Arion for Rhinoceros v2.7.0 toolbar

Dear users,

Arion for Rhinoceros v2.7.0 is coming soon.

Among many other improvements that we will detail as soon as we release, we have been doing some improvements in the UI. For example, we have added a toolbar with the most common operations in Arion:

Arion for Rhinoceros toolbar

Thank you for reading!

New installers (and uninstallers)

Dear Arion users,

We have worked a bit on our software setups.

– Now all our plug-in setups feature an uninstaller. Before, only Arion stand-alone would.
– Now all our setups show up in the “Add/Remove Programs” area.
– Now all our setups feature rcconv.exe and rcshellex.exe. Before, only Arion stand-alone would.

In the special case of Arion for Rhinoceros:

– The installer auto-registers the plug-in on first launch.
– The installer handles the plug-in RUI (custom menu and toolbar).
– The uninstaller auto-unregisters the plug-in from Rhino.

New RandomControl installer

Thank you for reading.

LO pro — GPU low priority

Dear users,

We have added a new LO/HI priority switch in the Hardware Configuration panel of all the Arion-based products:

Arion’s low priority toggle

This toggle allows the GPU to breathe, so the system scheduler can gain control of the GPU at regular intervals (e.g., to update the UI). This is of no use for a render-dedicated GPU, but can be of critical importance for a display card which is used to handle the display and to render at the same time.

Arion’s low priority mode in action

A common request that our users and DEMO users have told us about is that Arion exhausts the GPU resources so heavily, that lag in the UI when editing, or when rendering in the background becomes frustrating. Until now, this could only be avoided by excluding the display GPU from the render. While this is a good sign that means that Arion is really exploiting the computing capabilities of the computer, it can become a serious annoyance in some cases. Specially for users with a single GPU in their system.

The new LO prio toggle…

1- …will allow those users (or DEMO users) with a single GPU (shared for display and rendering) to have a smooth UI experience, or even to switch over to other tasks while rendering in the background.

2- …will allow users with multiple GPUs (all of them but one used for rendering exclusively) to use the display card for rendering also, without lagging the UI or the OS.

This feature trades some rendering performance for a much smoother UI/OS, and is of course optional, and disabled by default. After some intensive testing, we have found that the impact in speed is highly dependent on the architecture of the GPUs. It ranges between 15%-40%.

Thanks for reading!

CUDA 6.5

Dear Arion customers/users.

While we’re working on the upcoming Asa v2.7.x, AfR v2.7.x, and Af3 v3.0.x, we have decided to adopt CUDA 6.5. Fortunately, this time the transition between one version of CUDA and the next has been 100% seamless (thanks, nVidia!).

Because of this, the next builds of our products will feature explicit support for sm_50 architectures (i.e., 980 GTX and such), which should bring a tad of extra performance in those cards in particular.

Thank you for reading!

So long, 32-bit

After learning that Rhinoceros 6 will be 64-bit only, and that Autodesk is no longer releasing their products in 32-bit, we have decided to officially retire the 32-bit branch in our build system and product setups.

Since probably ‘nobody’ in the field of high-end Computer Graphics is using 32-bit hardware anymore, this decision will have no effect on any of you. However, this will cut our build times in half, and will alleviate some development overhead here at RandomControl.

Thanks for reading!