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Posts posted by giannis

  1. excellent!  Is it cross-product like Maxwell?  Buy once use in Sketchup , FormZ, etc....?

    Hi Andrew,


    I understand the question is whether you get all the plugins with the same license. The short answer is no. What you get with Thea for FormZ are: Thea for FormZ plugin (true integrated renderer), Thea Studio (standalone application) and 2 node licenses (for network rendering).


    Please note that this does not stop you from adding plugin licenses to your existing Thea for FormZ license; for example, you could add Thea for SketchUp plugin, Thea for 3dsMax plugin, and so on. Each of these plugins costs 100 euros (net price) at the moment of writing.


    We could create a super-bundle containing all plugins (for ease of acquiring all of them) - but frankly speaking, at the end, we are quite sure that the users will be buying only the plugins that they are actually using.


    Best wishes

  2. Dear friends,


    we are very happy to announce that our integration for FormZ is about to come out! Everyone is welcome to try Thea Render and take advantage of high quality rendering right inside FormZ!


    AutoDesSys was also very kind to create a Thea for FormZ forum which is where most of the action will be going and therefore, you can read more information in this forum thread:



    Best wishes



  3. Thank you Giannis!


    It's great to have someone from Thea active here for our community.  Sounds like it's coming along!   Can't wait to see/experience it myself!  



    Manolis (our developer) should become active here as well once we get it released. Although, best support is always served at our forum, it is lovely being here as well. :)


    Best wishes

  4.  You wrote the original algorithms and that seems a perfect excuse for getting a little technical to me.   :)


    In all seriousness though. I like that you're being less dogmatic regarding the physical simulation aspects of Thea Render as it matures. Things like the Fresnel Ramp you introduced in 1.5 may not be the 'physically correct' approach but it sure is artist friendly. This is one of the things that I like most about Thea. The manner in which you manage to mix the strictly physically accurate with a selection of artist friendly workflows. This makes Thea both very powerful and very flexible.

    To be absolutely honest with you... If it weren't for the users pulling in that direction, I wouldn't easily do it. :)


    On the other hand, these non physically-based features are something that the end user can choose to use or not. And the experience shows that 98% of the users are not purist about them; if they do the trick, then they will use them by all means.


    Best wishes

  5. It's early days of the beta as yet so the level of deep integration may change before launch but at the moment the workflows are comparable. There will of course also be an option to export the scene to Thea Studio too but the majority of functionality is directly accessible via the FormZ interface.


    With regards to speed it's worth clarifying exactly what you're getting with Thea.


    - Unbiased TR1: 'Path Tracer'; with comparable speeds to Maxwell. Good for exteriors or product visualisations.


    - Unbiased TR2: 'Bidirectional Path Tracer'; slower than Maxwell but better on difficult to light interiors


    - Biased BSD: Equivalent to V-Ray/Mental Ray approach but includes a unique technology called 'Field Mapping' which speeds this engine up considerably. Good for all situations and at higher quality settings shows very little compromise over the unbiased engines. The best option for interiors for many as TR2 involves lengthy render times.


    - Biased AMC: This is an adaptive engine that uses biased techniques to speed up the standard TR1 path tracer. The adaptivity is a simple % level of bias.


    - Presto AO: Biased engine that 'cheats' by providing the majority of the solution via Ambient Occlusion. This is the fastest engine but the least accurate. I would personally never use it other that for stylistic reasons but it's perfect for situations where realism is less of a goal.


    - Presto MC: Close to TR1 but a lot faster because the path tracing aspect can be enhanced by the GPU. It's also faster when using CPU only as it's a compromised version of TR1 (reasonably compromised in my opinion). The main speed enhancement is that in enables you to control the ray tracing depth. For many scenes you can keep this to something around 5 without any discernible loss of quality. This compares to TR1/TR2 which are have unlimited ray depths.


    The beauty of Thea is that you decide on the level of compromise appropriate for your scene. My favourite engines are Presto MC and Biased BSD which strike a good balance between compromise and speed. The Biased BSD engine requires a little more knowledge to set up properly but it's unmatched on difficult to light interior scenes.


    There's a great comparison page on the Thea site that shows exactly which features each engine includes (it also details a couple of deprecated 'Progressive' engines which are accessible via Thea Studio presets but not currently part of the plugin versions).




    Hope this helps clarify things a little.


    Jon, thank you for the intro to Thea engines.


    If you permit me a correction though!


    Your description for TR1 and TR2 is probably simplifying how these engines operate. They are both more sophisticated than a 'Path Tracer' or a 'Bidirectional Path Tracer'. TR1/TR2 were personally for me, the holy grail for achieving the best unbiased quality ever when we started (and doing that with great speed on the CPU). The speed is coming purely from algorithmic design (i.e. convergence speed) rather than the "brute force" fast pace of taking samples achieved by Presto. It is sometimes amazing to see that TR2 (what is considered to be the slower one) is actually the faster one (even compared to Presto) for scenes with difficult indirect lighting (for example, lot of dominant caustic lighting).


    In any case, every engine has been developed with a lot of love. :)


    Best wishes

  6. Five beta testers?  The wide variety of user techniques and different machine configurations makes this seem like a very small test. 

    That is true, five is a small number. On the other hand, going with many more than such a low number, the situation may turn into a chaotic one. To be honest, the integration at the moment of publishing the initial post here, was like "Pre-Beta" -> meaning that we were (and still are) making design changes to the workflow and various additions. This is the moment where it is not a matter of getting feedback from too many; but just getting the right feedback. Having a small group here influences is important that the communication stays strong. At least, that 's my personal experience over the years.


    Indeed though, when it comes to testing the software/engine, the more users the better. On the other hand, we have the advantage that the engine has been generally extremely well tested over the years (from the existence of the standalone and other integrations).


    Best wishes

  7. Yes, I did sign up to be a tester as soon as I read this news, but disappointedly never heard a response from Solid Iris.  


    I am sorry Justin, not having replied. Same issue has happened with other applications we received. This is not something personal in any case. But due to the number of emails we receive in cases of beta testing, we usually respond only to the selected beta testers. [i admit that it is also somewhat inconvenient to reply that it is not possible for someone to join... :(]


    The beta phase is moving on quite nicely at this point - my colleague Manolis will give more detailed feedback. We started with more beta testers than initially planned (I think 6) because, it happens eventually that a tester does not give much feedback at the end (for various reasons). I think that we should start seeing some renders made with Thea from beta testers (but please, without sharing yet any other information or screenshots).


    What I can say at the moment is that Thea for FormZ will be a true integration inside FormZ, not an exporter or another process. We have still things to do though before publishing the integration but it shouldn't be that far away. For this, the opinion of the experienced beta testers does matter a lot.


    Best wishes

  8. Their gallery looked impressive... if the time is as good as you indicated that is even better... & if I can render using all 24 processors on my computer (fmz optimizes at 6) it is a home run.

    Yes, you will be able to use all 24 processors on your computer, whatever the engine used.


    For those with Nvidia GPU, they will be able to put that hardware in use (through CUDA) - in addition to the CPU - when using Thea Presto engine. [Note, behind the scenes, we are also preparing support for AMD GPUs through OpenCL.]


    Best wishes

  9. It seems I wasn't fast enough posting the news here [ and I was "polling" the forums to see when they will be back again ;) ]. Anyway, I posted here in the forum, where you can find more info.


    Manolis (our FormZ plugin dev) has done a great job very quickly and it is only the beginning. We already love already the mood & feedback from the FormZ community but also AutodesSys support which has been beyond excellency.


    Best wishes

  10. Dear friends,


    a small introduction first:


    Thea Render is an advanced high-quality rendering engine that we have created with a lot of love. We are putting a lot of effort, each and every each day into it. You can browse our site www.thearender.com for more info (such as engine description and supported features) and you can certainly contact us for detailed info on any topics of your concern.


    The FormZ integration on the other hand is something that we always had in mind as an important integration, given the orientation of FormZ and the users. And we have finally, some good news about it. ;)


    The FormZ integration is - since some months - under intensive development. We have reached a good point now and feedback from FormZ users would be very welcome.


    We are looking for ~3 beta testers with as much experience as possible in FormZ design and, if possible, with experience in rendering as well. If you are interested in testing the integration, please send an email to formz@thearender.com with the subject "Beta Testing".


    If you have available, please include a couple designs of yours, made in FormZ. Don't forget to include your system specs as well; we are interested in a variance of hardware and are going to cover both Windows and OSX.


    In anyway, we would like to thank you for your support and - also - the periodic "encouragement" from the FormZ community for making this happen. It is not complete yet but it is coming!


    Best wishes