Render Engine

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A render engine is an object that can save a representation of a K-3D document to a file, or a series of files that represent the document over a range of time (an animation). Most often a render engine converts the 3D scene to a 2D bitmap image using the properties of a physical camera (position, orientation, viewing frustum, etc). Examples include RenderManEngine and YafrayEngine, but this is not set in stone - the GraphVizEngine is a render engine that saves graphs of the nodes and edges in a document's Visualization Pipeline to help understand their (otherwise completely non-visual) relationships.

Lights and Materials

Unlike the majority of 3D software, K-3D makes a clean distinction between the editing system and the back-end render system used to create output images. Users are able to pick-and-choose render engines for the job-at-hand, and developers can integrate K-3D with a wide variety of rendering technologies. This affects the user interface in that K-3D does not have one-size-fits-all Material or Light nodes, because the features of different render engines vary widely.


See RenderEngines Plugins, Materials Plugins, and Lights Plugins for a list of related K-3D plugins.

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