Paolo Ciccone- author of Reality and founder of Pret-a-3D- chats with Renderosity Magazine

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Have you been interested in Reality 4.2.1, but haven't had a chance to learn more about it? Well, you're in luck because I chatted with the founder, Paolo Ciccone about Reality, which is released.... TODAY!

Can you tell me a bit more about this, "Pret-a-3D announces Reality 4.2, the latest update to the Reality plugin for DAZ Studio and Poser."

We are actually in the process of releasing Reality 4.2.1, which will be released Monday the 25th. Reality 4.2.1 brings a lot of improvements to our rendering solution. The focus of this release was on improving usability, so we have looked at the UI and simplified several things. We have removed the need to specify a scene file name for Lux, for example, and several terms have been changed to being closer to real-world terms instead of using technical jargon. So for example, the Glass material uses now a "Tint" texture instead of the technically correct, but a bit obscure, "Transmission."

We looked at all aspects of the rendering process and made it as easy and as fun as possible. We work hard to make Reality the easiest and most accurate rendering system for DAZ Studio and Poser. The material editor that we have is orders of magnitude simpler than what is built inside Studio or Poser. With the Reality Material Editor mere mortals can customize their materials with Reality. It's all about giving people the power to express themselves artistically.

Please tell me about the new features and improvements to Reality.

In addition to the changes outlined above, in Reality 4.2.0, we added support for Poser's dynamic hair, which is great not only for hair but also for things like fur. We also added support for Poser 11. We also have startup scenes for both Poser and Studio. Load one of our pre-made scenes and you will have lighting and cameras ready for a great portrait.

Other changes include presets for Pauline, improvements of the Metal material, and many User Interface enhancements. We also resolved a large number of issues, like camera synchronization with Studio, and other bugs that were found by both our testers and the community of Reality artists. This is a release that aimed at vastly improving the user experience and the stability of the program.

What is Reality 4.2?

Reality is a rendering solution for Poser and DAZ Studio that brings the highest level of realism while making it easier to render photo-realistic images than with any other alternative. Reality pioneered PBR, Physically-Based Rendering, for DAZ Studio in 2010.

With Reality, you can easily convert any material to a real-world type. For example, you can set a material to be of type Glass, or Water, or Skin, or Metal. All those types are built-in and they are easy to customize. For example, the Glass material gives you the option to use standard glass or the frosted variant. It's a just a click away.

Metal gives you presets for Gold, Silver, Copper and more. Again, it's just one click. To make Metal shiny you change the Polish parameter. Just like in real life. Reality is short on technical jargon and its interface mimics real life as much as possible.

Reality converts the materials from DAZ Studio or Poser and it gives the artist an easy-to-use material editor to take advantage of materials and lights that are modeled after the real-world versions. 3D program traditionally don't simulate lights accurately and that is a big drawback when 3D artists want to create realistic scenes.

Reality uses the LuxRender renderer to render the scene with exceptional physical accuracy. All this is achieved with a User Interface that avoids counter-intuitive systems like nodes. There are no nodes in Reality. The Reality material editor uses materials that are both simpler to use and more realistic than what is built inside Poser or Studio.

Thanks to the LuxRender technology, when you render with Reality you can adjust the lights while the image renders, you can adjust the exposure of the scene--how dark or bright it is--on the fly. You can also stop and resume the render at any time, and when you render with Reality you are not blocking Poser or Studio. You can start a render and go back and tweak your scene, while the finished image renders in the background.

How many versions are there of this program? What are the differences of each program?

There are two editions: one for DAZ Studio and one for Poser. They are distinct programs because Poser and Studio are very different. While both programs allow the creation of plugins, they use very different technologies, and so we have to write two different implementations of the plugin. Reality presents the same User Interface, regardless of what edition you use, and it's available for both Mac OS and Windows.

So, Reality gives you great freedom of choice. Whether you use Poser or DAZ Studio, Mac OS or Windows, there is a version that fits your preferences. The UI is exactly the same, regardless of what you choose. And for artists who use both Poser and Studio, they experience a consistent User Interface for their renders.

Reality is available at Renderosity. Click here to find out more!

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