Tuesday, April 25th, 2023 Posted by Jim Thacker

Isotropix has discontinued Clarisse

The future of layout, lighting and rendering software Clarisse and its Angie renderer are in doubt, with developer Isotropix restricting access to its website and removing official social media accounts.

User comments on the Isotropix Discord server suggest that sales of new licences have ended, and that while existing licences will remain valid indefinitely, the software will only receive bugixes from now on.

Updated 28 April: CG Channel has now seen an email from the Isotropix support team confirming that development of Clarisse has been discontinued. More details here.

A set dressing, look development and rendering tool used at major VFX facilities
Combining features of conventional renderers, compositors and DCC tools, Clarisse is designed to enable artists to develop heavy production scenes while interacting continually with the final image.

First released in 2012, the software carved out a niche in high-end visual effects, and has been used at a number of major facilities, including ILM and DNEG.

The last major version, Clarisse 5.0, was released in 2021, although the software has continued to receive updates since then, with Clarisse 5.0 SP11b released earlier this month.

Clarisse 5.5, a parallel build of the software that includes Angie, Isotropix’s much-anticipated hybrid CPU/GPU renderer, was released in late 2021, although Angie has not yet left early access.

Product website now in login mode, and social media channels suspended
Last week, Isotropix put its website into login-only mode, with existing links to its online store, product documentation and forum now returning 404 errors.

The company’s Twitter and Facebook accounts have been removed, as have all of the posts from its LinkedIn profile.

At the time of writing, the Isotropix YouTube channel is still available, although the videos showing Angie and upcoming features have been removed.

No longer being sold or actively developed, although bugfixes will continue?
According to a comment in this Reddit thread, Isotropix has been calling users to say that development of Clarisse and Angie has ended.

“From what they said to us, they will shift towards another opportunity and that the current line of software is not going to receive any new features with [the] exception of bugfixes.”

“After 31 October, all license[s] will become like a lifetime subscription (but free) and they will provide [tools] to migrate [existing licences to other] hardware.”

The comment only shows the Redditor’s user name, but judging from posts on the Isotropix Discord server, they are a pipeline developer at a French VFX facility that uses Clarisse.

On Discord, other artists say that they have received similar calls to say that sales of new licences of Clarisse have already ended and that development of the software has stopped, aside from bugfixes.

Existing maintenance contracts will not be extended after 31 October 2023.

Interestingly, other comments on Discord suggest that Isotropix itself is not closing down, and has not been bought by another company.

We’ve contacted Isotropix to ask whether the Discord posts are accurate, and if it can provide any more information about its future plans, and will update if we hear back.

Updated 28 April 2023: Users have begun sharing emails from Isotropix customer support confirming that development of Clarisse and CNode, its GUI-free edition for render farms, has been discontinued.

You can see the text of the message in this Reddit post: a similarly worded email has been forwarded independently to CG Channel by another user.

The Isotropix website has been updated to allow logins from Enterprise users only: a message informs consumer customers that they “no longer have access to the User Account”, and to contact support by email.

Isotropix has not responded to our requests for comment.

Visit the Isotropix Discord server
(The posts about the future of Clarisse are in the casual-chat channel)