3Delight/Blender 0.5

February 7th, 2011 . 72 comments

I’ve released a first version of the external render engine exporter I’ve been working on, connecting Blender to 3Delight. It’s still not as complete as I’d like it to be, but I might be quite busy soon, so might as well get the code out there. It’s been several months now slowly massaging it into place, including some practical projects done with it in the meantime. Over the next few days I hope to continue putting up some videos explaining how it currently works. There’s still plenty more things that I’d like to implement and improve, but will probably just take a bit of time.

If you’e going to be testing or using this, I’d recommend familiarising yourself with renderman and the reyes pipeline, to understand more about what’s going on. I’d like to hear feedback and bugs, though I may not have a lot of time to work on them or provide support.

More info and download on its page here: http://mke3.net/3delightblender/

§ 72 Responses to 3Delight/Blender 0.5"

  • Mats H says:


    I can’t explain how excited I am about this.

    However, here is a bug report. On Linux (64 bit) there is no such thing as a license server (to my knowledge) and I get this message when I try to render (ink black output in 1 sec):


    Traceback (most recent call last):

    File “/home/riorio/Blender/blender25-r34546/2.56/scripts/addons/render_3delight/render.py”, line 1669, in render


    File “/home/riorio/Blender/blender25-r34546/2.56/scripts/addons/render_3delight/render.py”, line 1592, in _export

    make_shadowmaps(self._paths, self._passinfo, scene, info_callback)

    File “/home/riorio/Blender/blender25-r34546/2.56/scripts/addons/render_3delight/render.py”, line 1342, in make_shadowmaps

    export_camera_shadowmap(file, scene, ob)

    File “/home/riorio/Blender/blender25-r34546/2.56/scripts/addons/render_3delight/render.py”, line 1216, in export_camera_shadowmap

    loc = m.to_translation()

    AttributeError: ‘mathutils.Matrix’ object has no attribute ‘to_translation’




    I found a license-related problem on Linux 64 bit described on the software forums:


    Maybe it’s just me, or maybe the file “rendermn.ini” must be included for this to work on Linux?

    Keep it up! I’d love to this pre-installed in Blender.

    /Mats (aka riorio)

  • Matt says:

    hi, the to_translation() error probably means you don’t have an up to date blender build. There have been some changes in the python API very recently, so you’ll need to update blender.

  • Matt says:

    As for licensing i’m not sure. On OSX here at least, when you install the package it comes with a licserver binary, which you have to run along with the license file you get from the 3delight website.

  • LoafMag says:

    I think I love you man! haha, will check this out as soon as I get home from work, iiiiaaaahhh!!!

  • Adrian says:


    i want to try your 3delight exporter but i don’t see it in my blender user preferences. i’ve moved the complete folder in the blender addon folder, like you said. why there is no addon in the preferences?

    i’m using osx.

    thx for help

  • Matt says:

    Adrian, I’m not sure – if you open up the Console application in Applications/Utilities, do you see any error messages coming from Blender? What version of Blender are you using? It will only work with a current SVN build (I should probably mention this elsewhere).

  • kilikoro says:

    Today is good day, I can not help but smile since I read the title.

    Time for tests and fun.

    thank you a lot a lot Matt.

    PS : Perhaps you may need to specify the verse of blender which gonna compatible with the exporter

  • Mats H says:

    Matt, I guess it’s not your problem but here I go anyway:

    I just grabbed the latest version for Linux 64 on GraphicAll (r34619) with exactly the same result. 🙁



    they clearly state “The downloaded software comes with one full license for free with no restriction for commercial use and is not time limited. […] Note: This free license no longer requires the issuance of a license key.”

    So there should be no need to “licserver” at all.

    *sigh* I’ll have to wait.

  • Gianmichele says:

    This is great! SO you’re shooting for something more in line with Renderman for Maya rather than a full blown tool. It’s cool!

    I’ll give it a shot on my short film 😛

  • James says:


    This will open up great new tool for Blender users. Thanks for posting your work.

  • Vitos1k says:

    hello, Matt!

    Glad you’ve released your renderman connector, i was excited to try it out, but it doesn’t work for me =(

    I have blender 2.49b Mosaic script and it renders just well with 3delight, so i’ve got proper installed 3delight with license.

    When i try to render with your addon i get this error in my console:


    i thought that default path was wrong, so i manualy added shader path:


    but it still don’t work, and can’t find shaders =(

  • Patrick says:

    I’m getting the same error as Mats H, and I am on Windows 64-bit, tried a 32-bit build as well but same happened there.

  • Mitch says:

    This looks very promising. Thanks, Matt!

  • chimericidol says:

    Great stuff Matt, I will definately take a look on this since I am very interested in Renderman. Thanks a lot!!!

  • Matt says:

    Mats H: Oh, that’s interesting, I’m using 9.0.1 here, so maybe the newer version for osx doesn’t need it either. I’ll give it a try this morning.

    Zanqdo: I saw another report of something similar, can check it out in a few hours. jsut checking – can you run “shaderinfo” successfully from the console?

  • claas kuhnen says:

    Hi Matt,

    this is amazing – well you know that on your own anyway.

    Thank you for focusing on designers as users and making it

    as painless as possible !!!


  • Marcus says:

    Hi Matt!

    I have the same problem. Addon moved but doesnt appear as a selectable addon in the list. Anyway .. great news 😉 And thanks for all your efforts.

    Does 3delight have to be installed? I would liek to try it with Air from Sitexgraphics.


  • delic says:

    Same as Patrick and Matt H here.

    looks like server status should see the hostname at least, no license needed anymore, but cant get it run when edit the rendermn.ini …



  • Petr says:

    Hi everyone,

    First of all: Thanks Matt!

    Then little help for Mac OSX users to make the beast run:

    – grab and install 3Delight from its homepage, google will help you find it.

    – grab recent build from graphicall dot org as Matt wrote earlier, it will enable the addon in blender preferences

    – run blender from/with terminal (right click on Blender.app -> Show Package Contents, then double click “blender” inside Contents/MacOS)

    That made it for me.

    And please note, that recent free version of 3Delight doesn’t need running/installing any license. It was removed it to make things easier and it runs straight away without any watermarks.

    Have fun and make something cool!


  • Matt says:

    H Marcus, I forgot to mention you need a recent svn build of blender due to recent python API changes., you can get one from graphicall.org.

    As for air, i don’t think it will be possible to use it with the exporter in it’s current state- it would take work to edit this exporter to make it fully generalised. I only have experience with 3delight so I don’t know how much work that would be, what features would be supported/translated or whether it would have any ill effects on the user experience. Anyway it’s open source and if anyone would like to work on this I can provide advice and would be quite interested to see a patch! 🙂

  • vildanovak says:

    Matt, this is amazing news. thanks 1000X. Really blender rendering needs a solid solution, and this is one which is partially free.

  • I Have the same problem – not showing upin User Preferences.

    Console error shows:

    07/02/2011 23:55:42 [0x0-0x37b37b].org.blenderfoundation.blender[22274] IOError: [Errno 2] No such file or directory: ‘/Applications/blender-2.56a-beta-OSX-10.5-x86_64/blender.app/Contents/MacOS/2.56/scripts/addons/render_3delight/untitled.blend’

    Kind Regards


  • claas kuhnen says:

    Hi Matt

    I installed 3delight – did not start the license server – as I was told it was removed.

    It also does not show in the bin folder anyway. Not sure if I am all correct here.

    The licutil cannot connect to the local host ?

    Anyway when I add a material the preview seems not to refresh

    and I also get this error in the console when I hit render:

    –error paste removed to save space– (matt)

    Any Idea what might go wrong?

    I got

  • claas kuhnen says:

    to make it clear I can see and select the exporter and see the UI

    just rendering seems not to work.

    I am a little confused here right now about the license server and how to make sure 3Delight is fully running.

  • max p says:

    Hi man!

    thankyou very much!

    I installed 3deligth and your addon, so, I choose 3delight in blender but when I push f12 the render window appear but nothing will be rendered, seems he render doesnt start correctly, beacause the alpha channel is toally transparent.

    Have I to set something in somewhere panel?

    thankyou for your time.


  • claas kuhnen says:


    do you mean it takes 3 to 4 secs render time and the result is plain black?

    same here

    man I am so excited to get this working.


  • Victor says:

    Hi Matt, thanks for this release, it’s a great solution for rendering on Blender… I’m having the same problem that max p, I can select the addon, but when I press f12, nothing its rendered… in fact, I can’t even see the material preview…

    We’re waiting for your answer

    Thnks for your time

  • Vitos1k says:

    the same problem here

    i use latest 64bit builds with win7 64bit

  • Matt says:

    Hi, I’m investigating this now, here on osx, it seems that if you run blender from the terminal it works fine, but if you run it from the icon, it doesn’t. perhaps it’s an issue with environment variables.

    Can anyone who’s been having the black render problem please try running blender from the terminal and see how that goes? thanks!

  • DaveLeitz says:

    Ubuntu 10.10 64 bit, Blender 2.56 (34678), 3delight-9.0.83

    I’ve been using Aqsis (not much, really) with Blender 2.49 and just recently downloaded 3delight. I only run it in userspace from my home directory. In order to use 3delight with Blender 2.56:

    Download and extract the plugin. Move it to the Blender scripts/addons directory.

    Open a terminal. Change to the 3delight directory. Type:

    source .3delight_bash

    Then change to your Blender directory. Type:


    The option to use 3delight should now show up under the render options in the User Preferences. Once activated, click on “Blender Render” at the top of the Blender interface, and you should find 3delight along with any other render options you have enabled. Set up a basic test scene and render it like you normally would.

  • Ben says:

    Great stuff here but I am wondering if there’s a linking problem between the addon and the 3Delight software. I’m getting no rendering so far.

  • John Carter says:

    Launching Blender from the command line on OSX did the trick for me. That and turning the light intensity way up.

  • claas kuhnen says:

    yep starting Blender from the Terminal makes it work.


  • LoafMag says:

    Hey Matt, great job! I’m tinkering a bit with the python code, I figured I wanted to use Deep shadow maps by default (for things like motionblurred shadows, rendering transparency, colored shadows, volumes etc etc), and made some changes, but can’t quite get it to work, I’m a bit retarded coding-wise 🙂

    Changes to render.py:

    Line 478 (changed from tdl to dsm format):

    shadowmapname = os.path.join(paths[‘shadowmap_dir’], “%s.dsm” % ob.name)

    Line 1321 to 1340 (changed all references to shadow_tdl to shadow_dsm, changed to rgbaz format instead of z, and changed motion from empty_motion to export_motion(passinfo, scene):

    shadow_dsm = os.path.join(paths[‘shadowmap_dir’], “%s.dsm” % ob.name)

    for f in (shadow_rib, shadow_dsm):





    file = open(shadow_rib, “w”)


    file.write(‘Display “%s” “shadowmap” “rgbaz” n’ % shadow_dsm)


    export_searchpaths(file, paths)


    file.write(‘FrameBegin %dnn’ % scene.frame_current)

    motion = export_motion(passinfo, scene)

    Not sure what else I’m missing here.

    Next step in my experiments will be to enabled motion blurred raytraced shadows, it would definately work if you changed the hider to the raytrace hider, but show work with the default hider aswell, at least there’s an attribute for it in 3delight for softimage and 3delight for maya.

  • Sam says:

    Great job!

  • LoafMag says:

    Good news is, I’ve added an option for ray traced motion blur for shadows/reflection/refraction now 🙂 Will probably post a diff with all my changes eventually. I’ve added another override under Render Visibilty, under the Trace Displacements. called it Trace Motionblur, and enables the Attribute “trace” “samplemotion”

    I feel less retarded with the coding now, will keeping changing stuff and post some diffs later on 🙂

  • LoafMag says:

    Thanks again for releasing this exporter Matt!

  • Burrows says:

    Hi, this looks very interesting indeed! Thanks Matt! I’m using windows 7 64bit, i’ve tried running blender from the command prompt, is this the windows equivalent of the osx console? Anyways, the results were the same – black render.

    Hope this helps. 🙂

  • LoafMag says:

    Again, thanks alot matt 🙂 I’m having alot of fun modifying your engine connection 🙂 So far I’ve added an option for ray tracing motion blur, under Render Visibility on a per object basis (put it under the Trace Displace option), (it changes Attribute “trace” “samplemotion”). Have changed the default shadow map generation to deep shadow maps (perhaps adding it as on option would be better?).

    There’s one other thing also, the Cloth modifier was missing under deforming_modifiers in render.py line:261. I changed it to the following:

    def is_deforming(ob):

    deforming_modifiers = [‘ARMATURE’, ‘CAST’, ‘CURVE’, ‘DISPLACE’, ‘HOOK’, ‘LATTICE’, ‘MESH_DEFORM’,


    And now motion blur also works with Cloth simulations 🙂

    Btw, I noticed that you left a TODO on the strand rendering stuff, most notably motion blur, been trying to get it to work myself but, my coding skills aren’t quite there yet, would it be a complicated task you think? If you’re planning on adding this I won’t bother trying (since I’m doomed to fail anyways, haha).

  • LoafMag says:

    Got motion blurred shadows working with deep shadow maps now too, had to modify the export_camera_shadowmap quite extensively, but it works now! I’m still wondering if this should also be made as an option, quite messy hack.

    So now I’ve got motion blurred shadows working with both raytracing and deep shadow maps 🙂

  • LoafMag says:

    Added pixel samples, pixel filter and shading rate to the Shadow map settings panel now too. Works like a charm. It’s still fetching motion segments from the main rendering settings though, didn’t wanna add too much crap under the light panel.

  • claas kuhnen says:


    is actually any sort of GI supported?

    Under World you can select Raytrace and Photonmapping but nothing renders.

    Are special emitters missing?

    What about AO and color bleeding?


  • Matt says:

    LoafMag: Cool! As you may have guessed some of that code relating to shadow maps etc could be reorganised/generalised/etc – just a side effect of it being developed ‘as needed’ organically. Great that it sounds like you’re interested in helping though, maybe email is better if you want to chat more about it 🙂

    claas: Yeah, it looks like the simple GI light shaders need to be recompiled for the most current 3delight version (I was using 9.0.1). I’ll update them in the package when I fix these other problems.

    So much more difficult not just coding stuff for yourself, eh! 🙂

  • Matt Heimlich says:

    Windows 7 64-bit here, rendering produces a black screen, and I get lots of console errors, but mostly:

    location:: -1


    IndexError: bpy_prop_collection[index]: index 0 out of range, size 0

    I feel like I’m not setting up paths correctly or something, perhaps a short how-to?

  • Matt says:

    Matt Heimlich: Hmm, that’s a little strange. Could you possibly paste the error log into pasteall.org and link here? thanks

  • Matt says:

    geee: You’ll need a recent svn revision of blender – you can get one from graphicall.org

  • mond says:

    @MattEbb: Thanks for your interest 🙂 I was able to run 3delight/blender nicely without terminal (just double click on blender.app).

    Maybe it’s not right time now just for some feedback – I got some problem with brushedmetal shader (looks like normal orientation, I used default monkey and Ctrl+N doesn’t help).

    Anyway is there any forum or documentation how does it whole work with shaders – how to setup some physically based render? I looked at the 3delight manual, but there is too much code lines for my taste. Thanks for help.

  • Matt Heimlich says:

    Of course. Here it is:


    Hope it helps!

  • Matt says:

    mond: Hi, at the moment (early days!) the area of shading in this exporter still can use some work to make it useful ‘out of the box’ for non-coders. Right now, it’s really best if you are coding your own shaders.

    The shaders that come with 3Delight are interesting, but many of them are not that useful for general purpose usage, and they’re not documented well. The best documentation for some of them is looking at their source, but not all of them have source included (eg. that default brushedmetal shader). Just playing with it myself, it looks like it relies on the default geometry UV information for orientation. However there’s a difference in terminology here – what’s known as UV coordinates in Blender get exported as ‘ST’ coordinates in renderman. In renderman, st coordinates are used for shading, while uvs are more inherent in the geometry itself – NURBS (not supported yet) and the renderman parametric primitives have well oriented uvs by default, you can see that if you switch the primitive geometry to a sphere or torus primitive in object properties. Probably the best solution here is to just rewrite the shader so it uses st rather than uv information (or a toggle).

    Anyway, down the track I’d like to have a small set of decent general-purpose shaders to include with the exporter. But while I’ve already been doing some experiments with more physically based shaders, it’s important to remember that renderman as a whole was not really designed for physically based rendering – it was conceived in an era of pretty much local illumination only. It’s possible to coerce renderman renderers to be more physically plausible with custom shaders, but it’s probably not going to be as easy as using a render that’s designed for it (like a pathtracer).


  • claas says:

    Hi Matt

    thanks for your input about the GI concept. From reading the feature lines I assumed that GI is simply a render option like with all other render engines. Years ago the pre-GI time when 3Delight came out we worked with it and the shader and texture output was just a breeze.

    I just thought that inside the GI area they caught up as well eliminating the need for complex

    fake GI light rigs or other GI faking approaches.

    Anyway still thanks for the work you do on this.

    I am sure that this will also enable Blender more to gain a reputation.

  • Matt says:

    hi claas- what I wrote above is not to say that GI isn’t possible, there are already 2 simple GI methods in world settings for this exporter for example, and I’ll be adding a point-based (approximate) colour bleeding method soon enough. At least here, it is just a matter of enabling an option in the UI.

    However, what I mean is that if your primary concern is realistic physically based rendering (eg. for rendering product shots or architectural interiors) then probably you’re better off using a renderer that was designed more for that sort of thing- vray, lux, octane etc. The main reasons that people choose renderman renderers are more about programmable shading, customisability, fast motion blur/dof/displacement, stability and performance with huge amounts of geometry, etc. Its aimed more at vfx/animation production.

  • claas says:

    Hi Matt,

    as I never have used GI with 3Delight I have no clue about how difficult it might be to set up.

    I was always blown away by the displacement details and of course the speed of DoF.

    Based from what you write then I assume that the best performance of this is achieved when you can also utilize shaders which make full use of the GI API in 3Delight.

    This of course is not ideal for a non-coder like me.

    From you stand point this is what I am interested in:

    Unbiased realism is not really needed.

    I was / am interested in 3Delight for fast product animation with DoF and motion blur

    utilizing a fake GI such as AO with color bleeding or a more complete GI.

    I own VRay as well as Octane or Thea and each have their really well suiting applications for the work we do here in ID. I just wanted to see how far 3Delight can be utilized by a straight designer without coding or shading programming skill.

  • Matt says:

    Right, well at this point in time this exporter may or may not be useful, it depends on what sort of shaders you can find since you’ll be restricted to what you can find or code ;). In the future I aim to include a few decent general purpose shaders for use in here, but not yet!


  • Scott Fredeman says:


    I am running Blender 2.56a on a mac and when I copy the render_3delight folder to my addons folder and run Blender it does not show up in User Preferences Add ons.

    I tried running Belnder from Terminal and it still does not show up.

    Anybody else having this problem on the mac version?



  • Victor says:

    Still Black… bow I can see the material preview (so, the exporter is working…) but I can’t make the render…

  • claas kuhnen says:

    Hi Scott

    which 2.56 build do you use? Who compiled it and what revision number does it have?

    Try TKROO’s builds.



  • Scott Fredeman says:

    Thank you for your reply.

    I have 2.56a r34076

    I will try TKROOs build today and let you now what happens.



  • Scott Fredeman says:

    I just noticed that TKROOSs Build is an old Blender 2.53

    Does he have a new 2.56a that 3Delight works on?



  • Scott Fredeman says:

    When I downloade the 2.53 TKROO Build it was 2.56.

    Ok I will test this later today



  • claas kuhnen says:

    there is some typo issues I think

    because while the page says 2.53 the revision number is correct for the 2.56 builds ???

  • Scott Fredeman says:

    TKROOs Build made it show up but i was not able to click the check box to enable it.

    Then I tried it in the Brand new Ocean Sim Blender Build and it worked and installed.

    Here is where you can get the Ocean Sim build


    I just briefly tried rendering a cube and it is just a blank screen and nothing renders with 2 spot lights with brightness way up. Any tips on making it render would be appreciated.



  • claas says:

    What does the console say Scott?

    Looks like the issues we had without starting Blender through the Terminal.


  • Scott Fredeman says:

    I also tried Launching Blender from Terminal and nothing happens in Console when the Blank screen renders in 3Delight.


  • claas kuhnen says:

    This is odd – no error message at all.

    maybe this means it cannot make use of the exporter and start 3Delight ?

    No other Blender build fors for you?

    What OS X are you running?

  • mond says:

    @Matt: a bit late, but let it clear -thank you for your explanation

  • Brian says:

    Not getting any result on Windows 7 64 bit. It installs as an add on. I set the paths. But I get a black screen and the following messages in console:

    AttributeError: 'mathutils.Matrix' object has no attribute 'to_translation'



  • Rob Cozzens says:

    Looks very promising.

    I’m on Mac OS X running blender r34879M

    I can’t even enable the addon. When I click the checkbox, I get this error:

    File “/Applications/Blender2.56svn/blender.app/Contents/MacOS/2.56/scripts/addons/render_3delight/ui.py”, line 68, in


    AttributeError: pyrna_struct_meta_idprop_setattro() unable to get srna from class ‘atmosphereShaders’

    any help would be greatly appreciated.

  • Matt says:

    Rob Cozzens: I think that may be due to recent changes in the Python API in blender. Some significant changes were made while I was away and now I need to find time to fix the addon. Hopefully soon! Until then you can try a slightly older svn build, but still later than around r34664

  • Rob Cozzens says:

    Thanks Matt.

    I think you’re right. Unfortunately the builds I can get from Graphicall (I’m on OS X) are either too early or too late.

    I guess I’ll have to wait for 3Delight/Blender 0.5.2

  • # says:

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