Illuminate Labs, developers of Turtle and its core technology LiquidLight, announced the availability of the next generation of its renderer - Turtle 2. Focusing on the needs of studios with a Maya pipeline, Turtle users can open and render extremely large scenes with advanced lighting effects at a speed previously unseen.
Turtle is fully integrated in the Maya GUI and uses native Maya shading networks. Turtle 2.0 will begin shipping worldwide in August of 2005. Turtle 2 is based on the second generation of the LiquidLight technology platform.
An architecture improvement is the Shading System, which is no longer based on Maya’s API, but implemented from scratch in Turtle based on the native Maya shaders. The artist can use the native Maya shaders for predictable results, but with much better performance in Turtle. New realistic materials and utility nodes have been added to complement the native Maya shaders. Scenes with complex shading can be rendered at more than twice the rendering speed than before with Turtle 2.
With the new Render Pass System users also get more control over the compositing of images. Component passes include Reflections, Refractions, Incandescence, Subsurface Scattering, Global Illumination and much more. In Turtle 2 it is possible to build custom passes from any shading network, such as motion vectors, reflection occlusion and normals. Any shader can be rendered as a separate pass.
The improvements to Global Illumination include a new final gathering shading method, IES-light profiles and global adjustment of intensity and saturation. Users can combine indirect illumination (transparency, incandescence) within the direct light from a photon map. Photon Shaders also separate the photon scattering properties from the surface shader.
Turtle is used by notable game and simulation companies such as Sony, Nintendo, Electronic Arts and Lockheed Martin, as well as by educational institutions such as the University of California, and a complete list of all new features is available at Illuminate Labs' website