Full motion blur in Arion 2.0

The upcoming Arion release, which we can officially say now will be Arion 2.0, supports all sorts of real camera and object motion blur.

Thanks to the LIVE plugins, Arion 2.0 can be thought of as a fully-fledged hyper-realistic and very fast animation render engine. Actually, animation is one of the areas where we have focused most of our attention during the development of Arion 2.0.

You can read about our new motion blur in The Arion Knowledge Base, which is the new compilation of documentation for Arion and the LIVE plugins that we’ve been working on lately.

Motion-blurred Megatron by Luima Morillo

The new motion blur in Arion 2.0 supports both pivot-based and deformation motion. Remarkably, it is built-in to the roots of the engine so deeply, that all the other features in the engine get motion-blurred naturally. For example, you can have motion-blurred instances, motion-blurred emitters, …

But the best of all: it renders very fast and, like everything else in Arion, is supported by both the GPU and the CPU cores.

Instancing

Because memory economy is one of the most important aspects in production rendering, RandomControl is proud to announce the introduction of geometry instancing for the first time ever in a hybrid GPU/CPU render engine.

Our state-of-the-art implementation of geometry instancing runs at an incredible speed on both the CPU and the GPU. Actually, for scenes without heavy mutual intersections, instancing runs as fast as if instancing was not being used.

Instancing in Arion supports all sorts of arbitrary affine transformations (i.e., position, rotation, scaling, shear, axis flipping, …).

Particle Flow and point clouds support with 3D Studio Max

Arion’s MAX LIVE supports 3dsMax native instanced copies but, more importantly, it supports point cloud data through Particle Flow. This allows you to comfortably scatter objects in your scene, while keeping the memory usage almost as low as if only the source object was being rendered.

Easily scatter any number of instances in MAX LIVE with Particle Flow.

Photometric light data (IES) and spotlights

Arion now supports IES photometric data profiles right from the emitter material properties. This new feature is compatible with existing .RCS and .FRY scenes as an IES map can be set anytime for an existing emitter.

With the new Arion it will not longer be necessary to model complex spotlight housings (which lead to unnecessarily noisy indirect lighting) to recreate the usually complex caustic patterns caused by light fixtures and wallwashers. Load an IES file (or even a custom gradient map) anytime, and there you go!

And to become a definitive time saver, you also get a 2D preview of your IES file and the light pattern it will produce in Arion’s Map Editor.

From left to right: Standard emitter, cone spotlight, cone spotlight with narrowed focus, frustum spotlight, frustum spotlight with narrowed focus, gradient mapping, IES emitter, projector map.

Additionally, Arion’s emitters have raised the bar beyond support for IES profiles by allowing you to define a geometric shape for light spread. You can for example select a cone or a frustum and define the emission angle (hotspot and falloff).

And there’s even more. Arion emitters support projection maps now. With them you can efficiently simulate light projectors, light passing through stained glass, obstructed emitters, etc…

All these unique features in the world of GPU acceleration not only provide much more comfort when defining a light setup, but also lead to a significant reduction in terms of noise and much faster render times. Now it is not necessary for you to make complicated geometrical constructs for your housings, and neither it is for the engine to compute those extra light bounces that would be necessary to focus light emission otherwise.

Upcoming release

As we have mentioned on Twitter or Facebook during the past weeks/months, we’re working relentlessly on the LIVE plugins and the next Arion.

We expect to have a big release ready during this summer, and as a matter of fact, we’re already working on some final tasks such as documentation, new setups, testing, etc… In the upcoming days, the website will be experiencing some changes, and it is likely that some areas will stop working.

It is hard to forecast how long it will take for us to release (as many unpredictable factors play a role) but we’re pretty sure that it will still take us at least a couple of weeks if not more.

During the upcoming days/weeks we will post some information on the blog about the big leaps forward that our technology has been taking lately, and about the release in general.

Stay tuned!