Recources covering modern renderers?

Considering the advent of Cycles I would like to learn more about modern rendering techniques and lighting. I would say I’m looking for artist friendly, yet semi technical. Thanks

Interesting question…

The luxrender wiki used to have a lot of info…

in a similar vein… this is my checklist for renderers…

  • fast high quality motion blur
  • Depth of Field
  • GI
  • volumetrics
  • hair
  • displacement
  • Particles
  • sss

There’s always a lot of talk about GI in all its incarnations so often the rest gets ignored…

Is there an open source renderer that does all of teh above?

Thanks Mike, I guess what I really need to know are the methods and what the hi-tech stuff actually means. I will check out the lux wiki tho…

BTW Farside much?

Yep… prehistory… it’s a way of life…

This link seems to sum up best what I’ve been doing for years…

I’ve been reading some papers lately and I have to say I’m not even semi technical, but this is what I got.
A path tracer is the renderer which all renderers are judged by because of its accuraccy.
A real time path tracer has been demonstrated but it needs a huge amount of shared memory.
The bottleneck in Gpu renderers comes from the need to access the slower memory.
Conventional wisdom says that everything needs to be written to memory first.
The newest view is that you can write directly to the Gpu. and a few gpus can take the place of all that shared memory.
A raytracer is also designed for realism but can be programmed to produce non photoreal results. I think off it as a degradation.
If you can make a real time pathtracer you can degrade that as well. I think its called optimization

@MikeW Nice…

sx-1, I am more curious at the terminology, what passes, rays, hdr lighting, etc. all that fancy stuff does, and the pros and cons of these methods.

Bao2 put this link up. It gives a basic description of how raytracing works and how to build a raytracer.
In my opinion cycles shading system is like a renderman shading system. its not modern but its well implemented.
Only the way to process the information is modern.
As for passes, rays, hdr lighting, thats a lot of ground to cover and its all covered on wikipedia

Here are some resources from the Yafaray forum.

This is actually a good read:

And you don´t need to read up on raytracers in particular. Be it inverse raycasting, photonmapping, scanline rendering, a realtime game-engine… all those have the same underlaying basics. Just the algorithms are different… it´s either correctness or speed.

You don´t even need to understand the algorithms, if you understand the theory the algorithms express, you´re good.

LuxRender does most of what you list I am just not sure where it is with hair, particles and sss. Displacement is incoming with the 0.8 release it was one of the requirements of their splash screen contest so the are great examples of it in action. SSS if I am not mistaken is kind of possible but am not exactly certain on that. Hair and fur frankly I have never seen anything like Frankie or Chinchilla been rendered with Yafaray or Lux so I suspect its a no for now.

Personally to your list I would add a shading language of some sorts, I know its early days with OSL but I think a shading language could do what scripting languages like python do for Blender. Disney has an open source paper on a physically based hair shader they used on Tangled with a shading language for example you could roll your own shader and totally avoid having to hard code it into the render engine its self.

I learnt a lot didn’t understand it all from the “The light measurement Handbook”. Is very interesting and free.