumination Reserach, the developers if 3Delight made a big change to the renderengine in 2018. All rendering is now based on the Nodal Scene Interface (NSI). Everthing is based on nodes and the goal is to simplify rendering and get better and faster results. A unified sampling parameter enables the user to set only one sampling parameter instead of adjusting camera-, glossy-, volume- or subsurfacesamples. The renderer is accessible via C-Api as well as from the scripting language LUA. Fortunately they still strongly support OSL. An interesting point is that they dropped the support of 3Dsmax and Softimage (okay, this is not such a surprise). As a commercial plugin it is only available for Maya. A buit-in plugin is avialable for Katana and DAZ Studio. Of course for commandline rendering, you will need additional render licenses. A great gift is that they still offer a single fully featured version 12-core version.


Release 1.2.8 3Delight NSI:

Some minor changes. I'll only post the important ones here...


Deprecated pre-NSI versions:


3Delight is a fast, high quality, RenderMan -compliant renderer designed to produce photorealistic images in demanding production environments. The renderer was started in 1998 and rapidly became a production-ready tool thanks to immediate testing and feedback of a sister production house. It is now widely used and earning a reputation as a benchmark in rendering technology. 

The first license is free, even for commercial use, which is a great way to test it out. As well as a fully featured renderer that supports all the latest point-based rendering technologies. There now are three plugins available, Maya, 3dsMax and XSI. Among the features of 3delight are:

3Delight offers a second render engine which implements path tracing. It enables you to do interactive updates with accurate lighting but noisy. But you do not have to wait until shadowmaps are done, brickmaps are calculated and so on.

End users have said support from the developers is excellent, and also praised the stability and reliability of the software, especially when a new version is released. The 3delight codebase is checked daily via a very thorough automated build and test procedure, using production scenes donated from various projects.

Even if it looks as if it is some time ago since the last updates, the changelogs show that the software and the plugins are under active development.


3delight for 3dsmax:

Version 2.0:

Supported versions are 3dsMax 2014 and 2015. Some external plugins are already supported. Most basic elements are already supported.

3delight for maya:

Version 8.0 (September 2015)

As far as I can say almost everything in Maya is supported.  Fluids, hair, subdivs, particles, instances even curves for curve rendering. It implements physical plausible surfaces. UDIMS and Ptex are supported, as well as OpenVDB for volume rendering.

Version 6.0 (September 2011)

The current version now supports an easy way to work with global illumination and pointclouds. Previously, only raytraced indirect illumination could be setup without problems and without extra shader coding. Pointcloud rendering required a bunch of propriatary shaders to write irradiance into a cloud for later rendering. And they now offer besides the old 2 core free version, a limited version for only USD $400. With this version you can use a quad core cpu and almost all 3delight features excluding rib import, network caching and standalone rendering. This way you cannot render with the standalone with the small license only from within maya. But you can export rib files and render with another license.


Last update: 01.2021

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