Clarisse iFX

think big By tap­ping into to­day’s ad­vanced com­put­ing tech­nol­ogy, this ul­tra-fast 3D soft­ware has plenty of room for 2D artists – and a hefty price tag

ImagineFX - - Reviews -

By tap­ping into to­day’s ad­vanced com­put­ing tech­nol­ogy, could this ex­am­ple of ul­tra-fast 3D soft­ware change the way you ren­der?

Tra­di­tional ren­der­ers en­able artists to block out scenes and sort out light­ing be­fore spit­ting it out as a 3D scene. It’s a great ap­proach be­cause the main mus­cle of the com­puter isn’t re­quired un­til the very end, and it made sense when an army of su­per­com­put­ers was needed to cre­ate a sin­gle frame of, say, Toy Story. But in the age of ul­tra­pow­er­ful desk­top PCs it feels pos­i­tively pre­his­toric.

Clarisse aims to rev­o­lu­tionise this facet of 3D artistry by util­is­ing the multi-core na­ture of mod­ern pro­ces­sors. Fire it up and a scene ren­ders within sec­onds. Once done, you can then se­lect ob­jects in the view­port, then move and ro­tate them as you wish, with the scene re-ren­der­ing al­most in­stan­ta­neously. Com­plex scenes take a lit­tle longer, but you still get a rough, pix­e­lated idea of how it’s go­ing to look be­fore it’s re­fined by the ren­der­ing en­gine.

Clarisse in­cludes an an­i­ma­tion en­gine for 3D film­mak­ers, but de­vel­oper Isotropix reck­ons it’s also the per­fect tool for 2D artists. Truth be told, we can see where the com­pany’s com­ing from: it’s easy to build com­plex back­drops and mat­tes with strong per­spec­tive and real­is­tic light­ing, and the fast speed of the en­gine means you can de­velop com­plex scenes by cut­ting and past­ing ob­jects, or pro­ce­du­rally gen­er­ate leaves and branches of trees, for ex­am­ple.

How­ever, there are still a cou­ple of draw­backs with it at the mo­ment. Be­cause this is a mere ren­derer, you’ll need to cre­ate your 3D as­sets in an­other pro­gram such as Light­wave. At £611 it’s also rather ex­pen­sive, al­though this is a re­duced price – Isotropix aims to at­tract a wider au­di­ence with its prod­uct.

As it stands Clarisse is a niche prod­uct, then. But we found it sta­ble and in­tu­itive, which is im­pres­sive given that it was de­vel­oped by a hand­ful of pro­gram­mers. There’s a lot of po­ten­tial here – Isotropix says that the soft­ware has been used by some ma­jor graph­ics com­pa­nies, but won’t say who. If it could in­clude a 3D mod­eller, Clarisse could be­come an es­sen­tial pur­chase.

An­i­ma­tion tools in­clude blurs and fur an­i­ma­tion, which makes Clarisse suit­able for film­mak­ers as well as for artists.

This im­age con­tains a whop­ping 29 mil­lion pieces of ge­om­e­try and 31 bil­lion prim­i­tives, and yet you can edit it al­most im­me­di­ately.

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