Radiance 3.8 release announcement

Hi All,

It's been a bit delayed this year, but I finally put together an official 3.8 release, with Peter Apian-Bennewitz's help. There isn't a lot of new functionality over 3.7, but there are some important bug fixes, and I expect this release to be especially stable as it's been under test for many months. A complete list of changes can be found at:


The more significant additions and changes are excerpted at the end of this message.

We have compiled binaries for Linux (Linux Debian Intel, Sarge) and Mac OS X (10.4 Tiger, Universal PPC/Intel). Sources and binaries are available from:

  http://www.radiance-online.org/software (Freiburg, Germany)

  http://radsite.lbl.gov/radiance/framed.html (Berkeley, California)

If I get some requests for FreeBSD binaries (please specify version), I'll see what I can do. It should compile without too much trouble under FreeBSD, which is substantially similar to Mac OS X. Remember if you do download the binaries to also pick up the whole distribution and run "./makeall library" in the ray directory to install them.

If you have time and haven't gotten to it yet, please help us out by answering Peter's online survey:


As always, let me know if you run into any problems compiling or applying the new release.



Changes since 3.7.2 patch release

Created fieldcomb script to combine alternate fields in a rendering
sequence. (Development generously sponsored by Iebele Abel.)

Added missing preload of mesh objects for more efficient memory use
during parallel rendering -- this was a serious oversight.

Created ran2tiff program to automate exposure setting of animation
sequences using a moving histogram in combination with pcond, and
converting frames to TIFF.

Added -pj option to vwrays to allow jittering of sample locations.

Rearranged struct's for better efficiency on 64-bit architectures.

Added -i option to rlam so it works with binary input formats.

Improved color scale for falsecolor output.

Added threshold test for Fresnel approximation to prevent its use
on smooth surfaces with unrealistically low specularities (less than 1.8%).
Water has a specular reflectance of 2.1% at room temperture.

Removed NICE macro settings in rpict and rtrace, which was slowing down
the processes under Mac OS X (10.4) by about 60% due to processor napping.

Fixed problem in genblinds, where it was generating slats that were too
wide with the +/-r option. (Thanks to Helena Buelow-Huebe for discovering
this bug.)

Added -V option to rtcontrib to report actual contributions, rather than
just ray coefficients.

Fixed problem with large sample sets, so -u+ option now is truly random.
Thanks to Rick Mistrick and Younju Yoon for identifying this problem,
which was related to a poorly designed hash function.

Changed -u+ to be the default setting in rtrace (only).

Created optics2rad.csh script to convert from Optics 5 material output
to something correct for Radiance. Built on old glazing.cal function,
which is actually incorrect so removed from the distribution.

Fixed nuisance bug in ximage under some SGI machines that caused it to
choose an inappropriate visual and display incorrect colors. (Thanks
to Oskar Itzinger for debugging the problem.)

Fixed bug related to alias of alias.

Changed default sky turbidity in gensky from the original default of
2.75 to the CIE 110-1994 standard value of 2.45. Thanks to Marilyne
Anderson of MIT for pointing out this discrepancy.

Added -o option to ra_xyze to produce original pixel values.

Fixed bug in tracing of virtual sources, where intervening glazing was
not being accounted for properly.

Added -h option to pcompos and pcomb to eliminate verbose headers.