Noise, cellular and mix maps

Dear users,

As said in a previous post, the Material System in Arion is getting incredible improvements for version 3.

Another example: A wood material made entirely of procedural noise, cellular and mix maps. The material stretches properly on any object and does not need properly unwrapped UVs.

Wood material made with noise, cellular and mix maps


Thank you for watching!

2-sided materials

Dear users,

The Material System in Arion is getting incredible improvements for version 3.

An example: The new 2-sided material allows the use of two completely different materials for the front side and the back side of a thin object (without a volume). This can be used to simulate sheets of paper, tree leaves or, like shown on this example, a set of playing cards. We have updated the Arion v3.0.0 page with some high resolution examples.

2-sided material on playing cards


Here are a couple more examples also using other cool new features that will be announced soon:

2-sided material


Thank you for watching!

Importance Sampling drive

Dear Arion users,

Emitter materials and Light objects in the next builds of Arion will feature something called “Importance”. This value allows the user to alter the prevalence of a light source in the Importance Sampling table.

The IS table is a structure that determines how often each light source is sampled. This table is built during warm-up and it automatically assigns a value to each light based on its power output, and its size.

This a priori criterion makes sense, because power and size are the most evident factors that tell how much light a source will contribute to the scene. However, there are situations where a certain light source is really critical to your scene, yet it does not receive as much importance in the IS table as necessary. For example, imagine a very small and dim light that is illuminating the foreground of the scene. You may want it to be as noiseless as possible, while other larger, more powerful fill lights in the scene may not need as much sampling.

With this new feature one can give more importance to one light source, stealing sampling time from others.

Note that this feature does -not- alter the unbiasedness of the result. The render will be unaffected. Only the noise distribution will change.

This example below features a classic example where this IS drive may be very useful. The scene has two rooms. Both are equally important to the observer. However, the IS values assigned automatically give more prevalence to the larger emitter, making one room be over-sampled, and the other one under-sampled. Compensating for this with the IS drive, one can get both rooms clean in much less time:

Arion Light Manual Importance Sampling

Thank you for reading!

Arion for Rhinoceros v2.7.0 — Changelog

Here’s the changelog for AfR v2.7.0.

– BSDF clamp.
– Per-component GI bounces.
– Fixed Save G-Buffer.
– Metropolis Light Transport sampler.
– Embedded files in document and library files (e.g., .rmtl, .renv, …).
– Fast GI.
– HI/LO GPU priority.
– Menu entry to ‘Set Arion as current renderer’.
– Menu entry to access ‘Render Properties’ directly.
– New UI toolbar.
– Toggle ON/OFF menu and toolbar depending on whether Arion is the current renderer.
– Less intrusive DEMO watermark.
– Setup uninstaller.
– Setup display in “Add/Remove Programs”.
– Inclusion of rcconv.exe and rcshellex.exe in the setup.
– The setup auto-registers Arion on first launch.
– The setup installs a demo scene called “Arion DEMO.3dm”.
– Added access to the main render attributes and the camera properties through RhinoScript.
– Balloon tooltips for each attribute in the UI.
– Revamped “Render Options” panels.
– Revamped Matte Floor.
– Simplified IBL node.
– Fixed a crash/hang on render termination.

Merry Christmas!

Arion stand-alone v2.7.0 — Changelog

Here’s the changelog for Asa v2.7.0.

– Fast GI.
– HI/LO GPU priority.
– Less intrusive DEMO watermark.
– Setup display in “Add/Remove Programs”.
– Revamped Attribute Editor panels.
– Revamped Matte Floor.
– Fixed crash in RCCONV with very old materials.
– Fixed thumbnail rendering in RCCONV.
– Now RCCONV uses the GPU to render shaderballs.
– Simplified IBL node.
– Fixed load of dressings.
– Fixed click-through on hidden objects.
– Fixed scrollbars in the AE.

Merry Christmas!

Arion for 3ds Max v3.0.4.Beta1 — Changelog

Here’s the changelog for Af3 v3.0.4.Beta1.

– Fast GI.
– HI/LO GPU priority.
– Less intrusive DEMO watermark.
– Setup uninstaller.
– Setup display in “Add/Remove Programs”.
– Inclusion of rcconv.exe and rcshellex.exe in the setup.
– Balloon tooltips for each attribute in the UI.
– Revamped “Render Settings” panels.
– Revamped Matte Floor.
– Simplified IBL node.
– Fixed crash in the material editor when abandoning a RCM root node (3ds Max 2015 only).
– Rearranged F10 dialog.
– ActiveShade notifications for Arion Lights.
– Fixed a crash/hang on render termination.

Merry Christmas!

New releases just before Christmas!

Dear Arion users,

We have just released a new round of builds for all our products:

Arion for Rhinoceros v2.7.0.
Arion for 3ds Max v3.0.4.Beta1.
Arion stand-alone v2.7.0.
ArionFX for Photoshop v3.0.4.

All builds feature all the new improvements that we have presented on the blog lately (i.e., better normals, faster coatings, …).

Fresh builds in the Arion product line

The major leap has been taken in Arion for Rhinoceros, because the previous official version was v2.4.4. Now that the Rhinoceros plug-in and the stand-alone are v2.7.0, all our Arion products are aligned feature-wise with RCSDK v2.7.0.

I will talk about some new features and our plans for the v3 Beta program and the DEMO builds very soon.

Thanks for watching!

Much faster coatings – Comparison

Dear Arion users,

Here’s a fantastic example (kindly provided by Jordi Martínez Soler) where the same scene has been rendered in Arion before and after the improvement in coatings mentioned in the post we did two days ago.

Click to see a larger resolution comparison

Both images have been rendered for the same amount of passes.

This improvement will be part of Asa v2.7.0, AfR v2.7.0, and Af3 v3.0.4.

Thanks for watching!