Here we talk to Sam Assadian about Clarisse iFX, potentially the most anticipated new CG software release of 2012. The product, developed by Sam and co-founder Sebastien Guichou, aims to reinvent your workflow by bringing animation, lighting, rendering and compositing tools into a single package.
3D World: Who is your main target audience for Clarisse iFX, and what is their need that you are intending to meet?
Sam Assadian: Clarisse iFX aims at professional CG artists whether they work on 3D animated series, visual effects, visualization and product design as freelancers, or in large feature film VFX and animation studios.
Clarisse has been specifically tailored for demanding CG artists who create final images. Matte painters just love how fast and simple their work is getting now with Clarisse. On the other hand, rendering artists just love to work and visualize their composed image interactively without the hassle of exporting and updating each individual pass. Look dev artists just love how fast and simple it is to create complex worlds they have in mind.
Clarisse iFX is simply the perfect companion if a CG artist wants to be freed from technical limitations and fully express his creative artistry while facing economic realities.
3D World: You’re entering a crowded market. What are the two or three tools or features that you feel will set Clarisse apart and make it a must-have purchase?
SA: A crowded market for sure, but it’s been almost two decades that 3D animation and 2D compositing workflow haven’t moved one iota. Worse, workflow is getting more and more complex. Here at Isotropix, we’ve heard artists’ growing frustrations and that’s why we decided, three years ago, that it was about time to go back to the design board and create from scratch, in constant collaboration with a talented team of CG artists, a new workflow that led to Clarisse iFX.
Clarisse iFX is a new breed of 2D/3D animation software that reinvents the traditional approach to create final images: now, distinction between 2D and 3D software is a thing of the past. For the first time, Clarisse iFX offers CG artists the opportunity to work directly and constantly on the final image: whether creating lifelike environments and ultra detailed layouts, animating, lighting, working on materials and textures, and even creating stunning visual effects using 3D or compositing.
Clarisse iFX provides a broad range of high-end features such as an interactive procedural modeler and a interactive 3D rendering engine integrated within a 2D compositing engine.
3D World: Clarisse seems to be a progressive, forward-looking package. How different is it to work with compared with what’s already available?
SA: Thanks to Clarisse iFX’s unified workflow, CG artists can procedurally model environments as well as edit their textures, animate their objects, work their lighting and compose images at the same time. Clarisse iFX is the smart integration of several kinds of software into a single one.
Its revolutionary workflow is the only one that doesn’t require CG artists to work in isolation on segmented and sequential tasks. Without compromise, CG artists can now freely work simultaneously on each element that participates to their final image. Image quality is greatly improved and, in actual cases, productivity is heavily boosted – by up to 10 times. For Clarisse users, it has never been so easy to reach the outrageous amount of detail they’ve always dreamed of, while still working smoothly and interactively. It’s simple, billion is now the new polygon unit of their scenes!
I could have talked about the technical prowess powering this unique workflow such as the fully multithreaded evaluation engine or how fast the Clarisse renderer is… but at the end of the day, those features only help one thing that really matters to us and to the artist: how fast and easy is it to create in Clarisse? Faster than ever…
3D World: What is your latest schedule for offering Clarisse iFX to buy?
SA: We had originally planned to go to the public market at the end of Q2 2012. Our idea was to sell Clarisse iFX directly to our customers from our website. However, since Clarisse iFX has been announced, the positive response from the community has been so high that we are currently completely overwhelmed.
It’s really exciting, but we simply don’t have the bandwidth to satisfy the immense number of licence requests we’ve received so far. We’ve spent the last three weeks answering emails, performing daily demos, supporting our existing customers, and preparing for Siggraph… It’s been a crazy month, and we already know the next couple of months are going to be as tough.
At the moment, we’re exclusively selling to the most motivated studios that have contacted us, and even then we can’t satisfy all of them. Our priority is to provide the best support to our customers and I prefer to reduce our sales than jeopardize the quality of our support. Anyway, we’re already working on this issue and I hope things will start to be sorted out after Siggraph.