Kerkythea – Photorealistic free renders for your 3D models

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Kerkythea is a completely free, high-quality and fast 3D models render for Windows, Mac OS X and Linux platforms, developed by Ioannis Pantazopoulos from Greece. I found this free render engine in the process of studying SketchUp (by reading Architectural Design with SketchUp). In the end, it passed the software quality audit of AppNee, thus can be shared with more users around the world. Although it is a free software and not as popular as other renders, the functions of Kerkythea are not inferior in any respect. To some extent, it can be a preferred rendering tool for many small companies.

As a lightweight yet quality standalone rendering software, Kerkythea supports importing .3ds or .obj format of model files; has multiple official exporters from some popular 3D software, such as: Blender, 3ds Max, Maya, GMax, LightWave 3D, SketchUp, Silo and Wings3D; supports ray tracing and Metropolis light transport these two rendering modes; uses physically accurate materials and lights; provides necessary tools (such as GL real-time viewer, material editor, general/render settings, editors) to automate scene setup; supports for animation output, thermal radiation effect, multi-core operations and multiple computers cluster operations.

Some users may know Kerkythea from Alex Hogrefe’s tutorials about SketchUp, in which many SketchUp instances are rendered with Kerkythea. This case, you may have such a question “Compared with V-Ray, which is better?”. It ‘s hard to say, that depends. Because each of them has its own benefits that just fit users’ different using habits and meet their different needs. For example, if you pursue the photo-level rendering effects and are good at carrying out all kinds of adjustments, then the V-Ray with higher adjustability is of course better; But if you think the operation of V-Ray is too complicated, and it takes a long time to render, then Kerkythea is the preferred one among all free renders.

// Key Features //

Function Detail
Supported 3D file formats
  • 3DS format
  • OBJ format
  • XML (internal) format
  • SIA (Silo) format (partially supported)
Supported image formats
  • All supported by FreeImage library (JPEG, BMP, PNG, TGA and HDR included)
Supported materials
  • Matte
  • Perfect reflections/refractions
  • Blurry reflections/refractions
  • Translucency (SSS)
  • Dielectric material
  • Thin glass material
  • Phong shading material
  • Ward anisotropic material
  • Anisotropic Ashikhmin material
  • Lafortune material
  • Layered material (additive combination of the above with use of alpha maps)
Supported shapes
Supported lights
  • Omni light
  • Spot light
  • Projector light
  • Point diffuse
  • Area diffuse
  • Point light with spherical soft shadows
  • Ambient lighting
  • Sky lighting (Physical sky, SkySphere bitmap (normal or HDRI))
Supported textures
  • Constant colors
  • Bitmaps (normal and HDRI)
  • Procedurals (Perlin noise, marble, wood, windy, checker, wireframe, normal ramp, Fresnel ramp)
  • Any weighted or multiplicative combination of the above
Supported features
Supported camera types
Supported rendering techniques
Application environment
  • OpenGL real-time viewer (basic staging capabilities)
  • Integrated material editor
  • Easy rendering customization
  • Sun/sky customization
  • Script system
  • Command line mode

// Related Links //

// Download URLs //

License Version Download Size
Freeware Latest n/a


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