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LuxRender is an open source software rendering system for physically correct image synthesis. Based on state of the art algorithms, LuxRender simulates the flow of light according to physical equations, thus producing realistic images of photographic quality.

LuxRender features only a 3D renderer; it relies on other programs (3D modeling programs) to create the scenes to render, including the models, materials, lights and cameras. This content can then be exported from the application it was created in for rendering using LuxRender. Fully functional exporters are available for Blender, DAZ Studio and Autodesk 3ds Max; partially functional ones for Cinema 4D, Maya, SketchUp and XSI.

LuxRender uses the open GPGPU computing standard OpenCL to allow a variety of "compute devices" (such as graphics cards) in your system to accelerate the render process.

 LuxRender 1.5RC1

Free to download



Jean-Philippe Grimaldi, Jean-Francois Romang, David Bucciarelli, Ricardo Lipas Augusto, Asbjorn Heid and others


System Requirements

Wiki, Forums, Plugins

Selected Reviews:

Features include:

  • Fully spectral, physically-based core
  • Multiple rendering algorithms, including Kelemen-style metropolis light transport, photon mapping, and direct lighting
  • Biased and unbiased rendering: Users can choose between physical accuracy (unbiased) and speed (biased)
  • Physically-based materials, including realistic simulations of metal, glass and car paint as well as traditional matte and glossy materials
  • Hierarchical procedural and image based texture system: Procedural and image based textures can be mixed in various ways, making it possible to create complex materials
  • Displacement mapping and subdivision: Based on procedural or image textures, object surfaces can be transformed
  • Spectral lighting system, including Gaussian and blackbody color definitions as well as RGB
  • SPPM Surface Integrator
  • Light Groups allow for instantaneous preview and calibration of scene lighting
  • Object-based participating media, for absorption, atmospheric effects, and unbiased multiple scattering (SSS)
  • Camera simulations including multi-step motion blur, depth of field, film response, bloom, and glare
  • Built-in job queue and cooperative network rendering
  • Light groups: By using light groups, one can output various light situations from a single rendering, or make adjustments to the balance between light sources in real time
  • Tone mapping
  • Image denoising
  • Fleximage (virtual film): Allows you to pause and continue renders. The current state of the render can be written to a file, so that any system can continue the render at a later moment
  • GPU acceleration for path tracing when sampling one light at a time
  • Film response curves to emulate traditional cameras color response (some curve are for black&white films too)
  • Volumetric rendering
  • Support for multiple 3D packages, including Blender, Autodesk 3DS Max, Poser, DAZ Studio, and Autodesk Softimage

LuxRender in action

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Last Updated Friday, July 03 2015 @ 08:03 AM EDT

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