The main thing that I want to see improved is the Blender scanline process in which the renderer interprets photoreal lights, surfaces and shadows. We want photoreal features like Yafray but without the waiting. What steps are taking place now in this, area?
I belive when XML is crafted into blender. That will solve Trillons
of external render problems. Including Yafray
It's important to realize that the rendering engine can only do so much to improve the final result... How the scene is built, how the lights are rigged and how the textures look are far more important than what renderer is responsible for producing the output. This is very easy to test - just download the free and crippled version of Maya and SoftImage XSI, build a simple scene and render it. It will most likely look like something you might just as well have done in Blender.
In my very humble opinion, the shortcomings of the current renderer can be fixed - without a total change of technology:
A) AA filters:
Currently we've got a boxfilter. That is (almost) the worst possible algorithm. Hack in support for Lanczos, Hamming, Catmul-Rom and Gaussian. Let the user choose which one to run. And increase the upper limit for OSA to 32 or maybe 64.
B) Lamp toggles:
Enable the user to select, for all lamptypes, if the lamp in question should or should not emit specularity.
C) Depth of field:
The Z-buffer is already there whenever an image is rendered. Use that for a Z-based gaussian blur, hardcoded into the rendering pipeline. The Z-blur sequence plugin can already do this, but it would be very nifty to have something similar in the pipeline by default.
D) Selective raytracing:
Whenever you need real reflection or refraction, it should be possible to raytrace those. I'm sure it could be done. Personally I think that environmentmaps are far more flexible when it comes to reflections, but there are times when they get you in trouble.
E) Texture preprocessor:
Currently we can change the filterwidth for texture interpolation and mipmapping. This should be improved to support a wider range of filters, somewhat similar to the AA-filters mentioned above. It could also be useful to have access to other 2D-processors here, like gaussian blur for instance.
F) Output postprocessor:
When an image/frame is rendered, there should be some way to pass it through a final set of 2D-processors. This could include, but not be limited to, level adjustment, hue, brightness, contrast, colorize, unsharp mask, saturation and so on. In short - ordinary 2D-post filters. All of these things are already available in several open source libraries, so the only real effort would be to code the "hook" that would grab the buffer and send it through these filters.
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G) Deep shadowmaps:
Shadowmap calculations should take opacity and optionally also color of geometry into account when creating the final shadowmap.
Except for D above, these things should be "relatively easy" to implement in the current engine. Since I'm such a lame coder myself, I don't know how hard it would be to hack selective raytracing into Blender. But the other things should not be too hard to fix.
_________________eXo.Entity - the movie-in-progress-project
i totally agree with jamesk. Those are the things we need.. And maybe
shadows from all lamps would be nice
Jamesk - you've summed up my thoughts exactly. Especially about deep shadow maps. In my more ambitious days, I did some reading about them. There are full explications of dsm's available on the Internet for the bored coder to read.
JA-I've always been able to acheive more than satisfactory results from Blender's renderer. Is it prman? Of course not. Can it get better than most of the stuff you see in the WIP forum on elysiun? Absolutely. I think that 80% of Blender users just don't spend the time learning to push the renderer around. And maybe that's why I never really invested the time into tweaking things for Yafray - my work is quite happy where it is now.
But yeah, you make the improvements to the renderer, and I will be extra extra happy.
I agree with jamesk.. and would like to add just one thing: area shadows =) Haven't seen a realistic looking shadow map yet! I know they aren't needed all the time but neither are refractions or caustics... they just add so much whenever you actually need them.
keep it up everyone..
Have any good links other algo's for it? Shouldn't
be too hard for someone to add a menu with other
options. I'd be happy to help out with questions on how to
go about adding this and or provide as much info as you
can if you really want to see it get done.
Sample code, links, questions for adding it yourself etc.......