Frequently Asked Questions - General

Indigo is a software rendering solution.

It is an unbiased raytracer that simulates the physics of light to achieve photorealism from your 3D scenes and models.

Indigo accurately simulates the physics of light which create many realistic effects that otherwise would have to be manually created. Because of this, it takes far less set-up time than traditional biased or 'global illumination' renderers. Simply creating a glass object and a light will produce beautiful caustics.

Effects such as:

* Depth of Field – the depth of field (DOF) is the portion of a scene that appears acceptably sharp in the image.
* Spectral effects – as when a beam of light goes through a prism and a rainbow of colours is produced
* Refraction – as when light enters a pool of water and the objects in the pool seem to be “bent”
* Reflections – from subtle reflections on a polished concrete floor, to the pure reflection of a silvered mirror
* Caustics – as in light that has been focused through a magnifying glass and has made a pattern of brightness on the floor

Physically-based ray tracers need to solve complex equations describing the flow of light within a given scene. These equations are typically solved via a Monte Carlo algorithm, which carefully constructs a randomised process, for which the average outcome is the image we seek.

An unbiased Monte Carlo algorithm is one for which the only source of error comes from statistical variance (which we see in the image as noise).

This means that if you were to render 100 images with an unbiased Monte Carlo algorithm and average them together, it would be a more accurate result. The same is not true for algorithms which are not unbiased, for example Photon Mapping: because the photons have a finite area of effect, illumination details smaller than this cannot be captured, meaning no matter how many images you average together from the same Photon Mapping process, it will not improve details unless you reduce the photon radius to zero (at which stage you have an inefficient path tracing algorithm). Similarly, by enforcing a low number of light "bounces", further rendering will never approach a correct result which takes all the possible light paths into account.

The practical benefit of using an unbiased algorithm is that there are no abstract computer graphics settings to adjust: the process always approaches the most accurate result possible.

Computer processing power becomes cheaper all the time, and because of this the unbiased rendering paradigm becomes more powerful over time too: it is preferable to simply let the computer produce the best possible result directly, than the user spending time trying to find a reasonable compromise.

Currently Revit, SketchUp, Blender, Cinema4D, Maya and 3ds Max are officially supported. Other packages can be used with Indigo by exporting your model as a .dwg or .obj file and importing it into Blender. Blender is a free rendering package.
You must have Indigo installed and an exporter for a 3d package installed to render with Indigo.

If see an exporter that is currently not supported and would like to create one contact Also, see Indigo Technical Reference for technical documentation on how to create your own.

Early (pre 2.0) versions of Indigo were available for free. Indigo became a commercial product in February 2009.

We still offer a free version of the current version of Indigo - but it has these limitations:

* Maximum resolution of 0.7 Megapixels – e.g. 1000 pixels by 700 pixels.
* Indigo logo in the bottom right of the image
* May not be used for commercial work.
* No support (beyond that given in our forums)

You can download the trial and get a feel for Indigo, then purchase a licence from our store and unlock Indigo instantly.

Yes we do have educational pricing. It is valid for students and tutors at high schools, colleges, technical institutes and universities. You can access our educational pricing at:

Glare Technologies Limited is a privately held New Zealand company that develops and supports Indigo Renderer. Glare Technologies Limited was founded in 2008.

Glare Technologies UK Limited is the UK company that currently handles orders and payments.

For more information see the contact us page.