Sixteen years ago Maxon introduced BodyPaint 3D and revolutionized the 3D texture painting workflow. The integrated palette of cross-platform painting and UV tools have provided an outstanding creative suite for many of you to add exquisite detail to your surfaces in film, game design and other workflows.
Many of you have asked what’s next for BodyPaint 3D, and I’m excited to share some aspects of the exciting future of BodyPaint 3D.
Last year we visited many current and potential BodyPaint 3D users, and collected a substantial amount of feedback on how to enhance both the painting and UV tools. On the painting side, it was clear that BodyPaint’s reliance on CPU-based software shading was limiting a lot of its potential. We tasked our development team with transitioning BodyPaint 3D’s painting engine to OpenGL, and they have made fantastic progress - so much so that we’re excited to share a preview with you today. BodyPaint’s new OpenGL painting engine will offer much greater performance, improved visual feedback, and a smoother workflow.
While the progress has been great, we aren’t quite satisfied yet. In an effort to make sure this major change to BodyPaint 3D meets our standard of quality we won’t be delivering this as part of Release 18, but you can look forward to getting it in your hands within the R18 product cycle.
As we worked towards the goal of moving BodyPaint to OpenGL, our team saw this as a great opportunity to eliminate software shading altogether. Release 18 will utilize the Mesa open-source library to deliver an OpenGL-based fallback that utilizes the CPU. This will offer users without adequate graphics cards or drivers the opportunity to experience the outstanding quality that OpenGL offers, and streamline our future efforts in viewport development.
Also, after careful review and discussions with many BodyPaint 3D users, we’ve decided to remove the Raybrush feature from Release 18. This feature was incredibly innovative for its time, but is no longer compatible with our modern rendering pipeline and is no longer necessary thanks to technology enhancements. We're confident Raybrush will be fully replaced by BodyPaint’s new OpenGL workflow, which will offer an outstanding interactive preview of reflectance, bump, transparency, alpha and more.
The next thing we’ll be tackling with BodyPaint 3D is new algorithms and workflows to make UV mapping a faster and more intuitive process. As we continue to enhance both the modeling and UV toolsets, we’ll begin to merge their functionality.
I’m excited about BodyPaint 3D’s next brush strokes, and I hope you are too. As always we’re working hard to get new and improved workflows into your hands as quickly as possible, but want to ensure that we maintain the level of quality and ease-of-use you expect within Cinema 4D.