appleseed 1.1.0 alpha-17 Released

We just released appleseed 1.1.0 alpha-17. We considered debuting the beta program with this release, but given the number of features we added since alpha-16 that would have been unreasonable (and dishonest).

The highlights of this release are the Preetham and Hosek & Wilkie physically-based sky models, a physically-based sun model, support for directional lights, support for motion-blurred lights, a new microfacet-based BRDF model and better handling of colors. This last item might sound a bit mysterious: because at its heart appleseed is a fully spectral renderer (manipulating colors with 31 channels instead of the usual R, G, B), input colors and textures in RGB format must be converted to a spectral format; we simply improved that conversion, and the result is colors that better match the intent.

A quick side note:

We are not planning to keep appleseed in perpetual alpha: at some point in the near future, when we deem the product to be reasonably complete and useful, we will freeze the feature set and stabilize the code until we reach the long awaited 1.1.0-final version.

Regardless of what happens in the 1.1.0 branch, we are continuing the development at a sustained pace on what might become appleseed 2.1.0 (the 2 stands for "second generation"), with some large features such as OSL, hair and subdivision surfaces. The work on these has started but we are not comfortable promising a delivery date yet.

Check the release notes for the full list of changes.

Developers:

Make sure to check out the Quick Start guide guide, the tutorials and the screencasts to quickly find your way around.

Your feedback is highly appreciated. Please use the forums for all issues and questions.