Friday, March 28, 2008

Artlantis in CreaNum

Here's the translation of an interview of Artlantis product manager recently published in Creation Numerique. He explains the Artlantis revolution.

What’s new in the latest version of Artlantis ?
“ The new version of Artlantis offers more than just features... it is a real revolution. We kept everything that Artlantis is famous for, its ease of use, intuitive interface and, above all, its powerful controls - and we introduced technologies that work for the user. Users can visualize the 3D model in real time using radiosity. Artlantis is unique among rendering software packages in the way it integrates radiosity into a live 3D preview. The 3D model is displayed in real-time using high quality radiosity lighting effects, maintaining an appearance consistent with the final rendering.
We also did a great job on the new lightings control, with systems that automatically balance the intensity of various light sources within a project. It works like the autoexposure setting on a digital camera. Regardless of how many light sources are in the scene, the system automatically adjusts their intensity, in order to avoid overexposure. Thanks to this light balancing system, it is now possible to change from day to night exterior lighting while automatically keeping the intensity of interior light sources consistently balanced. Once the scene’s lighting is prepared, the user only needs to determine what type of atmosphere to use - a day or a night sky - and the system takes care of the rest.
For materials, we introduced algorithms that realistically simulate actual materials. While playing with the reflection or brillance settings, it is easy to show very realistic effects and, moreover, to control all the modifications in real time within the preview window.
With the “normal maps” function, we have introduced a new option to accentuate the shadows or create more depth perception in a material, making it possible to show, for example, the subtle height variations of tiled surfaces.
Another new function allows the user to put QuickTime or AVI movies into a scene, such as onto a TV screen, creating more dynamic animations with Artlantis Studio. Also, we’ve included the ability to add animated characters to the scene, with a variety of realistic motion-captured preset behaviors like waiting, chatting, or walking from one point to another”.

Artlantis is famous for its very user-friendly interactivity, is it still the case in this new version ?
“ Yes, I think we have reinforced this concept. To us, it is a major asset when people can benefit from an advanced technology that is almost invisible. Nevertheless, it’s really there, behind a very simple interface. The user can easily take advantage of these automated features and powerful tools in Artlantis, increasing productivity dramatically. To that end, it’s very easy to create a 3d sky, and add cirrus, cumulus or stratus clouds - and even add a slight haze to the skyline by manipulating the “pollution factor” ! Artlantis also allows the user to create enhanced images called “postcards”, either to easily store and share a palette of materials, or to study different type of materials in a project while being able to quickly return the model to its previous configuration. While Artlantis is designed to produce professional high quality documents, it’s not specifically dedicated to the high-end CGI expert, but perhaps to someone like a stage designer whose main goal is to choose the right views, attractive materials and appropriate effects, in order to produce the perfect “marketing-friendly” picture of a project “.

Thanks to Chris of ObjectsOnLine

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