When working on a larger project, one often needs to implement various utility programs that perform simple tasks, such as applying a filter to an image or processing a matrix stored in a file. In a framework like Mitsuba, this unfortunately involves a significant coding overhead in initializing the necessary APIs on all supported platforms. To reduce this tedious work on the side of the programmer, the Mitsuba repository now contains a utility launcher called mtsutil.
This binary loads simple “utility plugins”, which can now be as small as a few lines of code. Because mtsutil takes care of initializing the whole framework (including network connections to remote compute nodes), they provide a convenient solution to parallelize non-rendering workloads over many machines. The documentation contains a code example on how to do this.
Other changes in the repository are a much-improved COLLADA importer and import capabilities from within the GUI. At this point, it should be able to handle most scenes exported by Maya or Blender (I haven’t tested other programs yet).