News History

appleseed 1.8.0-beta Released

November 28, 2017

Modern interpretation of Eric Haines’ Sphereflake, here with subsurface scattering

We’re proud to announce the release of appleseed 1.8.0-beta, the eighth release of our beta program and the 31th release since the first alpha in July 2010.

Please head over to the release notes for the full illustrated story!

appleseed 1.8.0-beta release notes
appleseed-maya 1.0.0-beta release notes
appleseed-max 0.4.6-beta release notes
blenderseed 0.4.0 release notes

appleseed’s development team continues to expand and the speed of development increases. We are now able to tackle many large developments at once. The result is that appleseed 1.8.0-beta is an enormous release.

appleseed itself received many core improvements and extensions, including partial support for participating media, a completely rewritten AOV subsystem, a faster and more precise color pipeline, support for procedural objects, procedural assemblies and archive assemblies, and a lot more.

appleseed.studio also received a great deal of attention with OpenColorIO support for applying output transforms to renders, a new Python console allowing scripting right from appleseed.studio with immediate feedback on the scene, and support for Python plugins. The next release will see many enhancements and refinements in this area, in particular the ability for Python plugins to extend appleseed.studio’s user interface.

This release also introduces a brand new Autodesk® Maya® plugin with support for nearly all Maya’s Hypershade nodes, Disney and glass materials, appleseed’s new Standard Surface material and many other features.

With new team members came a renewed motivation to dust off, fix and update our Blender plugin. We’re thrilled to officially support Blender again!

Last but not least, our Autodesk® 3ds Max® plugin also received its share of improvements, including limited support for Activeshade rendering, Physical Camera support, a new mode to use native 3ds Max maps with appleseed and several other refinements and fixes.

This is the first official release of appleseed featuring the amazing work of our Google Summer of Code 2017 students Petra, Gleb and Artem. We’d like to congratulate them once more for the incredible work they produced throughout the summer and we’re looking forward to their future contributions to the project.

Writing a production renderer from scratch is a wonderful hobby, but a truly herculean team effort. We hope that you’ll like what we built and that you’ll give it a try. We welcome all forms of feedback, positive or negative. Feel free to reach out to us on our users forum or via Twitter.

Eight years in, and undoubtedly many more to go!

appleseed 1.7.0-beta Released

June 7, 2017

New physically-based plastic BRDF<br>(Coffee Maker by Blend Swap user [cekuhnen](http://www.blendswap.com/user/cekuhnen))

We are pleased to announce the release of appleseed 1.7.0-beta, the seventh release of our beta program and the 30th release overall. Please check out the release notes for download links and the full list of changes.

This release is the result of the hard and relentless work of an amazing team. I (Franz) am deeply proud as well as grateful for the consistent high quality work produced every day. It is truly an honor to work with you guys!

We would like to use this opportunity to congratulate and thank our Google Summer of Code 2017 students Artem Bishev, Petra Gospodnetic and Gleb Mishchenko who all three contributed significant features before even being accepted into the program. We are also grateful to the GSoC candidates that we unfortunately could not mentor this year but who nevertheless contributed to this release: Aytek Aman, Andreea Dincu, Andrei Ivashchenko, Nabil Miri, Kutay Macit, Aakash Praliya and Animesh Tewari.

With this release, we made considerable efforts to further refine our ray traced subsurface scattering implementation. The results are now more accurate and consistent. We also took this opportunity to add support for SSS sets that allow merging or separating translucent objects. Furthermore, we modified the Gaussian BSSRDF to expose the same parameters as other BSSRDF models; this makes finding the right BSSRDF model much easier. Finally, we added Fresnel weight parameters to all BSSRDF models and we exposed the Gaussian BSSRDF to OSL.

We have significantly enriched our OSL shader library. In particular, we are nearing completion on a massive effort to reimplement Maya shading nodes as OSL shaders. We will give a lot more details about this work when we announce the first release (soon!) of appleseed-maya, our new native plugin for Autodesk® Maya®.

The path tracer now offers additional performance controls: we added distinct diffuse/glossy/specular bounce limits in addition to the existing global limit, and we introduced a Low Light Threshold parameter that allows to skip low-contributing light samples (and thus to eliminate costly shadow rays) without introducing bias.

This release brings many other features such as a new physically-based plastic BRDF, a completely redesigned AOV mechanism, initial support for archive assemblies, support for many more texture formats thanks to the full switch to OpenImageIO for texture loading, and many more improvements, refinements, fixes and cleanups to appleseed core, appleseed.studio and appleseed.python.

Finally, we are also pleased to announce the release of appleseed-max 0.4.5, our native plugin for Autodesk® 3ds Max® 2015/2016/2017. This release brings a host of new features such as environment map support, appleseed object properties (as an Object Modifier), support for render regions, and several bug fixes and improvements. Many thanks to Sergo Pogosyan for the hard work on the plugin!

appleseed 1.6.0-beta Released

December 16, 2016

TL;DR: We just released appleseed 1.6.0-beta and appleseed-max 0.2.0, Gafferseed got a big update in Gaffer 0.29.0.0, and we are developing a new Maya plugin.

We are pleased to announce the release of appleseed 1.6.0-beta, the sixth release of our beta program and the 29th release overall. Please check out the release notes for download links and the full list of changes.

This release brings massive improvements to our subsurface scattering (SSS) implementation.

SSS in previous releases of appleseed exhibited all kinds of color shifts and, despite being state of the art, was generally difficult to control. With this release, SSS is robust, predictable and produces great images.

This release also brings many bug fixes, performance optimizations and smaller additions such as a first set of OSL shaders matching Maya shading nodes as well as support for multiple cameras in projects.

However, most of the work for this release has happened under the hood. Here is a partial summary of the code and infrastructure improvements that were achieved in the past few months:

  • We switched the entire shading pipeline of appleseed from double-precision to single-precision floating point. It was simply wasteful to do all the shading calculations in double precision. While this switch has no immediate benefit, it paves the way for a faster shading pipeline. The geometric pipeline still uses double precision as this provides a clear robustness advantage.

  • We improved our Travis CI-based continuous build system (which builds every single pull request merged into master) by expanding the build matrix to both gcc 4.8 and gcc 5.0, both in C++03 and C++11 mode, in preparation to finally switching to C++11 in the next release.

  • We improved our CMake-based build system to automatically compile all our OSL shaders when building appleseed.

  • We improved the reports from our automatic test suite to allow updating reference images easily. We also added test scenes to check that appleseed with OSL matches appleseed with its built-in shading pipeline.

We are also releasing appleseed-max 0.2.0, our high quality native plugin for Autodesk 3ds Max 2015, 2016 and 2017 (downloads and release notes).

This release adds a few small features, fixes a few bugs and restores compatibility with Windows 7.

Gafferseed, our native integration of appleseed into Image Engine’s lookdev application Gaffer, received a major overhaul and gained many new features in the process. Please check out Gaffer 0.29.0.0 release notes for details (note that, as of today, the current version of Gaffer is 0.30.2.0).

Finally, we have undertaken a complete rewrite of our native Maya plugin to reach the same level of functionality, stability and code quality expected from projects under the appleseedhq umbrella. The plugin is still at an early stage of development but is moving fast and already producing images. You can track our progress on the forum or even by checking the commits on GitHub.

Please head over to our Discourse forum for your feedback, questions and comments regarding appleseed, appleseed-max, Gafferseed or any other application of the appleseed suite.

Make sure to follow us on Twitter if you want to stay up-to-date with appleseed development!

appleseed 1.5.0-beta Released

September 11, 2016

We are pleased to announce the release of appleseed 1.5.0-beta, the fifth release of our beta program and the 28th release overall. Check out the release notes for the full list of changes.

This release features significant improvements all around. In particular, we made interactive rendering considerably smoother, more responsive and more scalable on machines with many CPU cores. These improvements are available in appleseed.studio right away and will also benefit the next release of Gafferseed, the native integration of appleseed into Gaffer, Image Engine’s lookdev application.

This release also features numerous bug fixes, new features and performance improvements. Notable items include fixing some teething problems with the new glass BSDF introduced in the previous release, adding support for environment transforms (including motion-blurred environments), and making sure that textures referenced by SeExpr expressions are now properly tracked by the project. The full list of fixes and features is available in the release notes.

As usual, this new release of appleseed is simultaneously available on Windows, OS X and Linux.

Massive efforts have also gone into developing appleseed-max, our native appleseed plugin for Autodesk 3ds Max, and we are happy to announce the immediate availability of appleseed-max 0.1.8-beta for Autodesk 3ds Max 2015/2016.

Please head over to our Discourse forum for your feedback, questions and comments regarding appleseed, appleseed-max, Gafferseed or any other application of the appleseed suite.

Make sure to follow us on Twitter if you want to stay up-to-date with appleseed development!

appleseed 1.4.0-beta Released

April 1, 2016

We are pleased to announce the release of appleseed 1.4.0-beta, the fourth release of our beta program and the 27th release overall. Check out the release notes for the full list of changes.

The big focus of this release was improving our support for transparent materials: we implemented full support for nested dielectrics which, together with automatic tracking of indices of refractions, considerably simplifies the construction of scenes with complex nested transparent volumes.

For good measure, we also added a new advanced glass BSDF and a state-of-the-art metal BRDF based on recent research (both also available as OSL closures). You can see examples of these new BRDFs in the release notes.

Of course, this release includes numerous other changes and improvements, like a much improved OSL shader library, refinements of appleseed.studio’s user interface, and the usual assortment of bug fixes and performance improvements.

As usual, this new release of appleseed is simultaneously available on Windows, OS X and Linux.

Please head over to our Discourse forum for your feedback, questions and comments.

And make sure to follow us on Twitter if you want to stay up-to-date with appleseed development!

appleseed 1.3.0-beta Released

October 3, 2015

We are proud to announce the immediate availability of appleseed 1.3.0-beta, the third release of our beta program (and the 26th release overall). Check out the release notes for the full list of changes.

The major new feature of this release is a state-of-the-art implementation of raytraced subsurface scattering, as well as a number of diffusion profiles (the subsurface scattering equivalent of a BRDF):

  • A simple Gaussian profile
  • The Standard and “Better” Dipoles (for the “gummy” look common in animation)
  • The newly published Directional Dipole
  • And Pixar’s new Normalized Diffusion profile for highly accurate subsurface scattering

Another important news is the return of appleseed on OS X (10.10 Yosemite and later), and the availability of appleseed in the FreeBSD Ports Collection.

Finally, this release also fixes a number of bugs and adds a few other minor features.

Please head over to our Discourse forum for your feedback, questions and help requests.

And make sure to follow us on Twitter if you want to stay up-to-date with appleseed development.

appleseed 1.2.0-beta Released

June 14, 2015

We are proud to announce the release of appleseed 1.2.0-beta, the second release of our beta program. Check out the release notes for the full list of changes.

This release further improves our implementation of the OSL shading language, with support for ray differentials, bump mapping and background closures, amongst others. It also fixes dozen of bugs and adds many smaller “confort” features, both in appleseed itself and in appleseed.studio, our standalone lookdev application.

Please head over to our Discourse forum for your feedback, questions and help requests.

And make sure to follow us on Twitter if you want to stay up-to-date with appleseed development!

appleseed 1.1.0-beta Released

January 26, 2015

After more than five years of development and 23 alpha releases, we are proud to announce the immediate availability of appleseed 1.1.0-beta. Check out the release notes for the full list of changes.

This release obviously represents an important milestone in the project, and paves the way to the first stable version of appleseed which we plan to release some time this year.

With this first beta out, we’re now starting a huge effort to document appleseed and make it more accessible to newcomers. The first results of this effort come in the form of the long due Getting Started tutorial, as well as a growing number of demo scenes that demonstrate some of the features of appleseed.

This first beta version is accompanied by a completely new web site, easier to navigate and more pleasing to the eye. We hope you’ll like it.

Please head over to our Discourse forum (no account required) for your feedback, questions and help requests.

And make sure to follow us on Twitter if you want to get notified about all the greatness to come!

appleseed 1.1.0 alpha-23 Released

October 25, 2014

We just released appleseed 1.1.0 alpha-23.

This is a minor release which mostly improves OSL support:

  • Added support for the emission OSL closure
  • Exposed the Disney BRDF as an OSL closure
  • Added support for degree-1 (linear) curves
  • Added support for smooth tangent vectors…

Head over to the release notes for the full list of changes or to the download page to download this release.

Please use the forum for non-development related questions, help requests and feedback!

appleseed 1.1.0 alpha-22 Released

August 26, 2014

We just released appleseed 1.1.0 alpha-22.

This is a major release packed with new features and improvements, most notably:

  • OpenShadingLanguage support on all platforms
  • New multi-layer material based on Disney’s principled BRDF model
  • New user-friendly material editor for Disney materials, with support for user expressions based on Disney’s SeExpr
  • Direct rendering of cubic Bézier curves
  • New rough glass BTDF (accessible as an OSL closure)…

Head over to the release notes for the full list of changes or to the download page to download this release.

Please use the forum for non-development related questions, help requests and feedback!

We will release test scenes and more exciting goodies in the following days, so stay tuned.

appleseed 1.1.0 alpha-21 Released

April 24, 2014

We just released appleseed 1.1.0 alpha-21.

This is a major release with hundreds of changes from 14 contributors.

Most notable new features include pre-alpha support for Open Shading Language (disabled in binary packages), a new rule-based render layer mechanism, AOVs with alpha channel, an overhaul of appleseed.studio’s user interface, an attribute editor in appleseed.studio and a new Oren-Nayar BRDF.

Head over to the release notes for the full list of changes or to the download page to get appleseed.

We are participating to Google Summer of Code 2014!

February 24, 2014

We are proud to announce that we have been selected as a mentoring organization for Google Summer of Code 2014! If you are interested in being paid to write high performance rendering code, this is your chance.

Our project ideas are on our GitHub wiki:
https://github.com/appleseedhq/appleseed/wiki/List-of-Project-Ideas

To get in touch with us, join the appleseed-dev mailing list and introduce yourself:
https://groups.google.com/forum/#!forum/appleseed-dev

We are looking forward to welcoming great students into our organization.

Light And Dark (BBC Four Documentary)

December 7, 2013

Jonathan Topf did an amazing job on Light And Dark, a two-part documentary aired on prime time BBC Four. Some more details here.

Here is a compilation of all the CGI sequences (all rendered with appleseed) that appear in the documentary: