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Sat, Oct 27 2012 9:05:37 UTC

Interview with FluidRay

Today we have an interview with Nicola Candussi from FluidInteractive, the makers of FluidRay, a real-time rendering and easy global illumination solution for 3D artists.

Could you describe yourself and your background?

I'm Nicola Candussi, I'm one of the founders of FluidInteractive, a software house focused on computer graphics, 3d rendering, and numerical simulation. Personally I have more than 20 years experience in the field of Computer Graphics and C++ software development. My last position as employee, before going on my own, was as Senior Software Engineer at Disney Animation in Los Angeles.

What is FluidRay and what are some of its features?

FluidRay RT is a real-time global illumination renderer. It is based on algorithms that accurately simulate light in a physically correct way. No shortcuts. All material models included are physically correct as well, and the simulation is performed on a per-wavelength basis (FluidRay RT spectral rendering). This means that effects like caustics and dispersion are rendered accurately. The final images are extremely realistic.

All of this is done in real-time, you can tweak materials, add bump mapping, change reflection models, adjust lights and you get an immediate feedback in the WYSIWYG interface. No waiting times or trial and error.

What are the goals behind making this project, and how long have you been developing it?

We wanted to make a renderer that is easy to learn and use, and that increases the productivity, but at the same time with all the features provided by the most modern rendering engines. For those reasons with went for a real-time renderer that is CPU based, avoiding all the problems of GPU based render engines (memory limited, hard to program and hard to add features). FluidRay RT is able to render scenes that use all your system RAM.

Up until now, we are 2 years in development.

Most renderers are made by large companies like Autodesk, how do you feel competing against them?

There are actually a bunch of successful renderers made by small companies as well Many times being a small company allows to be more dynamic and listen more on what users have to say and what they really need.

You recently released a new version of the beta, what are some of the changes and new features?

The last beta has a bunch of new features, among them:
* Procedural Textures
* Instancer nodes (allowing to automatically instance thousands of objects in the scene, such as, for example, trees and grass).

Can you describe what happens behind the scenes allowing it to render in real time?

FluidRay RT uses Intel Embree (released under the Apache 2.0 license) as intersection kernel. Together with a bunch of other proprietary algorithms, we are able to provide real-time, full-spectral global illumination in a WYSIWYG interface.

Do you plan to expand the application to be more than a renderer, perhaps with modeling options?

We are working on adding animation as well, but there is no plan to expand it to a modeling application, at least not in the near future.

How has the feedback been so far?

The feedback has been great! It really helps us going forward and improving the product day by day.

When do you think the final version will be released?

We don't have a schedule for the final release yet, but it's not far ahead!

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