Old News items
AIR 1.9 04/20/02
-Arbitrary output variables
-Faster rendering of large scenes
-New controls for faster global illumination
-New environment lighting options
Pixar announces Ray Tracing and Globbal Illumination for PRMan 11
Check out Pixar News for more details. Here are just a few of the highlights:
* Selective Ray Tracing
+ Transluceny and color shadows
* Indirect Illumination
+ Global Illumination
+ Hemispheric Lights
* Deep Shadows
The beta is suppose to be available in June. Release Q4.
Pixar announces release of RenderMan Artist Tools (RAT) 5.0
* Irma -- a re-render
* support for facevarying specifier (SubDs & texture map coordinate systems)
* Improved control for AOV(arbitrary output variables) specification
* 2 to 15 times speed up in RIB generation
* Tons of other features and bug fixes!
Pixar announces release of PRMan 10.0
* TIFF Textures.
* Class Specifier 'Facevarying'
* Unlimited Arbitrary Output Variables
* Conditional RI Evaluation
* Inline RIB Archives
* Renderer Checkpointing
* Rendering Contexts
* Non-raster Oriented Dicing
* Soft Shadow speedup and improvements
* Shading Language Enhancements
Exluna announces availability of Entropy 3.1
Some of the key features of Entropy 3.1 include:
* NEW: Direct support for 3ds max
* NEW: Depth of Field
* NEW: HDRI environment lighting support
* NEW: Implicit surfaces (Blobbies)
* OPTIMIZED: Ray Tracing
* OPTIMIZED: Shadow Maps
* OPTIMIZED: Motion Factor
* OPTIMIZED: Motion Blur
* OPTIMIZED: RIB Parsing
* OPTIMIZED: Backface Culling
Version 1.9 of TkMatMan shader previewer has been released. It now supports Entropy, in addition to BMRT, 3Delight, RenderDotC and PRMan. Some of the
other new features are: support for normal and matrix
shader parameters, option for a checkered patch under
the object for testing transparent, reflective and/or
refractive materials, float parameters now accept
negative values, and several more. TkMatMan is
available for download from RenderMania (both the
Tcl/Tk scripts and the Windows executables) -
http://www.rendermania.com/downloads.shtml and from the 'Files' section of the BMRT Yahoo! Group (just the scripts) - http://groups.yahoo.com/group/bmrt
1. The help files have been updated to include context sensitive help
for many of the RhinoMan windows. (press F1 in the window)
2. The installer has been fixed so it installs BMRT correctly if it
locates BMRT and it has not been configured. This fixes the "black
rendering" problem that occurred because BMRT couldn't find any shaders.
3. The RenderManager now correctly reports errors it finds. It wasn't
reporting errors at all.
4. Shadow maps did not correctly work on dual processor systems
5. Dual processor rendering was broken.
6. The RhinoMan display is now an added option to the "file" and
"framebuffer" display options.
7. The CloseDisplayWindow command now closes the last rendering started.
8. The RhinoManRenderModal command toggles the rendering mode to mimic
Rhinos' behavior when rendering. This is useful for rendering using a
script such as the animation workspace.
Ayam 1.1 has been released.
This version features a lot of bug fixes, support for Metaballs, and
many enhancements that make modelling easier.
Ayam is available from http://www.ayam3d.org/
SIGGRAPH 2001 Tidbits
Side Effects Houdini:
- The next release of PRMan will be called PRMan 10. This is no one confuses 3.10 with 3.1.
Some features are to include:
- support for Mipmap TIFF files
- User defined variables in the RIB stream
- Lights handles are now strings rather than floats to better guarantee that the handles will be unique. This will be useful to help prevent collisions when including various RIBs that have lights baked into them.
- Inline Archives - is what object instancing should have been
- Render checkpointing - Say your 3 hour render job gets killed when it is 3/4 of the way complete. You can start up the render again with a command line flag and it will start up close to where it left off. (I suspect that this means starting up at the previous bucket, but I am just guessing). This feature currently only will work with TIFF files.
- Directory Mapping - this allows for people with heterogeneous computing environments to specify and alternate search path for a second architecture. (I suspect this is mainly for going between NT and Unix)
- The restrictions for Arbitrary Output Variables (AOVs) have been removed. This means that the data can use the internal filters (rather than being forced to use Box 1 1). Also the restriction on the number of AOVs has been removed. (Before you couldn't have more than 8)
- Can now have arbitrary clipping planes for culling scenes.
- Soft Shadows have been sped up.
- The 32 character shader parameter limit has been removed.
- Lots of others features that I have forgotten already.
- RAT 5.0 - Remember RAT4.5 was release early last month. It had a ton of new features like:
Well now one month later we have two main new additions to look forward to:
- Support for Maya 3 and Maya 4.0
- Direct support for Maya Subds
- Blobby modeling
- Manual and automatic RIB archiving
- Slim Adaptors (My personal favorite)
- Multi-segment motion blur
- CSG support
- Level of Detail
- All revised documentation with a search engine
- and lots of other things
- IRMA - A pseudo interactive RenderMan renderer. Basically you do an Irma pre-render which should take about the same time as a regular render. Then you fiddle around with your Slim parameter values for your shaders/lights and click the "re-render" button and the renderer only renders the things affected by your changes! There are controls for affecting the level of recomputing that is desired also with the help of alfred it can make use of other processors on your farm. So think of it as netrender on steroids.
- Easier piece-wise subdivision texture painting (I have forgotten what this feature is called but here is the essence:) You can now break up your subds (with certain restrictions) into sections, paint on these sections in your 3D paint program, then render out your subd with those texture maps. In the past there were problems along the edges of these boundaries. (But now I believe each edge gets multiple texture coordinates so the right set is applied depending on the context)
- Both PRMan 10 and RAT 5 should be out before the end of the year.
- The modeler has been completely redone. It is actually interactive. So you only need to fiddle with numbers if you want some specific fine control.
- There are Tons and Tons of other cool things.
- Also at the user's group they announced Houdini Select(I believe this is a subset of regular Houdini) for $1999.
Misc RenderMan info:
- Exluna showed off Entropy at the Discreet booth. There was always a big crowd there.
- If you want to see some of what they showed check out their image gallery.
- They should be shipping RSN
- Level of Detail seems to be finally catching on! In the RenderMan course notes, the ILM guys talked about how they used it for TPM, Mummy 2. Another group from ILM in another mentioned that they used it on Perl Harbor.
Charlotte Manning, from DD, talked (see Skecthes and Applications CD #271 PDF page 134) about how they used it for Grinch their renders went from 5 hours to 5 minutes!
- Ian Stephenson presented Inoise an Integrated Perlin Noise DSO shader op.
- John Haddon gave a talk on using vector-based texture maps (see Skecthes and Applications CD #208 PDF page 71).
- Thouis Jones, Ronald Perry, and Michael Callahan talked about Shadermaps to accelerate procedural shading.
- Chris Tchou showed off HDR Shop. A cool little tool that has various operations for dealing with High Dynamic Range images. It supports making cube face maps as well as dumping out RIB snippets for lighting information.
Last modified: Thu Jul 11 21:22:44 PDT 2002