I was randomly browsing the forum when I stumbled upon this thread. Very interesting use case of raytracing.
Since I'm the founder and one of the core developers of appleseed, I thought I could chime in. Yes, appleseed is first and foremost a (shared) raytracing library. There are complete C++ and Python 2/3 APIs. The tools we ship (appleseed.cli, the command line batch renderer, and appleseed.studio, the graphical user interface for visualization and lookdev) use the same public C++ API as any other third party integration.
If you're interested in giving appleseed a try, please feel free to join our development mailing list and initiate a dialog there. We'll be happy to assist with the integration.
Thanks for your appreciation!
People here in the forum already pointed me appleseed as a reference.
I am just an occasional contributor on KiCad project and this experiences I am doing are in a separate branch. Still don't know if they will ever be merged or accepted one day. Hope so.
It means that, as far as I know KiCad project, there is an issue with KiCad currently that may block the addition of new libraries for the project: it is not based on plugins.
There is some plan to start remove some huge libraries already from the source code of the project (ex: boost) and some people start to thinking in some plugin types.
So the idea is not add much library overhead to the project. That why I am also a bit afraid because my experiments are already getting huge. So I hope that they come with some kind of plugins.
If KiCad would come with a good plugin system, someone could start a parallel project and use appleseed independent of the main kicad development.
Does appleseed supports different types of objects (spheres/cylinders, etc?) or just triangles?
Another possibility would be to generate / export to appleseed format and render in any other 3rd part application.
In any cases, I cannot do it alone or plan to engage alone in such type of new experiments. Maybe I can try to spread more this ideas and get more people in the project so something nice can be tried with appleseed!