Ephtracy as been dropping some spectacular images on Twitter, hinting at an update in the works. A lot of images have been shared showing a new cloudy material and better light handling in glass materials.
The new "Cloud" material allows light to scatter realistically through a volume and has fuzzy edges. The combination creates wonderful clouds with sunlight or emissive voxels shining through and illuminating thinner areas while shadows develop on the thicker parts.
Ephtracy also demonstrated the different looks clouds can take as the render settings are adjusted.
If you look carefully, there's also a "Plastic" material in the video. Plastic has long been an option for "Metal" materials to reflect light more like a plastic surface than a metal one. Maybe it's getting it's own set of sliders with special properties? There's no official word yet.
Glass is also getting a major, long-awaited update. Light will now pass through glass materials, casting rays and colored by the glass's "Attenuation" slider. Now stained glass windows can cast colorful patterns on the floor.
The only examples of this lighting showed so far use sunlight, not cast light from "Emission" material voxels. Hopefully both will work, adding another layer of realism to rooms with lots of glass and lights.
There isn't any official word on how soon this update is coming, or if these features will definitely be included. Ephtracy is working on making these new materials less "expensive", meaning not as much of a burden on GPUs. Extra time and electricity means more heat and stress on the GPU. Expensive or cheap, I just want to start using these!
How about you? Do you have any old renders you'd like to go back and redo with these new and updated materials?