One of the most popular complaints about Filter Forge has always been about the rendering speed. Since we cannot squeeze much speed out of our rendering architecture, as it is already optimized to the limit, we decided to go the other way.
Filter Forge 3.0 introduces Progressive Previews. The idea is to give you a rough, low-resolution preview of the rendered image as fast as possible, then gradually refine it in subsequent rendering passes until the image reaches the final level of quality.
Here's the video that shows progressive preview in action. If you have a good Internet connection, watch it in fullscreen mode in maximum resolution (720p) to see the difference better:
Progressive preview is optional, it can be configured in Tools > Options > Interface. If you prefer the old way, set the Multi-pass preview parameter to Legacy. However, we strongly recommend to give it a try – setting it to 3 passes will make it look more like the legacy preview, but it will be 4 times faster!
Note that the Progressive Preview doesn't work well with the Use cache preservation for previews setting (when both are turned on, the preview speed will be slower), so this setting is now turned off by default.
This is really a fantastic piece of software, I highly recommend everyone checking it out if you're into pattern/texture map creation.
“Oh my god, I've got to get into this!”
“For 3D modelers, Filter Forge is a dream come true. It creates seamless textures with a single mouse click. The professional version creates the following map types for any texture: bump, normal, specular strength, specular exponent, diffuse, metallic, and alpha. The same filter can be used to generate any resolution, since filters are procedural.”