New Radiance release for Unix (at last!)

  LBNL Radiance 3.4 for Unix (including Linux and Mac OS X)

Release Date:
  January 28, 2002

Official Website:
  Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

Principal Author:
  Greg Ward

At long last, I have put together the Radiance release that LBNL hired me to do last summer... The final impetus was my new employer's request to write a business plan, which I will avoid until I have absolutely nothing else left to do! Also, it seems that the beta version has been out there long enough for people to report problems, and none were reported, so I'm dropping the big one.

It's been 4 years (count 'em) since the last official release I had anything to do with, and a lot has happened during that time. Since I left for SGI in '97, I continued to work on Radiance, in particular the new holodeck program for interactive rendering, but due to liability arguments between SGI and LBNL, I was never able to release that work. A few years and a few CEO's later, I don't think SGI cares anymore, and I don't work there, so that seems a non-issue. Since then, I was at Shutterfly, where I had nary a minute to answer e-mails, let alone do any writing, testing, or debugging of Radiance. Now that I'm at Exponent and using Radiance in my daily work, my interest is somewhat renewed, though I continue to focus on other developments. All excuses aside, it really has been too long, and there are some nice goodies in this package for those of you who haven't given up completely. The release notes at the end of this e-mail spells them out.

The version number skipped from 3.1 to 3.4 for reasons I don't completely understand, but it's designed to avoid confusion with releases developed at LBNL and SGI since my departure. Most of you are probably using Desktop Radiance or some patched version of 3.1, which corresponds most closely to the release of "Rendering with Radiance." Version 3.4 doesn't have many important differences in its basic operation from 3.1, but does contain some new programs and features, as I mentioned.

To get to the new release, go to the LBNL Radiance website (above) and click on "Download". There, you'll be directed to the file "Radiance3R4.tar.gz", which you will need to unpack on your system.

I have compiled the programs already for Mac OS X, and included a link to those binaries on the website as well. You will probably want to install XFree86 also, and the following link contains a nice how-to manual. (Look in the right column for "XFree86 Install Guide):

I plan to get a set of Linux binaries together, but I need access to a Linux machine to do that. Anyone who wants to do this for me is welcome... I don't know if these need to be linked statically in order to work across different versions. (Help!)

I expect the C compilers on every system to be extremely upset by the source code, which is old-style K&R C and doesn't even have function prototypes. Let me know if you encounter any serious problems or fatal errors, but don't let the warnings scare you.



Version 3.4

Fixed bug in rpiece that caused it to incorrectly compute -vs and -vl
(view shift and lift) offsets. (Included in 3.1.1.)

Fixed bug in xform handling mist's with > 5 real arguments.
(Included in 3.1.1.)

Fixed bug in mist handling routines that caused some incorrect calculations
for distant sources. (Included in 3.1.1.)

Added ability for lam utility to read from commands.

Created vwrays command to compute ray origins and directions for specified
views or pictures.

Changed rtrace behavior to send bogus record when ray direction is zero.
(Before, it only flushed values with no corresponding record.) This
change was needed to facilitate its use with the new vwrays program.

Modified ies2rad so that it no longer produces glow sources for the sides
of objects, which caused unnatural dark bands near the ceilings of
direct/indirect installations. (Included in 3.1.4.)

Fixed bug in rpiece that caused the -pa option to fail. (Included in 3.1.2.)

Made ximage emphasize pixels in the selected region for the 'a' and 'h'
commands to adjust the exposure using histogram compression.
(Included in 3.1.4.)

Fixed bug in trad which caused it to fail when there were tabs in the input.
(Included in 3.1.3.)

Fixed bug in pcond that caused it to white-out borders of some fisheye views.
(Included in 3.1.3.)

Added facility to ra_tiff to read and write new LogLuv high dynamic-range
image formats.

Changed ambient value averaging in rendering programs (-aw option) to use
geometric mean rather than arithmetic mean, which tended to arrive at
too-high estimates and cause runaway calculations. (Included in 3.1.4.)

Added -g, -p, -m and -d options for gamma, paper size, margins and dpi
to the ra_ps program. This allows for much better control over output
to PostScript printers.

Fixed compiles for AIX -- select() incompatibility and macro conflicts.
(Included in 3.1.6.)

Increased table sizes to allow up to 4 million primitives when -DBIGMEM
is defined, provided there's enough virtual memory to hold them!

Fixed error in viewloc() for computing view locations for cylindrical views.

Wrote rholo, rhcopy, rhpict, and rhoptimize programs for holodeck
creation, display, and manipulation. This is a much more powerful way
to view a model than rview, though it lacks many of the utility commands.

Added the ability to separate concatanated animation frames using ra_rgbe.
This output facility of rpict was previously useless because nothing could
get anything past the first frame.

Wrote compamb program to compute a good ambient value for a rad input file.
Using this script is preferable to setting the -aw option of rpict, which
seems to result in splotchy artifacts in many situations.

Changed rad so it doesn't use the -aw option, which was causing some rather
annoying artifacts. (Added as patch to 3.1.8.)

Modified ranimate to change directories before running transfer or archive

Added -pm option to rpict to perform jittered motion blurring.

Created phisto script and added -I option to pcond for computing
multiple, identical exposures.

Fixed time zone specifications in gensky. (Added as patch to 3.1.9.)

Fixed bug in mixture functions that caused erroneous modifier loops.
(Added as patch to 3.1.10.)

Wrote glrad program for interactive display of Radiance scenes using OpenGL.
Modified objview program to use rad and glrad for rendering.

Changed the way ray weights are computed for participating media (including
dielectrics) so they more accurately reflect a ray's contribution, avoiding
some artifacts with unsealed dielectric objects and the ambient calculation.

Fixed problem with dielectric materials with textures where rays that should
have penetrated or reflected do the opposite.

Created ra_hexbit program to generate bitmap files for use with hexbit4x1.fnt.

****************** COMPATIBILITY CHANGE ***********************
Altered mixtures to take the most recent modifier definition
rather than the last one in the entire description. Made the
same change for illum's and mirror's. Also, fixed a bug in
the antimatter type where it didn't always get the correct
material for shading.

Wrote normtiff program to quickly tone-map and convert Radiance pictures
and SGILOG-encoded TIFF's to flat RGB TIFF output.

Added -r option to protate for CCW rotations.

Added ability to load values from read-only ambient file in rpict,
rtrace and rview. This may be useful when starting with the same
values on many processors, where NFS lock contention would slow
things down if they also wrote values back to the file.

Wrote rhinfo program for printing out holodeck section information.

Modified rad "scene" variable to allow in-line command specifications.

Added added -s and -b options to ra_ppm for changing output scale and
forcing greyscale output.

Now allow negative distances for the fore clipping plane in rpict.
This may be useful for rendering holographic stereograms.

Added -f option to xform to read arguments from files. This can save
a lot of scene loading time by reducing multiple xform invocations.

Added support for 15-bit TrueColor visuals in ximage.

Added (undocumented) -P option to macbethcal for picking chart corners
directly using ximage.

Added -r option to rholo for opening holodeck files read-only.

Added CAPDATE field to rendering headers to record render date.

  LBNL Radiance 3.4 for Unix (including Linux and Mac OS X)

Release Date:
  January 28, 2002


You write that you need "access" to linux machines - what about ssh-access?
Or do you need the machine in your office to create binaries? I have Linux
installations on Sun Sparc, DEC Alpha and intel here.

BTW, I am trying to get the new radiance compiled on alpha with compaq c and
gnu c, I will tell you if I have success (the 3r1 was ok in this).

CU, Lars.