Wednesday, October 9th, 2013 Posted by Jim Thacker

Isotropix ships Clarisse iFX 1.5

Clarisse iFX 1.5. New features in the forthcoming update to Isotropix’s hybrid 2D/3D tool include a new hair rendering engine, significant performance and workflow improvements, and support for Alembic 1.5.

Originally posted on 17 July 2013. Scroll down for updates.

Isotropix has announced Clarisse iFX 1.5, a major free update to its innovative 2D/3D software for scene assembly and relighting.

A hybrid of a 3D renderer, 2D compositor and animation package, Clarisse iFX is designed to enable artists to develop complex, detail-heavy production scenes while interacting continually with the final image.

Tools and pipeline features and workflow improvements, oh my
There seems to be an awful lot in Clarisse iFX 1.5. The list of new render features alone includes 3D DoF and motion blur, improved SSS with backlighting, fish-eye rendering, and a completely new hair and fur engine.

Equally important from the point of view of pipeline integration are a new Python scripting engine, a command-line interactive mode for render nodes, and support for AOVs.

Clarisse iFX 1.5 also adds native support for Mari’s UDIM and Mudbox’s UVTile UV formats.

Workflow improvements include a new system for assigning materials dynamically, with support to use wildcards in asset names – useful for working on very large scenes; and improved batch file handling.

Performance boosts across the board
Given that Clarisse iFX is a tool marketed on the basis of its real-time workflow, the figures Isotropix is quoting for performance also make for interesting reading:

According to Isotropix: “Loading scenes is up to 75% faster … general memory usage has been [quartered] and the new evaluation engine is up to a thousand times faster.”

The reduced memory footprint, in particular, should be significant to anyone using the software on anything less than a top-of-the-range machine.

Early support for Alembic 1.5
Isotropix also has something of a scoop in the form of support for the Alembic 1.5 geometry interchange format: not due to be announced until Siggraph 2013 next week.

According to the developer, Alembic 1.5 “features very large [performance] improvements when operating on multi-core CPUs.”

Isotropix’s official press release cites improvements in frame rates of up to twenty times when playing back large animated scenes.

Out next month
Clarisse iFX 1.5 is due out in August later in the year for Windows, Mac OS X and Linux.

Isotropix has also announced a time-limited special offer, cutting the price of a full licence of the software and five render nodes to $1,499, to coincide with the launch of its new online store on 22 July.

Updated 9 October: Isotropix 1.5 is shipping now. The free PLE edition has also been updated.

Read the official Clarisse iFX 1.5 news release

Read more about the new features in Clarisse iFX 1.5 on Isotropix’s website