Free renderer that supports caustics and texture baking

Hi everybody,

I haven’t really been using Blender much so far, so please bear with me if my question sounds a bit nooby.
If been researching the web and trying for days to find a solution.
We need a renderer that supports caustics as well as texture baking.

I am using Blender v2.65 and so far I looked at POV-Ray 3.7, YafaRay 0.1.2 beta, Cycles and of course the Blender renderer.

Apart from the standard renderer (which has no caustics) it seems that none of the others support texture Baking. Am I right or do I miss something?

In the forums I’ve seen people were talking about that it would be nice to have texture baking integrated in renderers. But those posts were quite outdated.

As the result will be used for analysis in an engineering environment it’s really crucial for us to have realistic caustics baked into textures. The textures will subsequently be evaluated by a tool to find out the amount of reflection on a surface…

Is there a way how we can bake caustics into textures with Blender without having to by a renderer?

Appreciate your help!


FYI: I posted this same problem here but didn’t get a reply yet:

I know LuxRender supports caustics very well. I don’t know about texture baking though.

All I’ve read in the Luxrender forum over the years has never given any indication that it supported texture baking (is implementation even possible with Luxrender’s current architecture (which is strictly designed for physically correct scenes)?).

But in terms of Yafaray at least, you can ask in their forum, the developers there can probably give you more information then you may be able to obtain here.

They use a form of displacement that comes from an image and it not physically correct, so I would say yes.
You can read about it here:

Displacement from an image doesn’t change its physical correctness, and the on the fly microdisplacment doesn’t either. They both just change the location of the verticies/faces within a mesh so one doesn’t have to model it. I’m not sure how accurate/inaccurate or physically incorrect bump/normal maps make a render, but lux cannot do any kind of texture baking. At least bump maps create caustics in luxrender

Thanks for all the replies. I’ll ask the Yafaray people about their plans in terms of texture baking as Yafaray caustics work pretty perfect for us.