Animal Logic and Glimpse
I've been reading about the development of this renderer for years now, since they first started talking about (or perhaps advertising) its development in the days of the first Lego film.
It's interesting because just as we start to see a trend developing in raytracing, say progressive rendering, or unidirectional path tracing, a renderer will pop up that completely kicks the trend. In the case of Glimpse, a renderer that makes no attempt at GPU integration or biased global illumination. Something that I was just starting to assume that every renderer was going to have at least some level of.
I imagine one of the luxuries of having a proprietary renderer is it doesn't have to be a flexible, jack of all trades tool, rather one that can be tuned for exactly what you need, as those needs arise.
It's definitely interesting to hear again about both render-time noise reduction and checkpoint rendering. I first came across render noise reduction on the 10th of June 2015, when I went to a Pixar Renderman presentation with Peter Moxom. In it he discussed how Disney's in-house renderer, Hyperion, was using the new technique to dramatically reduce the amount of time necessary to achieve convergence, but it involved the preservation of a great deal more scene data at render time. Of course, the relationship between Disney and Pixar being what it is, I understand the technology is now implemented in Renderman, as of version 20.
Checkpoint rendering is also definitely something that appeals to me. I see it is a logical step forward from progressive rendering. It happens all the time, I'll render a job progressively, need to put it done for a day or two, but then find myself wanting to just "continue on" from where I left off rendering, but at the moment you can't. Of course you can do this (provided you save any light maps, if applicable) with bucket rendering already, but it would be good to see this extend to progressive rendering. Maybe I'll drop something in the 'suggestions box' at Chaos Group...
In the end though I've got to say this just makes me appreciate VRay more, because of how much big studio power, technical prowess, and flexibility us plebs get, for such a reasonable price. Thanks again for making my life easier, Chaos Group!