Arion v2.0.4 Sneak Peak #4

To finish our tough cases study we’ve used this famous scene from Thomas Anagnostou that he kindly gave away some years ago.

This scene traditionally requires dozens or even hundreds of hours to converge, and yet most engines are missing some light components (like the cyan/turquoise ray of light reflected inside the most-left prism). Arion doesn’t miss any components and converges this scene, almost noise-free, in just a few hours of computation with ONE computer*.

Arion 2.0.4 Metropolis Light Transport Sampling

* System specs: Intel Core i7 980X 3.33GHz – GTX580 x3

Arion v2.0.4 Sneak Peak #3

This is a really tough case for any raytracer. And Arion is no exception to this rule, as it is a difficult case for it too.

But in Arion v2.0.4 the combined forces of the spotlight feature, the power of multi-GPU rendering, and the brand new sampler, it is possible to get this render done with an amazing accuracy, and much faster than before.

In case that you wonder where that slight chromatic aberration in the fog is coming from: the ball is made of dispersive glass (abbe = 50) like it would be in reality.

Both images below were rendered for the same time on the same hardware. They really show that in such highly complex lighting situations the new sampler can help tremendously.

Click on the image to view it full size with raw unresized noise levels.

Arion 2.0.4 Metropolis Light Transport Sampling

Arion v2.0.4 sneak peak #2 (new sampling method)

Here is another example of our new global illumination sampling strategy. It helps greatly to solve complex lighting situations. For the same rendertime as the regular sampler, less noise will be visible in the tough components such as dielectrics, sub-surface scattering, rough glass etc.

Both renders below were rendered for the same time on the same hardware and the same Arion build:

Arion 2.0.4 Metropolis Light Transport Sampling

Tonemapped 8-bpp / 16-bpp + Raw 32-bpp output in Arion and MAX LIVE v2.0.4

The upcoming v2.0.4 upgrade for MAX LIVE and Arion stand-alone will feature output in:

– Tonemapped integer LDR RGB 8-bpp.
– Tonemapped integer LDR RGB 16-bpp.
– Raw floating-point HDR RGB 32-bpp.

The rendering core keeps now a single spectral floating-point accumulation buffer that can be cast to any output bit-depth on demand. This has some nice implications that bring improvements over previous Arion builds:

– The MAX LIVE framebuffer is now floating-point and does not have any numerical precision loss due to gamma correction management.

– The auto-saves and final render saves from MAX LIVE and Arion stand-alone are now 16-bpp RGB instead of 8-bpp like before.

This all means better output quality and color restoration, which can be really important in post-processing/compositing.

Besides, we have resurrected support for OpenEXR, so now it is possible to use .exr texture maps and save renders in .exr. There will be more news about this (OpenEXR) soon.

Arion v2.0.4 sneak peak (new sampling method)

We have been developing an alternative sampling approach in the background every now and then. In version v2.0.4 we are bringing it to Arion and MAX LIVE for free.

Although standard path tracing is faster in terms of raw speed, this new sampling technique is much more efficient with highly complex light paths such as caustics. It does not replace path tracing, but is an optional setting you can enable in those situations which need it. It will be highly appreciated by architectural visualizers as it can finally solve the infamous ‘pool caustics’ problem.

It’s the first time that this sampling technique is available in a commercial, fully-featured GPU rendering engine, and we hope you’ll appreciate it and use it to your advantage.

Here is a meaningful example of a situation that was impossible or ‘taking forever’ to render before:

Arion 2.0.4 Metropolis Light Transport Sampling

MAX LIVE 2.0.3 supports Forest Pro Pack

Forest Pro Pack and RandomControl MAX LIVE

Some of you may have recognized this great scene from iToo software and their flagship product Forest Pro Pack that we posted our facebook account a couple of weeks ago.

MAX LIVE 2.0.3 already supports instancing with Forest Pro Pack. We were instructed by iToo to not mention any of this by the time that we released 2.0.3 last week, but now the NDA has been lifted.

We are very pleased to announce support for Forest Pro Pack from iToo software that enables massive instancing with MAX LIVE and Arion 2 for stunning natural environments creation.

Forest Pro Pack and RandomControl MAX LIVE