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Glacierise
12-30-2006, 08:20 AM
Hi,

Hoping to catch Bobo again - can you (or somebody else that knows it) tell us a bit more about Krakatoa? What's with the billions of particles? :D Sounds too good to be true! Collecting the pieces of info, it seems like it can be used both as a normal and point renderer, but how is it going to manage billions of particles? Is it a particle engine, or just a renderer, that can multiply particle counts at render time? And frantic's site tells of a 'particle flow integration' - how's that going to happen? A brief description of what it is, how it works and what is the workflow like would be awesome!

Thanks again ;)

DeKo-LT
12-30-2006, 11:45 AM
Check this:
http://www.orbaz.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=872&highlight=

Now, only question when it will be released and what will be price...
And i'm still waiting for Frantic Films respond.... :cry:

Bobo
12-30-2006, 06:34 PM
Check this:
http://www.orbaz.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=872&highlight=

Now, only question when it will be released and what will be price...
And i'm still waiting for Frantic Films respond.... :cry:

Where did you send your question? ;)

We intend to release Krakatoa in the first quarter of 2007. Anywhere between 1 month from now and when it is ready ;) We are currently in beta and fixing bugs, polishing the UI to give you as much power as possible and even adding some more features requested by our testers.
The price has not been announced yet, but at Siggraph 2006 it was suggested that it would be rather affordable :) I will let our marketing dept. deal with that though...

Bobo
12-30-2006, 07:00 PM
Hi,

Hoping to catch Bobo again - can you (or somebody else that knows it) tell us a bit more about Krakatoa? What's with the billions of particles? :D Sounds too good to be true! Collecting the pieces of info, it seems like it can be used both as a normal and point renderer, but how is it going to manage billions of particles? Is it a particle engine, or just a renderer, that can multiply particle counts at render time? And frantic's site tells of a 'particle flow integration' - how's that going to happen? A brief description of what it is, how it works and what is the workflow like would be awesome!

Thanks again ;)


Ok, here is a short version of what you need to know:

Krakatoa is a Volumetric Particle Renderer. It started as a Point Renderer in 2004 when we first had to work with the late Richard Dr. Baily (http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0047665/), known for his Spore designs which you can still find on www.imagesavant.com (http://www.imagesavant.com/)
Dr. Baily worked on ancient SGI machines, writing his own code to procedurally generate millions of particles using complex multi-dimensional mathematical functions. Kevin Tod Haug (http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0369265/), the visual effects supervisor of movies like Fight Club, The Cell, Panic Room and Finding Neverland, was a good friend of Doc. They envisioned a sequence for the Marc Forster movie "Stay" where the Brooklyn bridge in NYC turns into a fantastic glowing plasma world made of spore particles. They created some test scenes and while they looked gorgeous, it was clear that the propietary software running on an old SGI machine would not be able to deliver the quantities of frames and the quality needed for 2K images on time. So Frantic was hired to work on both the sequence as post production house and as RnD team to figure out how to render all these particles.
We tried every renderer out there, including Entropy and PRman. It was obvious that we needed our own version of a point renderer similar to what Dr. Baily was using, but running on Windows and much much faster. This first incarnation of the Frantic Particle Renderer did only point accumulation (additive or maximum shading) and was crunching about 50K particles per second. Since we used a DLL providing us with unlimited number of spore particles procedurally, we did not have to store the particles, just render them. The final frames featured multiple layers of particles, each layer with up to 500 million particles. Some frames had up to 50 billions! The renderer included DOF and motion blur support and created EXR files.

Over the following year, we used the renderer to shade smoke simulated with FLOOD for the movie Cursed and on some other projects. Eventually, both Frantic and Dr. Baily were hired to work together on Kryptonite effects for Superman Returns. Once again, we connected with his Spore and rendered both volumetrically and in 2D. But for the underwater and water sequences we were also awarded, we had to render clouds of silt that required more than just point shading - we needed full shading including lighting, self-shadowing, texture mapping support and so on. This is how Krakatoa was born - our RnD dept. took the knowledge from the previous incarnations and developed a new stand-alone point renderer that could do all this. We also expanded the pipeline by introducing a particle file format that could be used internally to load and save particles between Krakatoa, FLOOD and Particle Flow. At that point, we were still using 32bit software, so there were certain memory limits - the stand-alone version could crunch more particles without the overhead of 3ds Max, but we still had to generate multiple layers of particles to get the 1 billion seen in some shots in Superman Returns.

With 64 bit coming, we felt that a built-in 3ds Max renderer would be a great idea for any user, so we did just that. Krakatoa will be available for both 32 and 64bit Max and is used just like any other renderer, but it does not do regular rendering, only particle shading. Since it supports matte objects that can occlude particles and cast shadows on particles, it is possible to integrate the resulting frames into any scene. The results from volumetric shading are similar to what you would get from raymarching software like Afterburn, but the detail from fluid particle simulations could be actually retained as each particle is rendered as a point.

Krakatoa will support Particle Flow, Thinking Particles, Max Legacy Particles, Realflow BIN files and some more. You will be able to save particles to disk from any of these sources and load them again, even multiple times. It supports motion blur, DOF, texture coordinates (so you can map volumetric textures onto your particles), several shading modes, and a unique automatic history system that will keep books of any test renders you perform and will allow you to review and restore any settings used in the past to get the same results.

We have much bigger plans for post-1.0 release, our aim right now is to provide a first iteration of something you could use easily.

If you have any technical questions, please ask!

Bobo
12-30-2006, 09:30 PM
Some more thoughts regarding Krakatoa 1.0:

*When we say "Volumetric Particle Renderer", we mean just that. The user has control over the density per particle, which means that the shading is performed with a consistent density regardless of the particle count. So you can create 10K particles, render a quick test to adjust lighting and shading, then bump up the particle count to 10 million and render, knowing that the result will be of much finer quality, but the volumetric density would be the same.

*The shading itself is really fast, the slow portion is usually waiting for a particle system to give the renderer enough particles to shade.

For example,
I just created a default Particle Flow, set the viewport display count to 0.1%, set the System Limit to 1 Million, created 1 million particles from frame 0 to 30 with speed of 30.0 and rendered frame 30. Particle Flow calculated the particles and then Krakatoa rendered them in 37 seconds. Once the particles have been calculated though, PFlow has them cached and does not need to recalculate again unless you change some operator. So one can change the view, add lights, change materials, tweak any Krakatoa-specific settings in the Render Dialog and rerender without waiting for PFlow to rebuild again.
So I hit render again and got the same result - 1 million particles - in only 6 seconds. Half of the time was shading, the other half was getting the data from PFlow.
So I bumped up the Motion Blur segments to 10 and rendered with 10 passes motion blur in 30 seconds, which means that the average time per shading pass was really less than 3 seconds for 1 milltion particles. Then I added a light to the scene and rendered again with 10 passes mblur - the time went up to 34 seconds...
Later I tried bumping up the System Limit and the Particle Count to 2 Million - after calculating the particles once, the shading with 10 passes mblur took exactly 60 seconds, which shows that Krakatoa scales linearly (as long as physical memory is not a limitation).

*To avoid the constant waiting for particles to be delivered, we allow the user to save to a PRT file instead of rendering to the frame buffer. Once you like your particle system, you can write it to disk once and then load from disk straight into Krakatoa for rendering.

*Since Particle Flow and most other systems have a certain limit of particles they can handle at once which is generally much lower than the number of particles Krakatoa can shade, you can generate multiple files from the same PFlow but with different Random Seeds for Position, Speed and Spawn operators, then load any number of these "partitions" and render at once as a single particle cloud. We provide tools to generate these files manually or automatically via our Deadline network manager. Deadline provides a free two slaves mode so anyone using Krakatoa could also use Deadline for running partitioning jobs.

*Since any particle system can be saved to a PRT file and any file can be loaded any number of times using special Particle Loader objects, Krakatoa can be used as an extended particle system design tool.
For example, let's say you want to model a galaxy of stars. You can design dozens of animated suns using PFlow and spherical emitters, assign mapping and play with densities, sun flares and whatever, then save each star as a PRT file to disk. Now you could create ANY number of loaders (by hand or via MAXScript), each one loading one of the PRT files. (A loader can load any number of PRT files, even Realflow BIN files). You can even overwrite the colors using the material assigned to the loader object, keyframe the PRS of the loader to have each sun moving in space, offset the animation to randomize their look, control the number of particles to be loaded per loader and basically design a whole new scene consisting of hundreds of pre-saved particle systems without any calculation overhead (execpt for disk IO). Then Krakatoa can render the scene by simply loading all PRT files referenced by the scene loader objects...
Then you could save the WHOLE new scene with all its stars to a single PRT file and repeat the process to make an even larger universe! :bounce:

*The GUI of Krakatoa is written completely in MAXScript, so anyone who does not like it can basically rewrite it or change it at will. The Scripted GUI already provides some management tools that will save you from writing your own scripts to mass-change properties of particle loaders, create selection sets for matte objects and so on.

*The History system I already mentioned is the most advanced Render Presets system available for any renderer in 3ds Max (and possibly in any 3D application). Each time you hit the Render button, a complete record of all settings in the UI is saved, together with an optional copy of the final frame for thumbnail browsing. You can also load and save presets manually at will, with full control over each single setting to be saved or loaded. A sophisticated comparison system will show you the differences between ANY two history records, presets or the current settings and allow you to simply copy any of the saved settings to your current setup. For example, you can browse through your history list and find a thumbail that shows just the effect you need. You select that history record and you are shown a list of all the differences between your current settings and the settings used to achive that result. You can double-click each one of these differences to copy the history settings into your current GUI, or load the whole preset. Chances are your new rendering will look just like the one stored in the history :)


Are You Hyped Yet? :twisted:

Massemannen
12-31-2006, 11:09 AM
Hyped? EXTATIC... Cmon stop the teasing , Bobo :)

DeKo-LT
12-31-2006, 12:04 PM
...and is used just like any other renderer, but it does not do regular rendering, only particle shading. Since it supports matte objects that can occlude particles...
If Krakatoa is separate render, i'm just wondering how will be workaround when matte objects must have other renders Motion Blur. As example if my original scene is rendered with Vray or Mental Ray motion blur and some objects (motion blurred) must pass through particles....
Anyway, Krakatoa sounds very cool :thumbsup:

Bobo
12-31-2006, 06:06 PM
If Krakatoa is separate render, i'm just wondering how will be workaround when matte objects must have other renders Motion Blur. As example if my original scene is rendered with Vray or Mental Ray motion blur and some objects (motion blurred) must pass through particles....
Anyway, Krakatoa sounds very cool :thumbsup:

Most VFX houses rely heavily on compositing various passes using a package like Digital Fusion, Shake, Combustion, After Effects etc. (We use mainly Fusion). But even with the simple Video Post in Max, you can combine your Krakatoa Particles with your Mental Ray, Scanline, Brazil, VRay or whatever rendering...

Here is the simplest example I could come up with:

*I created a default PFlow system with a box emitter
*Set the particle emission to 4 million particles
*Set the Speed to 50.0
*Created a default Teapot
*Animated the Teapot from frame 0 to 10 to move a lot to generate some exteme motion blur. On frames 3 to 6, it is inside the particle cloud.
*Rendered with 16 time samples in Mental Ray.
*Then I set the Krakatoa rendered to Additive shading (no volumetric effects), defined the teapot as a matte object and rendered frame 4 with 16 passes motion blur.
*Finally, I loaded the Mental Ray and the Krakatoa frames in Video Post, selected both and added Alpha Compositor on top of them.
*Executed the Video Post and got the final result (scaled down 50% to save bandwidth):

http://www.scriptspot.com/bobo/krakatoa/Teapot_MentalRay_Krakatoa_MBlur.jpg

*Next I created an Omni light, enabled Shadow Casting, set Shadow Map to 1024.
*Assigned a Standard Material to the teapot.
*Rendered a frame of the teapot only.
*Assigned a Standard Material to the Particle Flow.
*Set the Self-Illum. Color of the material to blueish-gray.
*Assigned a default Noise map to the Opacity Map channel, set to Turbulence
*In Krakatoa, I set the shading to Volumetric Density.
*Set Density Scaling mode to "Material Opacity".
*Set the Particle Color source to "Material Self-Illumination".
*Rendered the 4 million particles - note that the particle cloud's density shows the Turbulence Noise map and the teapot is casting a volumetric shadow into the particle cloud.
*Finally, I combined the two images using the same Video Post setup - the volumetric shading produces a correct alpha channel so combining with the main pass is a no-brainer:

http://www.scriptspot.com/bobo/krakatoa/Teapot_MentalRay_MPassMBlur_Volume.jpg

Glacierise
01-01-2007, 09:26 PM
Now that's what I'm talking about, thanks Bobo!

Hyped?! I'm hysterical! And what you described about the UI - the preset management and the thumbnail comparison, etc - this should one of the smarest interface paradigms ever! Totally wow-ed!

:eek:

Bobo
01-01-2007, 09:54 PM
Now that's what I'm talking about, thanks Bobo!

Hyped?! I'm hysterical! And what you described about the UI - the preset management and the thumbnail comparison, etc - this should one of the smarest interface paradigms ever! Totally wow-ed!

:eek:

Thanks!
The original idea for the comparison came from our simulation TD Marcus Steeds (I wish it was my idea ;)). He is a very organized guy and used to write down all settings in a text file by hand doing the silt simulations for Superman Returns. Having an automatic system to keep track of all settings was a logical thing to do...

I took the loading / saving code I wrote for Amaretto and expanded it to support automatic saving, thumbnails, scene info etc. Here is a screenshot of the respective rollout in 0.9.4 (the 0.9.5 version has some additional buttons to let you delete thumbnails later for saving space - the thumbnails you see are saved as full-sized EXR files, so you can hit the image button and see a copy of the ACTUAL rendered frame incl. Alpha channel etc.
http://www.scriptspot.com/bobo/krakatoa/Krakatoa_Presets_And_History_094.gif

Note that the two history records shown only differ in their motion blur and sampling settings and, as seen in the Scene Info windows at the bottom, in the particle count (4M vs. 800K). If you want to use the settings from a history record, you can either double-click the lines in the comparison list (which will take the LEFT value), click either of the "Make This Value Current" buttons to take the left or the right value, or use the "Load From History..." button which opens a tree view with all saved settings that correspond to settings available in the current version (the presets/history records are backwards and forward compatible, so if a control is added or removed in a new build of Krakatoa, you can still load what is relevant):

http://www.scriptspot.com/bobo/krakatoa/Krakatoa_Load_History_094.gif

Note that you can uncheck whole rollouts to not load any of their controls, or uncheck any value specifically to load just what you want. The stored value is shown in [] brackets.

There are some added goodies like double-clicking the MAX scene name in the Scene Info will open Windows Explorer at the path that file was saved when the history record was created, double-clicking any other line would copy the text to the listener for easier copy&pasting etc.

There is also a User Notes rollout with a large text field where you can enter anything other users might need to know about your scene and setup...

Bobo
01-02-2007, 03:12 AM
Since this thread looks like the place to talk about Krakatoa until it is released, I guess I could provide some more simple examples to give you an idea how it works and what it does.

As mentioned before, there are several shading modes, including Additive and Volumetric Density.

The following is a Teapot rendered as a particle cloud (each vertex is taken as a particle, the max. number of vertices of a teapot primitive with 64 segments is slighly more than 130K). I used the default custom particle color (white) and a density of 0.005 (which in the UI is expressed as two values - Density 5.0 and Density Exponent -2. This way, changing the Exponent (10^X) to -3 gives you quickly another zero after the decimal point, going up with positive exponents can increase the density quickly by orders of magnitude like 10, 100, 1000 and so on.
http://www.scriptspot.com/bobo/krakatoa/Teapot_Vertices_Customcolor_Additive_5_minus2.jpg

This is the same rendering, but using the wireframe color of the mesh:
http://www.scriptspot.com/bobo/krakatoa/Teapot_Vertices_Wireframe_Additive_5_minus2.jpg

The following used the self-illumination channel of the material assigned to the teapot. I added a Cellular map to show that the channel is fully evaluated incl. any textures in it. Note that you have to check the "Use Color" for the Self.Illumination color to be used correctly.
http://www.scriptspot.com/bobo/krakatoa/Teapot_Vertices_MatSelfIllum_CellularMap_Additive_5_minus2.jpg

Now we switch to Volumetric Density - same setup and density values, but still no lighting. Thus, the teapot is self-illuminated:
http://www.scriptspot.com/bobo/krakatoa/Teapot_Vertices_MatSelfIllum_CellularMap_Volumetric_NoLighting_5_minus2.jpg

Then I added an Omni Light and turned Lighting on in Krakatoa.
You can see the shadow casting, but also that light is passing through the particles (since only about 130K) and illuminating the backside (inside, bottom left) of the teapot:
http://www.scriptspot.com/bobo/krakatoa/Teapot_Vertices_MatSelfIllum_CellularMap_Volumetric_Lighting_5_minus2%20copy.jpg

Now it is time to use Particle Flow to emit particles from the surface of the Teapot. All the other settings are identical. To avoid heavy self-shadowing of the particles when placed on the same surface, I used an offset of -1 to give the "particle teapot" a bit of thickness. The flow uses only 1M particles.
http://www.scriptspot.com/bobo/krakatoa/Teapot_PFlow_MatSelfIllum_CellularMap_Volumetric_5_minus2.jpg

Note that we can control the density globally by changing the Exponent to -3 while keeping everything else identical (including the particle count of one million). Now we can see through the volumetric cloud:
http://www.scriptspot.com/bobo/krakatoa/Teapot_PFlow_MatSelfIllum_CellularMap_Volumetric_5_minus3.jpg

The Volumetric Density mode only makes sense with lighting. Here is what you would get from 1M particles with volumetric density but no lighting and no material:
http://www.scriptspot.com/bobo/krakatoa/Teapot_PFlow_Customcolor_Volumetric_NoLighting_5_minus2.jpg

Enabling the Lighting shades the particles as before. Note that version 1.0 of Krakatoa will also support normals per particle and will thus feature specular highlights, too.
http://www.scriptspot.com/bobo/krakatoa/Teapot_PFlow_Customcolor_Volumetric_Lighting_5_minus2.jpg

Why would you want to render anything as a cloud of particles?
Here is a possible situation illustrating what you could do with it...
(Click Here For a Quicktime 7 movie (http://www.scriptspot.com/bobo/krakatoa/kra_teapotvolumedissipate_tk100.MOV), 1.4 MB)
http://www.scriptspot.com/bobo/krakatoa/KRA_TeapotVolumeDissipate.jpg

This example contains 100 frames of 1 million particles. Rendering time on single CPU Athlon64 2.1 GHz with just 1GB of RAM was 22 seconds per frame incl. PFlow calculations, lighting and shading with 4 passes of motion blur. (each pass shaded in approx. 3 seconds, so 12 seconds was shading, the rest was calculating the flow and the lighting).

Bobo
01-02-2007, 03:29 AM
Just for reference, here is what the same 1 million particles used in the previous post shade like in Additive mode with density of 0.0005. (CGTalk does not allow more than 10 images in a
post):

http://www.scriptspot.com/bobo/krakatoa/Teapot_PFlow_Customcolor_Additive_5_minus3.jpg

This is the same animation shown in the previous post, but using the Additive settings and Density of 0.0005. This time, I disabled the Motion Blur. The frame time was consistently 9 seconds, approx 6 seconds for PFlow calculation and data transfer and about 3 seconds for rendering 1 million particles.

Click here for the Quicktime 7 Movie (http://www.scriptspot.com/bobo/krakatoa/kra_teapotadditvedissipate_tk100.MOV) (1.5 MB)

http://www.scriptspot.com/bobo/krakatoa/KRA_TeapotAdditveDissipate.jpg

SoLiTuDe
01-02-2007, 06:41 AM
wow. Thanks for the awesome preview bobo, we all know you're going out of your way to show us what this is about. Looks very very very useful for a lot of situations. Can't wait to get my hands all over it! Of course when that happens depends on the price!

grury
01-02-2007, 01:18 PM
Wowww!
Very interesting stuff Bobo, thanks a lot for sharing.

QUOTE:"This example contains 100 frames of 1 million particles. Rendering time on single CPU Athlon64 2.1 GHz with just 1GB of RAM was 22 seconds per frame incl. PFlow calculations, lighting and shading with 4 passes of motion blur. (each pass shaded in approx. 3 seconds, so 12 seconds was shading, the rest was calculating the flow and the lighting)."

:eek: Awsome!

Bobo
01-02-2007, 02:00 PM
Wowww!
Very interesting stuff Bobo, thanks a lot for sharing.

QUOTE:"This example contains 100 frames of 1 million particles. Rendering time on single CPU Athlon64 2.1 GHz with just 1GB of RAM was 22 seconds per frame incl. PFlow calculations, lighting and shading with 4 passes of motion blur. (each pass shaded in approx. 3 seconds, so 12 seconds was shading, the rest was calculating the flow and the lighting)."

:eek: Awsome!

Glad you like the times :)
I rendered to 320x240, but unlike normal renderers, the frame resolution does not affect render times - the factor here is the particle count. Of course, if you increase the frame resolution, you might need more particles to get the same look, so it would render slower. But as I mentioned already, Krakatoa scales in a linear fashion.


Since the lighting and shading incl. materials and maps can be completely separated from the PFlow calculations, the typical workflow could look like this:

*You create your Particle Flow
*In Kakatoa, instead of Rendering Scene Particles, you select Save Particles To Disk.
*You specify a disk location to write the particles to.
*When you hit Render, instead of creating images, Krakatoa writes a sequence of PRT files (one file per frame).
*Now you can disable your PFlow, load the PRT sequence as the particle system to render (in 0.9.4 this still happens in the Render Dialog, in the upcoming 0.9.5 build one would create a Particle Loader object in the scene and pick the PRT file there).
*At this point, you can start playing with adjusting the shading and texturing - the particle animation is pre-cached to disk and any frame can be loaded as often as needed in very short time (for the 1 million particles, in just about a second). So if you want to tweak frame 50 of the above animation, instead of waiting for almost 3 minutes (the time needed by PFLow to calculate all 50 frames before it), you can just go to that frame and render instantly.

PRT files can be created by other Frantic applications like FLOOD, so we provide a Particle Loader operator for PFlow too. This means that you can load a particle file created in Krakatoa or somewhere else (or a Realflow .bin file!) and drive Particle Flow particles with it... For example, instead of emitting particles per vertex using Position Object+, one could save the Teapot vertices to a PRT file and load them in PFlow as the source, then animate using regular PFlow operators...

At Siggraph, we were showing a frame from an animation of a Mini from The Italian Job made of about 20 million particles and of course we were loading from disk, so people were really blown away by the rendering times... The trick is to work around the calculation speed of the particle system - Krakatoa supports some scripted channels, so if you want to script the color or density of your particles using a Script Operator, the flow might become rather slow, but the results are worth it. Or one could use a Data Operator from Box #3 to get the same results in shorter time....

Glacierise
01-02-2007, 02:55 PM
Hahah, well, that's about it for the disintegration challenge... :D

This is really turning out to be a serious particle player - looking forward to it!

joconnell
01-02-2007, 03:04 PM
That volumetric render looks seriously useful especially if you need to do tidal wave type renders - Particle count is somethign that always catches me for these effects...

superhypersam
01-02-2007, 10:13 PM
Getting some very interesting results using fume to simulate movement. P flow to follow the fume movement, and Krakatoa to render it .

Fun stuff.


very cool tool!

I think we are going to see a nice jump in quality of what we can accomplish.

yay fun new tools!

Bobo
01-03-2007, 03:19 AM
That volumetric render looks seriously useful especially if you need to do tidal wave type renders - Particle count is somethign that always catches me for these effects...

In-house, we use Krakatoa mainly for things that are physically made of particles anyway - like smoke, dust, debris of exploding stars, silt, water droplets and white caps on waves and so on. The exception were the additve effects that started it all thanks to Doc. Baily's Spore. For massive amounts of water, we use FOOD, with particles used mainly as enhancement.
For "Cursed", we used FLOOD to simulate the air flow and its interaction with the actors and emitted smoke particles that were affected by the simulation.
http://www.exocortex.org/siggraph/BattyHouston2005_VisualSimulationOfWispySmoke.pdf
(http://www.exocortex.org/siggraph/BattyHouston2005_VisualSimulationOfWispySmoke.pdf)For "Superman Returns", once again we simulated the water flow with FLOOD and added particles underwater for silt and on the surface for droplets (about a billion of them in the pier shot where the waves start hitting Metropolis). In the Red Sun explosion, there were 700 million (I am sure Allan McKay mentioned that in the main PFlow thread).

That being said, it is up to you to find new creative ways to use the tool! We have a long list of things we would love to add post 1.0 release and we hope to get enough feedback and ideas from our users to let them do any magic they want. The next beta build 0.9.5 is so much better than the current one I just cannot wait to see what 2.0 will look like! :bounce:

AdrianWilliams
01-03-2007, 04:47 AM
Bobo, its been said already but, your such an amazing guy! for sure!!

Bobo
01-03-2007, 05:07 AM
Bobo, its been said already but, your such an amazing guy! for sure!!

Me? Thanks, but no.
The real amazing guys are Mark Wiebe, the Frantic Software lead and "father" of Krakatoa, and all the other RnD programmers involved in our software projects. (let me also mention Darcy Harrison who did some great work on Krakatoa the last couple of months and David Marks who moved from managing 3ds Max Beta Testing to managing Frantic Software Beta Testing ;))
I just help where I can (mostly on the scripting and User Interface design side).
In this thread I am only bringing you the "good news", but I did not create this amazing tool, although I cannot wait to go to work every day to get involved in its development and testing!
:bounce:

OlegB
01-03-2007, 01:55 PM
Excellent write-up on Krakatoa, Bobo. Do you mind if I republish it at the Orbaz forum?

Thanks,
Oleg B.

Bobo
01-03-2007, 02:19 PM
Excellent write-up on Krakatoa, Bobo. Do you mind if I republish it at the Orbaz forum?

Thanks,
Oleg B.

Thanks, Oleg!
No, I don't mind - the more, the merrier! :)

superhypersam
01-03-2007, 06:01 PM
Glad you like the times :)
one could save the Teapot vertices to a PRT file and load them in PFlow as the source, then animate using regular PFlow operators...




Hello Bobo,

would u mind explaining how thats done in Krakatoa?

no luck in getting it to work so far :shrug:

cheers

Bobo
01-03-2007, 07:55 PM
Hello Bobo,

would u mind explaining how thats done in Krakatoa?

no luck in getting it to work so far :shrug:

cheers


Keep in mind I am working with the upcoming 0.9.5 build, so things might have changed a bit since 0.9.4.

There are two operators that can be used in Particle Flow to load Krakatoa PRT Files: Krakatoa File Birth and Krakatoa File Position.

*Let's say you have created a teapot in the scene, bumped up segments to 64, saved a single PRT file containing all its vertices as particles.
*Now you want to use these particles as source in a PFlow and apply your own speed, forces, shapes, whatever.
*You create a default PFlow
*Replace the Birth operator with Krakatoa File Birth
*Pick the file you just saved
You should see PART of the teapot appear as particles on the Emit Time (default is frame 0). This is because a default PFlow is set to 50% Viewport percentage and 100K particles, but we have 131330 particles to load.
*You can check the "Evenly distribute loading" option and the 50% particles will be loaded evenly from the file, thus showing a full teapot. Otherwise, you would see the first N particles instead.
*You can, of course, also go to the PFlow Emitter and set Viewport to 100% and System Limit to 1,000,000 to allow for all particles to be loaded from the file.
*Optionally, you can also link the particles to a scene node to inherit its TM, thus you can translate, rotate and scale the particles at birth without additional operators.

Now you can use these particles as any other particles in PFlow, including applying forces, calculating collisions etc. We only used the initial particle cloud as the source in a Birth operator.


The other case is using actual particle motion (position and velocity) from a PRT file in a Particle Flow. Here is a typical case:

*Let's say you have saved a whole PFlow animation to disk already, or the PRT files come from another source (at Frantic, this would be FLOOD, but the two operators support Realflow BIN files and Gelato SDB files, too).
*In a simple test, create 131K particles falling down using a default PFlow and save to disk as 100 frames sequence.
*Now create a new flow to load this animation into.
*You can create particles using any Birth operator you like, including Krakatoa Birth, but you don't have to. Let's say you have loaded your saved Teapot PRT file from the previous example, but want to apply the motion from the default falling particles to it.
*Disable all the Speed, Rotation etc. operators except for the Display.
*Replace the default Position operator with the Krakatoa File Position operator.
*Pick a file from the PRT SEQUENCE to use as the position / velocity source.

Now you have the following options:
*You can enable "Position Effect Per Frame". This will load the positions from the file and assign them to the particles. The default Effect value is 1.0 which means that the position will be enforced on the particles, thus the teapot particles will appear as the rectangular stream of falling particles saved in the PRT sequence. If you reduce the effect value against zero, the effect will be less and less and your particles will turn more and more into a teapot-shaped cloud, at 0 there will be no effect at all and you will be back to a teapot.

*You can enable the "Velocity Effect Per Frame" in addition to the above - this will set the speed channel of the particles to the velocity value stored in the PRT file. At 1.0 effect value, your teapot particles will be both shaped AND moving like the rectangular stream of falling particles written to the PRT sequence. With less than 1.0, the velocity loaded will be scaled down until at 0 the particles will not move at all. Note that you can set the Display operator to LINES to show the magnitude of the speed vectors, then play with the effect value to see its influence.

*If you enable only velocity loading but no position loading, your teapot will appear as it was created by the Krakatoa File Birth operator, but its particles will move down like the particle stream, because their speed values will be set to those in the PRT sequence!

*You can apply ADDITIONAL speed-affecting operators like Forces etc. to alter the saved motion. For example, in Superman Returns we simulated some underwater particulate matter motion in FLOOD, then loaded in PFlow via these operators and applied an additional drift to the side using a simple Wind Force which we could adjust in realtime in the viewport ON TOP of the fluid simulated motion...

*Since the Krakatoa File Position operator also has a Bind To Node option, you can animate any scene object and then apply its motion to the particles by picking it in the operator! This gives you yet another way to animate your particles on top of the saved sequence positions.

In general, if you want to affect the particles with your own forces and even do collision tests etc, you might want to load the initial positions with the Krakatoa File Birth, then apply ONLY the Velocities per frame without enforcing positions from the sequence to allow the particles to move freely under force influence and deflector bouncing etc., while still inheriting the original velocities stored in the file.


Once again, I just did everything I described in 0.9.5 and it worked as expected. If it does not behave like this in 0.9.4, it might be some bug that got fixed in the mean time. The new build is coming soon anyway...

amckay
01-04-2007, 03:22 AM
Thats awesome Bobo! tones of info here!!

Hope ya well mate!

-AM

Bobo
01-04-2007, 03:30 AM
Thats awesome Bobo! tones of info here!!

Hope ya well mate!

-AM

Thanks dude, Happy New Year! :)

I know you worked with the stand-alone version of Krakatoa on SR, I bet you will not recognize the next beta we are cooking now - it feels like a quantum leap both featurewise and when it comes to UI organization. And since we are not keeping it under NDA or anything, I really felt compelled to spread the word. I haven't even mentioned some of the coolest things we added in the last few weeks ;)

harovas
01-04-2007, 05:09 AM
I really felt compelled to spread the word. I haven't even mentioned some of the coolest things we added in the last few weeks ;)


Do tell, then... Since it isn't under NDA...

We are all trying to scrape our jaws off the floor from what you have already told us...

Glacierise
01-04-2007, 06:31 AM
There's even more? You are starting to defy my imagination :) It seems that finally, the possibility comes to create really naturalistic particle scenes (huge amounts of particles, forming entities). Frankly, I wasn't hoping this could come so soon! I am living in a happy time :D

superhypersam
01-04-2007, 08:30 PM
Thx for the explanation, will get to testing that!

amckay
01-05-2007, 03:56 AM
Cheers bobo, happy ny to you too dude ;)

yeah been on the beta for a few months, in case you didn't know I'm working with you guys again but from my studio, so doing a bunch of effects for a couple of shots you're working on using Krakatoa for some funky particle effects :)

Great work mate! Hope to catch up with you guys at Siggy this year, been a while!

-Allan

Bobo
01-05-2007, 04:13 AM
Cheers bobo, happy ny to you too dude ;)

yeah been on the beta for a few months, in case you didn't know I'm working with you guys again but from my studio, so doing a bunch of effects for a couple of shots you're working on using Krakatoa for some funky particle effects :)

Great work mate! Hope to catch up with you guys at Siggy this year, been a while!

-Allan

I knew you were on the project and on the beta, prepare for a new build tomorrow :)
It will blow your mind!

Bobo
01-05-2007, 04:59 AM
Just a note that the image shown on the current CG Workshops (http://workshops.cgsociety.org/) page was created not without some help from Krakatoa:

http://workshops.cgsociety.org/workshops/maxscript_fundamentals/maxfun_feature.jpg

This is, of course, the Red Sun just about to blow away the planet Krypton.

Glacierise
01-05-2007, 07:09 AM
Rockin'! I damn love such shots (elemental fury ;) )

gavinb
01-07-2007, 02:12 PM
Wow, this is all looking so awsome, must get back into particles

bealobo
01-08-2007, 04:47 PM
Wow, looks amazing!:thumbsup:

Might be a bit early but, are you planning to release a demo for trial?
and another question is about shading liquids, as I'd be able to import realflow bin files, will it be some volumetric shading similar to metaballs?

Bobo
01-08-2007, 05:57 PM
Wow, looks amazing!:thumbsup:

Might be a bit early but, are you planning to release a demo for trial?
and another question is about shading liquids, as I'd be able to import realflow bin files, will it be some volumetric shading similar to metaballs?

All our software (which in this case means our ONLY software, Deadline ;)) has a demo mode.
We have not discussed whether we will give a full featured version for 30 days like Max, or a feature-limited version forever (like a hard-coded limit of particles or something). But I am pretty confident there will be a trial version from the beginning.

As for shading, we are rendering points, but that does not mean we couldn't shade surfaces of volumes. This is till a WIP though, but is coming.
Metalballs are out of the question though, Krakatoa was designed to be a volumetric point renderer.

bealobo
01-08-2007, 06:22 PM
But I am pretty confident there will be a trial version from the beginning.
weiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii :bounce:

As for shading, we are rendering points, but that does not mean we couldn't shade surfaces of volumes. This is till a WIP though, but is coming.


I guess for some scenes using volumetric points will do as fluids, like really turbulent fluids with sprite and so. :)

Thank you for the prompt reply!
I'll keep watching this thread with a lot of interest.

Bobo
01-13-2007, 06:16 AM
I guess for some scenes using volumetric points will do as fluids, like really turbulent fluids with sprite and so. :)


Normally, we mesh the surface of our fluids, since this is much more efficient for large volumes. But then there is the problem of water drops becoming smaller than the voxel resolution. In that case, a mixed approach combining "the best of both worlds" seems logical. In other words, we use particles for natural phenomena that are particle-based in real life - like smoke, silt, sand, small waterdrops etc. Creating an ocean simulation with particles would be highly inefficient ;)
And then there are the non-natural phenomena like pixie dust and general magic - the additive density mode in Krakatoa is great for those :)

pekko
01-15-2007, 05:37 PM
How are the shadows rendered in Krakatoa? With that amount of particles I guess there is no shadow rays casted from each particle? Are the particles sampled in some voxelgrid for shading?

Bobo
01-15-2007, 10:12 PM
How are the shadows rendered in Krakatoa? With that amount of particles I guess there is no shadow rays casted from each particle? Are the particles sampled in some voxelgrid for shading?

It renders a depth map from the point of view of the light. It is VERY fast and similar to the way the final rendering is performed, but instead of RGB, it creates a shadow map. Not unlike the way Scanline does shadow maps.

pekko
01-16-2007, 10:44 AM
It renders a depth map from the point of view of the light.


Thanks.

Can you descripe how one particle ends up rendered in the screen in more detail. Rays are casted from the camera? Particle bounding box is checked first?.....

i wanna do it myself :) Very inspiring

Bobo
01-16-2007, 01:36 PM
Thanks.

Can you descripe how one particle ends up rendered in the screen in more detail. Rays are casted from the camera? Particle bounding box is checked first?.....

i wanna do it myself :) Very inspiring

Dude, Krakatoa is going to be a commercial product. I think we should keep a couple of things for ourselves ;)

For a simple point renderer, check out the vertex renderer example in the MAXScript Reference. Many people have used that code to do (slow and simple) additive point renderers.

pekko
01-17-2007, 09:01 AM
Dude, Krakatoa is going to be a commercial product. I think we should keep a couple of things for ourselves ;)

:D i understand. i just wanted to see how much detailed information you were willing share. Next i would have been asking for source code ;)

This kind of thing has been my intrest because i have been coding standalone particle renderer based on ILM's paper smoke rendering for large scale phenomenon. Just curious that how close your approach is to theirs.

Bobo
01-17-2007, 04:57 PM
Next i would have been asking for source code ;)


Funny, we give away half of the source code ;)
(just the GUI side of things though, a mid-sized MAXScript file)

prox-emics
01-18-2007, 12:13 AM
This is seriously amazing stuff here! One question though, I had never heard of FLOOD before and after some searching realized it's another in house app of frantic films? Then I noticed how amazing it is! Only to realize it is only available for Deadline..? Any hope of FLOOD ever being released as a stand alone? Either way, I'm very excited for krakatoa and maybe one day ill be able to play with FLOOD..awesome stuff!! keep it up.

Bobo
01-18-2007, 12:20 AM
This is seriously amazing stuff here! One question though, I had never heard of FLOOD before and after some searching realized it's another in house app of frantic films? Then I noticed how amazing it is! Only to realize it is only available for Deadline..? Any hope of FLOOD ever being released as a stand alone? Either way, I'm very excited for krakatoa and maybe one day ill be able to play with FLOOD..awesome stuff!! keep it up.

FLOOD is not available in any commercial form (unless you work at Frantic Films).

Here some more info:
http://forums.cgsociety.org/showthread.php?f=6&t=392771&highlight=flood

PsychoSilence
01-25-2007, 04:26 PM
just recieved my licence key for KRAKATOA :)

so im finally in the game :)

kind regards

anselm

grury
01-25-2007, 04:39 PM
just recieved my licence key for KRAKATOA :)

so im finally in the game :)

kind regards

anselm

:eek: ?? And how did that happened? Thought was still in development. Or did I miss something?

PsychoSilence
01-25-2007, 05:10 PM
im in the BETA team ;)

Bobo
01-25-2007, 05:35 PM
im in the BETA team ;)


ANGEBER! ;)

Now go back to the dedicated Beta forum... :)

PsychoSilence
01-25-2007, 05:55 PM
ANGEBER! ;)

Now go back to the dedicated Beta forum... :)

i will :) wasnt really ment as show off ;)

cheers

anselm

SoLiTuDe
01-28-2007, 04:43 AM
im in the BETA team ;)

*jealous* :p

TimWoods
02-07-2007, 03:37 PM
looks very good indeed. im currently using FUME and TP. Will there be support for thinking particles, or will this be a PFLOW only intergration?
excuse my stupidity if this has been mentioned already :)

noouch
02-07-2007, 07:07 PM
I'm eagerly anticipating the release, especially since it currently takes hours for a single particle-hungry frame to render on my current machine. It would also come in very handy if I happen to start working on the fxwars disintegration challenge.

Bobo
02-08-2007, 02:29 AM
looks very good indeed. im currently using FUME and TP. Will there be support for thinking particles, or will this be a PFLOW only intergration?
excuse my stupidity if this has been mentioned already :)

Tim, we use Krakatoa as alternative rendering method for Fume simulations - the two are a match made in heaven. :)
At the moment, Krakatoa supports PFlow and provides more limited support for Max Legacy Particles, Thinking Particles, Geometry Vertices as Particles and any (potential) 3rd party particle systems that expose the IParticleObjectExt interface. Currently, PFlow's integration is way ahead of the other systems (we had to start somewhere, and PFlow is in every Max version since R6 after all), but we are working on improving the TP support with the kind assistance of Cebas North America. We hope to support TP 3.0 when it is released.

TimWoods
02-08-2007, 06:45 AM
excellent. good to see a bit more support swinging TP's way, and Cebas are doing a great job collaberating with other software at the moment. Really looking forward to seeing the fume intergration, looks like a great pairing.

congrats to the frantic team in producing this. and thanks bobo for spending time answering questions. nice to see big studios putting back into the community :)

sireel
02-10-2007, 01:04 AM
I just read the first page of this thread..... now I know what lust truely is. Thank you Bobo.

TimWoods
02-16-2007, 02:39 PM
im suprised it hasnt made it up on the frantic software site? Or did i miss something there?

Looking forward to a release, then I can give it a run with fume!

Bobo
02-19-2007, 04:31 AM
im suprised it hasnt made it up on the frantic software site? Or did i miss something there?

Looking forward to a release, then I can give it a run with fume!

The Frantic Software page was designed back in 2004. At this point, we are actively maintaining only the Deadline portion of it because that's the product we have to support daily.

Krakatoa was actually announced on http://support.franticfilms.com after last Siggraph - we even demoed it in Boston at our first ever Frantic Software booth. There is also a private area on that site that deals with the Beta test.

But at this point, we haven't made an official announcement about the upcoming release as we don't know when it will ship - there are two factors that play a role here. First, internal development for feature film projects has higher priority. At this point, we are using Krakatoa on such a project, thus we have to make sure it does the job for us and this can take away resources from finishing the commercial package. And second, we ship only when we are comfortable with the quality of the product, not earlier.
There are still several features and bugs we have to work on before that. But as you can see, both these points will affect positively the product you will be able to buy when it finally ships...

Bobo
03-17-2007, 05:56 AM
Last week we spent some time optimizing code and speeding up some areas of Krakatoa - although it feels very fast already, there is always room for improvement. In fact, particle sorting is now between 2 and 6 times faster depending on the situation and the used sorting method. So I sat down to do some benchmarking using one, ten and twenty million particles lit by a spotlight. The benchmark proved that Krakatoa scales in a linear fashion - in other words, if you increase the particle count 10 times, so does your render time. This is Good News.

The benchmark was performed in Max 9 32 bit running on WinXP 64.
Today, I sat down to do some testing in 64 bit. And there came the surprise.

You must have noticed all the "Will my Max render faster in 64 bit?" threads around? The usual answer is No. Imagine my amazement when the 64 bit build of Krakatoa performed ALMOST TWICE AS FAST on the same scene and machine - total render time for 10 million particles lit by a spotlight went from 42 seconds to 23 seconds, this is 1.82 times faster to be precise.

The explanation is simple - Krakatoa is heavily dependent on memory management. Drawing points in a buffer is not the biggest trick in the world, but loading, sorting and managing gigabytes of particle data is. Where 32 bit software has to live in a fragmented memory space and try to fit the data in small chunks around the available memory, 64 bit Krakatoa enjoys a single contiguous memory chunk.

So if you are still unsure about switching to 64 bit computing, soon there might be a reason to do so... :)

Finally, here is a cheesy piece of imagery made from those 10 million particles from the benchmark, but with 3 lights and some "boolean subtractions".
http://www.scriptspot.com/bobo/krakatoa/Krakatoa_Cheese_0_9_13_320.jpg

We just added the option to "sculpt" your particle clouds by carving them using arbitrary meshes - you can either include or exclude particles inside the specified volume. So instead of trying to fill a volume using Particle Object in PFlow which is a rather slow process, you can save a simple particle cloud (like a box or sphere) and then use a static or animated mesh to load only the particles inside or outside its volume. With 10 million particles and a mesh that fully encloses them, the difference in the loading time with or without "culling" is around 2 seconds (this means that each particle has to test against the mesh).
In fact, since in the typical case many particles would be outside the mesh and thus not loaded, lit or drawn, the "boolean" version would generally render faster than the simple particle cloud alone :thumbsup:

SoLiTuDe
03-17-2007, 07:16 AM
Lovely cheese Bobo. :) Great news / info. I'm def. considering the full out 64 bit upgrade this year. You guys are def. doing a great job on Krakatoa... thanks for the updates! Can't wait to get a slice!

TimWoods
03-17-2007, 11:47 AM
great news!

im currently upgrading all workstations and renderfarm to Xp64, what a ball ache. good to see this plugin getting closer to launch!

Matt^
03-20-2007, 03:05 PM
Bobo this is absolutely fascinating! :thumbsup:
Please keep giving us more info and updates on Krakatoa, it sounds an incredible tool.

This thread is almost getting to the stage of becoming a krakatoa blog! (which is a good thing)

:)

noouch
03-23-2007, 02:19 PM
Please keep giving us more info and updates on Krakatoa
I've got a better idea:
Please give us Krakatoa!
;)

Bobo
03-23-2007, 02:31 PM
I've got a better idea:
Please give us Krakatoa!
;)

Good idea! :)

Just wanted to mention that Krakatoa will run in full-featured evaluation mode if installed without a license. The only limitation will be watermark on the rendered image (a la Gelato Pro) and the inability to render/save on the network without a license. We do not intend to limit the number of particles you can process.

In other words, the day we have a release version 1.0, you will be able to test drive it.

muzbee3d
03-23-2007, 04:08 PM
BOBO


VERY SMART marketing !
Hope to see it soon and the price is fair.

SoLiTuDe
03-23-2007, 11:41 PM
That's awesome. Watermarks don't bug me much. :) ...i'm just really anxious to find out the price.

rebolt
03-24-2007, 06:40 AM
Wow really looking forward for the release of Krakatoa. :)

Bobo
03-24-2007, 04:52 PM
BOBO


VERY SMART marketing !
Hope to see it soon and the price is fair.

Just out of curiosity, what do YOU feel would be a fair price for this type of niche software?
(The price is not set in stone yet, so there is still room for discussion)

SoLiTuDe
03-24-2007, 08:23 PM
Me and PhsycoSilence were talking for a few earlier... and we said somewhere between pftools box1 (200 US) and box3 (500 US) would be a good deal. Not having used it I first looked at afterburn costing 500, and though that is a different (yes i understand the differnce between them... it's just the closest thing i can compare it to) type of toolset I came up with that as a sort of max price. As far as I know afterburn has more options thus far, so as high as afterburn depending on the toolset, but I don't think any higher than that would be worth while. Of course I would also wonder what kind of network licenses would come with it as well.. and that can add or subtract to the price.

:) --Ian

muzbee3d
03-24-2007, 08:30 PM
BOBO

Talented users will always find new ways to use this NEW tool beyond what it's creators ever thought of. With that in mind a lower entry price will get it out there much farther and faster, hence more demand will likely come from the new looks made with it. So to your question, 195.00 usd in the center with a + or - 50% range is fair for the first version. Updates can be priced baised on the voulme of 1.0 users, Get us hookedhttp://forums.cgsociety.org/images/icons/icon10.gif and pay yourselves later ! Looking forward to using it .

Best
MB

PsychoSilence
03-25-2007, 02:58 AM
as i discussed with Ian earlier via ICQ it would be my plesure to buy it the day it comes out finally if its pricing is in the fair range for a plugin dealing with particles / FX as well. so something between 200 (flow box#1) up to 1,300 (TP) bucks... anyways, ill own both til th end of 2007 hopefully. :) now its in frantic softwares hands if they ruin me or not :D :D

kind regards

anselm

a13xr3d
03-25-2007, 07:18 PM
Is Krakatoa just a straight up renderer or does it have extra tools to go along with existing pflow features?

Bobo
03-25-2007, 07:54 PM
Is Krakatoa just a straight up renderer or does it have extra tools to go along with existing pflow features?

Historically, Krakatoa was a stand alone renderer first. This meant that we needed a way to get particle data, matte geometry, lights, cameras and so on out of Max to the renderer and back. This happened using a PRT file format which can save any particle-related data, a simple Mesh file format and an XML scene description format. On top of that, some of the particle data came from other applications like various FLOOD modules, so it was important to have a way to load PRT files not only in Krakatoa, but also in Max. This happened initially using custom Krakatoa Birth and Position operators for PFlow (the same operator could read RealFlow BIN and Gelato Spatial Database files).

Then the decision was made to implement Krakatoa as a Max 3rd party renderer and improve the integration. But the elements mentioned above were still around. This means that you can still save PFlow, Thinking Particles, Geometry Vertices, Max Legacy Particles etc. to PRT files AND load them back into Particle Flow or into the Max scene via a custom PRT Loader which is a geometry object that can read PRT sequences.

As time passed, we kept on adding tools to manage both particle systems in general and PRT Loaders / Files in particular and also added features to the PRT Loader to make it more flexible. In short, the Krakatoa + PRT Loaders can be seen as a custom caching system for Max Particles.

*Other than dedicated caching operators in PFlow or TP, this system writes to file sequences instead of a single large file so you can easily manipulate these file sequences, replace bad files without recalculating the rest, query the particle count or any other info on a specific frame by just reading some bytes from the header of the corresponding frame file etc.

*You can create multiple partitions of the same system with varying random seeds to increase density.

*You can reuse the same cached particles (or any combination of files as one PRT Loader can load an ARBITRARY number of sequences or single files) by creating any number of PRT Loaders in the scene.

*The PRT Loaders can be transformed (moved, rotated, scaled, and of course keyframed) so you can save a static particle system but then animate the loader in the scene. An option allows you to ignore the transformations so the particles would appear at the absolute position they were saved at.

*You can assign new materials to the PRT Loader to override any saved particle colors, thus allowing for even more flexibility when texturing your particle clouds.

*The Render Percentage can be animated, so you can not only load a portion of the particles from disk, but also animate this amount over time which can be used for custom fade in/ build up effects depending on the particle order and loader settings. For example, if you have a 64 segments teapot saved to PRT file, animating the Percentage while using Load First N Particles would build the object out of particles in the order of vertex generation in the teapot primitive. If you switch the loader to Load Every Nth Particle, the teapot will slowly appear as more and more particles across its whole surface become visible...

*The Timing of the Loader can also be Offset and animated via Playback Graph just like the PointCache2 modifier so you can save a straight particle animation, but then animate the Loader to playback at various speeds, backwards, freeze time over time for bullet time effects and whatnot.

*The loading of particles can be controlled using custom meshes (see previous post about the cheese) so you can render only a portion of particles defined by (animated) control volumes. This way you can carve out portions of your particles, reveal different parts over time (for example imagine a full human body particle system with a box moving up and down revealing only a small portion like an XRay)

Right now we are adding a sophisticated PRT Loader analysis utility which can show you graphically the memory usage, particle counts on disk and during rendering, missing frames and a lot more for the current system - this both inside Max or as optional HTML report.

Because PRT Loaders show the particles in the viewport like any other system, you can use them as a sort of a new unique particle system that uses other particle systems as the input source via PRT files.

Thus I would say that Krakatoa is a lot more than just a renderer. It is a new way to work with large quantities (dozens and hundreds of millions, depending on OS and RAM) of particles, where rendering is just a part of the feature set.

I must admit most of these added features were not planned for 1.0, but as we and our beta testers pushed the software in production, we found out that some additional options would help the workflow tremendously, so we added them.

a13xr3d
03-25-2007, 08:08 PM
:love:Wow. Now I REALLY want to get into VFX more. Awesome features :D. And thanks for the explaination.

muzbee3d
03-25-2007, 11:52 PM
It is a new way to work with large quantities (dozens and hundreds of millions, depending on OS and RAM) of particles, where rendering is just a part of the feature set.



What OS's can 1.0 run on?
How much total ram will it handle / run on ?

Bobo
03-26-2007, 12:03 AM
What OS's can 1.0 run on?
How much total ram will it handle / run on ?

Krakatoa 1.0 will support Max 8 and Max 9.
This means
Max 8 on WinXP 32 bit - 2GB, up to 3 GB with the special switch
Max 8 on WinXP 64 bit - up to 4 GB
Max 9 32 bit on WinXP 32 bit - 2GB normally, up to 3GB with special switch
Max 9 32 bit on WinXP 64 bit -up to 4GB
Max 9 64 bit on WinXP 64 bit -whatever RAM you feed it. ;)

Rule of thumb - one particle requires 38 bytes of memory with all currently supported channels (post 1.0, this amount would be more flexible and you could squeeze in more particles in the same memory by disabling some channels when not needed.

Thus, 1 million particles require about 36 MB, or you could fit approximately 28 million particles in a GB of memory. But of course there is some overhead from running Max at the same time, and Krakatoa needs some more memory for shadow buffers etc., but in general the above rule gives a good idea what is possible. Obviously, saving to PRT file and loading from disk would require less memory during rendering than calculating PFlow (which would use a lot more memory to generate those particles). Technically, it would be tricky to get more than 10 million particles out of PFlow without running out of memory on a system where Krakatoa could render up to 50 million particles. Thus, precalculating the particles and dumping to multiple PRT sequences is what is suggested in a typical Krakatoa workflow...

You really want to use physical memory, the moment you start swapping to disk the performance goes down, and I mean down.

muzbee3d
03-26-2007, 05:06 PM
Bobo

Thanks for great information.

Hopefully Krakatoa allows for Disk/Device cache location control for sending overflow to a ramdisk, network or a fast raid. I wish Max had such a feature.

As for OS's could it ever run on OS X or linux as well?

Bobo
03-26-2007, 09:42 PM
Bobo

Thanks for great information.

Hopefully Krakatoa allows for Disk/Device cache location control for sending overflow to a ramdisk, network or a fast raid. I wish Max had such a feature.

As for OS's could it ever run on OS X or linux as well?

At this point, both the stand-alone and the Max plugin (obviously) are Windows only.
This is because Max is the backbone of our 3D dept. and we do not develop for OS we do not use.

On the other hand, we are just porting Deadline to Linux and possibly OSX so I would never say never.

As for the caching, you can save your particles wherever you want, but in order to be lit and rendered all particles of the current frame have to be loaded into RAM first. So you can take a good 64bit machine with as much RAM you can fit into it, run Max 9 64 bit and just render ;)

destruct007
03-28-2007, 12:58 AM
And when do we get it for maya? OOOH is that tabbu to ask? :eek: max gets all the add on toys! :scream: no fair!

Bobo
03-28-2007, 03:50 AM
And when do we get it for maya? OOOH is that tabbu to ask? :eek: max gets all the add on toys! :scream: no fair!

Speaking theoretically, of course, the stand-alone version of Krakatoa could be used with particles from any source (incl. any 3d application). It is the connection from the 3d application that has to be developed and requires time and significant knowledge of the platform. Obviously, since 3ds Max is the backbone of our company, we know A LOT more about how it works and how to implement extensions for it. I guess that it would be a possibility in the future to either develop such a connection ourselves or let some interested 3rd party that uses Maya in production to deal with bridging the gap between the two.
But once again, I am speaking theoretically.

Btw, your post is just what we were hearing every day at our booth last Siggraph, so it does not come as a surprise ;)

muzbee3d
03-28-2007, 03:23 PM
We intend to release Krakatoa in the first quarter of 2007.


BOBO, going to make this date ? http://forums.cgsociety.org/images/icons/icon11.gif
3 more days ........http://forums.cgsociety.org/images/icons/icon13.gif

Bobo
03-28-2007, 04:58 PM
BOBO, going to make this date ? http://forums.cgsociety.org/images/icons/icon11.gif
3 more days ........http://forums.cgsociety.org/images/icons/icon13.gif

Now go back and read the second sentence in that post :twisted:
I said "Anywhere between 1 month from now and when it is ready".
Well, we do not feel it is ready yet (but the feature set is way beyond what we planned for v1.5 !) We believe you are entitled to the most stable and usable product possible.
In addition, development at Frantic is VFX project driven. Our software serves the projects we work on so if we have to enhance a product to suit our needs, it has higher priority than obscure shipping dates. That is what is happening now - we had to enhance Krakatoa to do several things that were not on the plan. Guess who would benefit from that...

Nobody is waiting for Krakatoa to ship anyway, right? ;)

muzbee3d
03-28-2007, 07:04 PM
Well. the weather is getting warmer, at least in here California. A little while longer camping out in the long lines wont be so bad now.http://forums.cgsociety.org/images/icons/icon10.gif
Im sure your innovative program will be well worth the wait. Well just hang out.


Best

muzbee3d
04-02-2007, 10:43 PM
Sure would be nice to see another Inspirational Krakatoa made image.http://forums.cgsociety.org/images/icons/icon6.gif

Bobo
04-03-2007, 05:18 AM
Sure would be nice to see another Inspirational Krakatoa made image.http://forums.cgsociety.org/images/icons/icon6.gif


Most of the time, I produce code and not images. When I do produce images, they are either for testing or for production (and thus cannot be shown until the movie comes out).

But I will ask some beta testers to come up with cool stuff to post here...

SoLiTuDe
04-05-2007, 03:45 AM
well.... it's nothing special, but I'll post it anyway. :) It's only 1 million particles... rendered in about 11 sec. per frame with pflow calculations as well. ...I can do a lot more now that i know what I'm doing so maybe i'll post some stuff next week ish... got a lot going on this week (moving and such over the weekend)

http://www.innersolitude.com/teapotfume.mov

Glacierise
04-05-2007, 06:53 AM
Wow cool!

I am assembling my overclocked core2duo beast tomorrow, and will post some krak stuf, too!

PsychoSilence
04-05-2007, 09:12 AM
some very quick and dirty disintegration i did back with the 0.9.6 or 0.9.8 if i remember right?!?

http://core2core.de/spielwiese/disintegrating-stuff.mov

hopefully i can show more after weekend. its easter so i got weekend from thursday to tuesday :D

kind regards

anselm

SoLiTuDe
04-05-2007, 01:26 PM
some very quick and dirty disintegration i did back with the 0.9.6 or 0.9.8 if i remember right?!?

http://core2core.de/spielwiese/disintegrating-stuff.mov

hopefully i can show more after weekend. its easter so i got weekend from thursday to tuesday :D

kind regards

anselm


Pure Awesomeness! :thumbsup:

jlelievre
04-05-2007, 04:53 PM
Very cool indeed! Can't wait till this becomes public; would love to play around with it! :)

jigu
04-10-2007, 01:41 PM
here is the quick test with pflow and noisy wind to drive the particle motion. and it was rendered with krakatoa beta 0.9.13. i also did some postproduction(glow/color correct) in combustion.

link : http://www.jhjariwala.com/teapotfire.mov

-J.

davision747
04-10-2007, 05:27 PM
I think that fire looks excellent. My only problem with it is that it looks a little "stringy".

If the particles were larger, maybe it would improve?

Can you describe the settings used -- at least generally?

bealobo
04-11-2007, 02:14 PM
WOW excellent
I want to see more !!!

jigu
04-12-2007, 08:19 AM
I think that fire looks excellent. My only problem with it is that it looks a little "stringy".

If the particles were larger, maybe it would improve?

Can you describe the settings used -- at least generally?

Pflow setup was pretty simple. Particles locked down on the teapot and birth over the time. Using spawn test, birth more particles over the time and Take this particles to new event to give wind turbualance with Rotational wind. i hope you get it. it looks stringy, maybe it needs
some divergence to particles.

DeKo-LT
04-12-2007, 09:05 AM
Here is my Krakatoa test:
http://deko.lt/tmp/DeKo_Krakatoa_Sun_test.jpg

http://deko.lt/tmp/DeKo_Sun_test_mid.mov

Krakatoa + Digital Fusion ;)

PsychoSilence
04-12-2007, 09:47 AM
now thats a nice one!

birth texuture or position object with density by grayscale with lots of spawn by travel distance and some forces for nice movements i asume?


kind regards

anselm

jigu
04-12-2007, 10:26 AM
nice one deko! :thumbsup:

bealobo
04-13-2007, 07:35 AM
Looks really cool!

jigu
04-15-2007, 11:36 AM
Some more tests i did using krakatoa :

Below is the animation i made for my demoreel :

http://img261.imageshack.us/img261/9224/duststormmedrx5.jpg

Link : http://www.jhjariwala.com/dust_storm_med.mov


some more tests with partitions and Particle culling in krakatoa.

I used Pflow to locked down the 1 Million particles on character surface then using Partition utility, i made 100 partitions to disk. and each partition has 1 million particles with random positions. You can see in the image how it was rendered with increment of partitions. Though i tried to render 50 million particles with 50 partitions but it went out ot RAM.

*EDIT : to generate 100 partitions for 1 million particles , it took around 15 mins. and rendering time for 1 Million particles : 43 seconds, 10 million particles : around 2 mins, 20 and 25 Million particles : around 10-15 mins.

Link to image : http://www.jhjariwala.com/partition_test.jpg


Here is the second test: Volumetric Dino

Link : http://www.jhjariwala.com/dinosand_med.mov

for this, i thought it could be easy with pflow position operator with volume mode.but it was very slow. After checking bobo's krakatoa cheeze, i realized it should be done with particle culling in PRT loader.

For that, i made the box covering "dino" mesh and using pflow > position operator to fill the volume of the box with 10 Million particles. Using krakatoa, i saved those particles to disk. Then using PRT loader, i loaded 10 million particles to the scene and chosed "dino" mesh as "volume node" in particle culling. Once again, using partition utility generated6 partition to disk. then again in max, loaded all those partitions to generate "volumetric particle dino" and i saved again 10 million particles to single file.

Now back to particle flow, using "Krakatoa file birth" operator, i loaded all particles to the scene and made the disintegration of dino.

Note : Dino character is modeled by Sriram (http://forums.cgsociety.org/member.php?u=163734). Thanks a lot dude!

bealobo
04-16-2007, 08:15 AM
I'm speechless.
That IS amazing!

by the way, you ran out of RAM trying to render 50 millions. How much RAM do you have?

I have another question:
Bobo, will it be some texturing abilities? It would be cool to make things like that one above with textures.

Bobo
04-16-2007, 02:25 PM
I'm speechless.
That IS amazing!

by the way, you ran out of RAM trying to render 50 millions. How much RAM do you have?

I have another question:
Bobo, will it be some texturing abilities? It would be cool to make things like that one above with textures.

It DOES have texture abilities - we support any color coming from PFlow materials and textures, we had even tests where we baked the UVs via Box#3 dataflows and used camera projection of a Brazil rendering to color particles where the original projected color would stick to each particle as it moved away - that's how the Mini Demo at Siggraph was textured:
http://support.franticfilms.com/images/10/krakatoa.jpg
50 million particles require 1811 MB to load, but there is more overhead from various buffers, shadow maps etc. It is usually impossible to squeeze into 2GB of RAM in 32bit Max. It should be possible with 4GB of RAM on Win64 though, especially with Max 9 64bit...

jigu
04-16-2007, 02:41 PM
50 million particles require 1811 MB to load, but there is more overhead from various buffers, shadow maps etc. It is usually impossible to squeeze into 2GB of RAM in 32bit Max. It should be possible with 4GB of RAM on Win64 though, especially with Max 9 64bit...

it went around 3.2 GB of RAM usage for 50 million particles. and there are two spot lights, both with 2048 shadow map size.but i guess it can render out 30 to 40 million particles
with 2 GB of RAM.

feldy
04-16-2007, 06:54 PM
hey deko that was sweet dude at first glance it looks like the sun from superman returns. do you have a hi rez i think i found my new background

Bobo
04-16-2007, 07:19 PM
at first glance it looks like the sun from superman returns.

Which is no surprise since we rendered the Red Sun with Krakatoa, too...

feldy
04-16-2007, 07:40 PM
Which is no surprise since we rendered the Red Sun with Krakatoa, too...

yea i know If I remeber right you and Allan worked on it.
hey by the way I remeber that they released a 3d version of superman that had the krypton destruction scene that Allan also worked on that got cut from the regualr version of superman did that stuff ever make it into a dvd version?

Bobo
04-16-2007, 11:31 PM
yea i know If I remeber right you and Allan worked on it.
hey by the way I remeber that they released a 3d version of superman that had the krypton destruction scene that Allan also worked on that got cut from the regualr version of superman did that stuff ever make it into a dvd version?

Initially, there was an extended destruction scene that contained footage from S:TM just like the shooting script describes it. It was scrapped early on. Then there was a long sequence of Kal-El exploring the ruins of Krypton which is in the script and in the book and was completed but was not included in any version of the movie so far. Bryan Singer suggested it might be in a future IMAX rerelease, but I don't really know what will happen. (It kicked major ass btw and would have been great in 3D).

So no, there is no DVD with that...

bealobo
04-17-2007, 09:28 AM
Ithat's how the Mini Demo at Siggraph was textured

Hi Bobo,
I was working at Siggraph and couldn't attend to many booths, shows and conferences... So I just went into your website and saw some clips, I guess they compile what you showed at Siggraph.
They are amazing, I love the underwater scenes...
... krakatoa looks so great! Even the name is very cool!

congratulations to all the team!

HannesJ
04-17-2007, 02:57 PM
In the german TV I saw an ad of Mercedes' new C-class where a white Mercedes drives down a road near the coastline and dissolves into white dust (a lot!) and changes into the original shape again. Is this made with Krakatoa? I can't imagine that there is another app that handles such an amount of particles.

Glacierise
04-17-2007, 11:29 PM
Yes, I'd also like to know who/how came up with such a bull's eye name :)

Also, it would be great if Bobo could post the entire mini shot, the screens are drooling :)

Bobo
04-18-2007, 02:38 AM
Yes, I'd also like to know who/how came up with such a bull's eye name :)

Also, it would be great if Bobo could post the entire mini shot, the screens are drooling :)


Regarding the name:
It was Mark Wiebe's idea (Mark is the Senior Developer at Frantic Films and the "father" of Krakatoa). He had to fight hard for it as some people (I admit being one of them) weren't really sure it was that great, esp. taking into account that "Krakatoa" is most probably a result of a newspaper's typo when reporting about the eruption of the vulcano called by the locals Krakatau. Also you of all people have to admit that to a Bulgarian it sounds a lot like "feet" ;)
In hindsight though I must admit it was a great choice and I am loving it now.

As for the Mini test, I will have to see what can be done. We had it on our Siggraph reel but I have to make sure it is ok to release online...

Bobo
04-18-2007, 02:48 AM
In the german TV I saw an ad of Mercedes' new C-class where a white Mercedes drives down a road near the coastline and dissolves into white dust (a lot!) and changes into the original shape again. Is this made with Krakatoa? I can't imagine that there is another app that handles such an amount of particles.

I am not aware of any commercials out there already using Krakatoa. Also, rendering a million particles is not as difficult as it sounds, and there are lots of packages that have great particle systems built in (like Houdini, even Cinema4D ships with Thinking Particles). It is the particle pipeline and particle data management tools we are slowly putting into place with Krakatoa that really shine.
When we started preparing Krakatoa 1.0 for Max, the plan literally called for an "as simple as possible" application. Thanks to the fact Frantic and some Krakatoa beta testers are using it in actual production though, we easily exceeded our own expectations. Compared to what was scheduled for 1.0, the current version surely feels like 1.5, while still remaining realtively easy to use.

Bobo
04-18-2007, 04:37 AM
Hi Bobo,
I was working at Siggraph and couldn't attend to many booths, shows and conferences... So I just went into your website and saw some clips, I guess they compile what you showed at Siggraph.
They are amazing, I love the underwater scenes...
... krakatoa looks so great! Even the name is very cool!

congratulations to all the team!

Thanks!

I had no idea that montage was available online! After reading your post, I had to search to find it. I think the other montage (the VFX one) was better, this one shows lots of work in progress temps, RnD proof of concepts (like the Kryptonite meteorite test with the lens passing in front) and so on. Some of the underwater shots and the Red Sun explosion were finals though...

bealobo
04-19-2007, 08:46 AM
Regarding the name: ...taking into account that "Krakatoa" is most probably a result of a newspaper's typo when reporting about the eruption of the vulcano called by the locals Krakatau. Also you of all people have to admit that to a Bulgarian it sounds a lot like "feet" ;)



Krakatoa is how that vulcano is called in spanish actually. So, it's sounds pretty good on this end.
:thumbsup:

loran
04-20-2007, 07:31 PM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d78_oJt19AI
Here is a french commercial where the car is suddenly desintegrated in billions of particles. Amazing. I don't know which studio do that. Maybe done with Krakatoa??

loran
04-20-2007, 07:52 PM
I would like to test Krakatoa! Here is a test I ve post on Particle Flow thread WIthout Krakatoa of course :/

where can I request a beta ??

http://laurent.renaud.free.fr/divers/cgtalk/desintegrate001.jpg

video (http://laurent.renaud.free.fr/divers/cgtalk/desintegrate001.mov)

max file (http://laurent.renaud.free.fr/divers/cgtalk/desintegrate001.max)

Bobo
04-20-2007, 08:35 PM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d78_oJt19AI
Here is a french commercial where the car is suddenly desintegrated in billions of particles. Amazing. I don't know which studio do that. Maybe done with Krakatoa??

Nope, not Krakatoa. If you watch the smoke part of the clip carefully, you will see that the car does not turn into smoke, but the smoke rendering is blended on top of the car. I am pretty sure you can get a very similar result with FumeFX and some post application. You never see the smoke turn back into the car, it is more suggested than really happening. Still very cool though.

In contrast, the Mini we had was literarily made of particles, colored using a Brazil rendering of the original car model that we used for particle distribution. So it looked like Brazil rendering from any angle, but could be split into molecules using regular PFlow operators and forces. Of course, the Mini was just a test we used for a Siggraph demo and not a production shot.

HannesJ
04-21-2007, 04:11 PM
This is the spot I meant.

ivanisavich
04-22-2007, 08:01 AM
Was there a beta version of this app or something? There seem to be a few different people in this thread who've used it already and I didn't even realize it was out yet........or is it for sale that I'm not seeing yet?

Bobo
04-22-2007, 02:05 PM
Was there a beta version of this app or something? There seem to be a few different people in this thread who've used it already and I didn't even realize it was out yet........or is it for sale that I'm not seeing yet?

Krakatoa has been in Beta for quite some time. Some people who participated in this thread were given access to the Beta program. Right now we are approaching the final stages of the Beta so it is probably too late to join the testing. We allow our beta testers to release images and animations made with Krakatoa, that's why you are seeing some in this thread.

When it is ready, we intend to make it available for download as an evaluation version (watermarked output and disabled network rendering would be the limitations) so anyone would be able to test drive it.

Before you ask - no, the price has not been announced yet, but we are having some very interesting discussions internally... Stay tuned.

ivanisavich
04-22-2007, 06:03 PM
Oh neat! Thanks for the info!

Bobo
04-26-2007, 01:37 PM
I had no idea that montage was available online!

Looks like I forgot to mention WHERE that montage is...

Here we go - this one contains a signicant number of Krakatoa shots, both tests, demos and production shots from various movies like Stay, Cursed and Superman Returns. In addition, it shows some Flood and Flood:Surf work.

Go to
http://www.franticfilms.com/commercial/
and click on the RnD > Montage (Fluid, Crystal, Particles) link.
It requires Quicktime 7.

ArtiZta
04-29-2007, 06:21 PM
Just a quick question....
Seeing this thread I can imagine the power of Krakatoa, but I was just wondering was Krakatoa use for Spiderman 3 as well??
If not, does anyone know what technique was used for it?

MiguelPerez
04-29-2007, 07:10 PM
Sony doesn't use Max.
I think the sand was made in Houdini and rendered with an instancer written for the film.

ArtiZta
04-30-2007, 01:19 PM
Ah, I see...
but looking at the Krakatoa samples I think soon it will be possible to do it in max as well without a hell of a machine :)

Bobo
04-30-2007, 02:07 PM
Ah, I see...
but looking at the Krakatoa samples I think soon it will be possible to do it in max as well without a hell of a machine :)

Actually we are pretty happy that Spiderman 3 is coming out so close to the release of Krakatoa - everyone and their grandma will want to do sandmen in the coming months ;)

ArtiZta
04-30-2007, 03:23 PM
Good point,
I believe over here every production might want to make a sand man or anything from sand.. I might get more jobs hahahaha... but will I be able to afford Krakatoa on a personal budget??... hmmm...

slime
04-30-2007, 06:31 PM
Wow. It looks like a fantastic piece of software! I don't think there is any similar renderer out there in the market right now, so it could be great for small and medium shops as well as for freelancers. The public demo es also a great idea :thumbsup:
I'm very surprised about the speed and the ability to handle shadows properly. A feature that would be nice for the future would be the possibility of implementing dicing (adaptative would be the best) to handle an infinite number of particles regardless of the amount of RAM.

Keep up the great work, Bobo! :scream:

Bobo
05-01-2007, 02:08 PM
Wow. It looks like a fantastic piece of software! I don't think there is any similar renderer out there in the market right now, so it could be great for small and medium shops as well as for freelancers. The public demo es also a great idea :thumbsup:
I'm very surprised about the speed and the ability to handle shadows properly. A feature that would be nice for the future would be the possibility of implementing dicing (adaptative would be the best) to handle an infinite number of particles regardless of the amount of RAM.

Keep up the great work, Bobo! :scream:


Thanks Daniel, coming from you this is a great compliment!

We have discussed strategies to allow unlimited particle counts in the future, but it would always come with a certain speed hit - not as slow as Windows swapping to disk, but still slower than loading and processing all particles straight from RAM. At this point we believe that adding more GB to a 64 bit machine is a much better solution (it might turn out to be cheaper than the time it would take otherwise).
Processing unlimited particle counts with additive shading would be easily possible though.

The list of possible features for future releases is long and exciting, but we have to deliver 1.0 first...

Btw, can't wait to see Spidey 3 ;)

greekdish
05-03-2007, 11:35 PM
Sony doesn't use Max.
I think the sand was made in Houdini and rendered with an instancer written for the film.

I visited Sony last summer, and I saw the workstation where the guy was working on the Sandman swipe scene, and I could've sworn he was using Maya.

slime
05-04-2007, 06:45 PM
I visited Sony last summer, and I saw the workstation where the guy was working on the Sandman swipe scene, and I could've sworn he was using Maya.
What scene was that? We didn't use Maya for Sandman, so maybe it was some destruction shot?

joconnell
05-07-2007, 06:54 PM
Just stuck up a wee test movie done with krakatoa, done with around 100,000 particles with movement from fume, around two seconds a frame. http://www.joconnell.com/uploads/krakatoa/krakatoa_mocap.mov

plug3
05-07-2007, 07:48 PM
Just stuck up a wee test movie done with krakatoa, done with around 100,000 particles with movement from fume, around two seconds a frame. http://www.joconnell.com/uploads/krakatoa/krakatoa_mocap.mov

Wow!! That looks niiiice.

PartiallyFrozen
05-07-2007, 09:29 PM
Cool video...Looks great.

A cool thing to play with also is the coloring. You can get some cool results if you set up your pfflow with settings like this.

http://farm1.static.flickr.com/217/488903751_089a60ae44_o.jpg

This is a generic fire coloring. But it can be tweaked to represent any other color. It just takes some tweaking. (requires the use of Additive Density)

Also, you might be able to clean up the stepping just by lowering your ticks on render in pflow. It will eliminate the banding that is taking place when the object moves fast.

Also you should check out the partitioning feature in Krakatoa. This can bring you up to as much as your computer can render which will give greater results.

Mark

joconnell
05-07-2007, 09:56 PM
Yeah I still haven't gotten to the stage of the really smooth renders you guys are getting - kind of like the smoke on the xsi packaging. Since I'm the max guy in an XSI house and batchserve isn't supported anymore we should really look at deadline too. Must have a fiddle in some downtime.

rebolt
05-08-2007, 03:45 AM
Hey joconell. Great video man. The particles looks great with fumefx. How did u get the fumefx work along with it ? Can u post the particle setup for this scene ? :thumbsup:

joconnell
05-08-2007, 11:11 AM
Pretty straight forward bharat - you do a fume simulation of your character going through the fume grid first of all. Then you make a basic particle flow setup and use a new operator called fumeFX follow which lets you pass particle flow through the movement of your fume sim.

a13xr3d
05-20-2007, 04:52 AM
Just stuck up a wee test movie done with krakatoa, done with around 100,000 particles with movement from fume, around two seconds a frame. http://www.joconnell.com/uploads/krakatoa/krakatoa_mocap.mov

That just single handedly inspired me to delve deeper into particle effects :D.

joconnell
05-21-2007, 06:21 AM
don't do it - it's a pain in the hole :D

Bobo
05-21-2007, 06:31 AM
Here is another short movie (http://www.scriptspot.com/bobo/krakatoa/kra_dwr_0_9_16.mov) rendered in Krakatoa Beta 0.9.16.
It contains 5 million particles and one omni light and features the Krakatoa Logo.
Animated completely in Krakatoa without any help from PFlow!
Render time was 25 sec/frame.

bealobo
05-21-2007, 08:22 AM
wow Bobo, excellent!
I love how the head of the guy on the logo looks, like backlighted when the surface moves.
Keep up the good work

pixel9
05-21-2007, 11:31 AM
man, this is great!!

I like this puffy look. You said 5 million polygons; rendered with standard Scanline renderer or MR?

Bobo
05-21-2007, 05:02 PM
man, this is great!!

I like this puffy look. You said 5 million polygons; rendered with standard Scanline renderer or MR?

I did not say "polygons". I said "particles" :)
You should start reading from the beginning of the thread - we are discussing Krakatoa here, a 3rd party volumetric particle renderer currently in Beta which renders large numbers of particles without using polygons. No scanline or mr involved.

feldy
05-21-2007, 05:21 PM
lol.................

mickatt
05-21-2007, 09:04 PM
really impressive work and thanks for the explanation


I would to test it.

oatz
05-22-2007, 03:02 PM
Looks like I forgot to mention WHERE that montage is...

Here we go - this one contains a signicant number of Krakatoa shots, both tests, demos and production shots from various movies like Stay, Cursed and Superman Returns. In addition, it shows some Flood and Flood:Surf work.

Go to
http://www.franticfilms.com/commercial/
and click on the RnD > Montage (Fluid, Crystal, Particles) link.
It requires Quicktime 7.

How you torment me (waiting for 1.0).

SuperRune
05-22-2007, 06:55 PM
...rendered in Krakatoa Beta 0.9.16.

I like how the version numbers slowly keep approaching the holy one point oh. Looking forward to the release, for sure :)

Rune

cester
05-30-2007, 07:24 PM
Any news? When it will be ready??

andyburm
06-02-2007, 08:25 AM
Any news? When it will be ready??

yeah indeed !
reading through this thread is exciting, as well as torture if you can't evaluate it :)

Bobo
06-06-2007, 09:34 PM
yeah indeed !
reading through this thread is exciting, as well as torture if you can't evaluate it :)

Here is the news - it is now scheduled to be available for purchase at Siggraph, with some amazing additions that were initially planned for point releases but were needed for our ongoing movie projects so we decided to include them in 1.0.
We are also looking for a better description of the product, because it is not just a renderer anymore, it turned into a whole particle management and manipulation toolkit.

PsychoSilence
06-06-2007, 10:17 PM
Here is the news - it is now scheduled to be available for purchase at Siggraph, with some amazing additions that were initially planned for point releases but were needed for our ongoing movie projects so we decided to include them in 1.0.
We are also looking for a better description of the product, because it is not just a renderer anymore, it turned into a whole particle management and manipulation toolkit.

thats really great news!
any information about pricings? ill be there in person to get one ;)

Krakatoa Description - worth a single thread :)

kind regards,
anselm

bealobo
06-07-2007, 08:03 AM
Hey Bobo and the team, congratulations! those are big news!
releasing a product is always exciting, and in the case of Krakatoa... it's so
innovative.
I agree you have to look for a better description, people have to clearly see the potential of the product from the begining.

:thumbsup:

Steve Green
06-07-2007, 09:05 AM
Fantastic news that.

I look forward to getting my paws on it. I did a few shots last year on a video which could have really used it.

It would be great to see how Krakatoa handles it.

- Steve

Steve Green
06-21-2007, 05:22 PM
Hi Bobo,

I have a couple of questions about Krakatoa, not sure if you can answer them.

DOF and Motion Blur has been mentioned - can you say how it's implemented?

Is it a post effect like IMB, or is it more like Max's camera motion blur? Could you do long exposure type effects with it for example.

The same question for DOF, is it a Z-buffer post effect, or an in-camera multipass effect?

(edit) Oh, and is the Siggraph purchase open to only those visiting, or will it be available to anyone from Siggraph onwards?

Thanks,

Steve

superhypersam
06-21-2007, 05:57 PM
Im not Bobo, hes much prettier than me, but I can answer your question.
its a multi pass camera effect, much like the standard max method,
works very well as the actual render times are so very fast.


cheers

sam

Steve Green
06-21-2007, 08:26 PM
Thanks Sam,

that's what I suspected, but wasn't sure.

No doubt Bobo is on a modeling assignment :)

- Steve

Bobo
06-22-2007, 02:34 AM
Thanks Sam,

that's what I suspected, but wasn't sure.

No doubt Bobo is on a modeling assignment :)

- Steve

Actually, I took a day off to finish my Master Class presentation for Siggraph.
Just logged in and found this.

Here are some details on DOF and Motion Blur:

*Motion Blur is supported internally, but we also support the Max Multi-Pass Motion blur as an alternative.
*Krakatoa's Motion Blur is orders of magnitude faster, because it loads and calculates the particles just once, then draws the multiple passes at maximum speed based just on their positions and velocities. (the actual drawing speed on my machine is about 2 million particles per second). So it can draw 20 million particles with 6 passes of motion blur in about a minute per frame!
*A drawback of this method is that currently it does not take deformations of matte objects into account, since this would require a reevaluation of the whole scene on each sub-step. It takes the PRS transformations into account though. In 99% of the cases, when objects are not changing too abruptly within the shutter interval which is typically half a frame, this is not a real issue. For those other rare cases, one can use the Max Multi-Pass motion blur but would have to live with recalculating everything multiple times.

*Depth Of Field is NOT based on a multi-pass method though, and other than Scanline Renderer, Krakatoa can do DOF and Motion Blur at the same time. ;)
*DOF is calculated using the target distance and the f-stop value, so we ask the user to provide the f-stop either by adding a mental ray DOF effect to the camera (because it has the value), or use a Brazil camera which we also support. (in fact, we even support Spherical lenses from the Brazil camera!)
*DOF is created by calculating the disk area a particle would occupy on screen and sampling random points in that area, where the number of points is controlled by a DOF Sample Rate value which technically defines the quality of the effect.

With very low values, very few samples will be drawn and even the original particle position will be randomized, so it creates a relatively noisy effect.

Here is an example - the following scene has 3 teapots, no DOF and rendered in 0.484 sec.:

http://www.scriptspot.com/bobo/krakatoa/Krakatoa_DOF_0.jpg


This shows a very very low DOF Sample Rate setting of 0.001. Render time: 0.515 sec.:

http://www.scriptspot.com/bobo/krakatoa/Krakatoa_DOF_0_001.jpg


Sample Rate 0.1, Render time: 0.594 sec.:

http://www.scriptspot.com/bobo/krakatoa/Krakatoa_DOF_0_1.jpg


Sample Rate 1.0, Render time: 1.422 sec.:

http://www.scriptspot.com/bobo/krakatoa/Krakatoa_DOF_1.jpg


Sample Rate 3.0, Render time: 3.234 sec.:

http://www.scriptspot.com/bobo/krakatoa/Krakatoa_DOF_3.jpg

Sample Rate 5.0, Render time: 5.078 sec.:

http://www.scriptspot.com/bobo/krakatoa/Krakatoa_DOF_5.jpg

So in short, we use the fact that we draw particles very fast and just draw a lot more samples per particle. Thus, when rendering 10 million particles with DOF, you might actually draw 100 million samples on screen...

Hope this helps!

As for purchases, I *assume* we will start selling officially after we release for Siggraph, so you don't have to go to San Diego to get Krakatoa 1.0. We intend to release a free testdrive version - in fact, if you install the commercial version without a license, you would just get some watermarking and disabled network rendering support, but all other features should run in otherwise unlimited trial mode.

Oh, and we have added some features that are NOT mentioned in this thread yet :)

muzbee3d
06-22-2007, 06:08 AM
WOW BO !
Thats fast !
If the price is right you'all might out sell Vista !

Steve Green
06-22-2007, 08:16 AM
Very cool.

Thanks for the clarification.

Cheers,

Steve

BrandonD
06-22-2007, 03:53 PM
Impressive.:thumbsup:

PsychoSilence
06-22-2007, 09:43 PM
As for purchases, I *assume* we will start selling officially after we release for Siggraph, so you don't have to go to San Diego to get Krakatoa 1.0. We intend to release a free testdrive version - in fact, if you install the commercial version without a license, you would just get some watermarking and disabled network rendering support, but all other features should run in otherwise unlimited trial mode.

being at sigg purchasing :)

cester
06-23-2007, 02:07 AM
sure,i'll test it:)

Kamid
06-29-2007, 03:31 AM
Awesome.. all these VFX eye candy is amazing. Makes me excited about what options we can have.


Is there any Beta or Learning editions that we can get??? Would love to introduce this to my company.. Would also be awesome if theres a Maya edition in the future as well


Cheers!~

Bobo
06-29-2007, 02:36 PM
Is there any Beta or Learning editions that we can get??? Would love to introduce this to my company.. Would also be awesome if theres a Maya edition in the future as well


It is a bit late for joining the Beta now and the final version is not out yet. When it is released, Krakatoa will run in evaluation mode (as mentioned in earlier posts).

At this point, I don't know what the plans for a Maya edition are. We have a stand-alone version of Krakatoa that could be connected to any 3D software, but the real power of Krakatoa For Max is not just the renderer but the integreation into the application and the pipeline support around it. Implementing something as sophisticated for Maya would be a callenge because, frankly, we have not much experience developing for Maya or even using it. We realize there is demand though, so who knows... ;)
At this point, we have a limited path for rendering Maya particles in Krakatoa For Max as we support both the RealFlow 3 and 4 particle BIN formats and an open CSV ASCII format, so you could write particle files out of Maya even via scripting (not the best approach, but it is a possible bridge nevertheless).

Kamid
06-30-2007, 12:35 AM
Thanks for the reply^^


Sound cool, fortunately I'm a Max user.

So Krakatoa reads Real Flow format.. But so far as in this forum. Is it able to simulate water efficiently at 10 milliion particles or in ways assist Real Flow to achieve such results?

Bobo
06-30-2007, 04:46 AM
Thanks for the reply^^


Sound cool, fortunately I'm a Max user.

So Krakatoa reads Real Flow format.. But so far as in this forum. Is it able to simulate water efficiently at 10 milliion particles or in ways assist Real Flow to achieve such results?

RealFlow is a commonly used application (and format) so we added support for it - Krakatoa reads RealFlow 3 and 4 and writes RealFlow 4 data; the Krakatoa Particle Loader (a scene object for loading, manipulating and displaying saved particle sequences) reads RealFlow 3 and 4, and the included Krakatoa File Birth and Krakatoa File Position PFlow Operators also support RealFlow 3 and 4 files. So it is just an alternative format to our own .PRT format (PRT is much more compact, efficient and extensibe as it supports arbitrary channels).

So Krakatoa does only read and write RealFlow data, but does not interact with RealFlow in any other way. We have our own fluid simulator in-house and usually simulate water with it, and of course have both external tools and PFlow operators to drive particles with fluid data, just like FumeFX does. (Krakatoa and FumeFX work nicely together via PFlow, too).

Krakatoa was designed to render particle phenomena, so we often add details to our water with it like foam, sprays, underwater silt clouds etc. See for example the Superman Returns shots where we had 1 billion Krakatoa particles splashing into the Metropolis pier, and large self-shadowing silt clouds when the father crystal was growing underwater.

We render water in various other renderers including mental ray, Brazil and Gelato, so Krakatoa just adds specific elements to the fluid simulation. I wouldn't render a whole ocean surface with particles as it does not make sense - water is not really a good candidate for point rendering, while dust and smoke are.

Also, 10 million particles sound like much but really aren't. ;)

Kamid
06-30-2007, 08:17 AM
10 million is good enuff for me to fill a cup of water. An Ocean is way off for an commercial advertising work.

Guess we will have to look for 3dsmax based water simulators rather then rely on Real Flow.

Cant wait for August ^^ to come.

kage-maru
07-03-2007, 02:09 PM
It's damn promising, I'm looking for it.
Congrats to all frantic r&d crew, hoping this could be the first of a great fx tool collection.

Bobo
07-04-2007, 06:04 AM
It's damn promising, I'm looking for it.
Congrats to all frantic r&d crew, hoping this could be the first of a great fx tool collection.

Thanks!
In fact, Krakatoa is not the only new product to be released by Frantic Films this Siggraph...

SoLiTuDe
07-04-2007, 06:17 AM
You're just trying to kill us with anticipation aren't you Bobo? :) First Krakatoa, now what!?

thatoneguy
07-04-2007, 06:53 AM
This mystery product couldn't possibly be liquidy could it? Maybe finally a challenger for Glu3D... only stable... and good.

noouch
07-05-2007, 10:04 PM
No, the mystery product is in fact a software emulated pez dispenser.

muzbee3d
07-05-2007, 10:18 PM
Wet and Wild show comming up ! ......
Are there going to be buy at the show discounts ?

VinceFX
07-09-2007, 03:54 PM
That sounds very very interesting:thumbsup:

I have few questions.
Krakatoa is a render engine? or a kind of atmospheric effect? Like for the hair plugin, (which dont use geometry)
can the particle be a specific shape (cube? star? etc)? Or is it "just" for dots particles?

Can we add any material on it? such as reflexion, shine etc?

Since Ive seen this thread 1month ago (and spiderman3) Im playing with particleFlow now:D I hope to show you something soon:)

I hope you understand my english...

SoLiTuDe
07-09-2007, 06:42 PM
That sounds very very interesting:thumbsup:

I have few questions.
Krakatoa is a render engine? or a kind of atmospheric effect? Like for the hair plugin, (which dont use geometry)
can the particle be a specific shape (cube? star? etc)? Or is it "just" for dots particles?

Can we add any material on it? such as reflexion, shine etc?

Since Ive seen this thread 1month ago (and spiderman3) Im playing with particleFlow now:D I hope to show you something soon:)

I hope you understand my english...


Krakatoa is a render engine not effect.

Can only be dots

You can add materials... not sure about reflection and stuff -- but I doubt it. However you could probably camera map a reflection (rendered from another object) onto it if you wanted.

Bobo
07-09-2007, 09:19 PM
That sounds very very interesting:thumbsup:

I have few questions.
Krakatoa is a render engine? or a kind of atmospheric effect? Like for the hair plugin, (which dont use geometry)
can the particle be a specific shape (cube? star? etc)? Or is it "just" for dots particles?

Can we add any material on it? such as reflexion, shine etc?

Since Ive seen this thread 1month ago (and spiderman3) Im playing with particleFlow now:D I hope to show you something soon:)

I hope you understand my english...

Initially, Krakatoa was "just" a rendering engine designed to do volumetric and additive shading of millions of particles. Currently, we see it as an extension to the particles workflow because it provides means to cache, manage, convert, deform, sculpt, render, load and reuse particles in a production pipeline. But the core of Krakatoa is the point renderer.

It can calculate shadows from particles and scene geometry, specular hightlights based on the particle's orientation, and apply procedural and bitmap textures. No reflections, although it would be possible to fake by projecting rendering from other sources onto particles.

It is designed to deal mostly with effects that are natually particle-based. Using different shapes for particles might be an option in the future, but right now it draws dots, and very fast.

j-man
07-10-2007, 10:50 AM
so Bobo,

are we waiting for siggraph for release, no trials or anything? I'm really getting itchy over here < :

J.

Bobo
07-10-2007, 04:40 PM
so Bobo,

are we waiting for siggraph for release, no trials or anything? I'm really getting itchy over here < :

J.

You might be waiting, we are working ;)
The trial will be available when we release the 1.0 version.

VinceFX
07-10-2007, 06:15 PM
So just after the siggraph, we can test it?:applause:

Im wondering, why its a full new rendering engine and not "just" an atmospheric effetc? like fumeFX or hair&fur. Like this it would be easier to render, with mental ray, or vray or else, with less compositing problem, between krakatoa and the other mesh in the scene.

(just to understand the workflow) Krakatoa, add severals operator inside particle flow?

can we see somewhere the animation of the blue minicooper? Ive just seen a picture on this board..it seems to be :eek:

Bobo
07-10-2007, 09:18 PM
So just after the siggraph, we can test it?:applause:

Im wondering, why its a full new rendering engine and not "just" an atmospheric effetc? like fumeFX or hair&fur. Like this it would be easier to render, with mental ray, or vray or else, with less compositing problem, between krakatoa and the other mesh in the scene.

(just to understand the workflow) Krakatoa adds several operators inside particle flow?

can we see somewhere the animation of the blue minicooper? Ive just seen a picture on this board..it seems to be :eek:

Krakatoa cannot be implemented as an atmospheric effect like Afterburn, FumeFX or Max Hair because it does not work the same way.
It can produce comparable results though (volumetric shading), but uses points instead of voxels, so the ultimate precision of the result is nearly infinite (as each particle describes an infinitely small pont is space rather than a cube with a specific size). Thus, you can get a lot more detail from Krakatoa rendering particles running through a rather coarse FumeFX simulation grid than from FumeFX shading itself.

We believe we made the right decision (given that Krakatoa was and still exists as a stand-alone renderer detached from any 3D application). We just created a Max version of it so Max users can use it the way they use any other renderer. In visual effects, we always generate passes and layers for post compositing, so it fits our workflow. It also frees us to use all resources available in Max for rendering instead as playing nice as a subsystem of something that eats up all memory already ;) And, finally, we don't want to be dependent on 15 years old flawed design decisions inside the Max atmospheric system. We had enough pain integrating with Max as it is (mostly for Max 8, the Max 9 SDK is much better).

Krakatoa does add two operators to PFlow, but they are NOT needed for Krakatoa to work. They are more like a bonus tool to get particle file sequences saved from Krakatoa or other Frantic software modules back into PFlow for advanced effects. Krakatoa does not even require PFlow (although it works best with it) - it can render geometry vertices as particle clouds (so you can tessellate a character heavily and render as a bunch of particles in Krakatoa) as well as all legacy Max particles and we are working on supporting Thinking Particles in the near future (TP 2.5 is not available for Max 9, we will probably deliver a point update to support TP 3.0 after it is released).

You can catch a glimpse of the mini animation on the last Siggraph's RnD demo reel posted a few pages back... Just search through all my posts in this thread and you will find it.

Rens
07-11-2007, 09:56 AM
http://features.cgsociety.org/story.php?story_id=4152&referer=cgnews

:D

jigu
07-12-2007, 05:18 AM
Here is one more test i did with krakatoa beta 0.9.17.

All particles rendered with krakatoa.

Hi speed Bullet shot : http://www.jhjariwala.com/bulletshot_final.mov

j-man
07-12-2007, 01:13 PM
You might be waiting, we are working ;)
The trial will be available when we release the 1.0 version.

I'm sure you are! anyway, looks great so let me know if i can help LOL


Hi speed Bullet shot : http://www.jhjariwala.com/bulletshot_final.mov

nice!

J.

jigu
07-17-2007, 05:11 AM
I posted new animation in finished works section.

Here is the link to thread:

http://forums.cgsociety.org/showthread.php?p=4525694#post4525694

oatz
08-06-2007, 08:21 PM
http://new.franticfilms.com/software/products/krakatoa/download/

mir-vadim
08-10-2007, 09:47 AM
Awesome. I rendered 20 million particles with motion blur only for 12 seconds.
I can`t believe. So simple and so fast. Thanks Bobo. :thumbsup:
P.s. Who stole all checkboxes from GUI? :)

Kamid
08-10-2007, 12:03 PM
I would think thats a 64bit system??

Its pretty impressive on my 32bit. But not to that extent yet...
Really gotta invest on harddrives now since it approximates 1.71GB of space for 1 mil particles over 100 frames

Bobo
08-10-2007, 04:28 PM
Awesome. I rendered 20 million particles with motion blur only for 12 seconds.
I can`t believe. So simple and so fast. Thanks Bobo. :thumbsup:
P.s. Who stole all checkboxes from GUI? :)

LOL!

I had this GUI design in Amaretto. The idea was that a checked checkbutton turns orange (by default) and is much more visible from the corner of the eye than a checkbox. After a while, you will start "feeling" the Krakatoa settings by just looking at the pattern of gray vs. orange checkbuttons... (Krakatoa's GUI was initially based on the Amaretto code).

That being said, the whole GUI is a script, so replacing "checkbutton" with "checkbox" in the source would be really easy. It might affect the History comparisons though, will take a look.

mir-vadim
08-10-2007, 07:00 PM
LOL!

I had this GUI design in Amaretto. The idea was that a checked checkbutton turns orange (by default) and is much more visible from the corner of the eye than a checkbox. After a while, you will start "feeling" the Krakatoa settings by just looking at the pattern of gray vs. orange checkbuttons... (Krakatoa's GUI was initially based on the Amaretto code).

That being said, the whole GUI is a script, so replacing "checkbutton" with "checkbox" in the source would be really easy. It might affect the History comparisons though, will take a look.



Yes, it`s handy. But I was shocked when I saw GUI at first time.
So much buttons and all so large. :)
I use the Krakatoa already two days, and as You said, after a while I started feel settings.

Maybe even slightly change pressed checkbutton color for each rollout. All rollouts looks so similar with pressed yellow buttons and sometimes You cannot even understand quickly where are You.

Язык с этим Анuлийским раньше сломаю, чем объясню. Кароче, роллауты выглядят очень похоже, особенно когда нажато много желтых кнопок. Поэтому, может для каждого роллаута, цвет нажатых кнопок немного поменять, чтобы даже приглядываться не приходилось. Опять краем глаза видишь что нажатые кнопки, допустим, фиолетового цвета ,он не хуже желтого смотрится, и понимаешь что это такой то роллаут. Ну это так, мои размышления. Плагин действительно классный, хочеться поделиться своими мыслями как, на мой взгляд, сделать еще лучше.
Пасип.

jigu
08-11-2007, 12:43 PM
I just released kraktoa and particlflow video tutorials.
http://www.jhjariwala.com/?/tutorials

Gunilla
08-11-2007, 01:47 PM
I have really looked forward to try this, great news!

Anyone knows what happened with the online manual at http://www.franticfilms.com/software/support/krakatoa/contents.php?
I was just getting ready to start going through them.
No hints on the website.

EDIT: Forget it, I found the new location at
http://new.franticfilms.com/software/support/krakatoa/contents.php

jabbermacy
08-12-2007, 05:58 PM
Anybody have a clue what happened to the site? 404 city...

Bobo
08-12-2007, 08:24 PM
Anybody have a clue what happened to the site? 404 city...

I have no problems seeing both the www.franticfilms.com and new.franticfilms.com links.
There might be a DNS problem somewhere. Works ok for me. Unless you mean another site?...

Rens
08-12-2007, 08:32 PM
404 on new.franticfilms.com for me as well.
www.franticfilms.com works fine.

Als
08-13-2007, 02:21 AM
Any chance of improving workflow with maya and krakatoa?
Going through realflow seems like really long, and outputing ascii of million of particles multiplied by number of frames seems really painfull process.
I've downloaded krakatoa to test it, but it looked like that was only a max plugin, not standalone.


Thanks


Als

PS
I'm huge fan of Dr. Baily's work, and I had privilege to excenge few emails with him some time ago. He was a great guy and amazing artist, and will stay forever great inspiration for me.

Bobo
08-13-2007, 05:45 AM
Any chance of improving workflow with maya and krakatoa?
Going through realflow seems like really long, and outputing ascii of million of particles multiplied by number of frames seems really painfull process.
I've downloaded krakatoa to test it, but it looked like that was only a max plugin, not standalone.


We have never announced the release of a stand-alone version of Krakatoa, nor have we mentioned any official support for Maya. Thus, there is not much to improve ;)
We just had beta testers who were moving particles between Max and Maya using Krakatoa and the Realflow format, so it is technically possible, but not very practical. Also, many Maya users that stopped by our booth at Siggraph expressed their concerns that Maya might not be able to generate enough particles to pass to Krakatoa, but this is something we will have to test.

That being said, we might do something about supporting Maya in the future, but when and in what form still remains to be seen.

Bobo
08-13-2007, 06:36 PM
Just a short note that the official Krakatoa for 3ds Max support conference has been opened on the Frantic Software webboard, right next to the Deadline conference.
http://support.franticfilms.com/wb/


We are also preparing our first update to Krakatoa with some small bug fixes and a couple new features :)


EDIT: Version 1.0.1.29090 of Krakatoa is now available. It adds support for Light Near and Far Attenuation Ranges, buttons in the PRT Loader for getting the particle bounding box into the modifier context values, an Update View Cache button for quick refresh of particle display after material changes or culling named selection set changes and a progress bar for the particle count graph. In addition, two defects in the Particle Loader were fixed.
The installer also includes 64 bit version of the license tools (but the 32 bit version will install by default and work correctly on WinXP64).

Bobo
08-14-2007, 04:50 AM
Yes, it`s handy. But I was shocked when I saw GUI at first time.
So much buttons and all so large. :)
I use the Krakatoa already two days, and as You said, after a while I started feel settings.

Maybe even slightly change pressed checkbutton color for each rollout. All rollouts looks so similar with pressed yellow buttons and sometimes You cannot even understand quickly where are You.

Язык с этим Анuлийским раньше сломаю, чем объясню. Кароче, роллауты выглядят очень похоже, особенно когда нажато много желтых кнопок. Поэтому, может для каждого роллаута, цвет нажатых кнопок немного поменять, чтобы даже приглядываться не приходилось. Опять краем глаза видишь что нажатые кнопки, допустим, фиолетового цвета ,он не хуже желтого смотрится, и понимаешь что это такой то роллаут. Ну это так, мои размышления. Плагин действительно классный, хочеться поделиться своими мыслями как, на мой взгляд, сделать еще лучше.
Пасип.


First of all, regarding the thread on 3Dcenter.ru you participate in, FYI I don't write Krakatoa, I just wrote the scripted portion of it so I take full responsibility for the UI - looks like some Russian hackers do not like it much... now I will loose my sleep ;)
Just for fun I replaced all checkbuttons with checkboxes today to see what would happen and the UI became really bland and unusable, so I'd rather stay with the current design and hope people will adapt to the look. It really works well in production after some days of use.

The idea with the color coding you proposed above is actually pretty cool. I will see what could be done (at least as an OPTION), but there is a certain problem using varying colors for checked states, because they all have to remain readable regardless of the color scheme of the Max UI. Right now, I am using the default colors provided by the color scheme, thus if you switch to dark (charcoal) colors, all checkbuttons turn blue (I have no idea how people can work in that environment, but some do). You would even notice that I took care to change the color of the Krakatoa logo in the About rollout to adapt to the color scheme's background color! ;)

I am surely not going to go over and reply myself to a thread about our product written mainly by software pirates, just wanted to mention that we read what people think and we will try to improve where we can - one of the benefits of having the UI written in MAXScript is that we can redesign it over a weekend ;) But in general, we provide an almost unlimited evaluation version and do not force anyone to buy it (or crack it, for that matter :twisted: ). As for the Deadline note inside Krakatoa, we inform the user that Deadline provides a full featured free mode with two nodes and give a link for download if people want to partition using it. Krakatoa would render on Backburner as any other renderer, we just don't support partitioning on Backburner, but you are free to partition locally, even using the evaluation version, so I assume many people will run evaluation copies on workstations to get more particles saved :)
I am glad you like aspects of it... :thumbsup:

mir-vadim
08-14-2007, 08:32 AM
Спасибо, Bobo. Я просто к чему всю эту демагогию с чекбоксами и цветами развел.
Мне Krakatoa будет очень нужен для моего персонального некоммерческого :) проэкта, поэтому я нашел в себе силы побороть ПЕРВЫЕ впечатления от GUI и начал изучать плагин. И не пожалел об этом. А есть люди, которым он не очень нужен, после установки они спотыкаются на интерфейсе, а потом пишут на форумах что плагин фигня, видел наверное на 3Дцентре уже таких. И приходится объяснять им что на самом деле всё очень удобно, просто непривычно.

Удачи.
Пока. :thumbsup:

Sorry for Russian language guys. Just don`t want to spend time translating on English.

Erka2
08-14-2007, 09:28 AM
First of all, regarding the thread on 3Dcenter.ru you participate in, FYI I don't write Krakatoa, I just wrote the scripted portion of it so I take full responsibility for the UI - looks like some Russian hackers do not like it much... now I will loose my sleep ;)

Just to clarify some things. 3Dcenter's community doesn't consist of hackers, it's mostly 3D hobbyist. And most of them do 3D for their fun and cannot pay for such expensive applications like 3ds max or even Krakatoa. In that thread you are talking about - there is only a couple of (stupid :) if you ask me) comments about Krakatoa's UI. Other comments are really enthusiastic about whole Krakatoa thing.
I am surely not going to go over and reply myself to a thread about our product written mainly by software pirates, just wanted to mention that we read what people think and we will try to improve where we can - one of the benefits of having the UI written in MAXScript is that we can redesign it over a weekend ;) But in general, we provide an almost unlimited evaluation version and do not force anyone to buy it (or crack it, for that matter :twisted: ).
There is no reason to reply to that thread by yourself. Unlimited evaluation version is great! But you should know that Slovanian's mentality better than anyone else is and realize why its done this way.
В любом случае, если Krakatoa и будет крякнута нашим маленьким комьюнити, патч будет раздаваться только среди своих же (людей, которые вряд ли когда-нибудь купили бы этот замечательный софт ) И никак не повлияет на продажи в целом. Вотермарки это хорошо, ну уж больно их много :) Среди "русских хакеров" есть куда-более разбирающиеся люди, чем те, кто пала в бета-команду Frantic Films (сужу по тестам из этой ветки ) Можно считать это продолжением бесплатного бета-тестирования, для тех, кто пропустил возможность :)



Krakatoa is great!

Bobo
08-14-2007, 01:47 PM
Just to clarify some things. 3Dcenter's community doesn't consist of hackers, it's mostly 3D hobbyist. And most of them do 3D for their fun and cannot pay for such expensive applications like 3ds max or even Krakatoa. In that thread you are talking about - there is only a couple of (stupid :) if you ask me) comments about Krakatoa's UI. Other comments are really enthusiastic about whole Krakatoa thing.


Well, it took only 9 messages until a "patch to heal the software" was mentioned (by a moderator using your avatar ;) ) I am familiar with the mentality and knew a hack would appear the moment we release it. We believe that people buying Krakatoa are paying to get support from us and to support further development, but since people participating in that thread are also participating here, I wanted to use the opportunity to set some facts straight...

Regarding some other comments on that forum, we intend to provide the help in PDF or CHM format soon, but right now the manual is being updated daily so we prefer to keep it online. It is a mirror of our internal wiki version of the documentation.

Erka2
08-14-2007, 03:16 PM
It doesn't matter how soon "healing patch" did appear (but it should be a compliment for Krakatoa :-) ) , as I said it before - I'm sure it will not harm Krakatoa's buyers target group. And again, myself and anyone else from russian community is willing to buy and support Krakatoa's development as soon as we will have a paying job with use of it.

DeKo-LT
08-14-2007, 04:26 PM
В любом случае, если Krakatoa и будет крякнута нашим маленьким комьюнити, патч будет раздаваться только среди своих же (людей, которые вряд ли когда-нибудь купили бы этот замечательный софт ) И никак не повлияет на продажи в целом.

Are you sure that only for small community???
Bazuka did it again... Crack become public :argh:

And as Krakatoa beta tester I can only say that Frantic Films have great support and without it any cracks is unusable...
For all particle fanatics it is must have product, worth every dollar, trust me ;)

And to FF I suggest create Support Forum accessible only to registered users (like cgfluids)

TAVO
08-14-2007, 04:42 PM
Just to be sure (sorry if it has been told):

The "only" restrictions for the trial version is watermark and network rendering ??. It is a full version besides that ??? Thanks.

Bobo
08-14-2007, 05:04 PM
Just to be sure (sorry if it has been told):

The "only" restrictions for the trial version is watermark and network rendering ??. It is a full version besides that ??? Thanks.

This is correct.

We will also issue a 15 days trial license to anyone who wants to test-drive the package without any restrictions, but if you want to just play with it and see if you want it, you can run it forever with watermark and no network rendering. All other features are there, and more features are underway...

Here is what the watermark looks like:
http://www.franticfilms.com/software/support/krakatoa/evaluation_license.php

joconnell
08-14-2007, 05:13 PM
That's a great idea - A lot of the time I can't justify buying aplugin unless there is a job going ahead with a budget I can charge it to - last time it was thinking particles that I needed to use on a coors commercial and since they didn't have a trial version it meant I only got my hands on it two weeks before the job was to start which was a very short time to learn a very complex plugin - it's great to have the option of an unlimited krakatoa to play with so that if something does come up you'll be ready to spring into action when the budget is in place to buy a full copy.

Congrats again to the frantic guys, it's a great addition.

TAVO
08-14-2007, 05:33 PM
Sweet, this is great, i will give it a try. Thanks Bobo.

Erka2
08-14-2007, 05:44 PM
Sorry for offtopic. I do know nothing about Bazuka's patch. There are a lot of ppl at this scene. I can talk by myself and my friends only.

Bobo
08-14-2007, 08:04 PM
Yes, it`s handy. But I was shocked when I saw GUI at first time.
So much buttons and all so large. :)
I use the Krakatoa already two days, and as You said, after a while I started feel settings.

Maybe even slightly change pressed checkbutton color for each rollout. All rollouts looks so similar with pressed yellow buttons and sometimes You cannot even understand quickly where are You.


Large buttons are much easier to click ;)

Anyway, I just implemented the custom color scheme controls you proposed (took less than 2 hours!) and I think it is a rather nice thing to have. It is optional, you can either use the default checkbutton color set up in your Max Customize>Colors tab, or enable the custom colors and specify one for each rollout. The settings will be stored locally in your KrakatoaPreferences.ini file and will not stick to the Max scene so each user can create his own look.

You can download the patch from here:
http://support.franticfilms.com/wb/file.asp?file=KrakatoaGUI%5FCustomColors%2Ezip

Download, unzip and save the .ms file into the \Scripts folder of your Krakatoa installation, typically found under
C:\Program Files\Frantic Films\Krakatoa\Scripts
on 32 bit machines and
C:\Program Files (x86)\Frantic Films\Krakatoa\Scripts
on 64 bit machines

Restart Max and you should find some new controls at the bottom of the Preferences Rollout allowing you to change the color of each rollout's checkbuttons, enable/disable the custom colors and update the GUI.

This patch should work in both v.1.0.0.29022 and v.1.0.1.29090

Thanks for the idea!

magicm
08-14-2007, 08:46 PM
Thanks for the update Bobo, being able to set custom colors per rollout will certainly help moving up the learning curve a bit for beginners like myself!

First time I clicked the link I was pointed to a login screen. A way around this is to navigate to the thread (http://support.franticfilms.com/wb/default.asp?action=9&boardid=2&read=797&fid=31) on Frantic's message board first and download it from there.

Martijn

mir-vadim
08-14-2007, 10:07 PM
Wow :eek: , I didn`t expect such quick update. Thanks. :thumbsup:
Colors rules. :)

paulselhi
08-15-2007, 02:44 AM
excellent software. i have followed the tuts and rendered the teapot with 10M particles but i get strong moire effects, i upped the light to intensity 3 as the scene was a bit dark


what is the best way to get rid of the moiree, ( black rings on the overall particles) is these some way of AA'ing the render, or should i soften in post ?

Bobo
08-15-2007, 03:09 AM
excellent software. i have followed the tuts and rendered the teapot with 10M particles but i get strong moire effects, i upped the light to intensity 3 as the scene was a bit dark


what is the best way to get rid of the moiree, ( black rings on the overall particles) is these some way of AA'ing the render, or should i soften in post ?

The effect is caused mostly by self-shadowing of particles and depends mostly on the distribution of particles, per-particle density and shadow map size. (It is one of the tricky things to master when using Krakatoa).

If your particles are more or less co-planar, for example if distributed using Pflow>Position Operator>Surface, try changing the random offset from the surface to give the teapot some thickness. Then play with the global density - note that the density can be adjusted globally for all particles, separately for the lighting pass, per light using the Shadow Density value, per Material using the Opacity and per node using the Object Visibility track. So there are many ways to adjust the density.

In some cases, just lowering the particle count itself can help - being able to render 10M particles does not mean you have to ;)

If you watch the Dyno images posted several pages earlier by Jigu, you will notice that the higher the particle count, the stronger the moire effects become (although not too pronounced, but still visible). So there might be a sweet spot somewhere between 1M and 10M particles which might have less artifacts without having to change particle density.

Also remember that Krakatoa accumulates particles to generate volumetric density. The global value you enter is not absolute but relative to the particle count. For example, if you have a certain density at 1M particles, increasing the particle count to 10M particles will REDUCE the per-particle density internally 10 times to give you the same aggregate volumetric density. So once you find a look you like with a low particle count and certain global density settings, you can start increasing the particle count until you get the fine look you want without artifacts caused by too few or too many particles.

paulselhi
08-15-2007, 03:21 AM
well i used the tut setup with 10 partitions so i wuld have thought each partition would have been randomized. I will test some density settings to see how that works then try lowering the no of partitions used
as for shadows, the light has no shadows, is there a setting to adjust them in krak ? if i turn shadows on for the light there is no effect ( do iva eto do this prior to saving the prt's

thanks for getting back so quick

andyburm
08-15-2007, 03:26 AM
I was also checking out the tuts and was wondering how you control the attenuated shadows.
krakatoa sems to treat lights in a very different manner.....

paulselhi
08-15-2007, 03:52 AM
ok so i have removed the particle loader from krak and have added a particle loader in pflow and can see that i can set offsets for the particles i have on disk. Now what is the technique to bring all the partitions in with different offsets, do i have to make a pflow for each partition or should i have multiple particle loaders in the one pflow

Bobo
08-15-2007, 04:25 AM
well i used the tut setup with 10 partitions so i wuld have thought each partition would have been randomized. I will test some density settings to see how that works then try lowering the no of partitions used
as for shadows, the light has no shadows, is there a setting to adjust them in krak ? if i turn shadows on for the light there is no effect ( do iva eto do this prior to saving the prt's

thanks for getting back so quick

When lighting is on, particles always cast shadows on particles.
The Cast Shadows checkbox has only effect on Matte Objects (whether matte objects will cast shadows onto particles).

It is technically not possible to light particles without shadow casting - shadow casting IS part of the lighting process, unlike with shading surfaces.

Lighting is calculated during the rendering and NOT during the saving. When saving particles, the diffuse color (or whatever color source is available) will be saved to disk. If you disable lighting, the particles will shade as self-illuminated. If you enable lighting, the saved color (or whatever color source is specified in the Loader or Override settings) will be used and particles will cast shadows onto themselves to generate the volumetric shading effect.

Bobo
08-15-2007, 04:30 AM
I was also checking out the tuts and was wondering how you control the attenuated shadows.
krakatoa sems to treat lights in a very different manner.....

Remember, Krakatoa is a VOLUMETRIC renderer, it does not use surfaces like the other renderers, thus it works differently. What controls the attenuation of the shadows is the density of the particles - as I mentioned previously, this is defined by the amount of particles and their density. The denser the particles, the less "transparent" will they be for the light, resulting in faster extinction of light throughout the volume.

In general, Krakatoa should be used to shade volumetric clouds of particles. Having particles covering just the surface of an object usually causes artifacts because the particle "shell" does not have enough thickness to correctly attenuate light. That's why I suggested that even when spreading particles on the surface of meshes, it is a good idea to add some random offset (the initial demo with the exploding teapot in the beginning of this thread used that approach).

Bobo
08-15-2007, 04:38 AM
ok so i have removed the particle loader from krak and have added a particle loader in pflow and can see that i can set offsets for the particles i have on disk. Now what is the technique to bring all the partitions in with different offsets, do i have to make a pflow for each partition or should i have multiple particle loaders in the one pflow

Come on, seriously, I meant changing the offset of the particles in PFlow BEFORE saving partitions to disk. :)
Remember, the basic example scene we provided was designed to show the basics, it might not look gorgeous as is.

I never suggested reloading the saved particles back into PFlow to modify them, but to START with a better setup, or even test render the first frame of the PFlow directly without saving PRTs to disk.

Instead of removing partitions from the PRT Loader, you can always lower the Render Percentage to get less particles rendered, or just drop the per-particle density so the particles have less influence onto the volumetric density. But if all 10 partitions were saved using the same surface placement without any offset along the surface normals, the partitions' randomization would be just within the surface and the particle cloud would have no thickness whatsoever. Since the particle shadowing depends on particles casting shadows onto particles behind them, if there are no particles behind, when the particles are placed very densely next to each other they might start casting shadows onto themselves - the same moire effect could be recreated using meshes and shadow maps with no bias where the surface self-shadows and some points of it do not "know" whether they are behind or in front of the light/shadow interface.

Bobo
08-15-2007, 05:16 AM
Let's take a look at a simple example.

I created a Geosphere with 10 segs and distributed 1M particles on its surface without any offset. Created a direct light from the right and rendered with default density of 5.0 * 10^-1 (values of 5.0 and -1 in the UI = 0.5).
As expected, I got severe artifacting with moire effects:

http://www.scriptspot.com/bobo/krakatoa/Desity_0_5_NoSurfaceOffset.jpg

I reduced the density to 0.05 (5.0, -2) and got this:

http://www.scriptspot.com/bobo/krakatoa/Desity_0_05_NoSurfaceOffset.jpg

It is getting better, but the moire effect is still there.
If you would reduce the density even more, the result would be

http://www.scriptspot.com/bobo/krakatoa/Desity_0_005_NoSurfaceOffset.jpg

As you can see, the moire effect is gone, but the particles on the top right do not shadow the particles bottom left anymore so the light "leaks" through the thin shell.

To counteract this, I enabled the Offset option in the Position Object operator with defaults of -1 and 1. With density of 0.005 it looks like this:

http://www.scriptspot.com/bobo/krakatoa/Desity_0_005_SurfaceOffset_-1_1.jpg

Here you can see the thickness of the particles at the edge of the sphere. Light is still leaking, so I increased the density to 0.05 again:

http://www.scriptspot.com/bobo/krakatoa/Desity_0_05_SurfaceOffset_-1_1.jpg

Now this looks better. Going even higher to 0.5 caused the following look:

http://www.scriptspot.com/bobo/krakatoa/Desity_0_5_SurfaceOffset_-1_1.jpg

This looks almost like concrete already, and some artifacts shart appearing at the sides. So 0.05 looks like a good value when using a surface offset.

I also tested separate density for Lighting Pass and Final Pass.
Here is the lighting pass of 0.05 and final pass of 0.5 with surface offset of -1/1:

http://www.scriptspot.com/bobo/krakatoa/Desity_0_5_LightDensity_0_05_SurfaceOffset_-1_1.jpg

and this is lighting pass of 0.005 and final pass of 0.5:

http://www.scriptspot.com/bobo/krakatoa/Desity_0_5_LightDensity_0_005_SurfaceOffset_-1_1.jpg

In these cases, the particles are drawn as rather dense from the camera view but as much less dense from the light's point of view. Finding the right density values can be tricky and the final result will also depend on the SCREEN RESOLUTION (more pixels in the image require more particles to get the same apparent density!), but these are the approaches to try.

I will make sure these are added to the documentation and/or FAQ on the Krakatoa page.

Bobo
08-15-2007, 05:24 AM
Now let's look at a full spherical volume. Instead of using Volume in Position Object (which takes ages to calculate), I just switched PFlow emitter to Sphere and changed to Position Icon operator again.

This is 1M particles in the volume with Density of 0.5:

http://www.scriptspot.com/bobo/krakatoa/Desity_0_5_Volume.jpg

I used a clipping plane in the camera to cut the front of the sphere, so here is a cross-section of it:

http://www.scriptspot.com/bobo/krakatoa/Desity_0_5_Volume_Clipped.jpg

As you can see, the light penetrates the surface particles and gets attenuated really quickly because the per-particle density is high!

Reducing the Density to 0.05 and rendering again gives us

http://www.scriptspot.com/bobo/krakatoa/Desity_0_05_Volume.jpg

and the cross-section looks like

http://www.scriptspot.com/bobo/krakatoa/Desity_0_05_Volume_Clipped.jpg

Here we can see how the light streaks through the particles and penetrates the volume much deeper because the density is an order of magnitude lower and the attenuation is lower too.

Decreasing Density to 0.005 leads to full light penetration throughout the volume:

http://www.scriptspot.com/bobo/krakatoa/Desity_0_005_Volume.jpg

and the cross-section looks about the same:

http://www.scriptspot.com/bobo/krakatoa/Desity_0_005_Volume_Clipped.jpg

Looks like 0.05 is a good value for both surface with offset and full volume in this particular case.

PartiallyFrozen
08-15-2007, 05:27 AM
Here are some tests we made for Siggraph this year (if you didn't get to bask in the Krakatoa glory in person :D ). It illuminates the great features of Krakatoa. This was taking a Fume simulation and pushing 8 million particles through it. It's a great example of how Krakatoa can REALLY bring out the beauty in the simulation. And to think this is only the CRUST of max amount of particles that you can render.

http://partiallyfrozen.com/images/sigplane.jpg (http://partiallyfrozen.com/Movies/SigPlane34.mov)

http://partiallyfrozen.com/images/sigplaneside.jpg (http://partiallyfrozen.com/Movies/SigPlaneSide.mov)

Hope you all enjoy!

Mark Theriault

andyburm
08-15-2007, 02:57 PM
thanks for the in-depth explanation Bobo. I really enjoyed your demo at Siggraph.

beautiful simluations dub, reminds me of the oracle scene in 300 :)

jabbermacy
08-15-2007, 05:06 PM
Fantastic stuff!! If Chuck Norris knew Maxscript he'd be BOBO ;) LOL!

Anyway, there's some WIERD stuff going on with the site - 1/2 the time I get kicked to new.franticfilms.com where I 404 - other times it directs to www.franticfilms.com no problemo! This happens at work AND at home now (original problem was at home)...

Bobo
08-15-2007, 05:30 PM
Fantastic stuff!! If Chuck Norris knew Maxscript he'd be BOBO ;) LOL!

Anyway, there's some WIERD stuff going on with the site - 1/2 the time I get kicked to new.franticfilms.com where I 404 - other times it directs to www.franticfilms.com (http://www.franticfilms.com) no problemo! This happens at work AND at home now (original problem was at home)...

The new. URL is being phased out as far as I can tell, so when it doubt, replace "new" with "www" and it should work.

Sorry for the inconvenience!

a13xr3d
08-16-2007, 02:40 AM
I have a gig of ram and vista's running on my pc, which takes up about half of the ram. With that said, about how many particles could I load up with krakatoa? Are there any tools that increase the number that could be used? I basically maxed out at around 100,000 particles :(

Bobo
08-16-2007, 03:42 AM
I have a gig of ram and vista's running on my pc, which takes up about half of the ram. With that said, about how many particles could I load up with krakatoa? Are there any tools that increase the number that could be used? I basically maxed out at around 100,000 particles :(

The rule of thumb is 38 bytes per particle. One million particles require 36MB of RAM. One GB of RAM should allow Krakatoa to load and render more than 20-25 million particles, so with half of that you should be able to render about 10-12 million. When Max+Windows use about 1GB of RAM, my 4GB office workstation can handle about 60 million. At Siggraph, we test-rendered about 160 million with 8GB RAM. I know one of our beta acconts rendered 890 million in one pass, I assume they just let Windows swap to disk (which is slow but possible with Krakatoa in WinXP 64) or bought lots of RAM ;).

If Particle Flow is the one that maxes out at 100K particles, you can use the Krakatoa Partitioning method which can generate multiple file sequences from the same source that can accumulate into higher numbers than PFlow and Max can normally handle. When Krakatoa is saving, it does not load anything into memory, so you can squeeze out as many particles as PFlow can handle. Once saved to disk, you can disable the PFlow and load the partitions in a PRT Loader and render as many as fit in memory.

Also remember that your PFlow does not require any shape operators (which could eat memory as PFlow would have to manage them and also create a TriMesh as output). Krakatoa does not care about the shapes or the final mesh, so that can save a lot of memory.

Note that PFlow has an artificial system limit of 100K particles, but it is automatically lifted the moment you open the Krakatoa GUI.

I have not run Krakatoa on Vista (and don't intend to) and have no idea whether it actually works there...

paulselhi
08-16-2007, 03:50 AM
Some more tests i did using krakatoa :



For that, i made the box covering "dino" mesh and using pflow > position operator to fill the volume of the box with 10 Million particles. Using krakatoa, i saved those particles to disk. Then using PRT loader, i loaded 10 million particles to the scene and chosed "dino" mesh as "volume node" in particle culling. Once again, using partition utility generated6 partition to disk. then again in max, loaded all those partitions to generate "volumetric particle dino" and i saved again 10 million particles to single file.

Now back to particle flow, using "Krakatoa file birth" operator, i loaded all particles to the scene and made the disintegration of dino.

Note : Dino character is modeled by Sriram (http://forums.cgsociety.org/member.php?u=163734). Thanks a lot dude!

i got a bit confused with your work flow, only a beginner here, but what is did was create my box and vol filled it with pflow 10m particles, then saved these, then added a PRT loader and culled out my mesh then saved those particles and loaded them via a krak birth node

Thing is i have a few stray particles from the original cube, any idea how i set up the cull so that it is more accurate and kills all thise strays ?

Bobo
08-16-2007, 03:58 AM
i got a bit confused with your work flow, only a beginner here, but what is did was create my box and vol filled it with pflow 10m particles, then saved these, then added a PRT loader and culled out my mesh then saved those particles and loaded them via a krak birth node

Thing is i have a few stray particles from the original cube, any idea how i set up the cull so that it is more accurate and kills all thise strays ?

A very low percentage of particles might leak out of the mesh. Our typical tests show about 100 particles leaking out of 20 million, but YMMV. If the particle density is not too high, such stray particles usually become invisible when rendered because you need hundreds to give you enough density to see anything. (Of course, you can simply select them in PFLow and send them to a delete operator).

When Jigu did his dino test, the PRT Loader was leaking A LOT more particles, from all the wrong places ;) We optimized that portion of the code, but there is still some numerical imprecision that can cause a particle to be assumed outside while being inside. It also depends on the topology of the mesh and whether it is completely closed. A Teapot for example is the worst candidate for a culling volume...

If you are seeing MANY leaking particles, please report it as a bug on the Krakatoa Support Forum. Thanks!

paulselhi
08-16-2007, 04:36 AM
not sure how many they are but they clearly show up as dots in a render, must be clumped. Thing is to try to delete them in pflow i have to select them and thus i have to have my particle visibility at near 100 %. As i am not that familar with pflow i find it diificult to delete them..RTFM ??


As an aside if i wanted to buy now is the license availble right away or is there an appreciable delay as the product is so new

Bobo
08-16-2007, 06:42 AM
not sure how many they are but they clearly show up as dots in a render, must be clumped. Thing is to try to delete them in pflow i have to select them and thus i have to have my particle visibility at near 100 %. As i am not that familar with pflow i find it diificult to delete them..RTFM ??


As an aside if i wanted to buy now is the license availble right away or is there an appreciable delay as the product is so new

It might not be obvious, but you can use ANY number of meshes to cull.
So you could create simple boxes over the leaking particles and add them to the same selection set as the character skin you were using initially - the PRT Loader lets you pick one object and makes a named selection set with the same name out of it, but you can add an arbitrary number of objects to it to do any sort of complex culling. All culling nodes can be animated over time, so you could cover any problem areas on any frame. Make sure your volumes are closed for best results.

If you want to buy now, you would have to send an email to the sales address listed on the Krakatoa page and we would issue you a temp. license until the payment has arrived. I don't have much insight into the process though, so I will ask tomorrow and confirm the exact procedure.

In general, we can issue a 15 days evaluation license to anyone interested, then issue the permanent one if the user decides to buy.

jigu
08-16-2007, 06:56 AM
sorry double post..

jigu
08-16-2007, 07:02 AM
i got a bit confused with your work flow, only a beginner here, but what is did was create my box and vol filled it with pflow 10m particles, then saved these, then added a PRT loader and culled out my mesh then saved those particles and loaded them via a krak birth node

Thing is i have a few stray particles from the original cube, any idea how i set up the cull so that it is more accurate and kills all thise strays ?

you can check out this video tutorial (http://www.jhjariwala.com/?/tutorials/2007/08/11/35/Krakatoa%20And%20Particleflow%20-%20Video%20Tutorial%203:%20Volumetric%20Dino%20Character).
There were some particle leaking in beta version. But use more particles, you need to decrease the density and those particles leaking won't visible much. For that you need to have high amount of particles.

As for moire patterns, You should have set seprate density for "Lighting pass" which will work for lighting. You won't get anymore moire patterns. it works for me in my "sandman (http://forums.cgsociety.org/showthread.php?f=154&t=526061)" scene.

pgill
08-16-2007, 09:32 PM
this thing has rejuvenated my particles excitement no end...and Bobo and Frantic films...congratulations I will be getting my boss to place an order as soon possible...it is priced so reasonably aswell !

Siahpoosh
08-20-2007, 02:39 PM
hi
i try with krakatoa and i make this:
but its have radial gradient ! what do you think ?
details:
pflow ... amount :5000000

http://img.majidonline.com/thumb/110329/teapot.jpg (http://img.majidonline.com/pic/110329/teapot.jpg)

(sorry for my bad english)

Posativ
08-20-2007, 02:53 PM
lock at this:

http://forums.cgsociety.org/showpost.php?p=4587866&postcount=221
(http://forums.cgsociety.org/showpost.php?p=4587866&postcount=221)

dharrison
08-20-2007, 03:33 PM
hi
i try with krakatoa and i make this:
but its have radial gradient ! what do you think ?
details:
pflow ... amount :5000000

http://img.majidonline.com/thumb/110329/teapot.jpg (http://img.majidonline.com/pic/110329/teapot.jpg)

(sorry for my bad english)

The gist of what is causing this problem is that you have placed too many particles on an infinitely thin surface (ie. the surface of the teapot) and now they are z-fighting in the shadow map. You will get better results if you spread those particles out by using the surface offset parameter in the Position Object operator. Other parameters that you can tweak to improve your results are the particle density (in the Krakatoa GUI) and also the shadow map size (in the light). Hope this helps!

~Darcy

Bobo
08-20-2007, 07:13 PM
Hope this helps!
~Darcy

Hey everyone! Meet Darcy, the guy who actually wrote most of Krakatoa For Max! :applause:

Here is the new page of the documentation that is based on the density discussion in this thread:

http://www.franticfilms.com/software/support/krakatoa/particle_density.php

Als
08-20-2007, 09:44 PM
Hi,
I have some questions, sorry if some are obvious, but I don't have time
right now to go into deep testing, while I'm really curious about the product.
How krakatoa calculates motion blur?
Like renderman or like maya hardware render?
Is there difference in render due to scale, for example,
if particles are made in cm scale or for example meter scale?
How particles drop shadow on surrounding (polygon) objects?
Deep shadow?
Do you need more then one particle system if the look, material, etc.
shadow color, is different?
Can particles be transparent, and how one can control the transparency?
Can you see particle shadow from one particle system onto the other?
Do particles have collision detection, or they are just overlap if density
is too high? Are they really depending completely on Pflow simulation?
If understand well, the particles are just point objects, is there a way to
apply "texture/mapping/shader" on group or even point itself?
Which parameters they read from bin from realflow? Do they except UVs?
If you have two mixed particle system which mix in realflow, they mix colors.
Would this show in krakatoa?
Lot's of questions I know, but maybe you unswered on some already,
sorry if I missed it.
I tried to understand, but I have to admit that connection of pwlof vs krakatoa
is a bit unclear to me, since I haven't used them...
It's certainly amazing tool, just I'd like to know limitations

Thanks a lot!


Als

Bobo
08-20-2007, 10:21 PM
Hi,
I have some questions, sorry if some are obvious, but I don't have time
right now to go into deep testing, while I'm really curious about the product.


I will try to answer them below...


How krakatoa calculates motion blur?
Like renderman or like maya hardware render?

Krakatoa supports two types of Motion Blur - the native motion blur is a multi-pass motion blur which uses the velocity data of the particles to extrapolate positions over time without recalculating shading or lighting, which makes it very very fast (Krakatoa draws about 1.5M particles per second in the final pass on my 64 bit machine, YMMV). It also provides a jittered mode which makes it look a lot like renderman motion blur. A drawback of this mode is that the shutter is always centered (no bias for particle offset, only for matte objects), and matte objects deformations are not supported yet.

The second mode is just using the Max built-in MulitPass effect and is of course much slower because the particles have to be calculated on each frame including potentially loading, shading, lighting and drawing. We provide this option for compatibility reasons because it would take into account matte objects deformations, allow for arbitrary bias and would match the look of the native scanline rendered if desired.

Is there difference in render due to scale, for example,
if particles are made in cm scale or for example meter scale?


The one thing that really affects the results is the size of the output image. The larget the image, the more particles you need to get the same apparent density. Scene scale should not affect the rendering except probably for the Ambient Participating Medium Extinction which is an advanced feature.


How particles drop shadow on surrounding (polygon) objects?
Deep shadow?

Not yet. We have deep shadows on the list, but right now we use a hack involving saving sequences of attenuation maps to disk and reprojecting them from the lights in the other renderer like Scanline, mental ray etc.
See http://www.franticfilms.com/software/support/krakatoa/shadows_on_geometry_tutorial.php


Do you need more then one particle system if the look, material, etc.
shadow color, is different?


Not necessarily. We read color data from whatever material is on the original particles. If you had multiple materials in the PFlow or whatever the source was, they would be used.
You can save particle systems to file sequences where each system or even each particle contains its own color data, then load them into the same loader and they would mix. Or you could override that material in the loader later. Or override the whole scene with any color or material you want... We have larger plans for this in the future, but for now you should be able to do what you want. Also, you can generate color and density data even via Script Operators or Box #3 DataFlow operators, so you are completely free to get any color per particle you want.

Can particles be transparent, and how one can control the transparency?

That's the main feature of Krakatoa - particle density controls how particles are shaded volumetrically and how they interact with light. The density can come from the saved file or from a channel in the particle system, then it can be controlled globally or affected by the node's Visibility channel or the Opacity channel (including mapping info, so you can assing opacity maps - both bitmaps and procedural ones)

Can you see particle shadow from one particle system onto the other?
That's the other main reason for Krakatoa's existence. All particles cast shadows on each-other in volumetric mode. You cannot even turn that off unless you have no lights. And the additive mode does not cast shadows, obviously.

Do particles have collision detection, or they are just overlap if density
is too high? Are they really depending completely on Pflow simulation?


We are dependent on whatever the particle source is. We are adding more support for Thinkintg Particles as we speak (the support in 1.0.1 is rather basic and has some issues), so you are not necessarily limited to PFlow. We also support Max Legacy Particles, Geometry Vertices (even from splines!) and any other particle system someone might add in the future that supports the IParticleObjectExt interface of Max. But no, we do not do collision detection, you can have 1000 particles at the exact same spatial position and you will get 1000 times the density of one particle. It is up to the particle source to deal with forces and dynamics.

If understand well, the particles are just point objects, is there a way to
apply "texture/mapping/shader" on group or even point itself?

Each particle evaluates its color in the shader context of the material assigned to it, so if you use a material with a procedural map in the diffuse map slot, it would be evaluated in object space and correctly shaded in the 3D color corresponding to that position. We also support all 100 mapping channels of Max, or any color that might get assigned to the particle inside PFlow, or the vertex color channel of geometry etc.

Which parameters they read from bin from realflow? Do they except UVs?

Will have to check the exact details on Realflow BIN support. If there is a channel that we support, we probably read it.

If you have two mixed particle system which mix in realflow, they mix colors.
Would this show in krakatoa?

If the color comes from Realflow and we support it (which I will have to check), it should appear the same (but I haven't really used that, we have our own fluid simulator, you know... ;) ). But we tried mixing a red particle system and a blue particle system during a demo at Siggraph because somebody asked the same question and they rendered purple where they mixed...


I would REALLY encourage you to read through the whole Krakatoa documentation page.
http://www.franticfilms.com/software/support/krakatoa/contents.php
It discusses most of these topics in greater details, including some illustrations and even flowcharts like this:

http://www.franticfilms.com/software/support/krakatoa/images/krakatoa_flow.jpg

ulb
08-21-2007, 04:00 AM
hi all,

I've been looking for an answer to this question for a long time and couldn't find anything. How can I get the particles emitted in Pflow to have a color matching the texture of the position object's material? Like here (http://www.franticfilms.com/software/support/krakatoa/images/teapot_pflow_matselfillum_cellularmap_volumetric_5_minus2.jpg) or in the video with a mini?

I couldn't figure out a way to achieve this with pflow and Krakatoa. Is any other plugin needed? Is there a script for that? Is it just a button I missed somewhere?

Thanks!

Bobo
08-21-2007, 05:29 AM
hi all,

I've been looking for an answer to this question for a long time and couldn't find anything. How can I get the particles emitted in Pflow to have a color matching the texture of the position object's material? Like here (http://www.franticfilms.com/software/support/krakatoa/images/teapot_pflow_matselfillum_cellularmap_volumetric_5_minus2.jpg) or in the video with a mini?

I couldn't figure out a way to achieve this with pflow and Krakatoa. Is any other plugin needed? Is there a script for that? Is it just a button I missed somewhere?

Thanks!

Well, we have a dedicated forum now where you can ask these kinds of questions :)
But this thread is not bad either...

The image you posted and the mini are two different techniques.

That teapot does not inherit the color of the surface. The particles are just emitted from the surface of the teapot, but the material assigned to the PFlow simply has a procedural cellular 3D map which is applied in object space and thus appears to be shading the surface of the teapot. If the particles would move, they would move through the texture space, in other words the colors would not stick to them.

In the case of the Mini, we actually used a camera mapping technique involving a plug-in which is currently not available publicly, but one could recreate the same effect using a Pflow Toolbox #3 operator or even a script (as both can be used to generate custom colors per particle). In short, we rendered the car in Brazil, then we projected the Brazil rendering onto the particles and rendered in Krakatoa. Each particle had its original object space position baked into a UV channel on the first frame of creation via a simple Box #3 Data Operator. Our camera map plugin has the ability to use a UV channel to convert object space into screen space, thus picking the color from the pixel corresponding to the 3D position encoded in the channel. So when a particle starts moving, its UV channel still points at its original position and takes the color from the non-desintegrated car rendering... This is why all colors including highlights follow the particle turbulence:

http://www.scriptspot.com/bobo/krakatoa_mini_logo.jpg

I am pretty sure PFlow #Box01 provides an operator to steal UV coordinates from any mesh, so that would also be a potential way to apply textures that match a model.

I will try to come up with a simple tutorial regarding scripting color and density data in PFlow/Krakatoa and translating the same into Box #3 (which operates hundreds of times faster).

PsychoSilence
08-21-2007, 08:45 AM
hi all,

I couldn't figure out a way to achieve this with pflow and Krakatoa. Is any other plugin needed? Is there a script for that? Is it just a button I missed somewhere?

Thanks!

hy ulb,
as bobo says just use material self illumination or PFlow Box#1s Mapping Object:
http://orbaz.com/products/particleflow/box1/painting (at the bottom)

Mapping Object

Lets you derive particle mapping from a reference object or objects on an instantaneous or ongoing basis. You can also transition from the original particle mapping to that of the reference object(s) over time or distance.



@ bobo: could u share the data operator to bake the UV position of each particle at the first frame? ;)

kind regards,
anselm

Siahpoosh
08-21-2007, 09:11 AM
posativ ... dharrison.... bobo ... thanx a lot

jordyalan
08-21-2007, 09:59 AM
I am very glad and excited to see this wonderful particle program.
Thanks to BOBO and Frantic Film

Now I can save my time rendering such large number of particles.
It's really fantastic!

Here's is a simple animation I render. Took me 1 and half hour
saving the particles and not more than 5 mins render the result with motion blur!
The teapot was Composited in Combation
I will keep studying it. The program is awsome!
http://www.angkortailormadetravel.com/images/pp01.jpg
http://www.angkortailormadetravel.com/images/pp02.jpg
http://www.angkortailormadetravel.com/output1.avi

paulselhi
08-21-2007, 10:58 AM
I hope someone can help a real max muppet but i am having problems getting my head around texture mapped particles. What i want is for particles to be emitted from say a teapot which has a baked texture on it. I want the particles to have the color of the teapot and to keep those colors ( not move through them)


I would be gretaful if some one could post a simple krakatoa scene ( or step by step it) so that i can dissect it to see how it works

I can get krak particles to adopt the diffuse color of a mat in slot 1 and have only managed to get a material map to show up if it is set as object planar but then the particles move through the mat as opposed to keeping their original colors

sorry to be such a dumb dumb !!

ulb
08-21-2007, 12:47 PM
Thanks bobo and PsychoSilence!

I'll try the demos of orbaz tools to see if I can manage to reproduce the kind of effect of the mini picture.

I still don't know how to assign mapped colors to the particles's color channel in krakatoa, but I'll experiment that a bit more.

btw, I chose this thread as I wasn't sure if the solution was krakatoa or Pflow related, but I guess that with krakatoa being released, we could start posting questions about it in different threads...

paulselhi
08-21-2007, 01:01 PM
I can assign mapped mats as per the pflow box 1 mapping tutorial, that works and renders fine in the def scanline but i cannot see how to translate that to krakatoa

ulb
08-21-2007, 01:13 PM
I can assign mapped mats as per the pflow box 1 mapping tutorial, that works and renders fine in the def scanline but i cannot see how to translate that to krakatoaIt just worked for me, and dont think I did anything special, are you sure the "override particles color" is unchecked? I my flow i just have, in order: birth, position object, mapping object, and material (static).