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KRAKATOA™ MX is Thinkbox Software’s production-proven Volumetric Particle Rendering, Manipulation and Management Toolkit for Autodesk 3ds Max.
It provides a pipeline for acquiring, caching, transforming, modifying, deforming, culling, shading and rendering vast quantities of particles at unprecedented speed to represent natural phenomena like dust, smoke, silt, ocean surface foam, plasma and even solid objects. Krakatoa™ integrates well with Particle Flow, the flexible 3ds Max built-in Event-Driven Particle System, and provides data exchange capabilities for sharing particles with other 3D and simulation applications.
Adaptive Motion Blur
- In previous versions of Krakatoa, the number of Motion Blur passes had to be set to a constant value that accommodates all particles on all frames of an animation.
- This means that if the animation contains frames with slow moving particles and other frames with sudden bursts of motion, all frames would need to use a high number of passes to ensure the fast moving particles appear smooth enough.
- In Krakatoa MX 2.6, the number of passes can be adjusted automatically by enabling the Adaptive Motion Blur option and specifying a minimum and maximum number of passes.
- Krakatoa will calculate the amount of screen-space motion of each particle on each frame, and determine the optimal number of passes to produce a consistent motion blur effect.
- If the calculated value is higher or lower than the user-defined minimum and maximum values, it will be clamped.
- Additional controls called Smoothness and Smoothness Bias can be used to adjust the quality of the Adaptive Motion Blur:
- The Smoothness parameter is a multiplier to the automatically calculated value, thus a value of 2.0 will suggest two times more passes. This is useful when rendering with Jittered Motion Blur where one sample per screen pixel might not produce a smooth enough output.
- The Smoothness Bias is an Exponent to the otherwise linear curve describing the relationship between the maximum number of screen pixels travelled by a particle, and the number of Motion Blur passes. By setting the Bias to values above or below 1.0, the curve can be bent to produce more passes for frames with fast motion while drawing frames with slow motion with less passes than usual, or the other way round. The Bias is applied only to the part of the curve pinned between the Min. and Max. values.
Improvements To Existing Features
Depth Of Field Performance
- In previous versions of Krakatoa, rendering with Depth Of Field on multi-core machines could experience the so-called “Last Bucket Standing” effect, but in the form of “Last Image Buffer Standing”.
- Krakatoa splits the particles along the depth of the camera and renders them into multiple Image Buffers, one for each thread / core / CPU.
- In previous versions, the split always produced equal particle counts in each chunk.
- However, when rendering with extreme Depth Of Field settings, some of the threads could take much longer to complete when out of focus compared to those in focus due to the different number of samples to be drawn.
- Krakatoa MX 2.6 will split the particles into non-equal chunks taking into account the Depth Of Field parameters, thus allowing all threads to finish in approximately the same time.
- The result is up to two times faster performance in extreme cases thanks to the better distribution of CPU resources.
- The speed increase may vary depending on the scene content and camera settings.