What's New - Flamingo nXt (2012)
Flamingo nXt is a completely new rendering engine. Using a method of multi-pass refinement nXt allows for more advanced rendering effects without the overhead of a complicated interface.
nXt gives quick feedback with early passes. Later passes will refine advanced effects such as indirect light, soft shadows and blurry reflections.
Another feature of this progressive refinement is that the renderer may be paused. Pausing the rendering allows you to edit exposure and light channels real-time. Then resume a rendering to continue to refine from the point paused.
nXt comes with four preset lighting setups. Each preset configures basic scene lighting setups for Studio, Exterior, Interior Daylight, and Artificial lighting. These presets shorten the time to setup a model for rendering. Presets will set defaults for skylight, sunlight, artificial lighting, and indirect lighting with a single control. Switch between presets to allow a scene under various lighting conditions.
With lighting presets:
- Soft shadows calculated automatically.
- Indirect lighting calculated enhancing depth in renderings.
- Automated daylight calculation based on lighting presets.
HDRI Lighting Environments
nXt has new support for real-world lighting environments by selecting HDRI environments. HDRI environments set complete, physically accurate lighting and reflections for dynamic renderings.
There are thousands of HDRIs available on the web. Here is a selection of free HDRI environments available for download from Food4Rhino:
With nXt you can tag normal Rhino geometry as a light source. This makes it easier to setup lights and create more creative scenes.
Large models have always been difficult for render engines. Theaters with 5,000+ seats or forests with 16,000+ trees are now possible with nXt. Block instancing is a memory saving technique which looks for identical blocks in the scene. Once found, each new block does not count against memory.
The material definition in nXt is completely new. More control has been added to allow for a wider range of material types to be supported.
nXt calculates reflections in a completely new way. With the addition of the properties of Fresnel and Sharpness a wider range of reflective finishes can be created.
Transparency has also been improved. With just simple glass, transparency/reflection will be more dynamic. Scattering, attenuation, dispersion and saturation have also been added. These settings are great for gems and other high IOR materials.
Advanced textures supported.
Now use specific maps in multi-layered materials. Create realistic materials by using Normal, Displacement and Secular maps. The Fabric below has differing heights, reflection amounts and bumps based on separate textures.
Combine various textured layers for a greater range of materials.
True displacement mapping is also now supported. Based on a material texture, the surface of a model will be modified. This option is quite useful in certain situations. We must note that this property will impact rendering time.
A powerful tool in nXt is the ability to place lights on channels. These channels can be edited after rendering to increase brightness of lights real-time after rendering. This allows you to edit light strength real-time without the need to re-render the scene.
Caustic effects are indirect lighting reflected and refracted off specular surfaces. Normally caustics are difficult to control. In nXt, using the multi-pass refinement, caustics continue to refine automatically.
Tone Operator with histogram Balance
New images tone operator allows:
- More dynamic images
- Increased color saturation
- Histogram for balance
By using the Histogram graph, quickly bring out the light and dark of the image to improve the dynamic range of the image. These adjustments can be made with the real-time preview in the rendering window.
Use the power of multiple computers to render an image. Use the Render Farm to configure any number of machines. At render time, the Farm will dispatch the rendering to this network of computers using all the combined CPU cores to procress a rendering very quickly.
Included with Flamingo is a Farm that will use two computers. By upgrading the Farm to a full deployment an unlimited number of computers can be configured to use the Farm.