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Radiance is a suite of programs for the analysis and visualization of lighting in design. Input files specify the scene geometry, materials, luminaires, time, date and sky conditions (for daylight calculations). Calculated values include spectral radiance (ie. luminance + color), irradiance (illuminance + color) and glare indices. Simulation results may be displayed as color images, numerical values and contour plots.

Current Version:   3.0

License Type:   Copyrighted Freeware, Copyright 1996, Regents of the University of California

Home Site:

Source Code Availability:   Yes

Available Binary Packages:

  • Debian Package:   No
  • RedHat RPM Package:   No
  • Other Packages:   No

Targeted Platforms:

Most UNIX. The distribution has source code and a build script has an option for Linux.

Software/Hardware Requirements:

16MB RAM per 10,000 modeled surfaces, at least 30 Mbytes of free disk space, C compiler, X11 libraries and at least 8-bit color graphics.

Other Links:

Mailing Lists/USENET News Groups:

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User Comments:

  • Although, as mentioned earlier, Radiance can be a difficult system to use, I believe that it is a very powerful tool which will reward those that persist in coming to grips with it. If you, like me, find the illumination models used by the majority of rendering applications unsatisfactory then I strongly suggest giving Radiance a close look, especially for architectural modeling since its radiosity/ray-tracing hybrid approach is capable of producing very convincing images. .... (Greg Elisara of Auckland, New Zealand)

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