22 Dec 2015
OK, here is the reason why you haven’t seen Boxshot updates for a while: please welcome our new product - Owlet. That cute little bird is actually a standalone, unbiased, physically-based, general purpose rendering application. Sounds interesting? Read on…
Since the very first days of Boxshot we had two types of customers: the ones that told us that “Boxshot is too complex”, while the others wanted more options and features. As the target audience of Boxshot includes non-professional users, we tried our best to keep it simple enough for them. Meanwhile, the other half of the user base wanted more, so that’s why we’re now introducing Owlet.
Owlet is a standalone, unbiased, physically-based renderer that takes your 3D files in formats like OBJ, Collada, 3DS, FBX and more, allows you to set up materials and renders photorealistic images for you.
As mentioned above, Owlet is targeting professional users. Owlet features really complex materials with features like subsurface scattering, thin-film interference, anysotropy and so on. Owlet materials are multi-layered, layers can be grouped and have masks, materials can even emit light. Owlet supports image-based lighting, renders caustics and much more. As you may understand, some experience is needed to control that features. We never can do the same in Boxshot.
At the other hand, Owlet is a rendering application, so compared to Boxshot it lacks the built-in shapes. However, you can export shapes from Boxshot or Origami and load it to Owlet for further rendering. We’re still working on that link and will most likely provide a better compatibility between the apps, so you can use Owlet renderer directly from Boxshot.
Being a beta, Owlet can still have minor issues (actually, it does). The reason we release it now is to show it to you and get some feedback. Feel free to try it, to import your scenes, try to render them and share your results with us. Despite the issues, Owlet is stable enough for production usage, so if you are happy with the results you get in the demo - you are more than welcome to use the software in your work. We’ll do ours best to remove the beta tag as soon as possible.
You are more than welcome to ask your questions in the comments below. Here are some questions, to start:
If you still have any questions, please ask them in the comments below.
So far the Owlet roadmap for 2016 is pretty simple: we’re going to get rid of the “beta” tag and add more professional features like multi-channel rendering (depth buffers, alpha channels, reflections and so on). We’re going to provide a tighter integration with our other applications like Boxshot and Origami and then focus on optimizing the application’s performance. The further steps include 3D editors plugins and more various options and features.
Owlet needs a 64-bit operating system to run. The reason is that Owlet uses a lot of memory for rendering and it can’t get it on 32-bit operating systems. Owlet also needs at least Windows 7 or Mac OS X 10.8. According to our statistics this shouldn’t be a big deal, but do not be surprised.
Owlet is a CPU-based renderer, so the more fast cores you have - the better. The latest Intel Core i7 processors are pretty fast and provide good timings according to our tests.
We’re working on it, as well. Going to release a new version really soon. Long-awaited shapes are also going to be released. Stay tuned.
Have a nice Holidays and if you have some spare time - have a look at Owlet - it is worth it.