ArionFX for Photoshop v3.0.5

Dear users,

We proudly announce that ArionFX for Photoshop v3.0.5 has just been released.

What’s new in ArionFX this time?

We have added a multi-layer OpenEXR file reader. As most of you may know, modern versions of Photoshop can natively open .exr files, but they ignore all the extra channels beyond RGB[A]. On the other hand, most modern render engines (Arion in particular) output a plethora of AOVs in the form of EXR channels (e.g., Alpha, Depth, Specular, MtlID, ObjID, …). Now, ArionFX for Photoshop can read -all- the channels contained in OpenEXR files, and conveniently lay them out as Photoshop layers.

Multi-layered OpenEXR file reader settingsMulti-layered OpenEXR file reader settings

Our importer can read 16-bit floating-point (or) integer OpenEXR files, and 32-bit floating-point OpenEXR files.

Naturally, the importer gets along fantastically well with G-Buffers saved from Arion, but it can be used with -any other- render engine as well. Actually, it can theoretically read -any- OpenEXR file, regardless of what it was generated with.

Additionally, the plug-in can read Arion’s native .agb file format, which is a lossless 32-bit dump of the G-Buffer as we store it in the GPU memory. AGB (Arion G-Buffer) files are an alternative to OpenEXR files for Arion users.

ArionFX for Photoshop v3.0.5 multi-layered OpenEXR readerArionFX for Photoshop v3.0.5 multi-layered OpenEXR reader

This new importer plug-in is released as part of the existing ArionFX product, and is available free of charge to our existing (and new) customers.

Feel free to grab the upgrade from the Customer Area if you are already a customer, or download the DEMO version from our website.

Thank you for reading!

New website and improved KB

Dear users,

We are proud to announce the release of a new iteration of our home website:

The website sports a brand new look and many new illustrations made by our amazing testers and users.

The all-new RandomControl websiteNew

To improve your online experience, we have also made some changes to the documentation website, where the new “home” frontpage provides easy access to the most important sections in the Knowledge Base.

The Knowledge Base will undergo some more changes and upgrades in the near future, in order to cover the new features in our products.

We hope that all these changes will improve your experience with our products.

Thank you for reading.

Realistic skin tests

Render time ranged from 60sec to 120sec for the ones with the brightest highlights. Raw renderings without any post-production. Click each image to see the full resolution version.

Model provided by ten24. Rendered with a development version of Arion 3.

Arion realistic skin tests

An Arion render in the flickr 2014 top 25!

Dear readers,

Through hundreds of millions of photos this amazing render by Mark Rademaker, done in Arion for 3ds Max, made it to the flickr’s top 25 photographs of 2014!

Arion Render in flickr’s top 25


Watch the flickr’s 2014 top 25 here:

We are amazed, amused and proud that an Arion render ended up in this list. Keep up the good work Mark!

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!