Thursday, December 2nd, 2021 Posted by Jim Thacker

5 tools updates you may have missed in November 2021

While CG Channel tries to write about all of the major new versions of CG software that get released each month, sometimes there are smaller updates or useful plugins that we don’t manage to cover.

Rather then letting those releases slip past unnoticed, we’ve put together a round-up of five updates to visual effects, feature animation and architectural visualization tools that didn’t get full stories in November 2021.

Below, you can find summaries of what’s new in the Enscape 3.2, Redshift 3.0.60 and RenderMan 24.2 renderers; in scan retopology tool Wrap 2022.11; and in Pulze’s Render Manager 2 for 3ds Max.

Enscape 3.2

Fast becoming a staple of architectural visualisation pipelines, Enscape’s real-time ray tracer gives users a quick way to create photorealistic renders of CAD and BIM models, further extended by this point update.

New features

  • Dynamic asset placement
    Place and edit assets right in the rendering window and have changes reflected in the CAD/BIM model.
  • Green building assets and materials
    Over 250 new assets, including 150 ‘green buildings’ like wind turbines and solar panels.
  • Batch rendering of panoramas
  • Panorama tours
  • Better upload management
  • Ray traced sun shadows in the real-time view
  • Vulkan ray tracing for AMD GPUs
  • Windows 11 support

System requirements
Windows 10+. Compatible with Archicad 21+, Revit 2018+, Rhino 6.0+, SketchUp 2018+, Vectorworks 2020+.

Rental-only: node-locked licences cost $69.90/month or $478.80/year; floating licences cost $814.80/year.

Read a full list of the new features in Enscape 3.2 on the Enscape blog

Redshift 3.0.60

Maxon’s GPU production renderer for 3ds Max, Blender, Cinema 4D, Houdini and Maya continues to evolve, following the public beta of Redshift RT and the release of Redshift for Mac earlier this year.

New features

  • Support for OSL shaders when running under Metal on macOS
  • Performance improvements in scenes with many lights or materials
  • Blender plugin: Cryptomatte support
  • Houdini plugin: Support for texture baking in Solaris, packed crowd deformation motion blur

System requirements
Windows 10, Linux and macOS 11.5+. Compatible with 3ds Max 2014+, Blender 2.83+, Cinema 4D R21+, Houdini 17.0+ (18.0+ on macOS), Katana 3.0v1+ and Maya 2016.5.

Now available rental-only. Individual subscriptions cost $45/month or $264/year

Read a full list of new features in Redshift 3.0.60 on Maxon’s forum (Registration required)

Render Manager 2

Pitched as “the first render manager for arch viz” on its release last year, Pulze’s Render Manager provides streamlined tools for managing a render farm running 3ds Max and its key third-party renderers.

New features

  • New job distribution system
  • More control over nodes and jobs
  • Drag and drop priority control
  • Refined job creation
  • Improved Scene Manager integration
  • More status and progress info

System requirements
Windows only. Compatible with 3ds Max 2014+ and Arnold, Corona Renderer, FStormRender, Redshift, V-Ray.

Rental-only. Subscriptions now cost $8/month or $69/year.

Read a full list of new features in Render Manager 2 on Pulze’s blog

RenderMan 24.2

The latest point release of Pixar’s heavyweight animation and VFX production renderer following the major RenderMan 24 update in June, which added long-awaited hybrid CPU/GPU render mode RenderMan XPU.

New features

  • Aggregate Volumes
    A new, more efficient technique for rendering overlapping volumes without boundary behaviours, like overlapping clouds. Currently supported in the PxrPathTracer and PxrUnified integrators.
  • New control parameter for Volumes
  • Support for Path Guiding in the PxrPathTracer and PxrUnified integrators
  • Support for the OSL raytype() function
  • hdPrman (Hydra render delegate): Consume MaterialX through hdPrman.  Pattern networks are compiled to OSL.  BxDFs are transcoded to PxrSurface.
  • Houdini plugin: Support for Houdini 19

System requirements
Windows 10, CentOS/RHEL 7.2+ Linux and macOS 10.13-10.15. Compatible with Blender 2.83+, Houdini 17.5+, Katana 3.1 and Maya 2019+.

New node-locked or floating licences cost $595. There is also a free non-commercial edition.

Read a full list of new features in RenderMan 24.2 in the online release notes

Wrap 2021.11

Russian3DScanner/R3DS’s popular tool for transferring topology from an existing model to a 3D scan gets its first update this year, improving performance and support for FACS-based facial animation workflows.

New features

System requirements
Windows 7+ and Linux.

Node-locked Indie licence, available to users with revenues under $100,000/year, cost $370. Node-locked Professional licences cost $670; floating Professional licences cost $970.

Read a full list of new features in Wrap 2022.11 in the online changelog