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As we have finally stepped up into the new decade, 3D Architettura editors decided to prepare a summary of the new updates for CGI software, tools and render engines released during the last months of 2019. All you need for modeling, texturing, image-based lighting and rendering of your architectural visualization projects.

NUKE 12.0 by Foundry

  • Soft Selection for a customizable falloff to geometry vertex, face, or edge selection.
  • GPU accelerated nodes like Edge Extend to erode or dilate a sample region, Inpaint node to create contextual paint strokes similar to Photoshop’s Healing Brush.
  • Grid Warp Tracker to create match moves, track warps and morphs, and to warp across custom-defined grid shapes and use Smart Vectors to drive the grids.
  • Cara VR Integration.

MAXWELL RENDER 5 by Next Limit

  • Fully rewritten MULTI-GPU engine.
  • New Cloud Render service.
  • Faster and optimized FIRE (Fast Interactive Render).
  • GPU-ready materials with additive layers.
  • Integrations to Rhino, SketchUp, Autodesk Maya, Autodesk 3ds Max, Revit, ArchiCAD, Cinema 4D and the standalone Maxwell Studio to create, edit and render Maxwell scenes.
  • V-Ray scenes import and automatic conversion.

CORONA RENDERER 5 for 3dsMax and Cinema 4d by Chaos Czech

  • Memory and render time savings right out of the box, without the need to change anything in the scene.
  • New default displacement calculation method, which gives you much faster scene parsing and even more memory savings.
  • Caustics render faster and use less memory, no changes needed to the scene.
  • General Optimizations for memory and render time savings, including for geometry processing and more.
  • The performance of the Corona Color Correct map has been improved.
  • Corona Material Library updated (17 new basic Hair materials, 10 new Skin materials, and some smaller fixes).

ZBRUSH 2020 by Pixologic

  • Sculpt & Paint in Morph UV – ability to sculpt and PolyPaint on the UV unwrap of a model.
  • XTractor Brushes – brushes to convert detail from the model into a new alpha or texture for future reuse.
  • HistoryRecall – undo of a portion of sculpting.
  • Move Infinite Depth.
  • Texture Adjust by Color & PolyPaint Adjust by Color.
  • 3D print straight from ZBrush with new mesh analysis features: Wall Thickness, Real-Time Draft Analysis, and Surface Area calculations.

3DS MAX 2020 by Autodesk

3ds max 2020 roadmap

  • ATF Importer Update to support all newer versions of SketchUp files
  • Chamfer and Modeling improvements
  • Time-saving and quality improvements with the existing viewport.
  • Improvements for Arnold 5.4.0.1 Core, the MAXtoA plugin, and Arnold GPU beta

SUBSTANCE DESIGNER Winter 2019 by Adobe

  • OpenColorIO-based color management system for consistent and high-fidelity color imaging across applications and devices: customize color spaces for any bitmap resources, displays, and exported bitmaps.
  • Ray-tracing-based Curvature baker.
  • Improved Ambient Occlusion bakers: enable the Ground Plane option, which simulates the occlusion coming from the ground.
  • The new Atlas tool for absolute control over scanned atlases.

BRIDGE 2019.5 by Quixel

  • New Unreal Engine integration, with full support for UE 4.24 and free access for Unreal Engine users to the Megascans library.
  • Revamped Master Materials: that are fully customizable and have added support for a specular workflow and improved normal map opacity setup.
  • Native experience and full support for macOS and Linux.

HDR SKY 1.0 by PlaySys

  • Sun position and Intensity
  • Various types of clouds: Fast Mode for more flat and solid clouds for storm, evening and nocturne situations, and Voxel Mode for more voluminous photorealistic and even cartoon-style clouds, with control over the level of detail, scattering and position.
  • Control over atmospheric parameters, such as Aerial Perspective, Volumetric Atmosphere, Light Scattering, Humidity and Air Quality.
  • Export EXR file up to 4K for outdoor scenarios for architectural visualizations.
  • Export additional cubemaps.
  • Export animated sequences.

RENDERMAN 23 by Pixar

  • USD support.
  • Support for interactive “always-on” rendering at more stages of the pipeline.
  • Sampling Improvements.
  • More artist-focused workflow improvements in RenderMan plugins for Autodesk Maya, Foundry Katana, and Sidefx Houdini.
  • Path Traced SSS is now available via the Rix interfaces.

MAYA 2020 by Autodesk

  • Cached Playback with support for dynamics, image planes, smooth mesh previews, and custom plugins, as well as a new Ghosting preview.
  • Animation bookmarks to mark, navigate through, and organize specific events in time as well as easily zoom into playback ranges in the Time Slider.
  • Included Arnold 6 to be used for production rendering on both the CPU and GPU.
    Bifrost updates.
  • Remesh tool to specify exactly where extra detail on a model is needed by redefining the topology of any area on the mesh.
  • Retopologize to clean up meshes quick and easy.
  • Matrix-driven transform and operation nodes to reduce node and connection clutter in scenes.
  • GPU-accelerated Proximity Wrap deformer for better memory use and a significant performance boost.

Unreal Engine 4.24 by Epic Games

  • Layer-based Landscape workflows enable you to build more interesting and engaging outdoor environments where the terrain automatically adapts to other elements in the world.
  • Sky Atmosphere component generates a physically-accurate sky that can be updated dynamically depending on the time of day, and it can be viewed from the ground or from the air to create realistic-looking planetscapes.
  • Experimental strand-based hair and fur system that brings characters to life with realistic, flowing hair.
  • Screen-Space Global Illumination to achieve natural light-filled spaces using fewer resources.
  • Visual Dataprep makes automating data preparation workflows more accessible.
  • Live Universal Scene Description (USD) Stage Actor creates a direct link to the USD file on disk for faster iteration and better collaboration.

ARNOLD 6 by Autodesk

  • Improved support for Open Shading Language (OSL).
  • Improved support for OpenVDB volumes.
  • Textures are now loaded on-demand instead of at the start of the render, helping to reduce memory usage and save time from the first pixel.
  • Time to first pixel is now faster thanks to a number of improvements including more efficient NVIDIA OptiX caching.
  • Bounding volume hierarchy (BVH) memory used by geometry is reduced by as much as 50% for large meshes.
  • A first version of the new Shadow Matte shader has been added to the GPU renderer.
  • Excessive sources of noise have been removed, such as indirect noise in refractions or reflections. GPU noise is now on par with CPU noise when using adaptive sampling, which has been improved to yield even faster, more predictable results regardless of the renderer used.
  • Most LPEs (39/46 and counting) are now supported.
  • The majority of lights are supported, including portals.
  • All cameras and most shaders are now supported.

HOUDINI 18 by SideFX

  • Solaris, a USD-based context for lookdev, layout and lighting that brings procedural tools to this important part of the pipeline.
  • Karma Render (beta).
  • HYDRA-based renderer that integrates into the Solaris environment.
  • SOP-based tools for configuring Destruction and Pyro FX shots.