e-on Acquired by Bentley Systems

LumenRT_ALDOTAccording to a fresh press release, a big company that does something has acquires e-on. It seems that Bentley Systems REALLY likes LumenRT, so much so they decided to buy the whole house. So far, it seems everything will be business as usual from the perspective of the average user of e-on products. e-on will continue to exist as a subsidiary of Bentley.

Sales and support of all e-on software, except the higher tier versions of LumenRT, will still be available through the e-on website. Those higher tier versions of LumenRT will be sold and serviced directly by Bentley. So, Bentley get LumenRT and a well known brand, and it seems that e-on’s software will see greater investment, both from Bentley directly, and through exposure to some big clients.

It’s nice to think that this will lead to better Vue, Plant Factory etc for all, and given the wide CG industry usage of e-on products there is no reason to think the e-on name is going away any time soon.


Reality 4.1 Set For Release 21st September

Faster Physically Based Rendering For All!

Exciting times coming up for Reality users. The recent release of LuxRender 1.5 is everything many LR users have been waiting for, and a huge step towards what others are nervously scratching themselves raw for – full featured LuxRender GPU rendering. Taking advantage of the recent release, Reality 4.1 is a grand update for both DS and Poser users. Both Reality and LuxRender have had an extraordinary impact on the community over the years, bringing many artists (hobbyist or otherwise) their first taste of physically based (and accurate) rendering.

For much of that time users have struggled to balance render times with quality, but now with LuxRender 1.5 we are seeing large speed gains on CPU – up to 21 times faster according to the latest YouTube post by Paolo Ciccone. This is the big draw for current Reality users, and will likely be an equally big draw for those considering their PBR options. On top of the gains in CPU rendering, LR 1.5 also includes updates to their OpenCL GPU based renderer.

It would be hard to argue that the inclusion of Iray in DAZ Studio, and to a lesser extent, since the development of Poser, DS and Carrara plugins for Octane, there hasn’t been a diminished interest in LuxRender. I’m one of them. I’ve always stuck with the budget mid level AMD cards, but with Iray effectively halving the “get PBR quickly” entry point, it was too good to pass up. So seeing these latest developments with LR and Reality (not to mention the tantalising future LuxusCore hints at) is a very welcome development. It feels as if balance is returning to the force. Artists wanting in on the PBR racket now have more choice. It’s no longer a matter of go CUDA or wait for the glacial beauty of LuxRender. AMD or Nvidia, CPU or GPU; all DS and Poser users can look forward to faster PBR on a budget that suits them.

It’s Not All About Speed With Reality 4.1

For me, the Reality interface has always been a weak point of the product, particularly when it comes to editing materials. In versions prior to 4, like many other users, I found configuring materials, especially in larger scenes with many surfaces (sometimes with obscure naming conventions), a frustratingly laborious task. Even with updates in this area included in Reality 4, I still often found the messy but natively integrated Luxus much quicker to use. Now it looks like Reality 4.1 is set to squash even more UI nitpicks with the ability to easily bulk edit materials within and across objects.

There are many more very welcome upgrades and additions in Reality 4.1, but I won’t go into them here. Some can be seen in Paolo’s YouTube presentation.

4.1 will be a free update for all current Reality 4 users. Users still on older versions can buy an upgrade direct from Preta 3D – currently $9.95. Reality 4, for those that don’t own it or a previous version, can also pick up DAZ Studio and Poser versions from the previously mentioned Preta 3D, from DAZ 3D, or just about every conceivable DAZ/Poser community store around.

Stuffing a Desktop Into a Tablet

CG on the bus, CG in the park, CG in the mall CG everywhere!

This is just a quick post about two competing beauties I want. I don’t know what it is like for normal people, but as a dude interested in cg I’ve often found myself in places and thought, “I really want to model this place”. Some times I’ll snap a few reference shots, but ever since the launch of the first generation the Cintiq Companion the idea of being able to sit there (where ever that may be) and model an intriguing item or the environment that surrounds me, has been pretty high up there on the “Things I Think About List”.

Of course, most of the people who want these cool things for the intention they were made for can’t afford them. i know I can’t, but it hasn’t stopped me fantasising about one materialsing at the most inspired moment.

So, what exactly am I getting so excited about? There have been pretty nifty tablet computers for a long time now. Yes, true, but having an i7, gigs of RAM, a dedicated graphics card, a precision stylus – all on a Windows based system is SO much more than a nifty tablet you can doodle and play Angry Birds 2 on. You can Z-Brush on these things! You can put together massive PSDs on these things without crashing out on insufficient RAM. You can do hardcore rendering on these things (though doing that a lot probably isn’t advisable).

Wacom Cintiq Companion 2

The number 1 such tablet is the Cintiq Companion 2 (i7) variants. I want one, like serious-burning-NEED type of want. Wacom are the bee’s knees when it comes to graphics tablets, and their extraordinarily accurate stylus is the number one reason the Cintiq Companion 2 is king of the pro grade tablets.

Cintiqu Companion 2 @ Amazon (feel free to buy me one while you’re there)

Microsoft Surface Pro 3

Number 2 is Microsoft’s Surface Pro 3 (i7 variants). When talking processing power the Companion and the Surface are fairly equal. The one shortcoming of the SP3 is it’s stylus, but at around half the price of Wacom’s tablet computers this is a pretty minor issue. The Surface Pro 3’s stylus might not be as accurate as the Cintiq Companion’s but it is still far superior to just about any tablet out there, so yes, you still get a relatively frustration free sculpt or drawing/painting experience. Another big difference between the two tablets is that the Cintiq boasts a 13.3 inch screen vs the Surface’s 12 inch.

Microsoft Surface Pro 3 @ Amazon

Microsoft Surface Pro 3 @ Newegg

Inspiring CG Works

The DAZ 3D Galleries

It has been quite some time since I checked in on the DAZ 3D Galleries. Actually I haven’t really dropped by since they were first setup, but a recent visit turned into several hours of awe and wonder. Like any gallery open to self submission, anyone can post and as such the works range from beginner to master levels. With the surface of the gallery barely scratched, I was compelled to compile the most inspiring works and finally make use of my Pinterest account.

The selected works are software agnostic, so there is work with Bryce, DAZ etc using a variety of different render engines.

Hit me back with links to your own eye-popping boards, and don’t forget to drop a thumbs up, comment or share on the DAZ 3D gallery/artist page of any works that inspire you.

Follow Jim’s board Inspireing images from the DAZ 3D Gallery on Pinterest.