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Imagination Technologies previews Caustic Series2 ray tracing acceleration boards for Maya and 3ds Max at Autodesk University
DMN Newswire--2012-11-28--
Imagination Technologies, a leading multimedia technologies company, today announced availability of its Caustic Series2 OpenRL PC boards, accelerating Caustic Visualizer? viewport plug-ins for Autodesk® Maya® and 3ds Max® at Autodesk University (Booth #416) in Las Vegas, Nevada (November 27-29th 2012).



Both the Caustic Series2 ray tracing accelerator boards and Caustic Visualizer for Maya plugins will be available for purchase from January 2013. The production version of the 3ds Max Visualizer will be available in Q2 2013, with beta trials from February 2013. 

The Caustic R2500 OpenRL PC board, including a copy of one Caustic Visualizer, will be priced at US$1495, targeting the latest high-end workstations. The Caustic R2100 board, including a copy of one Caustic Visualizer, will be priced at an aggressive US$795, intended for upgrading a wider range of mid-range and higher workstations. Both Caustic boards will ship with a copy of the Caustic Visualizer for Maya at launch. The software-only version of the Caustic Visualizer for Maya will be priced at US$299. Imagination will be accepting pre-orders for these products from early December at www.imgtec.com/caustic_sales.

HP (booth #120) and AMD (booth #735) will both be showcasing Caustic Visualizer for Maya running with Caustic R2500 boards on their booths throughout the event. Imagination will be demonstrating Caustic R2500 and R2100 boards, working with the Caustic Visualizer for Maya and a pre-beta version of the Caustic Visualizer for 3ds Max in HP and Boxx systems at the show. 

Imagination?s hardware accelerated Caustic Visualizer family of plugins brings the world's first fully interactive real time ray tracer to the working viewports of the industry's premier 3D design and animation packages. Thanks to Imagination?s unique high performance OpenRL-based ray tracing hardware and software technologies, the Visualizer photorealistic viewport provides far higher visual quality than 3ds Max and Maya's normal rendering viewports, including globally accurate lighting, reflections and shadows within a 3ds Max, Maya or mental ray® scene. It enables artists to identify and resolve potential problems within their final renders from the earliest stages of modeling; minimizing the need for time-consuming preview renders and radically streamlining the look development process. 

The Caustic Visualizer viewport renderer interactively updates and responds to all edits in 3ds Max and Maya including geometry, lighting and shading characteristics while preserving their powerful interactive workflows. Selected objects in the Maya viewport continue to have fully editable wireframes and manipulators overlaid on the real-time ray traced shaded preview.

The Caustic Visualizer for Maya 1.0 Trial Version is now available and can be downloaded from the Caustic Professional web site at www.caustic.com/visualizer/maya. This is a fully functional release that is free-of-charge until January 31, 2013. It will be replaced with commercial and education editions that can be purchased for US$299 and US$199 respectively. The beta version of Caustic Visualizer for 3ds Max will be available in Q1 2013, with pre-registration to begin in early December at www.caustic.com/visualizer/3dsmax.

Editor?s Notes
Caustic Series2 ray tracing accelerator boards
The Caustic Series2 is the first family of high performance ray tracing accelerator PC boards using Imagination?s unique ray tracing technologies in the world?s first dedicated chipset dedicated to high performance, fully interactive ray tracing in a workstation environment. Featuring unique Caustic RT2 custom chips, these PCI boards set new standards for price performance as well as power consumption, making it an ideal upgrade path for users wishing to use tools such as Autodesk Maya and 3ds Max to create stunning 3D content in a totally interactive, fully ray traced viewport environment. The Caustic Series2 sets a new standard for affordable, high performance ray tracing.

Caustic Visualizers
The Caustic Visualizer plugins make full use of Imagination?s unique ray tracing technologies to deliver photorealistic interactive viewports for some of the most popular content creation tools. They enables artists to upgrade their workflow to interact with a final rendering of scenes in real time while using all of the features of leading edge tools such as Autodesk?s 3ds Max and Maya, empowering them to identify and resolve potential problems within their final renders from the earliest stages of modeling. Using Caustic Visualizers eliminates the need for time-consuming non-real time preview renderers, radically streamlining the look development process. 

PowerVR Brazil SDK v1.0 
Caustic Visualizer utilizes Imagination?s PowerVR Brazil SDK v1.0, a high-level rendering software toolkit built using OpenRL for adding photorealistic visualization into 3D graphics applications. It is a completely new implementation of the technology in the award-winning Brazil? final frame renderer, designed from the ground up to leverage Imagination?s OpenRL? API and high performance ray tracing technologies to deliver real-time interactivity on any platform. 

OpenRL 
OpenRL? is a flexible low-level, platform independent ray tracing API, designed to facilitate high performance interactive ray tracing using both software and hardware accelerated renderers . It is available today as a free SDK that includes a software implementation running on x86 devices. It is being integrated by a rapidly growing number of ISVs in rendering applications for a wide range of markets, including digital content creation, film and video, games, architecture, and industrial design. See: http://www.imgtec.com/powervr/powervr_openrl_raytracing_technology.asp.

This cross-OS, cross-platform API is the only ray tracing API that Can support a broad and growing range of processors, accelerators and GPUs with optimal performance. Like OpenGL, OpenRL hides the complexities of interfacing with different devices by presenting a single, uniform interface. A free perpetual license of OpenRL is available for both commercial and non-commercial applications.

About Caustic Professional
Caustic Professional is part of Imagination Technologies, a global leader in multimedia and communications technologies. Based in San Francisco, Caustic Professional is changing how interactive cinema-quality 3D graphics are produced, used, and enjoyed. 

Caustic Professional?s solutions, use OpenRL API and are based on PowerVR unique and patented ray tracing technologies, that fundamentally change the performance and cost metrics for production quality ray traced images and animated content without cutting corners for quality or functionality. Thanks to the cross-platform features of OpenRL, future generations of Caustic Professional's products will migrate seamlessly from workstations to future generations of mobile and embedded platforms utilizing Imagination's future PowerVR IP cores incorporating Imagination?s innovative ray tracing technologies. 
  
About Imagination Technologies
Imagination Technologies Group plc (LSE:IMG) ? a global leader in multimedia and communication technologies ? creates and licenses market-leading multimedia IP cores for graphics, video, and display processing, multi-threaded embedded processing/DSP cores and multi-standard communications and connectivity processors. These silicon intellectual property (IP) solutions for systems-on-chip (SoC) are complemented by platform level IP and services, a strong array of software tools and drivers and extensive developer and middleware ecosystems. Target markets include mobile phone, handheld multimedia, home consumer entertainment, mobile and low-power computing, and in-car electronics. Its licensees include many of the leading semiconductor and consumer electronics companies. Imagination has corporate headquarters in the United Kingdom, with sales and R&D offices worldwide. See: www.imgtec.com.

Press Contact: 
David Harold, Director of PR, Imagination Technologies,
david.harold@imgtec.com +44 (0)1923 260 511


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