Current stable version: 0.1.1

Render Output Window

Table of Contents:

YafaRay settings UI introduction and Render buttons.

Once everything is installed, a special entry is added in the Blender Render menu, called YafaRay Export 0.0.3, which automatically executes the YafaRay User Interface (UI) inside a Blender 3DWindows. Split your 3DWindows and click on YafaRay Export 0.0.3

Note: Here you can learn how to split the Blender 3DWindows:

The YafaRay User Interface (UI) will be shown, which is divided into:

  1. Three function buttons which are Render, Render Anim and Render View.
  2. Three main sections of settings which are Object/Light/Camera, Material, World and Settings.

  • R E N D E R: Launches the scene rendering in a separate Render Output Window on which the render progress can be seen. Use the Render Output Window settings to save your image. Once the render is finished or stopped, the Render Output Window must be closed before coming back to Blender. Don't forget to save your render.
  • Render anim: renders the frames set in Blender, using the Blender active camera. Frames are saved in Blender output dir. Use the first textbox ("Directory/name") in the F10 "Output" panel to determine where to output the animation frames. It also uses the '#' character in the Blender input field to enumerate frames. If this box is empty, the Render directory in the Blender Preferences is used.
  • Render view: renders the Blender active 3DWindows.
  • Objects: The script takes the current Blender selected and active object and gives it custom YafaRay properties, depending on the object selected (camera, light or object). Lights and camera settings in the YafaRay UI script replace almost all Blender settings.
  • Material: The script takes Blender defined materials and applies them custom YafaRay material properties.
  • World: background settings and volumetric integrators.
  • Settings: This section is used to choose a lighting method and to configure render general parameters and render anti-aliasing.
You can scroll the settings UI up and down by holding down the mouse scroll wheel while moving the mouse on the interface.

Render Output Window

The render output is handled in a separated window from Blender. This window appears when the rendering process is launched from the settings UI. It includes options and parameters to save renders. The render window will block Blender as long as it's open. You must close the it in order to continue working with Blender. Remember to save your render in your hard disk before closing.

Blender Render Settings Supported

Render resolution is pre-configured in Blender, as well as the number of frames and frame output. These are the Blender render settings that will be taken into account when rendering with YafaRay (in green):

  • Ouput panel: Button to set output directory for frames
  • Render panel: Buttons to set a relative render size and Border button (Shift+B), for previews.
  • Anim panel: start frame, end frame
  • Format panel: Buttons to set image size

Render Output Window Settings.

The Render Output Window is an external application to Blender in which YafaRay renders are viewed and saved. Settings in this external application are:

  • Render!: Renders the current scene again. Use this button to render a scene loaded in YafaRay XML format.
  • Cancel: Cancels the render in progress.
  • Use Alpha: When enabled, images are saved with RGB and alpha data instead of background, if the file format supports it (PNG).
  • Close: Closes the Render Output Window and returns to Blender. When the the window is closed, the rendered image is gone unless it is saved.

Render output Window menus.

  • File, Open: Loads a YafaRay scene in XML format. Scenes can be saved in the YafaRay XML format by using the Output to XML button in the 'Settings' section (UI).
  • File, Quit: Quits the Render Output Window and returns to Blender.
  • Image, Save As: Saves the current render as an image file, using the supported formats, which are BMP, PNG and EXR.
  • Image, Zoom In:  to zoom in details in a render. You can use + on your keyboard as well.
  • Image, Zoom Out: zooms out for a full view. You can use - on your keyboard as well.

Tone mapping.

Renders can be saved (save as) using a high dynamic range format (EXR). The aim of this feature is to perform tone mapping operations on the High Dynamic Range (HDR) of the image. Some ideas about this option:

  • YafaRay always works internally using high dynamic range, which means that it produces a range of colors and luminance more according with the human eye. The colors you see on display are only a limited part of the colors YafaRay has calculated for a given render. This is true for most raytracers.
  • This extra range cannot be stored using 8-bits file formats (bmp, jpg, png).
  • EXR is a high dynamic range imaging image file format, released as an open standard by Industrial Light and Magic (ILM) and released under a free software license. It is notable for supporting 16-bits-per-channel. EXR allows for a dynamic range of over thirty stops of exposure.
  • Many common post processing operations like gamma correction, saturation or brightness & contrast are gamma-destructive, because results in such operations can be only approximated or the destination value does not exist because it is out of range. This is particularly true when editing 8-bits formats such as JPG.
  • Tone mapping is a technique to approximate the appearance of high dynamic range images with a more limited dynamic range. With tone mapping, you can choose a mood for your renders from the full range of colors YafaRay is able to calculate.
  • The Exposure control in the old YafRay 009 was in fact a tone mapping control.
  • It is a good idea saving always a EXR version of your render, along with the 8-bits version.
  • By using HDR, you can perform these operations without destroying image data. Apart from exposure, tone mapping filters allow for other interesting operations, such as saturation control, brightness & contrast controls, chromatic and light adaptation, etc.

At the moment we don't have implemented any tonemapping filter in YafaRay, although it is a planned feature. in the meantime, we would like to recommend QTpfsgui for tonemapping operations on your HDR renders:

The correct workflow in qtpfsgui is tone mapping on the linear (therefore darker) HDR image, which means that the Pre Tone mapping gamma adjustment should be = 1 / YafaRay Output Gamma. This will produce more consistent colors and a better contrast. This is a table for tonemapping Pre gamma values:

YafaRay Output Gamma qtpfsgui HDRI display qtpfsgui Pre TM Gamma
1.8 Linear 0.5555
2.2 Linear 0.4545

This a comparison between a YafaRay original render (left), and its tone mapped versions (right), using Reinhard 2005. Scene by Kronos: