Clarisse 5.0 by Isotropix
The Clerisse 5.0 update introduces a new unified architecture for the two versions of the software; we will now be able to use the structural improvements developed for the high-performance version of Clarisse Builder in the Clarisse iFX version. Other important changes include a new USD exporter, new clothing tools, a new Arnold-compatible standard material, and a “revolutionary” new lighting mechanism that allows any scene geometry to be used as a light source.
The raytracing kernel has also been updated, resulting in “up to 1.5 times faster” rendering, as well as significant acceleration in rendering hair and volumes with multiple scattering. Clarisse, which combines the functions of conventional rendering, compositing and DCC tools, allows artists to develop complex production scenes by constantly interacting with the final image.
First released back in 2012, the software has quickly carved out a niche for itself in high-end visual effects and is now used by a number of major studios, including IML and Double Negative. One of the key changes to Clarisse 5.0 is the new unified architecture, which was originally introduced in beta 2019. This makes the basic architecture developed for Clarisse Builder, which was originally aimed at large studios processing huge production scenes, available in Clarisse iFX, which in turn is widely used by smaller studios and freelancers.
The new architecture includes a new scene engine, a new image compositing engine, and some general performance improvements originally only available in Builder. There’s also the option to run the software binaries as Clarisse iFX or Clarisse Builder: for both the commercial version and the free Personal Learning Edition. The new USD exporter allows to export scenes from Clarisse and other DCC software that supports the USD format, in particular to Houdini. In addition to scene elements, instances and animations, the export process retains Clarisse-specific features such as Scaterring and Combiners, making it easier to transfer scenes in both directions using other pipeline tools.
One of the key changes is a new standard material compatible with the Autodesk Standart Surface Material (ASSM) specification. It should provide a more consistent material display in Ckarisse and other applications that support the specification, notably Arnold. The new subsurface scattering mechanism, allows switching between a conventional SSS with random straying and a faster, though less accurate, diffusion-based model.
The processing of permeable materials such as glass has been reworked, with support for finer geometry, which in turn eliminates the need to model both the interior and exterior surfaces of transparent objects. The new Clarisse 5.0 geometric lighting system allows artists to turn any arbitrary geometry in the scene into a light source. Geometric lights provide the same controls as a conventional 3D light source, but can be warped, shifted or blurred while moving, and can be scaled up and down throughout the scene. The developer describes the system as allowing the software to “virtually display billions of textured light sources. Isotropix have also unveiled new subscription options which are designed to meet “the market’s need for greater flexibility” due to the recent COVID-19 pandemic.
Indies-eligible solo artists can rent Clarisse iFX for 30 days for $59 and rent CNode, a non-GUI version of the software, for use on rendering nodes for 30 days for $33. Renting five CNode licences for freelancers and solo artists costs $599 per year.
Clarisse 5.0 is available for Windows 10, RHEL and SeptOS 8 and above, Linux and macOS 10.12 and above. A Clerisse iFX 5.0 perpetual license with node locking for studios costs $2,299, while a perpetual floating license costs $2,999. A floating license subscription costs $1,549. Clarisse Builder 5.0 perpetual floating licence costs $6599, subscription is $379 per year. Solo artists can purchase a perpetual license with node locking on Clarisse iFX 5.0 for $999 or rent a license with node locking for $499 per year.
For more information on the Clarisse 5.0 release, visit the official website.
It is worth noting that there is also a free version of Personal Learning Edition (PLE) software for non-commercial use. The software is watermark-free, but there is a restriction on resolution and some features, and exports are partially disabled.