Alexandra Institute releases Elementacular 1.5
Denmark’s Alexandra Institute has released Elementacular 1.5, the latest version of its Maya plugin for modelling and rendering clouds interactively, adding OpenVDB export and support for AMD GPUs.
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. The software supports a full 32-bit HDR pipeline.
Export to third-party renderers in OpenVDB format
The main new feature in Elementacular 1.5 is OpenVDB export, which enables clouds generated in Elementacular to be rendered in engines that support the format, including Arnold, V-Ray and RenderMan.
Version 1.5 also officially introduces support for AMD GPUs. Previous releases of the software were reported to work with AMD hardware, but you used it on a ‘try it and see what happens’ basis.
Pricing and availability
Elementacular 1.5 is available for Maya 2014 and above running on 64-bit Windows. It costs $175.
You’ll need a GPU that supports OpenGL 4.4 – an Nvidia 400 series card or newer, or an AMD HD 5xxx card or newer – and at least 2GB of graphics RAM is recommended.