Shaderlight 2017 ?

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Great to see that you have now provided a decent upgrade to include the ability to render sections. I was at the Sketchup Basecamp Europe recently and the absence of Shaderlight was met with rumours that development of Shaderlight had halted. Upgrades for the last couple of years have been just to keep pace with Sketchup rather than upgrades to Shaderlight itself.  I am a great fan of Shaderlight but was starting to waver, even though it would mean throwing away my investment in Shaderlight, as it seemed to be being left behind by the likes of Thea Render. I have trialled Thea but have found it difficult to use compared with Shaderlight. However as well as sections, it still has a few of features which you should consider incorporating into Shaderlight.

1. This should be simple - proper queuing of rendering frames rather than using the animation scenes workaround which is far from satisfactory
2. The ability to change the depth of field to have some areas out of focus. Even free Visualiser can do this.
3. The ability to render animations across a network by the use of Shaderlight render nodes which could be installed on many computers.
4. Beyond Thea, an option to render Shaderlight with Sketchup lines too. This is a good way of getting good looking renders without having to employ proper materials etc in the early stages. I presently use a Photoshop work around by producing and Shaderlight render and a white Sketchup model and combining them in Photoshop. The transparency of the lines can be adjusted this way. A direct option would save time and improve quality.

The ability to render cut plans and sections is essential in this world of BIM. It would be also good if you could work with Skalp in rendered mode as again this is useful in the BIM world. The preceive stagnation of Shadlerlight seems to have Sketchup users and developers (such as Skalp and Skatter) drifting over to be compatible with Thea when at its core Shaderlight is a better product.

Total Posts: 506

Hi Atkinsonroe, please let me add a few thoughts concerning my hopes for Shaderlight2017

I also love this tool and I prefer it´s simple user concept in order to not getting lost in countless settings which I do not understand mostly. This simplicity is an advantage and was the reason for me to decide for SL.
I am also glad that there is a development of SL at all, because it has been very quiet around SL recently. Anyway, I would have liked some improvements in the existing features as well.

It is unacceptable that it is still not possible to have soft shadows for point- and spotlights.
This lack excludes the use of these two types of artificial light due to the inevitably poor render result (on this point, SL is far behind other tools). So almost the area light option remains which thankfully works good at least.
Rather than editing the Light Portal feature, I would have liked the opportunity to convert any geometry into a area light or somehow light-giving material. So SL´s ability to illuminate interiors would have been strengthened significantly. Also on this point, the projection of other tools - even much cheaper ones - is immense meanwhile.
Why isn´t it possible to complete the IBL-rotation feature with the possibility of a numerical input in order to be more precise in rotating HDRs? Although I’m not a developer, this can not be that difficult.
You´ve mentioned a simplification for postpro related to lines rendering which is a good suggestion. In this context, it would be the right time to offer the “fit to SkUp’s Viewport” render output option as well.
The Physical sky light option is good because it has soft shadows. But not good is that we get this horribly exaggerated color bleeding effect, which leads to unusable render results. I do not understand why there is no “avoid (or reduce) colorbleeding” option already.

So, since we are talking about Shaderlight 2017 here, let us hope that this little “update” SL 2016 was only the beginning of further developments…

and by the way, since SL 2016 was published in 2015, 2017 will be soon!!!  ;-))

Regards, Egie



Total Posts: 17

As keen UK Windows user and supporter of Shaderlight for 5 years. Like Egie think its simplicity of use a major feature giving good results. Clarification needs making on compatibility issues and IF future development.

$100 appears a lot for what is a simple upgrade, if it is simply a must do to work with SU2016. Improvements minor in scheme of things.

A quick look at Company Check implies as per rumours circulating that development limited and support now over in India? Not a clue if accurate and not necessarily a problem if development active???  but having tried to contact office at one point with a sales question was told by reception “no physical presence” just a mail address and assets of £13,000 and debts of over £8 Million and rising questions about commitment to future development? Not being rude but people question why I still use it.

I cannot afford to be left high and dry and to be frank being pushed towards likes of VRay that is clearly adding features. I do own this already.

Agree with both previous posts. Inactivity says much twitter 8 tweets since 1st September. I follow but dont see much. Certainly dont follow back despite many shaderlight renders in work.

Personally think falling behind likes of Modo VRay for texture manipulation and extra settings for glass, car paint, liquids, metallics, plastics, laminates way over due.

UK trees also need a few additions that must be relatively easy to add.

Will stick with it and hope some development on the soft lighting which again is spot on in above posts. Kate has always been helpful and lot of respect for her but even this site VERY quiet of late.

Suppose with best intentions I am saying want to keep using daily BUT having to look at other options to be up to speed into the future. I cant be the only one. Know Martin left but his tutorials made all the difference to getting me onboard.

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NO RESPONSE TO LAST POST a while back so do wonder…... Been a very loyal user for quite a while since son got involved in last year at Uni 2009/10 and know some very nice people have worked hard at ArtVPS so not a dig at anyone. However development appears to be stagnant. I use both Vray and Shaderlight and a lot to thank Martin Cox for re advice 6 years ago (Know he’s moved on).

People see the renders and always complimentary and especially for night renders. Shaderlght my go to…. BUT although some clearly talented individuals post really helpful stuff on here. The whole process in my opinion appears to be lacking any development making it less and less likely I will stick with it.

Kate Marshall has always answered queries with professionalism and helped with prompt response and personally recommended Shaderlight to friends on that support front alone. However I have reached a crossroads in do I stick with it as ANY development ahead???? Adding a skylight portal etc hardly keeping pace. .....Materials, GPU rendering getting left behind….or is it just surviving as is in realms of a old tech (sad if that’s the case) told outsourced to India and Camb office told a mail centre when I tried to call to ask for advice??? Cant see any development since heard that comment. Hoped someone got it wrong.

Twitter activity is minimal, 5 posts since 22nd December….  Don’t like asking this as not intended to be negative. Has Shaderlight ANY plans for development in 2016/2017 or do I take no response or even deleting this post as time to look elsewhere. Not out of choice. I am certain other regular users in the same position as myself re planning software choices especially in light of moves to the “subscription” accounts of Adobe and Autodesk. Genuinely wish all involve well but the silence is worrying on a day to day level. I cant stick with something whose functionality suddenly vanishes so need some answers before contemplating abandoning use professionally. Thanks for 6 years of making my own work far easier. Feel fair to post and ask the difficult questions. However will not be upgrading again by looks of things as no developments appear to be in pipeline.

Total Posts: 115

Hi Moonacre

I’m sorry that your last post went unanswered.

We very much appreciate the time invested by you and all our other fantastic Shaderlight users.  It is what drives us to continue the development of our software and make it great!  I’m sorry that you’ve been left unsure about where you stand as a customer - I hope I can alleviate some of your concerns.

Yes, since 2014 there have been a number of changes at Shaderlight HQ which did affect the pace of development for a short time, however I can assure you that is behind us.  There was an idea that development would be done in India but that just didn’t work out and is no longer an option we are looking to pursue. We cannot comment directly on our accounts, which are convoluted by external matters, we can say that Shaderlight has never been more popular and the company is very healthy. We are a small team, still based in Cambridge and following the launch of Shaderlight 2016 in November last year, we are forging ahead with development for the next release, and the one after that, and that….I could go on. 

We have taken note of some of customer requests and while we can’t achieve them all immediately, we will be issuing a free update in a couple of months.

We will provide further information of the new release as soon as we are in a position to confirm its contents.

Thanks for your patience.

Total Posts: 17

Evening Kate and thanks for the prompt reply. GREAT NEWS as a big supporter and user. Nothing comes close to the interface and with development planned very reassuring. IF you can get the features sorted mentioned by lots on forum you will delight a lot of users. Whatever you do please don’t go down the route of Dongle licensing like VRAY ...its dire when you hit a problem.

As someone who uses Shaderlight everyday the biggest strengths are the lighting, I confess I tweak it to very low outputs but works for me.

Material libraries are becoming very competitive and needs a big upgrade for seamless textures, a selection of metallic, water, glass pre sets with good bump on items like stonework would be great. However personally find the grass options / settings tough going. The shaderlight items in the warehouse are very good and worth adding to. Cant count the number of times I have used the studio setup so thank you. Hope the posts taken in the way I intended out of concern for a VERY VERY good bit of software I would hate to lose. Agree with lots of remarks about features from other forum members.

BUT thanks for the reply and look forward to hearing more. Twitter is a valuable underused tool in spreading the shaderlight world I reach nearly 2million on average per week which is crazy for an ex maths teacher who got into 3d when son was doing his masters degree. So thanks again Regards Nick.

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As eluded to in opening post of thread. You do need to address the negative rumours in some way as the loyal base know its strengths and weaknesses. Good luck and happy developing.

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Yes; Shaderlight WAS my Go-To Render Engine these past 2-years. Not receptive to pay $100 for SL Upgrades that are forced by SKP’s Annual version changes. 80% of my workload is focused on 3D modeling. The remainder goes to Photo-Real Rendering. Wondering if I should let Renderings go to Niche Rendering Specialists who are pretty much useless without a 3D Model to begin with. Clients are perfectly unhappy with my approach to suspend PhotoReal-Rendering Services and having to go somewhere else for Renderings. Might have lost a few customers who have gone over to Full Service Shops, at a much higher costs than mine but guess there’s value for them dealing with a One-Stop-Shop. 

Very cumbersome for me to save 2016 SKP’s in 2015 just so I can engage my SL License. Glad to see SL is evaluating new Upgrade plans in the Near Future. Willing to wait a bit longer and STAY with ShaderLight but need predictability to base my Workflow on a Surefooted Business Strategy.

Shall remain attentive to further developments. I’ve invested a lot of resources exploring the Rendering Engines available in the market and have elected SL as the Best Option out there. Get chills up my spine just thinking about Learning Curves learning and/or experimenting with the myriad of newcomers in this Arena.

Kindest Regards