emRPC4 is a renderer that specialises in rendering point clouds, implemented as an ICE node within Softimage. It generates a bunch of compounds that render point clouds directly to disk as TARGA, Softimage, SGI or OpenEXR images.
Even though the node reportedly renders the particles in a rather primitive way it can come in handy when dealing with many particles, it is fast, so rendering a frame generally only takes a few seconds. Together with the ability to have self-shadowing, ambient occlusion and global illumination it is a great tool for those jobs that need to be done quickly.
The plugin consists of an Addon that contains a "DLL" file (Windows) or "so" file (Linux) for the render node (compiled C++ code for 32 bit and 64 bit versions of Softimage). Below is a video guide of some of the new features available in the emRPC4.
emRPC4 4.00 - Walk Through the New Features from Eric Mootz on Vimeo.
Additionally, there are many compounds that come along with it.
Being an ICE node makes emRPC4 really flexible: all the great ICE functionality can be used to set the render parameters for each particle (or strand) separately. For example you can make some of the particles cast global illumination whereas others don't. Or use different lighting models and drawing modes for different particles.
emRPC4 is well integrated into ICE and you use it just as easily as all the other nodes and compounds in ICE. Below is an example of what the emRPC4 can do as an early BETA, shown in a clip produced in Germany by the production company OPTIX for the artist KRAUSE.Related links:Mootzoid emRPC4