Abvent’s Artlantis 5 is finally here after a lengthy count-down the French company put on on its website which devoted itself not just to the count-down process but to a set of teasers by describing individual features new to the program.
Artlantis 5 is the latest incarnation of a venerable Mac first and Windows second cross-platform rendering and animation program created specifically for the architectural market. A longtime favorite for Mac-based professional architects, interior designers and visualization professionals, this new version is being touted as a “revolution in rendering and animation.” Let’s take a look.
New in Artlantis 5
For starters the new version features not just a new logo for the program but a brand new user-interface (UI) which is cleaner and more modernized in both functionality and appearance. Cast in a dark and medium set of gray tones, Artlantis 5 is a serious professional appearance much more common with its many rivals in both specific and general segments. (see image 01).
Logically the UI expands the width of the main preview window while grouping the inspectors across the top. A great new feature in version 5 is the new Perspectives controls and the new shift-lens “Architect” Camera. For those with photography experience in architecture you will know the value of a shift lens at keeping all the verticals well, vertical.
Working with media is now improved with the new Media browser. The media catalog is now an independent window overlaying the main interface for greater flexibility and it comes with many new shaders, many of which utilize new features in the program.
Of course one of the areas of innovation which larges stems from Apple’s innovative approaches to users discovering and acquiring new software is the new Artlantis 5 InApp Media Store. Besides the many items which ship with the product, you can now access 5,000 objects and shaders for purchase.
- New Lighting via Vertical Guides — lights can now be positioned more easily in terms of both direction and fall-off right in the 3D space. There is also new Volumetric effects via adding a light cone to each spot in your scene
- Heliodon with God Rays — the heliodon can be set directly in the Inspector and volumetric effects can be set and God Rays established in a post-process in the heliodon settings. Furthermore the God Rays are put into their own layer when exporting to Adobe Photoshop
- iVisit3D — version 5 adds iVisit 3D integration for both panoramas and objectVR movies.
- Animation — version 5 has an improved timeline with great new features. Each animated parameter is now presented as a track and has a hierarchical list for greater control. Key frames snap to magnetic guides and new high-definition 3D characters that move are now available in the InApp Media Store.
Other New Features or Improvements
Artlantis 5 has improved with its realtime Radiosity preview window. Viewpoints can be created, saved and organized.
Artlantis 5 now allows you to create your own shaders by importing them into the catalog. Neon shaders, HDRI backgrounds, special perspective controls via plane projections and a lot more are part of version 5.
As part of the program since version 4.1, Artlantis 5 features the optional Maxwell Render Engine. This one click option allows you to render your scenes with what is often considered the best physically accurate renderer in the world. Additionally, there is also the new Artlantis Farm Render option offered to the Artlantis community. Architosh wrote about this in detail here.
Artlantis 5 Render is 500.euro and Artlantis 5 Studio is 990.euro. To learn more about Artlantis 5 go here.
This is a solid update to a long-standing program that many in the industry feel has the best mix of ease-of-use and power. For users who want quicker results than mastering a more powerful but more complex 3D package like 3DS Max or CINEMA 4D, Artlantis 5 has continued along this path of creating new functionality while keeping the program from becoming more complicated and intimidating.
Abvent said it kept the best new feature for last–the new UI. After looking at this a bit we might have to agree. However, we like the new Media catalog and the new perspective controls with the Architect Camera in particular. And we definitely applaud the InApp Store just as we noted the value of such a store inside SketchUp 2013 at our AIA Denver reports and BEST of SHOW awards honors.