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  • Standalone renderer
  • plugin renderer
  • plugins available for maya, 3dsmax, xsi


3Delight is a fast, high quality, RenderMan® -compliant renderer designed to produce photorealistic images in demanding production environments. The renderer was started in 1998 and rapidly became a production-ready tool thanks to immediate testing and feedback of a sister production house. It is now widely used and earning a reputation as a benchmark in rendering technology. 

The first license is free, even for commercial use, which is a great way to test it out. As well as a fully featured renderer that supports all the latest point-based rendering technologies, 3delight also ships with a maya plugin 3delight for maya that has a wide variety of features:

  • Automatic translation of existing hypershade networks
  • Full SL source provided for every supported hypershade node, which is practically all of ‘em. Can be customized, or merely browsed. Great way to learn SL!
  • Support for rib archives (swapping of low geometry for high-res at rendertime)
  • Automatic translation of several mentalray nodes (mia_material, physical sky, mib_ambocclusion, others as requested by customers. Again full SL source provided, very clean code!)
  • A renderman code node that easily allows sections of SL to integrate with hypershade networks
  • A seperate render-pass system that extends the builtin maya render layers
  • Builtin support for shave and a haircut

An excellent video overview of 3delight has been created by Paolo Berto of Jupiter Jazz, and can be found here.

You can it use via houdini or massive directly, and there is now a XSI plugin available.

Interestingly among the features are MultiDepthMaps that means deep shadow maps (DSM), that can improve the dmap shadowing of fine details like hair or fur a lot.

Rising Sun Pictures in Australia now use 3delight as their primary renderer, giving it strong credibility for feature-film production compared to the prman standard. Moritz Moller, a prominent prman user for many years and developer of many open source tools now vocally supports 3delight whenever possible, and Paulo Berto, arguably the most knowledgeable mentalray-for-maya developer around is also now actively supporting and developing for 3delight.

End users have said support from the developers is excellent, and also praised the stability and reliability of the software, especially when a new version is released. The 3delight codebase is checked daily via a very thorough automated build and test procedure, using production scenes donated from various projects.


3delight for maya:

Version 6.0 (september 2011)

The current version now supports an easy way to work with global illumination and pointclouds. Previously, only raytraced indirect illumination could be setup without problems and without extra shader coding. Pointcloud rendering required a bunch of propriatary shaders to write irradiance into a cloud for later rendering. And they now offer besides the old 2 core free version, a limited version for only USD $400. With this version you can use a quad core cpu and almost all 3delight features excluding rib import, network caching and standalone rendering. This way you cannot render with the standalone with the small license only from within maya. But you can export rib files and render with another license.


Last Updated on Sunday, 04 September 2011 15:11