Blender 2.73: Cycles
Cycles improvements include: Improved Area light sampling, faster homogeneous volume rendering, camera inside a volume mesh support, cubic voxel interpolation setting, support for Geforce 9xx Maxwell cards and more ...
- Better area lamp sampling using an area preserving parameterization paper
This makes an area light sample a bit slower but it is usually more than compensated by the reduction in noise.
- A new "Max Bounces" option was added for lamps, which can be used to control how many light bounces the lamp will influence (fb820c063831)
- It is now possible to render with a camera that is inside of a volume mesh (fe731686fb31b6c)
- Support for cubic voxel interpolation
This is helpful, especially for low-res smoke simulations, to avoid artifacts. The setting is per shader, and can be found below the volume sampling method menu, inside the Properties Editor.
- Optimization for Mix RGB shaders (Mix blending mode), when the factor is 0.0 or 1.0
This reduces memory usage and improves performance a bit. (cbffc7499ef8)
- Optimize math node without links to a single value node (6a4a911fc39ffc)
- Faster rendering of homogeneous volumes, when using decoupled ray marching (157067acbde7)
- Geforce 9xx GPUs (Maxwell) are supported now (a613290775c8)
- Quick Smoke: Only generates Fire/Smoke nodes when actually used, slightly faster (69e41d473c982)
- Volume Step Size now has a soft UI range from 0.01 to 1.0, which is a common range to use (489df9830662)
- Support for specular color in solid shading mode, available in the material panel (9124ecb16b2)