Introducing the New

You might have noticed that things have been quiet on the site for the last few weeks. That’s because we’ve been working around the clock to get the new up and running.

We’re proud to introduce to the new, more visual, mobile-friendly site. It’s taken the team several weeks (with a lot of long nights) to get it live.

Why Build a New Site?

We built the original site with a focus on delivering the software. Things like design and user-experience weren’t top of mind, and we didn’t spend a lot of time on how the site looked or how people would navigate. Yes, that was a big mistake.

Having had the site up for about a year, we were able to look at our site analytics and see some issues. We also realized that the site didn’t really match up to the software we’d built: 3D rendering is all about the visuals, so we need a site with the same emphasis.

We also thought about things like file management, caching, publishing tools, checkout and ease of maintenance — all the things that go into a keeping a site fresh, secure and growing.

What You’ll See on The New Site?

We’re still adding content and improving the visuals, but you’ll notice a few things right away:

  1. More visual: The old site had a lot of links and a lot text, but you only saw renders in the Gallery. With the new site, we’ve integrated beautiful renders, and video into every page. The design is meant to showcase what you can down with FluidRay RT.
  2. More organized: We’d compiled a lot of information (specs, tutorials, videos), but hadn’t done a good job of making it accessible. With the new site, we’ve made it easier to navigate through the information and to understand it. One of my personal favorites is the new layout for the Technical Specs page:
    Technical Specs
    We took a lot of information, grouped it logically and then created a better way to navigate through instead of scrolling. This is something we’ll continue to work on, so that people don’t get distracted or dissuaded by the site content.
  3. More interactive: You’ll notice more actions and animations throughout the site. We’ve tried to find a balance between useful actions and flare, but across the board you’ll find that navigating and learning takes advantage of motion and click actions.
  4. Less Linear: This one is a little tricky. We know that people don’t just start on the homepage of a site and follow every link. They jump around based on their interest and needs. But the old site was really only designed for top-down navigating. With the new site, you’ll notice that the top navigation stays with you as you scroll and that there are links to the trial version and other points of interest sprinkled through the pages. Our goal is to let you keep moving intuitively through the site, and not end up feeling like you hit a deadend.

What’s Next for The Site?

We don’t plan to ever be “done” with the new site. In the next few weeks, you’ll see new content including updated/upgraded renderings, improved videos and articles written by experience designers. We’re also working on a new shopping cart…and a few goodies that I can’t talk about yet.

Our goal is to keep making the site more useful to existing customers, demo users , designers, enthusiasts and anyone else visiting us.

It’s Always a Work in Progress

We think the new site is a HUGE leap forward from what we had before. And we’re confident that we’re on the right track. But there is still a lot to do and we have to make sure we aren’t falling behind the needs of our customers or the opportunities of web tech.

We hope you like the new site and that you’ll tell us if you don’t. Please leave a comment or visit the forums to tell us what you think about the new design and functionality.

Happy Rendering!

Goodies from Eurographics 2014

The 2015 Eurographics conference is only a few months away. It’s where some really talented people come together to look at the science and the art of computer graphics including modeling and rendering. Here are some videos from 2014 presentations that you might find interesting. It’s pretty cool to see what people are working on. […]

Eurographics Presentations for Learning Advanced Modeling

If you’re passionate about design, modeling and rendering then you know that there is always something new going on with technology and techniques. Sometimes you can take online courses or get into a classroom; but often you need to pickup new ideas and skills from less formal training.

Eurographics is the conference of the European Association for Computer Graphics. Researchers, students, practitioners and programmers come together every year to discuss new techniques, applications and ideas.

Here are some videos from Eurographics 2012 & 2013 that show how much the space has evolved, but also shows some ways that you can leverage features of FluidRay RT — like Volumetrics and Instancer Nodes — to take your rendering to the next level.

Manipulation of Flexible Objects by Geodesic Control (Eurographics 2012)

Factored Facade Acquisition using Symmetric Line Arrangements (Eurographics 2012)

Interactive Facades: Analysis and Synthesis of Semi-Regular Facades (Eurographics 2013)

Smart Variations: Functional Substructures for Part Compatibility (Eurographics 2013)

EG 2013, Pose-Space Image-Based Rendering

Some of the stuff in these videos is purely theoretical. You might see these features and applications in software releases down the line, but they are strictly academic right now. That said, a lot of what’s done here can be adapted to your animations and renderings with a little ingenuity.

I hope these videos give you some ideas for the future. Checkout out our Eurographics playlist on YouTube for more videos.

Ancient Architecture: Plaosan Complex

Plaosan Complex (Candi Plaosan) is a 9th-century Buddhist temple complex covering roughly 2,000 square meters. It’s located in Indonesia. The complex contains 300+ structures and is anchored by 2 temples, Plaosan Lor & Plaosan Kidul.

Here are some images:

Plaosan complex

The defining architectural characteristics are the complex stone work and carvings. You also have to appreciate the giant statues and paving.

Here’s a look at some of the carvings and bas relief artwork:
relief at Candi Plaosan

Why Are We Looking At This?

A lot of modern architecture is driven by European ideas and also built with very commercial interests in mind (office buildings, hotels). But history is filled with structures built to celebrate gods, kings, ceremonies and cultures. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that many of these structures are still standing and admired.

Taking a look at some structures from Asia, the Middle East, South America, and elsewhere gives us a chance to wash away our preconceptions about what architecture can be. Whether you are designing homes or video game dungeons, it’s worth it to have an open mind.

New Case Study: FluidRay RT Accelerates Rendering Quality for Industrial Designers

We are excited to announce a new case study about the benefits of using FluidRay RT on complex industrial design projects.  The case study discusses increased production time and shorter rendering cycles; just a few of the benefits that industrial designers will gain both with FluidRay RT as a stand alone or with plugins like Rhino, SketchUp or Shade3D.

Diego Pabon, the chief designer behind international industrial design firm, Cientoveinte shared his experience using FluidRay RT to enhance his work and create better quality final products for his clients.

Let us know your thoughts!

Interior Design for Small Spaces

Many people are avoiding new home purchases or moving to new apartments, and trying to get more out of their current space instead.

I’ve pulled together a few videos that focus on making creative, smart use of small spaces. Take a look at these and you’ll see how much potential even the smallest space can have.

Make sure you watch the first video (the one right below this paragraph). It will help you get into the right mindset for tackling small spaces.

Small Space Decorating Ideas

Small living room interior design ideas

Man turns 500 sq ft into a mansion - room idea video

A lot of older houses have small spaces that are under-utilized: attics, basements, utility closets, etc. that can be turned into vibrant & functional spaces with a little effort.

Small apartments are challenging because you have to fit all the living needs into a limited space. But their are still opportunities to design something cool & livable if you use your imagination.

Checkout our Interior Design playlist on YouTube for more helpful videos.

Time Waits for No Man: Time Lapse Construction Videos

It’s impressive to watch things get built from the ground up and also inspirational to see just how much can be accomplished when you put your mind to it.

Here are some videos from YouTube of new buildings and homes being constructed. The videos feature some very cool construction projects ranging from dams to igloos.

Take some time to watch the videos and think about how much effort you put into your work.

NewArk Hotel construction timelapse: 15 storeys in 48 hours.

Portable home delivered as furniture, tailored as smartphone

30-Story Building Built In 15 Days (Time Lapse)

Official San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge Construction Time-Lapse

Earthbag Timelapse

Time Lapse - Construction of Gigantic Igloo

Official Cotter Dam Time Lapse

Maybe you’ve got a big project coming up. Thinking about creating your own timelapse and share it with us in the FluidRay RT forums.

FluidRay RT 1.1.3 Released

We just released FluidRay RT 1.1.3. You can get it here.

  • Reduced noise and faster convergence
  • Removed fireflies on Obj Materials
  • Improved interface
  • Faster loading times
  • Progress dialogs when importing texture & environments
  • Improved drag & drop
  • Solved installation problems with integration plugins
  • General speed improvements & bug fixes

FluidRay RT interior rendering of a living room by Roberto Pittaluga
Image Rendered in FluidRay RT by Roberto Pittaluga

Ideas to Make Your Furniture Standout in Interior Renderings

Interior designs can be tricky because you need to find the balance between an accessible, welcoming space and something with a bit of style. If you’re too generic or bland, then no one cares. But if you’re too imaginative, then you’ll turn off people with more conservative tastes.

One way to work around this challenge is to mix in a few pieces of furniture or decor that standout, but keep the room pretty simple overall. We’ve pulled together some videos to give you ideas for modeling and rendering interior furniture with a bit of character.

Home & Family - How to Makeover your Dresser using Wallpaper

This video shows a DIY approach to giving dressers or cabinets more style. You can adapt this to your renderings by applying different texture patterns to tables, shelves, cabinets, etc.

This video highlights some very creative pieces of furniture that can be focal points for discussion or the centerpiece of a interior design plan. Look at this video for ways to repurpose objects, re-shape rooms, and utilize big pieces of furniture in your room models.

future furniture design

This video is all about futuristic looks and furniture that moves and changes. Look at this video for different lighting styles you might use and how to mix lighting with textures.

Kids Room designs - for girls and boys , Interior furniture ideas for cheap small spaces

A collection of kids room photos. Children’s rooms can be great because you have more leeway in how furniture looks. But you also usually get less space to work with. Watch this video to see how to make any space more fun by using unconventional or playful furniture designs.

Tonic on form, texture and materials in furniture design.

This video highlights work by Tonic, a very cool furniture design company. There is a lot being covered in this video, but I’d suggest focusing on the use of clean lines mixed with more organic materials. Also think about the repetition of furniture pieces in common areas.

This ones features several very modern bedroom designs. Take note of the difference ways that storage is provided and where the windows are. This is a good video for thinking about lighting, negative space, and how differnt furniture materials can work together.

What’s The Look You’re Trying to Create?

Every project is different and you need to adapt. How do you find pieces of inspiration for your project? Let us know if there is a particular look, a room configuration or a design style that you want help with. We’ll pull up any videos we can to help. Also, make sure to subscribe to our interior design playlist on YouTube for more ideas.