Imagination Technologies has announced availability of its Caustic Series2 OpenRL PC boards, accelerating Caustic Visualizer viewport plug-ins for Autodesk Maya and 3ds Max. Their interactive viewports make ray tracing available for a broader user and developer base. Both the Caustic Series2 ray tracing accelerator boards and Caustic Visualizer for Maya plugins will be available from January 2013. The production version of the 3ds Max Visualizer will be available in Q2 2013, with beta trials from February 2013.
The Caustic R2500 OpenRL PC board, including a copy of one Caustic Visualizer, will be priced at US$1495, targeting the latest high-end workstations. The Caustic R2100 board, including a copy of one Caustic Visualizer, will be US$795, intended for upgrading a wider range of mid-range and higher workstations. Both Caustic boards will ship with a copy of the Caustic Visualizer for Maya at launch. The software-only version of the Caustic Visualizer for Maya will be priced at US$299.
Imagination’s Caustic Visualizer family of plugins are hardware accelerated, bringing a fully interactive real-time ray-tracer to the working viewports of the industry's premier 3D design and animation packages. Imagination’s unique OpenRL-based ray tracing hardware and software technologies helps the Visualizer photorealistic viewport provide far higher visual quality than 3ds Max and Maya's normal rendering viewports, including globally accurate lighting, reflections and shadows within a 3ds Max, Maya or in a mental ray scene. It helps artists identify and resolve potential problems within their final renders from the earliest stages of modeling; minimizing the need for preview renders and streamlining the look development process.
The Caustic Visualizer viewport renderer interactively updates and responds to all edits in 3ds Max and Maya including geometry, lighting and shading characteristics while preserving their powerful interactive workflows. Selected objects in the Maya viewport continue to have fully editable wireframes and manipulators overlaid on the real-time ray traced shaded preview.
This Caustic Visualizer for Maya 1.0 Trial Version can be downloaded now from the Caustic Professional web site [below]. This is a fully functional release that is free-of-charge until January 31, 2013. It will be replaced with commercial and education editions that can be purchased for US$299 and US$199 respectively. The beta version of Caustic Visualizer for 3ds Max will be available in Q1 2013, with pre-registration available now online.
Caustic Series2 ray tracing accelerator boards
The Caustic Series2 is the first family of high performance ray tracing accelerator PC boards using Imagination’s unique ray tracing technologies in the world’s first dedicated chipset dedicated to high performance, fully interactive ray tracing in a workstation environment. Featuring unique Caustic RT2 custom chips, these PCI boards set new standards for price performance as well as power consumption, making it an ideal upgrade path for users wishing to use tools such as Autodesk Maya and 3ds Max to create stunning 3D content in a totally interactive, fully ray traced viewport environment. The Caustic Series2 sets a new standard for affordable, high performance ray tracing.
The Caustic Visualizer plugins make full use of Imagination’s unique ray tracing technologies to deliver photorealistic interactive viewports for some of the most popular content creation tools. They enables artists to upgrade their workflow to interact with a final rendering of scenes in real time while using all of the features of leading edge tools such as Autodesk’s 3ds Max and Maya, empowering them to identify and resolve potential problems within their final renders from the earliest stages of modeling. Using Caustic Visualizers eliminates the need for time-consuming non-real time preview renderers, radically streamlining the look development process.
PowerVR Brazil SDK v1.0
Caustic Visualizer utilizes Imagination’s PowerVR Brazil SDK v1.0, a high-level rendering software toolkit built using OpenRL for adding photorealistic visualization into 3D graphics applications. It is a completely new implementation of the technology in the award-winning Brazil final frame renderer, designed from the ground up to leverage Imagination’s OpenRL API and high performance ray tracing technologies to deliver real-time interactivity on any platform.