Thursday, March 17th, 2022 Posted by Jim Thacker

JangaFX releases EmberGen

Originally posted on 3 November 2021. Scroll down for news of the EmberGen update.

JangaFX has released EmberGen 0.7.5, the latest beta of the real-time gaseous fluid simulation tool.

The long-awaited update reworks the software’s interface, adds the option to import animated meshes, cameras and backplates, and introduces a new, “semi-physically based” renderer.

A promising hardware-agnostic real-time gaseous fluid simulator
Described by JangaFX as the “world’s fastest volumetric fluid simulation platform”, EmnberGen promises to enable users to create smoke and fire effects of a complexity approaching that of offline tools like FumeFX.

As well as simply reproducing the dynamics of gaseous fluids, EmberGen’s combustion system mimics the way that real-world fireballs consume fuel and oxygen.

Simulations can also be affected by wind forces and turbulence, and constrained by collisions with the ground plane and external boundaries.

The resulting data can be exported to other DCC applications in OpenVDB format, or rendered directly within EmberGen as flipbook image sequences for use in game engines like Unity and UE4.

Images can be exported in a range of standard 2D formats, including EXR, TGA and PNG, along with motion vectors, normal maps, and additional data like emissive, albedo and temperature values.

The software is GPU-agnostic, and has fairly low minimum hardware requirements: a Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 or AMD equivalent.

New in 0.7.5: new, more streamlined interface and user experience
Released after over a year in development, EmberGen 0.7.5 overhauls the software’s interface and core workflows, and adds a number of user-requested features.

Key interface and user experience changes include new viewport gizmos, manipulators and visualizers, intended to make it easier to work with EmberGen scenes, particularly with scene cameras.

Users can now preview simulations at a lower resolution than they will be exported, to improve interactive performance; and can preview individual components in the viewport before export.

The update also adds a new timeline and curve editor to make it easier to animate simulation parameters.

Its features include an auto-keying system, making it possible to add key frames just by moving objects in the viewport; and the option to scrub through mesh animations – about which, more later.

Changes to the node graph include a new tree view, new auto-connect and auto-organise features to keep graphs tidy; plus inline graphs for finer control over node parameters.

There are a lot of other smaller changes, which you can find listed via the link at the foot of the story. According to the EmberGen Trello board, the update also adds an Undo/Redo system.

Import animated meshes, cameras and backplate sequences
The release also adds several long-requested features, including the option to import animated meshes to use as particle emitters or particle colliders. Meshes can be imported in FBX and Alembic format.

It is also now possible to import animated cameras from other DCC applications, and to import and display sequences of backplate images, to help view simulations in context.

According to the Trello board, the update also adds audio support.

New renderer and updates to lighting and shading
Lighting, shading and rendering changes include a new “semi-physically based” renderer with the option to generate individual lighting passes; and improved shading for fire and smoke.

It is also now possible to use an unlimited number of point and spot lights in a scene.

You can see the new renderer in action in the preview above – it was originally posted a few months ago – and see many of the other features in EmberGen 0.7.5 in more detail on the software’s YouTube channel.

Updated 16 March 2022: JangaFX has released EmberGen

It’s mainly an under-the-hood update, but it adds some important new features, including support for Wacom tablets, EXR backplates, and the option to randomise all seeds in the project settings.

The firm has also updated the online documentation for EmberGen: a fact it celebrated in a suitably over-the-top trailer, embedded above.

Pricing and system requirements
EmberGen is available for Windows 10 only. It is still officially in beta.

Indie subscriptions, for artists with revenue under $1 million/year, now cost $19.99/month or $199.99/year, with users qualifying for a perpetual licence after 12 months of consecutive payments.

Studio subscriptions, for studios with revenue up to $100 million/year, now cost $149.99/month or $1,399.99/year per node-locked licence, and $239.99/month or $2,299.99/year per floating licence.

Read a list of new features in EmberGen 0.7.5 on JangaFX’s blog
(No separate blog post for the update)