Monday, September 17th, 2012 Posted by Jim Thacker

Meet Sparta: it’s like ZBrush, but for particles

Developer Lyouta Koduka has released a beta version of Sparta: an intriguing new tool for ‘sculpting’ simulations that Koduka intends to be the ‘ZBrush of particle animation’.

The software, which is compatible with Max, Maya and Softimage, uses a pen-based interface to manipulate an existing simulation. Users simply sculpt the particle cloud, override the cache, and replay the edited sim.

According to the site, you get a choice of brush types, including Normal, Grab, Converge, Scale and Remove.

The software also supports RealFlow’s .bin format, making it possible to use it with a range of other 3D packages, including Cinema 4D, LightWave and RealFlow itself, plus Modo, Krakatoa and thinkingParticles.

The proof of the concept
The only rendered video available uses a fairly low particle count, so we’re not sure how naturalistic the results look – and, obviously, sculpting a simulation in this way is less suited to ultra-realistic sims.

But for motion graphics work, or to create rendered stills, it could be a very neat tool indeed.

More to the point, you can try it for yourself for free. The beta on the Sparta website is available until 31 October, although you’ll need to be running 64-bit Windows.

After that, Sparta will become a commercial release, although there’s no news of shipping or pricing yet.

Visit the Sparta website
(Includes download link and step-by-step videos)