We’ve been working on the blender / indigo integration and trying to make it better. I’ve attached a screenshot of our work in progress (the pink color won’t be staying). I’m posting here to garner comments from people who have tried Blendigo before and gave up on it.
What are the worst things about Blendigo and how can we fix them? What do you like most about the other renderers (lux / yafa / blender internal / etc)?
I had seen indigo around and tried it, then I gave up when it was announced you have to buy it. That is why I use Lux now. And I use Lux more than Yafaray because I find the material setup in Yafaray a bit more cumbersome. What I like about Yafaray that I don’t see in Lux is that Yafaray tries to use as many of the Blender properties as possible. In Lux, you have to re-program the materials 100% and there is no synch between the materials that Lux is going to render and what you actually see in your scene. It takes meticulous planning or tons of bump and grind renders to work with Lux.
I have not used Blendigo since it became commercial software, but the take away from my post would be to make the integration as seemless as possible. The best interface would be no interface, just do an intercept on the Render event. I realize Blender’s internal API has limitations but don’t give me a color chit in your interface when there is one in the Blender interface that matches the same purpose.
I’m on the same level as Atom. I tried it long ago, but when it became a purchase product I dropped it like a bad habit. Knowing that it’s free for CC licensed work is nice, but the limit on the size of the render will still keep me away from it. Far away from it. I don’t like programs that say “free to use for X purposes” but put limits on it. And imposing a logo on the work I produce with it just not nice no matter how you cut it. Being just a hobbyist who plans on releasing a free game, that’s not going to work.
So to answer the question: “What do you like most about the other renderers (lux / yafa / blender internal / etc)?”
I like them the most because they’re free to use. I like Blender Internal because it’s there and gives me instant results without a lot of setup and legwork involved, but the third party renderers do produce very nice output if you’re willing to go through some initial headaches with the setup and wading through documentation and tutorials. The worst things I hate about the third party utilities is that their integration is terrible. There’s WAY too much setup involved. Like Atom, I’d like to just install, select my renderer, hit F12 and have it render with what I’ve selected with very little or no setup. Because of this I tend to stick with the internal renderer and work with what I have.
The current blendigo is very much install, click ‘render with indigo’ and go. The only thing that changes that is when you need meshlights, because there is no way to create those in Blender.
Indigo is a commercial product now, so there’s no getting away from it. If it’s not worth your money it’s not for you. We are still very happy that we can give users a high performance, high quality renderer at no cost, if they can’t afford a licence.
Indigo does realtime tonemapping and start/pause, you should try the Indigo 2.2 GUI - much better than one you may have tried in the past.
If the renderer and the plugin supported the new volume materials, procedural textures, all the shading options, blender hair and particles, and the shading, texture, and compositing nodes it’s very possible you could have Blender users lining up with their wallets open to purchase the full version.
I don’t think Indigo will ever be able to do all the crazy stuff blender internal can. We only render what can be physically created - Blender internal doesn’t have the same quality as Indigo - but it sure can do some amazing stuff!
I see that lux can do procedural textures - so that’s something we’d like to support (probably for our 2.5 release).
Do you mean we should copy the EMIT setting from Blender materials? I’ve tried to simplify the emission settings in the new exporter, there is just a ‘Emitter’ checkbox. See the attached screenshot (not the final version, we’re getting rid of the pink color)
I think it’d be cool to be able to bake blender procedural textures to texturemaps that we could use directly in Indigo - I guess this is what Lux does?
If you hit the ‘Conv’ button next to the material name in the Blendigo panel, Blendigo copies the blender color value to rgb, and uses specular hardness value x1000 for the exponent. This seems like what people are talking about in an incomplete state? I like having the blendigo material panel simply because I can have a set of material attributes that I can tweak for renders in indigo, leaving the blender materials for blender renders Using ‘Conv’ as a starting point for a batch of indigo materials would be very valuable if it were more comprehensive. To make the material from the blender panel only, maybe there could be a ‘Conv Lock’ setting that updates the indigo material every time the blender material is changed.
Edit: I notice it looks like ‘Conv’ is gone from the 2.2.2 interface.
Support for blender procedurals seems like a good way to attract blender users, as does support for blender particle systems.
Another annoying thing about using Blendigo is you have to create a blender material for every indigo material you make. This is especially cumbersome when making blend materials that require original materials besides those assigned to the object. In blender if you simply create a material (to start an Indigo material) and don’t assign it to an object, then when you close the blender file the material is discarded (blender has a workaround, but…).
instead of baking blender procedurals, which you can do in blender, it would be much more useful if you could bake the photorealistic render to uv textures.
then you would really have an edge on lux
that would be way more useful than procedurals
@dnm we’ve got doug armand from lux working on the blender exporter now, and improving the material subsystem is probably our number one request. The work I did on user interface redesign has made a big improvement IMHO.
@spacetug you mean for lightmap baking? thats something wed like to do one day! Unless Ive mistaken you?