I decided to give luxrender a try and get accustomed with its material setup. For those who have not yet came across this new renderer see here for more info.
I find it a highly promising project with after one year of healthy development showing quite an impressive functionality already.
As with all unbiased renderer out there, you pay a high price in terms of render times and turn around cycles. I just recently upgraded to a AMD Phenom quad core system, running about 20 times faster than my old one. This finally gave me the basis to dare to tackle luxrender.
Getting all the material settings right was quite a tedious experience. For the poppy flower i.e. I realize after 2 hours of rendering, that the material was not quite right, so I had to restart again. I think one will have to gather quite some experience until the material
setup get more straight forward and thus faster.
The image you see here is a theme I wanted to do for quite some time, but was not really satisfied with the blenders internal renderer and knew this would be an ideal candidate for an unbiased renderer.
The image is titled ‘The Other Side’. The blend file is available from my Showroom.
Its actually a composite ( done in blender of course ) of the two following separately rendered images.
Render time for each of the images was around 6 hours, with about 3000 samples/pixel.
You will never want to do an animation with luxrender, but for certain setups this is a very good tool to have.