Better glass rendering

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  • Glass is rendering quite poorly inside Enscape currently.


    Here's an example what I mean. The first image is rendered with Thea and shows proper refraction of light passing through glass.



    Here's a render with Enscape. The rays refract as if the object was not solid but made out of thin glass instead. The problem is obviously rays refracting twice, once passing through front face material and than again when passing through back face. There are also no shadows nor reflections on the floor.



    Here's the same render but with transparency turned off. You can clearly see reflections and shadows on the floor.




    Here's the scene if you want to play with it: glass test 3.zip

    Note: the scene crashes if you try to render it to 4k.

    • Official Post

    Hey jure , the caustics of the glass in Thea you'd like to see in Enscape are rather difficult to render, even for offline renderers. Since Enscape is a real-time renderer, achieving the glass output possible with an offline rendering application like Thea is very hard to achieve, especially at 30-60 frames per second.


    We constantly do our best to achieve the best rendering output possible, advancing more and more towards the quality of offline renderers, but some materials like glass are, as mentioned, not easy to render in real time.


    In any case, glass shadows (caustics) have already been requested before, so this subject is filed as a feature request on our agenda. Through your voice I've added a further upvote to the topic. :) Thank you for the feedback.

  • Hey jure , the caustics of the glass in Thea you'd like to see in Enscape are rather difficult to render, even for offline renderers. Since Enscape is a real-time renderer, achieving the glass output possible with an offline rendering application like Thea is very hard to achieve, especially at 30-60 frames per second.

    I'm more concerned with proper refraction and shadows than caustics. Caustics are really the last thing on my mind when doing arch viz.


    Caustics and shadows are a different thing though. Caustics appear when light gets refracted or reflected and focused into a small area, and that area therefore appears brighter.


    Glass (or transparent material for that matter) should still cast shadows since opacity (or transparency) of transparent material can be anywhere from 1-99%. Hence the shadow can be stronger or weaker. This has nothing to do with caustics though.

  • The only way to (currently) cast transparency shadows is by using a PNG's alpha mask.


    The "problem" is that transparency is (currently) calculated as a one way surface that changes what you see when looking through it: it does not actually change or block any light passing through it.

    To do that 'live' could be done several ways, but most of the ways involve not just adding render times but multiplying them... It's one of the first wishlist things I asked for and I am 100% behind not just casting shadows but tinting the light.

  • Thank you for your input. We will re- evaluate colored shadows. At least for the sun, but I guess it would only be useful once it applies to all kinds of light sources.


    Technically, this is easy. The major problem is the huge memory requirement plus performance decrease. We will check.