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Posts posted by giannis

  1. Hello,


    There are two ways forward here:

    1. Either we get geometry after clipping ready for rendering or

    2. We apply Thea section cuts in which case the cut space is not closed.


    We are going to check with formZ support whether (a) is possible first.


    Best wishes

  2. We already have 3 Thea licenses running sketchup plugins (the plug ins were separate purchases before)


    Is the fz plug in available as a separate purchase/product ?


    Or do we have to buy a bundle ?  This would not be viable.....

    Of course, you can buy FormZ plugin as an "upgrade" plugin to your existing Thea for SU licenses. ;)


    Here is the related e-shop link:



    Especially during open beta, this is just 35 euros per FormZ plugin license (it will go to 100 euros after open beta)*.


    Best wishes


    * Please note that all prices listed here are net prices at the time of writing.

  3. 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

  4. So just to understand this further, to make full use of presto, Nvidia osx drivers have to be installed ("web drivers")?

    If not installed, gpu is not used together with cpu?

    I am not sure about the "web drivers", you can download a driver supporting CUDA 6.5 and above from NVidia archives:
    And yes, Thea Presto engine will run on whatever is available. If GPU is not there, it will run only the CPU. If you want also your GPU to contribute, then proper driver has to be installed. So, if driver is not installed, GPU will not be used together with CPU.



    Another question- since the presto uses all cores it makes working in FormZ very slow while presto is running.

    Is the "studio" designed so that it renders standalone, leaving ressources to continue working in Z while rendering?

    Any of the engines (and particular Presto if it runs on both CPU & GPU), will take resources out of your system. Using another application at the same time and trying to make real work will be sluggish. The workaround here is to lower the priority of the Thea in order to leave resources for the modeling work.


    Thea Studio works as a standalone application (and it is bundled with FormZ plugin, so you get both). There are some differences in response mostly due to how the operating system itself allocates resources to different processes (FormZ & Studio running) compared to allocating resources to different threads within the same process (FormZ & Integration running inside). In most cases, it will be somewhat better using the Studio if you want to work in parallel with FormZ (assuming the operating system gives less resources to background processes - which is true by default) but not really that much.


    Best wishes

  5. Hi, see my answers below.


    2 stupid questions for a start:

    There is no such a thing as stupid question ;)


    Will buying the Thea special now eliminate the watermark while open beta already ?

    Of course.


    The darkroom renders with presto modes but I havent installed CUDA yet - does it only use the cpu then  ?

    (CUDA drivers is a "must" and will increase performance ?)


    (OSX Yosemite, GeForce GTX 760)

    First, you don't need CUDA package installed, what you need is an updated graphics driver (supporting CUDA 6.5).

    BUT, this is not necessary in order to run Thea; all the unbiased modes TR1/TR2 plus the biased AMC/BSD modes run on CPU.

    Presto also runs on the CPU - if you have a NVidia GPU even better, then Presto can run on both CPU and GPU.


    Best wishes


  6. Dear friends,


    we are very happy to announce that the first open beta version of Thea for FormZ is now available!



    For those not familiar with Thea Render, it is a physically-based render engine being developed for over 5 years with very high quality unbiased render modes as well as GPU rendering. Our integrated render engine brings the power of Thea inside FormZ package, supporting FormZ 8 and 8.5, Pro, Junior and Free versions on Windows and MacOSX. It supports instancing, material presets, various light types, shadow catcher and many other features, in both production and interactive render modes.


    You can find more info and download the integration at our dedicated landing page. The integration runs in demo mode with all the features of the licensed one (except for the resolution limitation and watermarks). You can also take advantage of the open beta phase and buy the plugin bundled with Thea Studio, with 20% discount.


    To get started with the plugin, please check out our introductory tutorial below.




    Kind Regards


  7. If the fz plugin I downloaded and installed is not yet ready there is probably no point posting issues.

    I will wait for the official release (unless this will be unchanged from the version already up for download)

    It will probably be the first version of open beta.



  8. I see that you are running a 20% discount on Thea for FormZ with Studio, while it is in Open Beta.  - https://thearender.com/site/index.php/products/thea-for-formz.html


    Can you please clarify if we purchase now, will the license carry over to the full production software after the Open Beta is completed? 

    Purchasing now, means that you get a license using the software along with all maintenance updates (within open beta and normal release period) that fall within 1.x version of Thea. Please keep also in mind that Studio and the engine are not in beta status, it is the integration that is tagged currently as beta.


    I'm not familiar with your licensing, do you use lifetime licenses or is it on a per version basis?  If per version, then would purchasing this Open Beta also get us version 1?  2?  3?  etc?

    Licenses are perpetual - if this is the question - but not lifetime. Meaning that you can use the software for indefinite. What is also included are all the maintenance updates within 1.x series. If someone wants to get v2 (when it comes out), there will be an upgrade price (and, similarly, he will be entitled to getting all maintenance updates within 2.x series).


    Final question - Are we able to purchase online from the United States and pay via PayPal or Credit Card, or do we need to go through a US reseller?

    You can surely buy directly from our e-shop. The prices are listed in euros and when redirected to paypal during checkout, you can choose to pay with a credit card.
    Alternatively, one can go with a US reseller from our reseller list - they list end prices directly in $.


    Thank you!  We are all very excited to see how we can integrate Thea into our FormZ workflow!

    Thank you very much for the nice words. :)


    Best wishes

  9. You can find quite interesting reviews of external GPUs Nvidia / Cuda configurations plugged in Mac Book Pro.

    I wonder if those configurations will work with Thea. Any rumors?

    Definitely, if Nvidia graphics card is available on the Mac (eg. imac, or macbook) with compute capability v2+, then it can be used.


    Best wishes

  10. 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



  11. 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!



    What is Thea Render?

    • Thea Render is a photorealistic render engine with multiple rendering modes; one can start the top high quality rendering using its "unbiased" rendering mode (TR1/TR2) or - for those with proper hardware - create high quality renders with its CPU+GPU rendering mode (Presto).
    • High quality is always there, in all modes. Thea Render is a physically-based spectral renderer with a very special material system and layering, which is the one that gives the absolute realism in the renders.
    • It comes with a standalone product (Thea Studio) along with the integrated plugin. The integration is a plugin that runs right inside FormZ, i.e. the engine does not run as another process.


    In the past months, we have worked hard to integrate Thea on FormZ and we believe that the renderer can be used already efficiently for production rendering. This is why we are publishing Thea for FormZ - in a status of open beta - where we would really love to hear the feedback from the whole community (and plan further features accordingly).


    Thea for FormZ first beta will be available soon as a public download link. It can be used to try the software, all features of the commercial version are present (actually, the two versions are the same thing) but the software runs in demo mode (resolution limit 1280x720 and watermarks).


    Last but not least, we would like to thank everyone involved and in particular our very energetic beta testers as well as the relentless support of AutoDesSys.


    Best wishes


  12. 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

  13.  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

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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