Indigo Renderer will no longer be a Freeware

In Blender 3d we have several external renderers to choose today and almost all of them add great tools and possibilities to any artist producing architectural visualization, and with the need to create photo real images. A quick look at the Blender Gallery will show that today, we have most users using either YafaRay or Indigo Renderer to create images. The first one is an open source project well know by more experienced Blender users. The second one is an Unbiased render engine licensed as a Freeware software.

If you are used to render your images with Indigo Renderer because it's a Freeware, you may start to reconsider this option since in the past days an announcement at the Indigo official forums, let everyone knows that Indigo will no longer be Freeware software, and will be released as a commercial renderer when it hits 2.0. So, what this mean? We won't be able to use Indigo anymore?

To follow the discussion at the Indigo forums and see by yourself, visit this link.

For what is discussed at the Indigo forums, we will still be able to use the old versions of Indigo, but they won't be updated anymore, including the exporting scripts. The free version of Indigo 2.0 will be release with some limitations, like a watermark in all rendered images and a mid-size resolution.

What can we do to overcome this change? Can I still use Indigo to render my architectural visualization projects? Well, here are a few things you can do:

  • Keep the last version of Indigo renderer available as a Freeware, which is Indigo 1.1.8 and Blendigo. These versions will remain free.
  • If you still want to use an Unbiased render engine, you may want to take a look at LuxRender. It's unbiased and open source! In the near future, there is a project to even integrate the LuxRender core to Blender 3D.
  • Try to use YafaRay as the only external render engine for your projects.

As you can see, the actual Indigo Renderer software won't change. The commercial version of Indigo will only be available when the software hits 2.0. This move will bring a lot of challenges to the Indigo team, because they will compete will well stabilized commercial renderers like Maxwell Render and FryRender. They both have a great set of tools and a base community. Will the users of Indigo follow the move? It's early to say, but I wish all the best to Nicolas Chapman on this change.

I know a lot of people are upset with the change, but as a professional and Indigo user I believe that hard work should be rewarded. In the other hand, this move will send a lot of users to switch to LuxRender in order to keep their projects working.

As a suggestion, if you are an Indigo user with a lot of architectural visualization projects based on the renderer, check again if you have backups of the Indigo renderer and Blender 3D exporters. Remember that you may have to update the project, and without the right version of both renderer and exporter script, you will have to setup everything again.

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