These days I’ve been playing around with Thea Render, from SolidIris. I own a license since 2012, but apart from small tests, I’ve been quite reluctant to work with it.
In Spanish there’s an expression “Poner palos en las ruedas”, which you could translate as “throw a spanner in the works”, or literally “put a stick in the spokes”. That’s exactly how I felt when I tested Thea Render back in those days.
But I wanted to give it one more try, so I rescued this old scene from my HD. It’s from a Lighting Challenge in which I took part in 2003!, in 3DPoder Forums (Spanish only, sorry). The scene is property of Palmiro Arias (Palmix), and Athena Statue is from DeEspona 3DModels Enclyclopaedia.
It was supposed to be a fast & easy test. But somehow I managed to complicate things with SSS marble, in-camera DOF and Volume Light. And I ended up with this.
My conclusions? Thea Render is a good and powerful renderer. It has several great features (GPU+CPU render, Biased & Unbiased engines, quite good Material Lab…).
It’s not as unusable as I first thought, but it certainly needs to be improved. It’s not serious that you can’t save all the Render Elements inside a single *.EXR. It DESPERATELY needs a “TheaDirt” map, or whatever they want to call it. And several other things I’d like to be added or improved (portal lights, some color correction in Material Lab, compatibility with Multiscatter & other plugins, exclude objects from the “Clay” option…….etc).
Thea Render is a good renderer today. But if the people from SolidIris pay attention to the customers suggestions on the forums, it may be a great renderer tomorrow.
Thanks to my friends Alejandro Suárez & Víctor Manuel Feliz at MotivaCG (developers of the 3dsmax plugin for Thea) for their support and patience with those endless Q&A sessions.
PD: I’m not going to show my 2003 render (it’s hidden somewhere on the 3DPoder thread), but I think I’ve learnt something since then 😎