Our Blender Add-on supports Windows, MacOS, and Linux.
This Getting Started Guide is for the Looking Glass Blender Add-on. Our Blender Add-on features:
- Support for both Eevee and Cycles rendering
- Non-destructive camera creation
- Quilt presets and support for custom quilt settings
- Support for regular and multi-view rendering systems
- Live-display of the camera view in the Looking Glass
The current version of the add-on requires Blender 2.93 or newer.
- Open Blender, and go to Edit → Preferences → Add-ons → Install...
- Select the .zip and click "Install Add-on from file" on the top right
- Enable the add-on by checking the box next to the add-on name on the left
- Install Python dependencies by pressing "Install Dependencies" -- this should appear once the first time you enable the add-on
- Click "Save User Settings" to keep the add-on enabled
- Restart Blender
- The main UI can be found in the Sidebar → Looking Glass Tab.
Instead of adding 45 cameras to your scene as a collection, we now create those cameras behind the scenes. Clutter free!
In addition you can now control the field of view directly with a single camera, simply grab the eye-dropper from the Looking Glass Tab and select your camera! Our add-on will automatically create a camera rig on top of your camera that you can modify to your heart's content!
You can still render single views out of your camera too!
The F12 and Ctrl+F12 hotkeys will still call the normal render functions.
The Looking Glass Camera Rig is only utilized when the Render Quilt or Render Animation Quilt buttons are used!
If you have a Looking Glass plugged into your computer, you can toggle Live View by clicking the window icon at the top right of the Looking Glass panel. This feature is currently experimental and it will take a significant amount of time for the view to update -- we're working on optimization. In the meantime, you may get better results by changing the update mode of the Live View from Automatic to Manual.
- You can render quilts directly by using the Render Quilt or Render Animation Quilt options in the Looking Glass Toolbar. You can choose to save just the resulting quilt image, or the images that make up the quilt. Quilt images will save to the same directory that your normal renders from Blender save to.
Rendering content for the Looking Glass can be demanding depending on which renderer or how heavy your 3D scenes are. For Blender's Cycles render engine, we recommend using a lower amount of samples with denoising turned on. Denoised images are almost identical in quality to high sample count renders and render out much faster than normal since you can lower the sample size to something like 32 samples for super quick renders!
In the Add-ons panel you can switch the Single Camera Mode option to Multi Camera Mode which can result in much faster renderings.
The rendering of still holograms and holographic animations can be a time-consuming task. Therefore, this add-on provides a command line mechanism that was created for renderfarms which want to support the quilt rendering by Alice/LG on their systems. Since it has not been tested on a renderfarm environment yet, this feature is considered experimental. If you are working at a renderfarm and need help to implement this mechanism on your system, please open an issue on the add-on's GitHub repository.
Basic Command Line Calls
As a first prerequisite, Alice/LG needs to be installed and activated on the renderfarm's Blender installation. To initiate a quilt rendering from the command line, there are two main calls which are understood by Alice/LG:
-alicelg-render: Start the rendering of a single quilt.
-alicelg-render-anim: Start the rendering of a quilt animation.
Both arguments require that Blender is started in background mode (i.e., using the '-b' command line argument) and with a .blend file specified, which contains all the necessary render settings. Furthermore, both arguments must be preceded by a
An example, which opens the file 'my_lg_hologram.blend' and starts rendering a single quilt looks like that:
blender -b my_lg_hologram.blend -- -alicelg-render
The add-on also understands some additional parameters to fine-tune the rendering process. These parameters are very similar to Blender's internal command line rendering parameters:
<path>: Sets the render path and file name. Automatically disables the "Add Metadata" option.
<frame>: Sets start to frame
<frame>, supports +/- for relative frames
<frame>: Sets end to frame
<frame>, supports +/- for relative frames
<frame>: Sets number of frames to step forward after each rendered frame
--render-frame: Specifies a single frame to render
It is important that these arguments are specified after the mandatory
--to notify Blender that the arguments are meant for the add-on.
An example call which would start Blender in background mode, load the 'my_lg_hologram.blend' file, and render a quilt animation from frame 10 to 24 with the base filename
quilt_animwould look like this:
blender -b my_lg_hologram.blend -- -alicelg-render-anim -o /tmp/quilt_anim.png -s 10 -e 24
Another example, which would only render the frame 16 as a single quilt, would like this:
blender -b my_lg_hologram.blend -- -alicelg-render -o /tmp/quilt.png -f 16