Boxshot 5.3.1 beta

12 May 2021

This update is about rendering modes, options and speed. Read on for more details, it’s going to be interesting :)

Faster rendering mode

Boxshot 5 uses a proper physically–based lighting algorithm which provides great images at the cost of rendering time. However, sometimes a faster yet not–so–perfect result would fit better and that was the feedback we got from you.

OK, you’ve been heard. We’ve added a Realistic lighting option in the scene properties panel at the left that switches between the slower realistic lighting and the faster one like in Boxshot 4:

Realistic lighting option in Boxshot 5

The faster algorithm doesn’t take into account environment and deferred diffuse lighting, and computes shadows a different way. The rendering speed is about two times better, compared to the realistic lighting mode.

We still have some minor issues to fix in this mode, but if your scene design does not depend on light — give it a try.

Boxshot uses realistic lighting by default for new projects, but you can change that in settings, if you like.

Rendering options

This update adds more control over the rendering time by introducing two more rendering quality options: manual and time–based.

Manual rendering mode in Boxshot 5

In manual mode you provide the number of rendering passes to make. Each rendering pass adds up to the final image to make it better and less noisy. The “draft” rendering mode does 100 passes by default, while the “production” mode does 2000 passes. Now you can specify the number of passes you need for this particular scene.

Time-based rendering mode in Boxshot 5

In time–based mode you specify the time (in minutes) you want the scene to be rendered, so you get the most quality, based on the time you have.

Both options work for manual rendering and rendering jobs. For animations the options affect rendering time of each frame, not the whole animation, so if you set 5 minutes rendering time for the 10–frames animation, the total rendering time will be 50 minutes.

The option is available in the Professional and Ultimate editions of Boxshot.

GPU rendering

Another feature of this update is a very first GPU–based renderer in Boxshot. It is really experimental at the moment and only works on Mac computers, using Apple Metal technology. It doesn’t (yet) support transparency, bump, omni lights and simplified rendering mentioned above, but plastic, metal and paper materials work just fine, as well as floor effects, sunlight and shadows.

Our tests show minor speedup compared to the CPU–based rendering, but this should really depend on the GPU you have. The GPU renderer also performs better on higher–resolution renderings and in some cases provides less noise than the CPU renderer using the same rendering time.

Again, it is very experimental and your feedback is much appreciated. If you get a good rendering speedup, or if you have any issues — please let us know.

We’re going to add the missing bits in the next update or two and then make a similar renderer for Windows. Stay tuned :)

GPU rendering is only available in the Ultimate edition of Boxshot.

Other changes

Here are some other issues fixed and features added in this update:

  • CPU–based rendering preview is improved;
  • Switching between two omni lights is fixed;
  • Job Manager lets you re–submit the already rendered task for rendering;
  • Crop Texture user interface updated;
  • Floor reflection issues fixed in CPU–based renderer;
  • Transparency issues in CPU–based renderer fixed;
  • Simple Box shape can have hard edges;
  • Scripting engine updated;
  • Crash in OpenGL preview driver is fixed;
  • Stack and Step–and–Repeat tools are optimized for speed.