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appleseed 1.7.0-beta

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@dictoon dictoon released this 06 Jun 08:38
· 2616 commits to master since this release

These are the release notes for appleseed 1.7.0-beta.


The following people contributed code for this release, in alphabetical order:

  • Aytek Aman
  • Luis Barrancos
  • François Beaune
  • Artem Bishev
  • Andreea Dincu
  • Petra Gospodnetic
  • Andrei Ivashchenko
  • Kutay Macit
  • Nabil Miri
  • Gleb Mishchenko
  • Aakash Praliya
  • Animesh Tewari
  • Esteban Tovagliari



Subsurface Scattering Overhaul

We made deep improvements to our ray traced subsurface scattering implementation. The new code gives more accurate and consistent results. We also took this opportunity to add support for SSS sets:

SSS Sets

(On the left, each object is in its own SSS set; on the right, all objects are in the same SSS set.)

We also modified the Gaussian BSSRDF to expose the same parameters as other BSSRDF models. This makes finding the right BSSRDF model much easier.

Finally, we added Fresnel weight parameters to all BSSRDF models and we exposed the Gaussian BSSRDF to OSL.

New Path Tracing Controls

We added a few new controls to appleseed's unidirectional path tracer:

  • Low Light Threshold allows the path tracer to skip low contribution samples (thus saving the cost of expensive shadow rays) without introducing bias. By default the threshold is set to 0 (not skipping any sample) but we might change it in the future.

  • Separate diffuse, glossy and specular bounce limits, in addition to the existing global bounce limit.

New Plastic BRDF

appleseed now features a physically-based plastic BRDF:

Coffee Maker scene showcasing the new plastic BRDF
(Coffee Maker scene by Blend Swap user cekuhnen, lighting and material setup by Benedikt Bitterli, converted to appleseed using our new tool.)

OSL Shader Library

We added OSL shaders that expose some of appleseed' built-in BSDFs such as the Disney BRDF and our physically-based Glass BSDF, as well as Voronoi texture nodes (2D & 3D). We're continually growing and expanding this shader library.

In addition, we have now high quality OSL implementations of many Maya shading nodes. They are used in appleseed-maya, our soon to be released integration plugin for Autodesk Maya, to translate Maya shading networks to appleseed.

Other New Features and Improvements

  • The AOV subsystem has been rewritten to be more correct and to offer more features.
  • Added transparent support for packed project files (*.appleseedz).
  • Added initial support for archive assemblies.
  • Texture loading is now fully based on OpenImageIO, vastly expanding our image file format support.
  • Warn about invalid (NaN or negative) during interactive rendering.
  • Adjusted default rendering settings.
  • Added cube mesh primitive.
  • Added support for *.mitshair files (Mitsuba's curves file format).
  • Added alternative volume parameterization to glass BSDF.
  • Improved RGB <-> spectra conversions.
  • Improved bump mapping implementation.
  • Switched to OpenImageIO 1.7.10.
  • Use same defaults in Disney BRDF and Disney material.
  • Improved handling of project update errors.
  • Rely on the geometric normal for side determination when vertex normals are absent.
  • Allow to flip normals of an object instance with <parameter name="flip_normals" value="true" />.
  • Use faster probe ray mode in more cases.
  • Added highlight falloff controls to several BSDF models.
  • Added support for NDC and raster OSL coordinate systems.

Bug Fixes

  • Fixed sampling of Disney BRDF (also affects Disney material). The results are now more accurate.
  • Fixed rendering of textured area lights.
  • Fixed a number of cases where NaN values would be generated.
  • Properly close texture files when rendering ends.
  • Fixed bug in Unidirectional Path Tracer when the last bounce of a path is purely specular.
  • Properly handle infinite values in environment maps.
  • Fixed incorrect warning when using object alpha maps.
  • Fixed incorrect alpha mapping detection when OSL materials have alpha maps.
  • Fixed missing intersection filters on first renders.
  • Fixed ray differentials after transparent (alpha) intersections.
  • Fixed crash with OSL and nested dielectrics.

Removed Features

  • Removed experimental Frozen Display interactive rendering mode.
  • Removed fake translucency support from physical surface shader.
  • Removed aerial perspective support from physical surface shader.
  • Removed the Distributed Ray Tracing engine as it is now fully redundant with the Unidirectional Path Tracing engine configured with zero diffuse bounces.
  • Removed the systematic depth AOV that was generated with every render.


  • Exposed creation of mesh primitives.
  • Exposed environment EDF transforms.
  • Exposed logger verbosity levels.
  • Improved progress update in sample.

  • Lock down in final rendering mode.
  • Fixed rare bug where aborting a render was not working.
  • Fixed corner cases in camera controller.
  • Don't show irrelevant inputs in entity editor.
  • The scene picker now prints more information about the picking point.
  • Fixed color value not updating in entity editor when cancelling color picker dialog.
  • Update crop window in entity editor when setting or clearing crop window in render widget.
  • Added tooltips in rendering settings dialog.
  • Added File → Pack Project As... to pack a project to a single *.appleseedz file.
  • Added regular expression-based filter for tests in the Tests dialog.
  • Added keyboard shortcuts to tooltips.


  • Replaced updateprojectfile by projecttool, a new command line tool with more features.
  • Added to convert Mitsuba scenes to appleseed.