Exocortex Blog

Extending Wavefront MTL for Physically-Based Rendering

- Ben Houston

Over the last couple of years, the game industry has moved from the traditional Phong shading model towards the Physically-based or Physically-plausible Rendering method that uses materials that make it easier for artists to create realistic (e.g. physical) results.

But there is a significant issue in trying to develop assets for PBR-based renderers. There is no well defined format for transmitting the underlying Physically-based Material parameters between various creation tools (e.g. Clara.io, Unreal Engine, CryEngine, Unity, Maya, 3DS Max, Modo.)

Exocortex / Clara.io is Hiring 3D Developers to join our Ottawa Team.

- Ben Houston

Exocortex, the team behind the phenomenally popular Clara.io 3D modeling and rendering web app, is expanding in Ottawa, Canada. We are looking for talented and motivated 3D software developers to join our small but capable team. We are looking for full-time developers to work on-site in Ottawa, Canada. We are located in downtown Ottawa just five blocks from Canada’s beautiful Parliament Hill.

Exocortex Crate goes Open Source!

- Ben Houston

Exocortex is pleased to announce that Exocortex Crate, the highly popular Alembic suite of tools for 3DS Max, Maya, Softimage, Arnold and Python, is now open source. Also, as of today, we are no longer offering permanent licensing of Exocortex Crate, rather it is free to download, use and modify to your needs.

What is Alembic? Alembic is a standardized format for data exchange between 3D programs used for animation and visual effects. It enables you to escape the trap of only using a single 3D program. If you use Exocortex Crate you can easily exchange data between the products supported by Exocortex Crate and Houdini, Modo, Nuke, Cinema 4D, V-Ray, Arnold, RealFlow, Clarrise and Lightwave.

Clara.io: 65,000 Users, New Features and Premium Subscriptions.

- Ben Houston

What a year it has been for Clara.io, the online 3D modeling and rendering app. It was only a year ago when we first announced Clara.io and showed off the pre-beta version at SIGGRAPH 2013. To say that this was a busy year for us here at Exocortex is the understatement of the year.

In the past year, while running the beta, we’ve continued to launch major feature improvements including a including a revamped and polished UI, a ton of sub-object editing tools, support for subdivision surfaces, a comprehensive integration of ChaosGroups’ V-Ray photorealistic renderer, and our 3D Stream technology that enables you to embed interactive V-Ray scenes into webpages. Our growth has also blown past our expectations. We are pleased to announce that in one year, we have grown from 0 to 65,000 registered Clara.io users.

Pinshape + Clara.io: A great way to sell your 3D models.

- Ben Houston

Pinshape, the premiere online marketplace for 3D printing models, has just announced support for custom Clara.io WebGL embeds in their product listings. You can now setup a scene in Clara.io to showcase, in interactive 3D, your 3D printing models up for sale on Pinshape.

What is Pinshape? Pinshape is the premium online 3D printing marketplace that caters to the best 3D printing artists in the world. Because Pinshape is primarily a marketplace, it is a great way for 3D artists to make money from their 3D printing creations (that hopefully you made in Clara.io!) and also to enhance an artist's visibility within the 3D printing community. It is worthwhile for everyone to check out what Pinshape has to offer. You can think of Pinshape as like Dribbble but for the 3D printing community.

Clara.io: Officially Launching V-Ray Rendering + $1000 in Prizes.

- Ben Houston

June 17, 2014: Today, Clara.io, the most popular* online 3D modeling and rendering app, is pleased to announce the formal launch of our V-Ray renderer integration. It's ready for all of our users to try out right now (although you probably want to read the rest of this announcement first.) V-Ray integrated into Clara.io is perfect for all types of renderings, including architectural and product renderings (including 3D printing models.) We are celebrating with a $1000 contest for the best V-Ray rendering using Clara.io -- see details here at the bottom of this post.

Clara.io has been nominated for the Best New 3D Application by 3D World Magazine. Please support us by voting for Clara.io here. It only takes a few seconds!

Clara.io: New Features and Open Access to All.

- Ben Houston

November 5, 2013: Exocortex is proud to announce the start of the Clara.io (online 3D modeling and rendering software) open beta. Clara.io is the leading web-based professionally oriented 3D content creation platform. Along with opening the doors to unlimited registrations, we are also pleased to announce the Scene Player, improved Format support, a better History tab, complex scene navigation, a plugin SDK and a REST API.

"It is amazing what they have achieved. Essentially it is 3D Studio Max in a browser. Incredible :)"
— Chris Neale, Co-founder at UsableHQ.

Cloud-based interactive V-Ray rendering is coming to Clara.io.

- Ben Houston

We are pleased to announce today that Clara.io (online 3D modeling and rendering software) (have you signed up for the beta yet?) is soon going to support interactive cloud-based V-Ray rendering.

Clara.io is the next-generation web-based 3D content creation platform being developed by industry veterans Exocortex. V-Ray is the leading full-featured renderer from the always forward looking Chaos Group.

Using custom ICE attributes with Exocortex Crate

- Mauricio Vines

Alembic has become the new standard for data exchange between different platforms and applications. After proving to be a success in productions like Iron Man 3 (2013) , Pacific Rim (2013) and The Amazing Spiderman (2012), Alembic is here to stay.

The development pipeline in a diverse production environment has never been simpler. Artists work in their preferred DCC tool, and save their scenes in Alembic, for later integration. Exocortex Crate now supports importing and exporting nearly everything you can create in Softimage, 3DS MAx and Maya.

Alembic is about to get really fast

- Ben Houston

I have some really good news for Alembic users.

In the two years since we first released Alembic suite of tools, we have learnt a lot about how Alembic performs in the real world. One thing that has come up with some of our larger clients, was that the performance of Alembic leaves a bit to be desired when dealing with very deep scene hierarchies and/or thousands of scene nodes.

Introducing Exocortex Fury 2

- Ben Houston

What do The Avengers (2012), Titanic 3D (2012), Iron Man 3 (2013), Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters (2013), and Jurassic Park 3D (2013) have in common?

The Answer: Exocortex Fury 2. The production proven GPU-accelerated particle renderer for Maya and Softimage.

Exocortex Species 1.6 Released!

- Ben Houston

Species 1.6 is now available at Exocortex.com. This update adds great new features, improvements, and functionality for users. Check out the video for this release:

Exocortex Species simplifies the process of human character creation from designing your character’s unique attributes, integrating sculpting results, to rig creation, even animation. With Species, you will create higher quality animated characters faster and at a lower cost, while avoiding the generic look that often come when purchasing off-the-shelf models. Exocortex Species supports Autodesk Softimage 2010 through 2013 on both Windows and Linux. Floating and node locked licenses are available starting at $299.

Announcing Exocortex ImplosiaFX!

- Ben Houston

I am happy to say that we (Oleg Bliznuk and Exocortex) have released the first version of ImplosiaFX, the fast and modern ICE Modelling-based shatter toolset. :-)It supports Windows both 64- and 32-bit (Linux coming soon ).It has been significally improved and extended since the first version.

Here are the key key improvements:

Exocortex Species 1.0 is now available!

- Ben Houston

Chris Covelli and Eric Thivierge would like to announce the immediate availability of Exocortex Species v1.0

Check out the trailer video, its features and download a trail demo here:

Speeding up C++ builds on Windows.

- Ben Houston

Here is a quick summary of what I've learned the last few years of working with a large code base.

(1) Get the faster possible processor. I would recommend an Intel Core i7 2600K (4 core/8 with HT) or an Intel Core i7 2700K (6 core/12 with HT) as the best price/performance ratio right now. Both of these run at around 3.4Ghz (and can go even faster when only one core is used, such as the case of creating a pre-compiled header.) If your CPU isn’t near the top of this list, you are very likely spending too much time waiting for your compilations:http://www.cpubenchmark.net/high_end_cpus.html

Exocortex Momentum 3.0 available!

- Ben Houston

After a long beta, several projects being produced and a huge amount of features being added, Momentum 3.0 is finally available!

Version 3.0 adds support for fracturing, dynamic as well as static, quality UVs as well as normals, revamped plotting (including plotting to disk) and a big amount of workflow and performance improvements.

Fury 2 Dev Vlog

- Richard Monette

As we continue towards the release of Fury 2, Richard will be taking some time out to present a series of videos outlining some of the new features and changes. In this video Richard presents the basic Fury rendering options and describes a few of the changes to the UI that have been made in Fury 2.

If you are interested in joining the Fury 2 Beta please contact info@exocortex.com

Announcing Exocortex Momentum 2.0 SP1

- Ben Houston

The first update to Helge Mathee's well-received Bullet physics plugin for Softimage is now available as Exocortex Momentum 2.0 SP1. This release is even more scalable and stable. Also, SP1 brings with it a new geometry generation operator which we are calling the 'Momentum Instancer'. With this operator a lot of new workflows are possible, as shown in this video that Helge Mathee has created.

If you haven't yet tried out Momentum, register and download the demo at the Exocortex website: Exocortex Momentum Webpage

SlipstreamVX/Fury Maintenance Update

- Ben Houston

Here is an update to the SlipstreamVX and Fury package. This update addresses the following issues:

The download, as usual, can be found on the main SlipstreamVX product page:

Improving Fury video card compatibility

- Ben Houston

The release today is a minor one. This release focuses solely on improving the stability of Fury on a variety of video cards. Fixing these issues has usually involved purchasing the video card in question and then running Fury and reproducing the issue. The main video cards for which this release significantly improves stability are the following:

This release likely improves stability for other NVIDIA video cards not listed as well, but these are the specific video cards that we targeted based on the automatic error reports we received.We always recommend running with the latest video drivers.

Fury update to support OpenGL 2.1 and experimental CPU-based self-shadowing

- Ben Houston

We've put together another release of SlipstreamVX. The most notable feature of this release is Fury 1.2, and with that the OpenGL requirement has been lowered to 2.1. We also batch the rendering into smaller groups so it should no longer crash out Windows TDR with the message that the driver had to be restarted.

The new Fury also includes an experimental option for self-shadowing. Currently this feature is CPU-only, and is not a physically accurate model, but you may find it gives you more to play with in your effects toolbox.You can get the latest release from the SlipstreamVX product page.

New SlipstreamVX Release with Fury 1.1

- Jamie Madill

We've been working hard to improve stability with this release, as well as a few new features for Fury. It also includes a new activation dialog that should be easier to use. For those of you already licensed, you can download the release directly here. Otherwise, I suggest getting a trial by following this link.

The main notable feature of this release is Fury 1.1, here's the latest changes:- improved stability- motion blur fixed- higher quality particle kernel- added a fixed color mode for modifying particle colors post-simulation- fill alpha fixed, and PNG writing should be much faster- enable automatic remote error reporting

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