Clarisse iFX - the future of CGI compositing?

 This entire scene created by the team at Isotropix is live in Clarisse, what you see is what you render......oh and you can move everything too in real time - which is nice!

This entire scene created by the team at Isotropix is live in Clarisse, what you see is what you render......oh and you can move everything too in real time - which is nice!

I think I may have seen the future if your a 3D professional. I was lucky enough to get a preview via video conference of Clarrisse iFX from the good folks at Isotropix, and they have allowed me to talk ‘a little’ about what I saw.

Clarisse iFX offers a new paradigm of 3D scene creation and a new take on compositing. There seem to be a couple of things that make it unique, one is the way that it handle’s polygons, it can handle a lot of them , one of the scenes I was shown was of a forest which had 30 billion poly’s in it, it was hard to judge responsiveness as I was on skype, but it worked, and the UI was responsive, the apps memory footprint was also low. A lot if this seems to be due to that fact that Clarisse iFX is truly multithreaded so bottlenecks are kept to a minimum. I was being shown a release which was rated a tech preview, but while there was the odd crash, it was no more than some of the released apps I work with.

The other key thing that makes Clarisse iFX unique is the fact that everything is an object, including elements such as render outputs. A good example of this was when I was shown a set of 2D cards which each had a render output from a model of tree object which was also in Clarisse iFX. Using the procedural system I was blown away when the density of the branches was changed and each render output updated accordingly. I spent the night thinking how this would be done from a compositors point of view, well what it would mean is that you could take your roto’d live footage and literally place it in the middle of a scene within Clarisse iFX, exactly as you would in a traditional practical modelling sense. This was great, and from this artist’s point of view was a much easier and more logical way of thinking than some other compositing pipelines.

3D elements and their shadows and reflections can be shifted into ‘layers’ allowing a sphere to be invisible but have a reflection, and also for the 3D plane for the reflection to be blurred as well, this is nuts, but great, as it was done using a 3d package set of controls rather than a compositors pipeline

Matte painting and large scale arch viz can be an area where I see Clarisse iFX marching in and stomping over the competition. This is due to the fact that the image that you see in the window is the render, it’s stunningly quick even with GI, and with a couple of clicks buildings and objects can be repositioned in realtime, and because everything your looking at is in 3D, animation becomes instantly available too. 

Clarisse iFX will be a competitor to Nuke for some work as well as Katana, and with an exceptional ability to handle ZBrush files, it’s going to be really exciting to see what artists can produce. 

But the real boon will be for 3D artists who want a new take on compositing, the key to Clarisse iFX is the speed and the amount that can be placed into a scene, with little overhead in terms of locked up machine. You will still need your 3D app of choice(s), but Clarisse iFX offers a new type of app, and one I can’t wait to play with.

Any questions either email or pop a comment…