Friday, November 21st, 2014 Posted by Jim Thacker

Alexandra Institute releases Elementacular 1.2

Multi-scattering in Elementacular: a video posted at the time of the previous point release. Version 1.2 of the Alexandra Institute’s plugin for modelling and rendering clouds interactively in Maya is now shipping.

Denmark’s Alexandra Institute has released Elementacular 1.2, the latest version of its Maya plugin for modelling and rendering clouds interactively in Maya, adding support for physically based multi-scattering.

Create clouds with simple geometry, not simulations
Rather than relying on simulation, Elementacular converts any base geometry into a cloud, using a GPU-based voxeliser to generate a 3D fractal form, and assigning suitable shaders.

The underlying geometry may be edited after the cloud has been created, and the lighting adjusted in real time.

Clouds are rendered via Maya’s Hardware 2.0 renderer, complete with an alpha channel for compositing, and can be exported as 32-bit HDRs.

New features added since release include physically based multi-scattering for more realistic results and “much-improved noise generation”.

Pricing and availability
Elementacular 1.2 is available for Maya 2013 and above running on 64-bit Windows. It costs $175.

You’ll need a GPU that supports OpenGL 4.4 – which officially means a recent Nvida Quadro or GeForce, although AMD cards apparently will work if you have the latest driver.

Read more about Elementacular 1.2 on the Alexandra Institute’s website