Clarisse 5 Is Out
Clarisse 5 is Here!
On May 5th Isotropix released another major update to Clarisse iFX. With it comes a bunch of new features that are all very exciting. Some of the most notable are the addition of Geometry Lights, full USD support with the ability to export scenes as USD, a revamped attribute editor and, my personal favorite, a whole new way to render Emissive textures.
Geometry Lights are pretty common in most renderers these days. Clarisse had been missing them up until version 5 but now any geometry in your scene can be easily converted to a geometry light. I tested this with a very heavy geometry tree just to see if it would work and Clarisse handled the 2 million plus polygons with ease.
Like I mentioned above USD support is now complete in Clarisse which is a welcome change for studios and anyone else using USD. Not only can you load USD scenes but you can also export Clarisse scenes into a USD context which should make for switching between DCC apps that much easier. In the keynote Isotropix showed a fairly dense scene exported from Clarisse and brought into Houdini through USD which makes me wonder just how easy it will be to transfer large amounts of polygons to other applications.
One of the biggest changes that comes in this release is a completely revamped way of rendering emissive objects. Typically emissive objects have to be faked with any renderer in order to avoid cranking up the sample count to something not really viable to render. Normally the more samples you add the higher the render times.
Isotropix has done it once again though and came to the rescue. They have introduced a new sample type which they are calling EIS or emission importance sampling. This new sampling type essentially makes it so emissive textures are calculated very similarly to regular lights. But does it actually work? Not only does it work but it works beautifully and extremely quickly. The featured image of this post was using only emission to light the scene. No actual lights were in the scene and it rendered very fast with very little noise. This is extremely exciting especially for anyone creating Sci-Fi scenes with many emissive objects such signs lighting the way.
A smaller yet just as welcome change is the revamped attribute editor and UI improvements. The attribute editor now works quite a bit differently with tabs to toggle visibility of certain settings. It is a little confusing if you are use to something like Houdini because the tabs actually disable the visibility of the corresponding settings when clicked. A small change that I noticed right away is the change in behavior of the icons above the viewport. There is a strip of setting above the viewport that contain the refinement count, enabling denoising and ambient occlusion settings just to name a few. In Clarisse 4 when you made the viewport small enough these icons would hide behind each other and disappear meaning you would need to resize the viewport if you wanted to change shading modes. Very annoying to say the least. In Clarisse 5 that is no longer an issue as once the icons hit the point where they would normally disappear they just drop down to another row.
That is just the start of what is new. There are a bunch more features that I haven’t mentioned such as improvements to adaptive anti aliasing, the new Autodesk Standard Surface Material, and evaluation controls just to name a few. Make sure you take a look at the official Isotropix webiste to see all of the new features. We also have a video showing some of the new features as well so you can see all of the awesome new features with your own eyes.