by Chris Tyler:
by Chris Tyler:
What’s New in Design 3D CX 8
LATEST M & INTEL MACS SUPPORTED
Design 3D CX x64 release takes full advantage of your Intel or Apple M-Series Silicon based Mac. The speed, memory access, metal rendering and more are now available to you with the power of 64-bit.
The x64 release supports all the advantages of 64-bit in all areas of the application – beyond just rendering. More memory for models. Faster access for textures. Increased speed and responsiveness in all areas of the software. 64-bit brings advantages you’ll use everyday.
In addition to OpenGL, Design 3D CX now supports Apple’s Metal interactive model rendering. Metal goes beyond what OpenGL offers with super fast model rendering that takes maximum advantage of your Mac’s hardware. Wireframe is clean and precise. Huge models can be navigated with speeds not seen before. Metal will be your new go-to model view rendering.
The user interface has been updated to support high resolution monitors to provide clean, crisp icons, text and other elements to improve the overall experience.
New Features in Previous Releases:
RENDER GAMMA CONTROL
The gamma function shifts pixel intensity values in a way that more closely approximates the way humans perceive light. This creates more realistic lighting and makes lighting a scene easier. Linear gamma tends to be more contrasted, with areas near light sources that can be over exposed, and areas farther from lights tending towards under-exposure.
High Precision Floating-Point Color Output (OpenEXR)
Renderings can be saved in OpenEXR format which stores high precisioncolor information. Among its features is the ability to save pixel intensities which can far exceed the white point. In both 8 and 16-bit color white is always white. No intensities beyond it are available for editing once the bitmap is saved.
High Precision Integer Color Output (16-bit)
16-bit color avoids gradient banding problems common to 8-bit per channel color. With 16-bit integer color each channel contains 65,536 value steps, whereas 8-bit contains only 256 steps per channel.
LiveRay, Rapid Scene/Object Raytraced Preview
LiveRay allows for quick tests in any modeling or scene window (including camera windows) with a fast raytraced overlay. This helps to visualize complex material setups that aren’t visible with the standard OpenGL display. LiveRay also allows for rapid lighting visualizations without having to invoke the standard render mechanism.
New Anti-Aliasing Filter mechanism
A new anti-aliasing mechanism allows the renderer to produce sharper or softer pixel filtering for aliased geometry and textures. Three presets (sharp, medium, soft) allow for easy access to these filters. Very nuanced settings can be accessed to manually adjust the anti-aliasing system.
Faster Rendering of 7.5 Files
Design 3D 8.0 often provides improved rendering performance when compared to version 7.5.
Image Brightness Controls During Rendering
A rendering can be image adjusted during the render process. This is most useful for adjusting the overall brightness (or lack thereof)for a rendering. This helps to make fine-tuned adjustments to an image without needing to change lights or materials, or to stop a rendering to make these changes.
Soft Shadows for Global Lights
Global lights can now cast soft shadows by setting the ‘Size in Angular Diameter’ parameter. This is very useful for realistic lighting, especially when using the Sun & Sky function.
A new spherical type allows easy creation of spherical HDRI images from any existing scene. These can be saved as floating-point EXR files and then used in the Lightdome to provide lighting.
MATERIAL EDITOR ENHANCEMENTS
Directly Import AI/PDF Files in the Material Dialog
Native vector source files for textures can be imported directly into a material channel. This helps to bypass generating intermediate files from a source file.
Interaction with LiveRay
Texture changes can be easily previewed from within the material dialog with LiveRay by pressing the Apply button.
Built-In Common Texture Maps
The materials dialog has easy to access gneneral-purpose bitmaps such as masks, normal maps, anisotropic reflection maps and color maps.
Better Interactive Lighting
Working interactively with models is easier now. Instead of needing to place many global lights around a scene, a single color can be placed in the Lightdome to provide even lighting. Models that have metallic surfaces (or surfaces with no diffuse component) are also fully illuminated, whereas those would appear as black in 7.5.