» YafaRay-E v2.1.1 for Blender 2.76b
Updated 21:56 February 6th, 2016
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Hello, all!

I would like to announce the new YafaRay-E (Experimental) v2.1.1

The main changes are the implementation of Render Passes and Render Views, but there are more that I will try to explain more over the next weeks with some examples I will prepare and upload over time.

Also now the Material/Texture preview window can be controlled:
- Preview Dynamic Camera Rotation & Zoom
- Preview object rotation, scale and custom object
- Preview lights control (power and color) for key and fill lights. Also light rotation
- Preview Scene control: type of backgroung (full world bg. can be selected now), Ray depth for glass preview and progressive AA passes

A video explaining this is in: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jEHuVyjF1OI

...plus some important bug fixes.

The download links are here, with builds for Windows 32bit/64bit, Linux 32bit/64bit and Mac OSX 64bit:

Important: I've also included a special Windows 64bit build compiled with Python3.5 so it can be used with the development Blender v2.76.5

Please keep in mind that due to hardware limitations the Mac OSX build had very little testing

Full list of changes:

Yafaray-E v2.1.1 (2016-02-06) for Blender 2.76b:
Note: there has been important changes and bug fixes in this version. They have solved some long-standing issues but perhaps they could cause new issues and unexpected results, so we have to keep an eye on them.

* IMPORTANT: Fix for incorrect IBL lighting in World Background Texture when set to Angular. See: http://www.yafaray.org/node/714

* IMPORTANT: Adjustment to the automatic intersection/shadow bias calculation formula to avoid black artifacts in the scenes with fine details. However, now we can get again some black dots in some scenes again. For now, no good solution at hand (any good solution would require fundamental changes to the engine and probably slow down the renders in a significant amount). However, I hope to have found a better balance now. See: http://blenderartists.org/forum/showthread.php?389385-YafaRay-E-(Experimental)-v2-0-2-builds-Windows-Linux-and-Mac-OSX-for-Blender-2-76b&p=3004974&viewfull=1#post3004974

* IMPORTANT: Fix for black dots (alpha=0) sometimes when using Mitchell/Lanzcos filters. It's not clear what is the best way of solving this problem. This fix is the one that makes more sense but could cause new issues, we have to keep an eye on this. See: http://www.yafaray.org/node/712

* Fixed Black artifacts in World Background Textures. See: http://www.yafaray.org/node/714

* Fixed regression error in v2.1.0 when using Area Lights. See: http://www.yafaray.org/node/713

* Fixed World Preview not updating correctly. This is probably caused by Blender itself, I had to use the same workaround I used in the past to fix the material preview updating problem

* Fixed crash when using textures with Normal or Window coordinates (which are view dependent) along with Caustic Photons. However, we have to consider that Photons are supposed to be view-independent, but when using textures with Window or Normal coordinates (which are view dependant), then the Photons WILL also be view dependant as well! So, using textures with "tricks" like Normal or Windows coordinates can cause low frequency noise in animations with Photons. This would not be a problem, but the price for using such "tricks" in renders.

* Fixed python error when selecting an image texture before with no image opened yet.

* "Final" changes to the Material Preview Advanced Controls:
- Added Dynamic Camera Rotation & Zoom.
- Changes to ensure the preview object is centered and rotation keeps it always in the centre.
- Changes to keep the scale/proportions of custom preview objects
- Added AA Passes control for progressively refining the material rendering
- Splitted the Light power and Light Color controls in two: Key Light power control and Fill Lights power control
- Removed PosX,PosZ controls as considered unnecessary and complicating the interface.
- Removed Texture scale/offset controls as they could cause confusion with the actual texture scale/offset parameters

Important note: YafaRay only supports *one* scene in the .blend file. If you have more than one scene, it could cause unexpected results and problems in the new Material Preview Controls.

Yafaray-E v2.1.0 (2016-01-31) for Blender 2.76b:

- Added Normal Coordinates for textures, so you can use a gradient texture mapped to normal coordinates to simulate, for example, some cloth materials (see http://yafaray.org/node/188 )
- Fixed some crashes when changing Material/Texture settings
- Increased max limit for Sample Multiplier Factor from 2.0 to 4.0 so more steep exponential increase of samples can be done for every pass. Be aware that the number of samples will grow very fast in every pass if the factor is above 1.5.

- Advanced Controls for Material/Texture Preview
As requested in http://yafaray.org/node/699 I've made some changes to allow fine-grained control of the Material and Texture Preview window.

Some videos explaining the new feature:

* First tests (outdated): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AFWcHgufkBw
* Latest video with all features: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jBgzqZFQ3Y8

The new features are:

* Ability to change key light incident angle, so we can place the terminator area on the preview object.: new parameter added to rotate the lights in the Preview window around the preview object. That should allow to set the lights in different angles to look the material under different light conditions
* Ability to focus in the observer's terminator area: added parameters to displace the preview object up/down, left/right as well as to scale the preview object. This way, the terminator area can be better explored in detail
* Ability to change light power in the material previsualisation window: added a power factor parameter for the lights and another parameter to set the color of the lights themselves to experiment with different lighting conditions on the material
* Ability to change previsualisation object size: with the parameter to scale the object plus added parameters to scale/displace the texture as well in the preview
* Rendering an object from the scene as a previsualisation object: added a parameter to select an arbitrary object from the blend scene as preview object.
* Background selection: added a parameter to select the desired background: "checker" is the default, "none" is a white background and "world" would be the blend scene world definition. Selecting "world" would allow a more realistic and customized material preview, but it will probably be noisier and slower (depending on the samples selected in the World definition)

Yafaray-E v2.0.2 (2016-01-26) for Blender 2.76b:
- Fixed crash when Blend materials were used and their components were also blend, which had some component materials missing
- Max value for the dark noise factor parameter expanded to 1.0 to allow even darker areas to have better AA sampling
- Fix for Oren Nayar to avoid generating white/black dots when used together with bump mapping
- Fix for black dots using HDRI spherical and Coated Glossy

Yafaray-E v2.0.1 (2016-01-05) for Blender 2.76b:
- Fixed Instances not working in v2.0.0 (regression)

Yafaray-E v2.0.0 (2016-01-01) for Blender 2.76b:
- STRUCTURAL CHANGES to implement Render Passes. The Passes are especially intended for Direct Light and Photon Mapping integrators. Some passes may not work (or work incorrectly) in other integrators.
- STRUCTURAL CHANGES to implement Render Views (Stereo3D / MultiView)
- STRUCTURAL CHANGES to implement a (hopefully) improved more automatic and reliable Shadow Bias and Intersection Bias, based on triangle size and coordinates positions.
- New Noise Control parameters, including a new clamping function to reduce noise at the cost of reducing physical accuracy and realism.
- RAM optimization options for JPG,PNG,TGA and TIFF textures. Using "optimized" (by default now) will reduce RAM usage for those textures in approx. 70%. The "optimized" option is lossless (except in TIFF 16bit). There is a "compressed" option that is lossy but allows an extra reduction of approx. 20% in RAM usage.
- Support for exporting in MultiLayer EXR files, that can be opened in Blender as well.
- XML rendering now supports an option to save partially rendered images every "x" seconds, probably useful when creaiting external GUIs to the XML interface.
- Ability to select what "internal" YafaRay Render Pass has to be mapped to an "external" Render Pass. This provides a lot of power and flexibility when generating Render Passes.
- Object ID/Material ID passes, with option of automatic ID color pass.
- Object ID Masking and Material ID masking (objects only, objects+shadows, shadows only)
- Debug passes and UV debug pass available to be able to find mesh/mapping/texturing problems at the same time as rendering the scene.
- Samplerate pass, to apply post-processing filters to the noisier parts of the render.
- Added dispersive caustics to SPPM.
- Changes to dispersion in rough glass.
- Removal of entire Qt interface. As far as we know it was old, unmaintained and probably useless anyway.
- Fix (although horrible) for the Bidirectional integrator generating black renders with some types of lights.
- A few speed improvements, I don't expect a significant change but I hope they help a bit, especially in 64bit systems.
- Fixes to the material preview to be correctly refreshed after any changes to the material properties.

I hope you enjoy it!

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