Tuesday, December 22nd, 2015 Posted by Jim Thacker

Alexandra Institute ships Elementacular 1.3

Denmark’s Alexandra Institute has released Elementacular 1.3, the latest version of its Maya plugin for modelling and rendering clouds interactively, improving the realism of its lighting effects.

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.

Also works for fireballs and wormholes
There isn’t a lot new in Elementacular 1.3, barring support for Maya 2016 and Nvidia’s latest drivers.

According to the Alexandra Institute, the update introduces “more robust” conversion of clouds to Maya fluid containers, and correct lighting when light sources are inside clouds.

However, the developer has also posted a couple of interesting new tutorials showing the plugin in action to create less conventional scenes, including a fireball and a wormhole effect.

Pricing and availability
Elementacular 1.3 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 a full list of new features in Elementacular 1.3