Autodesk has debuted a feature-rich Bifrost update targeted at simplifying the creation and delivery of complex simulations and custom effects via real-time tool feedback and a host of new enhancements. New Bifrost features include virtual sliders for fluid port changes, unknown nodes to easily fix broken graphs, more expressive simulation graphs, and terminals – now out of beta.
“To meet modern production demands, today’s artists need nimble tools that help them work faster and more creatively,” shared Autodesk markgeting manager Jocelyn Moffatt. “This Bifrost update has been designed to help artists create sophisticated simulations and photoreal effects with ease.”
“These new Bifrost features are so beautiful, especially feedback port preservation. We can change the parameters of the downstream node at any time and the simulated node will not be reset, which is great!” shared Bifrost artist Bruce Lee. “The new method of initializing source attributes is so easy to use and powerful. This is the tool the artist wants.”
New Bifrost features include:
- Virtual Sliders: New virtual sliders allow fluid ports to be adjusted in real-time with dynamic constants and F-curves to be edited live. With feedback port preservation, artist simulations stay intact during graph edits, pausing, and unpausing, while the ability to edit live simulations shortens time between iterations.
- Unknown Nodes: Broken Bifrost graphs can now be fixed with unknown nodes, allowing artists to work more confidently. Users can now also merge JSON files into single large files, which facilitates faster loading in as little as two seconds. Faster loading further improves time to first pixel in the first Arnold render in a session.
- More Expressive Simulation Graphs: Artists can now use fields and arrays to directly drive simulation parameters, making simulation graphics more expressive, readable, and artistically directable.
- Aero and MPM Enhancements: Aero’s post-simulation now only requires a single connection, simplifying refinement workflows. The required data can be cached with the volume to perform a post-simulation refinement from disk, without the original simulation scene. This update has also improved MPM Cloth performance and simulation stability, as well as animation cloth and shell properties.
- Adaptive Volumes: Maya’s viewport display of adaptive volumes features significant enhancements, and volume adaptivity can now be accessed on simulation compounds to improve performance for input meshes that require conversion. Non-adaptive volumes also now use the adaptive algorithm for accelerated conversions.
- Alembic and OpenVDB Improvements: The Alembic integration now supports writing and reading for more Bifrost user data and corrects the handling of quarternions and matrices. Bugs with writing OpenVDB have also been corrected for a more robust interaction with the ecosystem of OpenVDB readers and writers, and sparse OpenVDB files can be converted to adaptive Bifrost volumes.
- Terminals: With steady improvements since the initial release, terminals are now out of beta and ready for production. Terminals now also work in loops, enabling each iteration to add geometry to a scene.
Bifrost is available for all Maya users.