Well here is one out of nowhere. StudioGPU have released their flagship product MachStudio Pro 2 for free. Real free too so far as I can tell, not free with an asterisk free. For those of you that have never heard of MachStudio, it is in very rough terms a near to realtime renderer that makes use of your GPU. In their own words:
StudioGPU’s MachStudio Pro reinvents the 3D visualization production pipeline by putting the power of real-time graphics processing at your fingertips.
Render times that typically take hours or days are reduced to minutes and even seconds, limiting artists only to the scope of their creativity.
MachStudio Pro lets you truly Work at the Speed of Thought!
A Blender exporter is coming soon, but for now it does support importing FBX files. Previous to this announcement, MachStudio sold for 4 grand!
Now the downside… you need a 1GB Direct X 11 GPU to run it. In the world of desktops, that’s not too demanding. For people like myself that buy only laptops, then it gets a bit trickier. My best GPU is currently 512MB, but I am downloading it anyways to see what happens.
At that price though, if you have the system to run it, what are you waiting for, go download it now!
For those who ignore minimum requirements, just an FYI, it simply refused to run on my non-DX11 card.