Friday, April 20th, 2012 Posted by Jim Thacker

Imagination Technologies ships PowerVR Brazil SDK
Caustic Professional’s open rendering API, OpenRL. The newly released PowerVR Brazil SDK builds on OpenRL to provide a toolkit for software developers to add raytraced rendering to their own applications.

Imagination Technologies has released the PowerVR Brazil SDK: a complete toolkit with which software developers can add raytraced rendering functionality to their applications.

First announced at Siggraph, the SDK builds on Caustic Professional’s OpenRL rendering API and Brazil itself: an old favourite in the 3ds Max and Rhino communities in its original incarnation as a third-party renderer.

Brazil’s original developer, SplutterFish, was acquired by Caustic Graphics, as the company was then known, in 2008; before Caustic was itself acquired by Imagination Technologies in 2010.

Brazil’s rebirth as an SDK won’t necessarily come as great news for anyone hoping for an update to the 3ds Max version – but it may mean a wider user base for the technology.

The SDK has already been used to create Neon, a raytraced viewport plugin for Rhino. Neon is available for testing – you’ll need the Brazil 2.0 SR2 Beta to get the full benefit – and may be integrated into Rhino 5.0.

There’s also a line in the press release about the SDK having been used to create plugins for 3ds Max and Maya, although we’re not certain whether that simply refers to the existing editions of Brazil r/s, or whether they’ve been specifically updated using the SDK.

Imagination Technologies, a leading multimedia technologies company, brings photorealistic rendering a giant leap forward with today’s launch of the PowerVR Brazil SDK v1.0 ray traced rendering toolkit. Developed from the ground up to fully utilize Imagination’s PowerVR OpenRL™ API SDK, the Brazil SDK v1.0 enables 3D graphics software developers to easily add high-level ray tracing functionality to their applications.

The Brazil SDK v1.0 facilitates interactive photorealistic visualization or final-frame rendering, and eliminates the need to create similar technology from scratch or port to multiple independent hardware platforms.

Imagination’s Caustic Professional group is developing a new family of high performance ray tracing solutions, based on new PowerVR ray tracing graphics technologies from Imagination, targeted at 3D graphics software developers in markets such as Computer Aided Design (CAD), Digital Content Creation (DCC), film, and games.

Tony King-Smith, VP marketing at Imagination Technologies says: “The PowerVR Brazil SDK v1.0 is a notable milestone in our plans for bringing high performance ray tracing capabilities to a broader range of markets from desktop to, ultimately, mobile and embedded. Our new OpenRL-based PowerVR Brazil SDK v1.0 delivers a comprehensive set of tools and capabilities, incorporating significant functionality inherited from the highly respected Brazil final frame renderer originally developed by Splutterfish. Since Caustic and Splutterfish engineers are both now fully integrated into our PowerVR visual IP engineering teams, we’re delighted to release this next product from our emerging ray tracing technology portfolio, which complements our existing PowerVR OpenRL API SDK.”

The Brazil SDK v1.0 enables the addition of high-level ray tracing functionality to applications accelerated by the growing range of OpenRL renderers being developed by Imagination, including both software (running on x86 and x86-64 CPUs) and future hardware accelerated platforms. The Brazil SDK v1.0 has already being utilized to create plug-ins for the industry’s most popular visual effects and design packages, including Autodesk® Maya®, Autodesk 3ds Max®, and Robert McNeel and Associates’ Rhinoceros®.

The advantage of a fully interactive ray traced viewport over viewing scenes in a rasterized viewport (the traditional approach used by most CAD systems today) is the high degree of visual fidelity, which extends to lighting, reflections, shadows, etc. at the earliest stages of modeling and lighting a scene. This can substantially simplify the process and cost of content creation.

Key features in the Brazil SDK v1.0 include:

  • Full Customization: Provides complete flexibility to customize almost any part of the Brazil SDK v1.0’s rendering components to match application-specific needs.
  • Programmable Shaders and Materials: While many systems support only a fixed set of shaders, the Brazil SDK v1.0 supports fully programmable shaders and materials. This results in the production of stunning, realistic images with flexible effects.
  • Physically Correct or Flexible Rendering: While many rendering systems only support one type of rendering, either biased or unbiased, the Brazil SDK v1.0 can be used to enable both physically correct and biased rendering.
  • Dynamic Geometry: OpenRL’s lightning fast geometry pipeline provides interactivity that has never been seen before in a ray traced rendering engine, including the ability to rapidly model at the vertex level.
  • Platform Independence: The Brazil SDK v1.0 fully leverages Imagination Technologies’ OpenRL for real-time, interactive high-quality visualization. OpenRL is the only ray tracing API that is device independent and able to leverage multiple compute devices simultaneously, with high performance across multiple target platforms.

Visit the Caustic Professional website (Detailed information about OpenRL and PowerVR Brazil SDK)

Request an evaluation licence of PowerVR Brazil SDK 1.0

Visit the Imagination Technologies website (Parent company)

Hat tip to CGarchitect for spotting this one.