McNeel announces Neon 1.0 interactive 3D viewport plug-in for Rhino 5

Optimized for real-time photorealistic rendering with Imagination Technologies’ Caustic Series2 ray-tracing acceleration boards  

Develop3D LIVE, Warwick, UK, 16 April, 2013 : Robert McNeel & Associates, a leading software development company, today announces that the Neon 1.0 interactive viewport plug-in for Rhino® 5 is now available. The Neon viewport accelerated with Imagination Technologies’ Caustic Series2 ray-tracing acceleration boards will be showcased at Develop 3D LIVE 2013 (Caustic Professional, booth #44).

As the first fully-featured release of a ray-tracing viewport on the Rhino modeling platform, McNeel’s release of Neon allows designers to add a responsive preview window to their workflow. Neon’s photorealistic representations take on a nearly instantaneous reaction time when used in tandem with one of Imagination’s Caustic Series2 R2100 or R2500 ray-tracing acceleration boards, available for purchase at https://store.caustic.com.

Based on Imagination’s PowerVR Brazil SDK ray-traced rendering toolkit, McNeel’s Neon viewport enables an interactive preview of a final render to be manipulated in real-time, which advances aspects of look development to the earliest stages of the modeling process to shave hours off the design process.

“Neon is a versatile tool, and adding a Series2 card to the mix creates a powerful combination that lets me examine changes in my work as soon as I tweak it,” said Heath Satow, professional public sculptor. “With realistic lighting and reflection being so important to my designs, Neon and the R2100 card have earned their place in my production tool kit.”

The Neon plug-in’s ray-tracing characteristics stem from its base in Imagination’s PowerVR Brazil SDK renderer. These characteristics have proven their value to Neon’s beta-testers, many of whom now use Neon as the only renderer in their pipeline.

"I'm completely hooked on using Neon in all of my work,” said Paul Sherstobitoff, professional 3D illustrator. “The quick and accurate feedback I get provides a more refined and fluid modeling experience, allowing me to clearly see the relationships between positive and negative spaces when I am working out a new design."

Driving the release of Neon, McNeel saw unprecedented interest from customers during the open beta for the plug-in.

“Neon is at the forefront for our on-going efforts to bring the most advanced ray tracing techniques to Rhino,” said Bob McNeel, president of McNeel & Associates. “Our customers’ feedback has been extremely positive when it comes to Neon. Rhino users should expect to see some interesting advancements come from our Neon technology soon.”

Inside Neon
McNeel & Associates, one of Imagination Technologies top independent software vendor partners, developed the Neon plug-in in collaboration with the ray tracing professionals at Imagination’s Caustic Professional division, using Imagination’s PowerVR OpenRL platform.

Key features of the Neon plug-in include:

  • Full support for Rhino 5 rendering tools: Neon supports all Rhino 5 rendering features - including the sun, skylight, ground plane, standard materials, environments and most procedural textures
  • Neon is a fully working viewport mode: You can edit your model just like any other mode and Neon keeps up; it supports in-command previews (like BlendSrf), real time dragging and many other commands
  • Support for Brazil 2.0 Advanced Rendering: Neon supports many Brazil settings if Brazil 2.0 Service Release 2 (or later) is installed on your computer; this includes most Brazil materials, Global illumination, GI environments, advanced lighting including soft shadows, most Luma server settings, Depth of Field – and much more

 

Neon’s implementation allows designers to use a CPU-only desktop without the previous requirements of powerful, GPU hardware.

“We’re ecstatic to include such a respected ISV to our growing list of partners,” said Alex Kelley, director of business development for Imagination Technologies. “Neon powered by PowerVR OpenRL is a major leap forward, and we are thrilled to be able to provide this technology to all Rhino 5 users.”

Pricing and Availability
Rhino 5 customers can download the Neon plug-in for free at http://v5.rhino3d.com/group/neon.

The Caustic R2500 OpenRL PC board is priced at US $1,495, targeting the latest high-end workstations. The Caustic R2100 board is priced at an aggressive US $795, intended for upgrading a wider range of mid-range workstations. Both ray-tracing acceleration boards are currently available at https://store.caustic.com/.

About McNeel & Associates and Rhinoceros
Founded in 1980, Robert McNeel & Associates is a privately-held, employee-owned corporation providing technical professionals with productive tools shaped from emerging technologies. Rhinoceros is a registered trademark of Robert McNeel & Associates. See: http://www.rhino3d.com/.

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, based on Imagination's PowerVR OpenRL API and PowerVR ray tracing technologies, use a unique, patented approach that fundamentally changes 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 PowerVR 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 GPU 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.

McNeel Press Contact:
Scott Davidson                     Email Contact             1 (206) 634-4595  

Liaison PR Press Contact:
Stephen Hoshaw                  Email Contact        1 (503) 796-9822
 




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