YafRay is a powerful raytracer, under the LGPL license.
Below can you find the most relevant features which YafRay offers.
Here are some key features of "YafRay":
Full Global Ilumination
· Yafray makes it possible to iluminate scenes by means of a complete global ilumination system, using Montecarlo and Quasimontecarlo aproximations. To solve the ilumination problems that arise when inside interior spaces, we can rely on a photon mapping system, that together with irradiance cache and shadow refinement, produces high quality results.
· This ilumination system is based mainly on light coming from an emiting sky, taking into account the soft shadows calculations also involved.
· Ilumination is based on the information obtained from a HDR image type. It can be used with Skydome or complete GI ilumination.
· Light distorsion produced by reflexion against reflecting and transmiting materials as crytal or mirrors can be simulated with this technic.
· The effects of a natural focus can be reproduced using this feature. Once you fix a point in the scene, further objects will be out of focus.
· If a given surface is not a perfect reflector, distortion arises in the reflected light. This distortion will grow bigger as the reflecting object is taken further away. A wrinkled surface would cause this effect.
· Yafray features modular structure, with a micro kernel with which the rest of the render elements connect: scene loader, lights and shaders.
Integration in 3d suites via plug-in
· Thanks to its API (Application Programming Interface) and its modular structure, it is possible to develop rendering plug-ins, making it possible to use Yafray from any program or 3D suite. Nowadays, suites as Blender, Wing3D or Aztec take advantage of this feature.
· Yafray has been fully developed using C++. This accounts for great portability and there are today precompiled binaris for the most common platforms: GNU/Linux, Windows 9x/XP/2K, Mac OS X and Irix.
Stand-alone render engine
· Appart from the possibility of integration with other 3D modeling programs, Yafray is an independent program, which features its own scene description format. This way it can be used from the command line directly, by a script, etc. This technique is in fact used by some scripts for MAX, GMAX and Blender.
Distributed and multithread render
· It is possible to render in a paralel or distributed fashion with Yafray. One can take advantage of the simultaneous use of every present CPU with the multithread rendering, as well as of some of the Intel Pentium's IV hiperthreading feature. Besides, rendering can be multi-process, for it to be done on MOSIX clusters.
· Yafray was released under the LGPL license by Alejandro Conty EstÚvez and Alfredo de Greef in 2001. This license implies, among other things, that this program is distributed freely (both as in freedom and as in beer) with its souce code.