Tuesday, May 31st, 2016 Posted by Jim Thacker

Isotropix previews Clarisse iFX 3.0

Isotropix has released a new preview video of Clarisse iFX 3.0, the forthcoming update to its next-generation hybrid 2D/3D rendering tool, showing off the software’s new physically based shading model.

A hybrid renderer-cum-compositing tool for look development work
Combining features of conventional renderers, compositors and animation tools, Clarisse iFX is designed to enable artists to develop heavy production scenes while interacting continually with the final image.

The software is in use at a number of major visual effects facilities including ILM and Double Negative, the latter of which collaborated with Isotropix on the new PBR engine.

New PBR render engine
According to Isotropix, while the new render engine is slower than its predecessor for the same number of samples, it requires fewer samples to get rid of noise in an image.

Unlike its predecessor, the new PBR engine is also capable of rendering caustics – although it’s still a unidirectional, rather than bidirectional, path tracer, so it requires a lot of samples to remove noise.

In addition, GI is now enabled by default, and there are a number of changes to lighting workflow, which you can read in summary in Isotropix’s blog post, or see in more detail in the video above.

Adjustable fur and texture-driven point clouds
Other features in Clarisse iFX 3.0 include an improved fur interpolate object, meaning that users can adjust fur length within the software, rather than having to import multiple Alembic files representing different lengths.

Fur length can be controlled by any texture map type or procedural, and can be animated over time.

There is also a new point_uv_sampler option, which “samples the UV colours of geometry” in UV space rather than 3D space, making operations faster and more efficient than the existing point_cloud option.

Updated: Isotropix has been in touch to say that more features of Clarisse iFX 3.0 will be announced in the run up to the release.

Pricing and availability
Isotropix hasn’t announced a formal release date for Clarisse iFX 3.0, although according to the latest video, the software is currently at RC1 status, so we’d imagine the commercial release isn’t too far off.

The current release, Clarisse iFX 2.0 is available for Windows, Linux and Mac OS X. Pricing scales with studio size, starting from $999 for the first licence. Isotropix has also introduced new 30 and 90-day rental options.

There is also a free non-commercial PLE edition of the software.

Read more about the new features of Clarisse iFX 3.0 on Isotropix’s blog