After many months of effort from the team and community, Aqsis 1.6.0 is now available for download!
The official press release is attached, feel free to use this in any public announcements.
While on the surface this version might not look like a huge update, it has involved a mammoth effort from everyone involved, not just developers, without input from all areas, identifying problems, suggesting usability enhancements etc., the updates would never happen. The result is a much faster, (even) more stable, and more usable product.
General optimisation and performance has been the primary focus for this release, with improvements including:
- Avoiding sample recomputation at overlapping bucket boundaries.
- Refactored sampling and occlusion culling code.
- Enabled "focusfactor" and "motionfactor" approximation by default, for depth-of-field and motion blur effects repectively.
- Improved shadow map rendering speed.
- Faster splitting code for large point clouds.
In addition, key feature enhancements have been made with improvements including:
- Multi-layer support added to OpenEXR display driver.
- Side Effects "Houdini" plugin.
- New RIB parser, supporting inline comments and better error reporting.
- Matte "alpha" support, for directly rendering shadows on otherwise transparent surfaces.
- Refactored advanced framebuffer (Piqsl).
- Texturing improvements.
- Enabled "smooth" shading interpolation by default.
Further information regarding the changes in this release can be found within the release notes distributed with the software.