Compiled PPC (CFM), Universal Binary, Windows
A new plug-in shader system has been added for post processing which gives you the ability to create multi-layer output files in the PSD and RPF file formats. This means you can render the different material properties of your scene on to different layers of a Photoshop file directly. You can render the diffuse on to one layer, the specular highlights on to another, the reflections on to another, etc.
EIAS layer system is organized as a set of modules (Layer Shaders), it’s opened for third party developers and future expansion. Three basic Layer Shadera are included in the 7.0 release.
1. EI_Layers.shl Render out the scene to a layered Photoshop file
2. RPF Saver.shl Render out data to an RPF file. This format is used by a variety of applications.
3. DOF.shl This layer shader provides dof effects directly at sub-pixels level without multiframe rendering.
The layer interface in Animator is very easy to use. Any Layer Shader can be applied to a whole scene and/or to any sets of objects. The name of the set will be used as the folder name in the Photoshop Layers window. The new “pseudo-transparency” feature allows a layered render of objects even they are obscured by others in a scene. With EI_Layers you can also render front and back sides of phong transparent objects on separated layers.
The layer system is fully supported by Renderama. When you render using the layer shaders a completed image file will be created along with a sequence of .psd or .rpf files. Renderama will return all of the files to the host. The files are stitched for strip network render.
HDR Support for all Textures
Animator and Camera now allow .hdr files to be used wherever textures are supported. You can use the whole range of the HDR image or clamp it to any desired value and/or modulate/adjust it as you need.
New Raytrace Sky Maps
The World Info window's Raytrace tab now contains both: raytrace reflection sky maps and raytrace refraction sky maps. If a ray is cast and does not hit any objects, these maps can be used to assign a color to the ray for reflected and refracted rays respectively. Effectively, you can use these maps as skydomes environments around your raytraced scenes.
New Mapping Types
Three new mapping projection types have been added in order to allow you to work with the large number of existing HDR files on the web. These include: SkyDome, LightProbe, and VertCross. These options appear automatically in the Texture Info window for any Reflection or Sky map.
Image-Based Lighting (IBL)
This powerful new feature creates lighting and shadows based on Global Illumination Sky map image. It allows you to match the lighting between a photograph and your render or to save time by using a photograph itself as the source of lights' color and intensity. The IBL is fully integrated into EI GI system. All you need is to assign a desired Sky map (typically HDRI but any texture can be used as well) and select “Adaptive Sky Map” mode in GI Sky panel.
In addition to diffuse lighting, GI now can perform a fast highlights calculation based on the Sky map color and intensity. It’s a huge time saver for GI scenes. Instead of “manually” creating numerous auxiliary lights to add speculars to your scene, you can derive the highlight directly from the brightest points in the sky map.
Rigid body simulation featuring all Animator joint types
Enhanced collision detection
Based on powerful ODE engine http://www.ode.org
Multithreaded calculation (of collisions and time stepping) for Complex scenes
Non modal window
Very fast Solver
Substitution of Spheres and blocks with optimized proxies for faster calculation
Polygon reduction for heavy meshes for faster collision detection
Automatic detection of concave surfaces
Automatic calculation of volume and weight of closed and open meshes
Own open GL viewports for convenient setup control
Complete control over environmental parameters such as gravity and units
Bones with weights
Real time expression feedback. Scripts can run while you drag items in the EI windows.
New "Kontrolleur" plugin is a "user-defined interface" that acts live to typed-in values
Upgraded function library
Two New Shaders
Jeans - A sophisticated weave shader that includes multiple weave levels and reactive support.
Scratches - Simulates a scratched surface.
Animator Fixes & Improvements
- fixed "deforms/bones + plugs" bug: now plug-ins react correctly for their child groups changes if they are produced by bones/deforms.
- fixed bug: "inherit deforms" = OFF was not functional if a parent group was an effector.
- fixed bug: plug-ins could not generate geometry after their duplication
- fixed bug: items in texture lists become unselectable if drag&drop was started but not completed
- fixed bug: "Smooth Across Facets" and "Color Blend" options (Group Window, Shading Tab) were not working as designed
- fixed bug: for plug-in groups "Use UV space" (Group Window, Shading Tab) had effect in Animator but not in Camera
- fixed bug: rama + deforms + shadows once = crash
- fixed bug: opened Texture Dialog was not updated after texture's image was replaced
- fixed bug: crash if a "not-viewable" font was selected in the "Add Font" dialog
- fixed bug: large images (> 2500 pixels width or height) were not displayed in Animator (Cmd-B) correctly
- fixed bug: no more crashes when Animator is brought forward or launched after a large image has been copied to the clipboard
- fixed bug: Causes of "An unknown error has occured while saving the file" have been determined and fixed.
- improved: for HDR images, the viewer (Cmd-B) shows floating point value of picked pixel (instead of ARGB 0..255)
- improved: group's flags in Shading Tab (all in "Texture" panel and first 3 in "Color" panel) are saved in the FACT file
- improved: the control-go feature of pre-6.6 Animator has been added into 7.0
- improved: increased speed of ccn writing for prjs with a lot of bones
- improved: XP scripts can control deforms in drag mode (See sample project, "Realtime Deformations")
Camera Fixes & Improvements
- fixed bug: there was a significant slow down if large groups were rendered with "outline" options.
- fixed bug: Camera removed UVs of plug-in children groups if they had no textures.
- fixed bug: "Diffuse Bias" (GI Window) had no effect for groups with default "diffuse" value 1.0 (Group Window, Diffuse Tab)
- fixed bug: missed RT reflections if they passed thru transparent/clipped objects
- fixed bug: significant RT speed slow down for scenes that contain both: very large and small objects
- improved: GI illumination calculation at object's edges
- improved: if GI is ON then Camera automatically triangulates all quadrangle polygons in all rendered groups to avoid artifacts that often happened with non-planar quadrangles
Renderama Fixes & Improvements
- fixed bug: a series of random bugs with render strips that appears as "all frames should have same palette" error message
Plug-Ins and Shaders API
- new service for model plug-ins: selection listening. Now EI plug-ins can receive dynamic info about items that are selected/deselected in the project to perform selection-dependent actions
- new service for model plug-ins: reading blocks of polygons to speed up plug-ins that read geometry intensively
- advanced UI listbox service for plug-ins and shaders. Starting from EI7 a plug-in/shader can create a listbox with enabled/disabled and/or locked/unlocked icons. List's items can have individual icons as well. List's items can be reordered and inline edited by user. A plug-in/shader can scroll list and assign unique IDs for items to simplify manipulations with them
- new UI service: plug-ins and shaders can have popup buttons (same as in Animator windows)
- new service for shaders: memory blocks. Now a shader can have blocks of data of arbitrary length. It eliminates a restriction "one value - one interface control" for EI shaders, now they can have as much data as they need, in Animator and Camera as well.
New Custom Controls
Two new standard UI controls are added: Graph Control and Gradient Control. EI plug-ins/shaders can tell host to create these controls in their windows and to get/set their data.
Expanded API for Layer Shaders and EI Post-Processing
EI shaders API is expanded in order to support multi-layered rendering and post-processing effects. Third party shaders can do the same thing that the pack of EI7 layer shaders (EI_Layers, RPF Saver and DOF) do. They can create their own render layers (standard or custom) that will be written out by host in a PSD file, or write their output files in arbitrary formats, and/or generate post-processing effects.