This is a blatant copy and paste!!!
Original message via Google News.
Remember that the first full license of the renderer is free!
Some of the most important features and improvements:
* New Image Based Lighting Algorithm. A more flexible and powerful approach to image based lighting is introduced.
* Point Based Occlusion and Color Bleeding.
* Brick Maps (3D Textures) for efficient and anti-aliased 3D data lookup.
* Display subsets. A unique feature that enables rendering of many layers, each with its own alpha channel and output variables, in one render pass.
* Multi-threading efficiency has been improved for scenes with high depth complexity.
* Point cloud files are not read in memory all at once any more: proper caching enables memory-efficient access to point cloud data.
* Subsurface scattering has been optimized and the pre-processing step is now run in multi-threaded mode.
* Deep Shadow Map creation is now multi-threaded.
* occlusion() and indirectdiffuse() have been accelerated through the use of adaptive sampling.
Texture Converter (tdlmake)
* A new -preview option makes textures appear as TIFFs of lower resolution to software such as Maya; this enables you to use a single texture for both Maya previews and final renders. Additionally, tdlmake now supports the TARGA file format.
* ptc2brick is a tool to convert point cloud files to brick maps.
* ptcview is a tool to view point cloud files.
* ptcmerge is a tool to merge point cloud files.
* A new API to access point cloud files is available.
* A more advanced C++ API for DSO plug-ins is available.
3Delight For Maya
* The plug-in is better integrated into Maya. It now registers itself as a standard Maya renderer and is thus accessible through the Render Settings. Batch rendering and command line rendering (through the standard Maya Render command) is now possible.
* Improved HyperShade Translation:
o 3Delight For Maya tracks HyperShade network modifications and only translates and compiles shaders which have changed.
o The following hypershade nodes are now supported: ocean, remapValue, lightInfo, layeredTexture and volumeLight.
o The Image Sequence options of the File texture node are now upported.
o HyperShade networks for light sources are correctly translated into their RenderMan SL equivalent.
o The RenderMan Code shader can now declare output variables and those can be output using secondary displays (advanced).
* Support for RIB archives creation and reading using a user friendly, yet flexible, interface.
* Out-of-the-box support for Shave & a Haircut and much improved Maya Fur support.
* Object Instancers are fully supported.
* Shadow Maps can be rendered using arbitrary cameras. This allows for better shadow map view framing and thus better quality.
* More output variables added to secondary displays.
* Maya 2008 support.
The 3Delight Team