MONTPELLIER, FRANCE, MAY 5th, 2021 – Isotropix, a privately held software company developing high-end innovative graphics software, announced today the release of Clarisse 5, the latest update of its flagship product. For this release, the development team delivered over 100 new features and improvements across all aspects of the software. The company also announced new competitive and flexible offers for all its customers as well as a new free learning edition of its software capable of running the latest version of Clarisse iFX or Clarisse BUiLDER.
The release of Clarisse 5 was unveiled during a special online event celebrating the 10 year anniversary of Isotropix which premiered on YouTube on May 5th 2021. According to Sam Assadian, CEO and co-founder of the company, the development team focused on making Clarisse 5 "easier, better, faster and more open than ever" by improving 5 major aspects of the product: set dressing, look development, lighting, rendering and workflow.
More information about Clarisse 5 features is available at https://clarisse5.isotropix.com. In-depth description of the new features and improvements is available in the application release note.
The company is introducing a built-in USD exporter in Clarisse 5 allowing entire Clarisse scenes to be imported in all applications supporting USD without the need of any custom tools. This feature is a big step forward for the product since users can now leverage the powerful set dressing abilities of Clarisse for layout and export in USD to lookdev and render using the package of their choice. Expecting an increase of users doing mainly layout work in Clarisse 5, the company introduced many new improvements in that regard such as orthographic views, a new streamlined workflow to switch and manage multiple viewpoints in the scene, new camera overlays to display safe frames and composition guides and a whole new graph editor offering everything needed to quickly layout and animate scenes.
Clarisse 5 offers a new multi purpose PBR material based on Autodesk Standard Surface Material (ASSM) specification which is already supported by Autodesk Arnold and Substance Painter. This important move aligns with the strategy of the company to offer users a first step toward loodev interoperability to "lookdev anywhere and render everywhere" as stated by Sebastien Guichou, CTO and co-founder of Isotropix. During the presentation of Clarisse 5, Guichou presented 2 images, one rendered in Autodesk Arnold and the other in Clarisse, that were indistinguishable from each other. The new version also offers a revised subsurface scattering engine offering a more accurate random walk and a faster and improved diffusion-based model. Since both techniques render pretty similar images in common scenarios, users can freely switch between the two without adjusting their materials to manage rendering speed and accuracy tradeoff. Transmissive materials have been improved in Clarisse 5 to offer more controls for shadowing and surface thickness management. The company has also introduced transmission scattering simulation to render very accurately dense transmissive materials such as thick and viscous liquids.
Clarisse 5 brings significant updates to lighting. It offers new controls to independently tweak light contributions in diffuse, reflection, refraction or volume paths. Sampling of area lights, especially IES lights in volumes have been greatly improved. As a result, Clarisse 5 produces less noise in renders than Clarisse 4 for the same amount of samples. Lights also get a new mode to contribute exclusively to AOVs. When in this mode, lights stop affecting beauty and contribution is retrieved using light path expressions in AOVs. This feature greatly simplifies the setup of rendering additional fill lights used exclusively for compositing. Another important update found in Clarisse 5 is the ability to turn arbitrary geometries into lights and render them efficiently. Thanks to the geometry instancing capabilities of Clarisse, the renderer can now virtually render billions of textured lights while offering remarkably fast render times, low memory footprint and high level of interactivity.
During the online event, the CEO of the company presented Emission Importance Sampling (EIS), a new unbiased rendering feature greatly improving sampling of materials defining emission. The CEO demonstrated how much time EIS is saving to lighting artists since they no longer need to fake emission using manually placed lights. Sam Assadian described this feature as "a revolution" since it blurs the line between look development and lighting. The development team has also focused their effort on improving general rendering performance of Clarisse 5 making it the "fastest version of Clarisse ever released" according to Assadian. General ray tracing performance is up to 1.5x faster on actual scenes. Fur and hair are now using a new engine that always renders curves adaptively and speed up render times by up to 4 times especially on challenging scenarios such as long tangled hair. New speed optimizations to volume speed up render times by over 3 times with multiple scattering enabled and a new anti aliasing importance sampling is speeding up render times by 15% to 20% while producing at the same time better results when denoised. Additional improvements to the renderer include a new BxDF path splitting strategy speeding up specular reflection/transmission paths and a new more predictable adaptive anti aliasing method based on standard deviation.
Many aspects of Clarisse workflow have been improved in version 5 making the application faster and simpler to use. All item attributes have been reorganized into logical hierarchical groups and only most relevant attributes are now exposed by default. Users can now quickly manage the visibility of attribute groups in the Attribute Editor which also display new visual hints to identify user-modified attributes. Global variables can now be promoted and quickly edited from the main user interface of the application. When linked to expressions, they can be used to easily create smart project templates users can operate with a simplified set of controls. Users also can control Clarisse evaluation engine to prevent it from loading and processing any actual data. The render history has been improved to offer a new mode to manage render snapshots. Builtin light path expressions complementing existing AOVs have been added and light path expressions have been improved to support material lobes so that users can easily extract coating from diffuse or specular into individual AOVs to better adjust them in comp.
Clarisse 5 is compliant with VFX Reference Platform CY2020. As such, all third party libraries shipped with the software are now matching the versions listed on https://vfxplatform.com including the move to Python 3.7 which is the new default scripting engine in Clarisse 5. Since this change has major repercussions, it is still possible to run Clarisse 5 using the old Python 2.7 engine. The software company has announced that it will continue its support during the entire release cycle of Clarisse 5.
Clarisse 5 is immediately available to purchase through Isotropix online store and authorized resellers. Existing customers with active maintenance are eligible for a free upgrade. They should receive an automatic email notification enclosing the updated license file. For more information about Isotropix maintenance program benefits refer to https://www.isotropix.com/shop/maintenance
Customers without active maintenance can still update to the latest version but will be subject to a catchup fee. More detail is available in their account through https://www.isotropix.com/user/licenses
With the release of Clarisse 5, Isotropix is introducing whole new pricing and special offers. According to Houman Assadian, CSO of the company, "the major overhaul is designed to better respond to the market need looking for more flexibility because of the pandemic".
Exclusively available for solo artists (indies and freelancers) the company introduces a 30-day node-locked license of Clarisse iFX at $59 as well as a 30-day floating license of CNode at $33. In addition, the company offers them a new pack of 5 (five) 1-year CNode floating licenses at $599. These new offers are rentals and do not require special subscription commitment terms or any automatic renewals. The company also updated its policy for its Clarisse indie rental and permanent licenses: starting from Clarisse 5, solo artists can now run CNode on any of their computers that is licensed with a Clarisse iFX for Indies license.
To celebrate its 10 year anniversary, the company is also introducing to all its other customers a new competitive offer which bundles 10 (ten) free 1-year CNode licenses with each purchase of a Clarisse license. This offer isn't limited to a maximum number of Clarisse licenses purchased by the customer. It is however valid exclusively once for a new order placed between May 5th 2021 and December 31st 2021. For the 2 years following the purchase, the company is also offering its customers a smooth ramp up on the renewals of the free 1-year CNode licenses that came bundled free with their order. Isotropix will offer a 50% and 25% discount on the renewal price of these CNode licenses, the first and second year respectively. This offer doesn't commit customers to renew a minimum number of CNode licenses. At the time of the renewal, they can choose to renew any number of CNode licenses from the pool of remaining ones that were bundled free with their original order.
Isotropix has also lowered its pricing for Clarisse BUiLDER licenses starting now at $3,999 for 1-year licenses and $6,599 for permanent ones, both including 1 year of maintenance.
More information about offers and pricing is available on the company's website on https://shop.isotropix.com
Isotropix updates its Clarisse Personal Learning Edition (PLE) to offer users the opportunity to learn and explore for free, all the features found in Clarisse 5. However, unlike previous versions of Clarisse PLE which were limited to Clarisse iFX, users can now learn for free Clarisse BUiLDER, the most high end version of the software offering an exclusive node-based scene assembly and sequence lighting workflow.
Clarisse 5 PLE can be downloaded for free on https://ple.isotropix.com
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Get Clarisse 5, Clarisse iFX, Clarisse BUiLDER, CNode and company logo pack in SVG here
Emission Importance Sampling in Clarisse 5 (There are no light in this render. The lighting comes from the emissive property of the materials)
Random Walk vs Diffusion in Clarisse 5. Results are very close in these renders. Only thin areas are more realistic with Random Walk compared to Diffusion. This allows artists to freely switch between the two modes to freely manage quality and speed tradeoff without the need to adjust their material settings.
Isotropix is a software development company founded in 2011. For the past decade, the company has constantly innovated to streamline the workflow of CG Artists working in world leading studios such as DNEG, Industrial Light & Magic, WETA Digital and Dreamworks Animation. First released in 2012, their flagship product Clarisse has been key in the creation of over 200 feature films and television series, several of which have earned unanimous critically acclaimed awards, including three Academy Awards for Blade Runner 2049, First Man and the just recently awarded Tenet. For more information, please visit www.madewithclarisse.com.
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