Lookdev | Layout | Lighting
Solaris is a suite of look development, layout and lighting tools that empower artists to create USD-based scene graphs that go from asset creation to final render. Solaris integrates with USD's HYDRA Imaging Framework for access to a wide range of renderers such as the new SideFX Karma,* Pixar RenderMan, Autodesk Arnold, Maxon Redshift, AMD ProRender and more.
*Note: The Karma renderer has been released in beta with Houdini 18
Transitioning your Lighting Workflow
For Lighting artists, it is easy to bring geometry, lights and cameras into the Solaris LOPS context and set them up for rendering in Karma. Once in LOPS, these elements become USD that can be analyzed in the Scene Graph. You can then configure and export the pieces as USD for use in other shots.
Laying out a shot is a creative task often involving many assets. With Solaris, USD is used to manage the pieces while the Stage lets you work creatively. You can even use physically-based editing tools that allow objects to interact naturally by running sims in the background. And because LOP nodes can be set up with all of Houdini's procedural tools under the hood, it is easy for artists to build workflows on the fly to solve problems such as how to add lots of leaves to a shot using an artist-friendly painting UI.
Lighting is a critical element that often carries over from shot to shot. With the LOP nodes in Solaris, you not only have artist-friendly handles in the Stage view but also you can use the Light Mixer to collect and manage multiple lights. Create a light rig for a sequence of shots then tweak the results on a shot-by-shot basis using non-destructive LOP nodes.
As shots get very complex, there are situations where repetitive elements can be instanced to efficiently add complexity while noise functions add a natural look to the final shot. LOP nodes in Solaris let you create lots and lots of objects and lights by leveraging the instancing capabilities built into the USD framework.
PIPELINE / USD
With USD at its core, Solaris is a perfect pipeline tools for lookdev, layout and lighting. USD enables assembly and organization of any number of assets into virtual sets, scenes, and shots and lets you non-destructively edit them with a single, consistent API, in a single scene graph. There are built-in concepts for layering shots, creating variants and managing key aspects of your data flow. In Solaris, you can easily configure USD assets, integrate and layer in FX shots and use the Procedural Dependency Graph (PDG) to distribute tasks to your compute farm for added efficiencies.
While Karma provides a built-in renderer that supports the USD HYDRA Imaging Framework, there are a growing list of HYDRA-compliant renderers for artists to choose from. Of course, RenderMan 23 is production-ready and available to use right now. Redshift & ProRender are also available. Other solutions such as Arnold, 3Delight and V-Ray will be coming soon.