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Features | v11
PD Howler 11 is here. We also call it Axehead. There was also a Summer Splash update, a Tide Pool update. and: Feeding Frenzy!
v11.1 - Summer Splash:
The first v11.0:
Howler 11 - Axehead - What is it, and why call it 'Axehead'?
Axehead as in the adage about sharpening your axe, so you can work more efficiently.
Get in, create your artwork, get out. Done.
PD Howler 11 - new features (a brief summary)Hot! Summer 2017: Splish-Splash, Summer Splash v11.1 - the update is here!
now also available as PD Artist edition (without the animation/video tools)
Discover Puppy Ray on GPU
New gradient tool
- Adjustable gradients
- New gradient types
- New contour fill
Numeric entry throughout the program
When you see a slider to set some value for a parameter, in most places you can now also set the value with a numeric text box entry next to the slider. This makes it easier to re-create a desired effect that was created with specific values. Or finely adjust a specific effect when the slider is not easily giving all fine details.
Improved image scaling sampling
Improved crop tool
Callouts and vector objects
Great for comics, illustrations with narrations and stories with 'Bang' and 'Pow' annotations. But we went beyond the text bubble. We also added a few things like stars, trees and more.
New Puppy Ray for GPU(*)
A lot of work went into making the GPU version of Puppy Ray more capable, more powerful. There are also some minor changes in the CPU version, such as multiple sky presets.
- Rewritten for higher quality rendering
- Visible Sun
- Water plane with reflections and waves
- Improved sampling for better quality far and near
- Improved global illumination
- Bounce light, like indirect lighting, bright walls contribute additional lighting to dark shady areas.
- Hardware textures.
- Bump maps for more realistic surface textures
- Refraction on water plane
The media browser is where you can manage and access many types of brushes, including internal brushes, custom brushes, custom animated(!) brushes, and a variety of particle, foliage, bristle and orbicle brushes. New features:
- Save particle media directly from the media browser
- Delete directly from the media browser
- A new floating & resizeable color picker, as seen in PD Particle 9
- Pickers remember settings between instances
Improved curve and rotoscope tools
The Curve tool continues to be a surprisingly powerful tool, with ever growing new options and features. Whether you're into still image and asset creation, or need rotoscoping across an animation, you will want to play with the Curve tool. For example, if you don't have a drawing tablet but want to simulate pressure-based changes to the brush stroke's tips at start and end of of your drawn lines, take a close look. Here's what's new:
- Transformation handles
- Free transform on currently selected control points.
- Shift-select points
- Onscreen keyframes
Many new filters, most of them with support for animation. Worley noise, for example, and be used to create stormy ocean waves, or sand dunes alike.
- Julia set rendering(*)
- Water drops
- Shape bombing
- Bilateral filter
- Make a normal map
- Worley noise
- Water caustics
- Water ripples
- Larger preview
- Water drop filter
- Improved responsiveness
- Font panel arrow key and mouse wheel navigation
- GUI color pen settings
- System look option
All new "Ground up" object oriented API
It took a while to develop this new basis. Now we can produce better dogwaffles faster. And we are sharing some of what we've learned. If you are a game developer or programmer alike, you might find these video tutorials on the new API of interest.
- Much simpler to program and much more powerful
- Vector drawing in 2D/3D
- Vector and matrices
- Gradients and convolution kernel
- Color and color matrix
- Keyframes and curves
- Noise classes
- XML parsing, properties, pattern matching and stack classes
- Obj file parsing and geometry
If you are a software developer, look for the Playlist of 40+ videos here:
New Drawing Mode in Post-FX: RGB + Alpha
This is for game developers and content creators who want to create assets with transparent background.
Click here to read more
A free game to play, for when you're tired of being creative and need a diversion
We have included the plugin version of Dan's free game.
(*) GPU only implementation. Not available on CPU only.
Do you think this is hot? Then it's time to cool off, with even more great features coming
in the free Splish-Splash Summer 2017 Update
Images and Videos
Water in Puppy Ray
Move a Curve
The Slideshow has updated images and screenshots too
RefracTest - a few test renderings focused on refraction in Puppy Ray's Water Plane (YouTube video)
A Few more undocumented features
Here are a few more recent videos:
puppy renders - animations - preview renders
What's New in Howler v11.2bThe new build RC0094 is here, still aka Feeding Frenzy!
- Fixed a bug in Puppy Ray camera motion blur. Motion blur worked for camera rotation but not movement.
- Water texture on the water plane is now motion blurred.
- PuppyRay: allow Value Noise based water instead of perlin noise based as the default water type. (which is much faster but still looks good).
- The Water plane type is now selected by a drop-down menu with 3 choices: None, Value Noise and Perlin Noise.
- Camera movement and rotation tools in Puppy Ray now compensate for world position.
- Fixed a localization bug in XML loading, and a potential buffer overrun.
- Updated all dlls to Visual Studio 2017
The free Demo version has been updated to that build.
What's New in Howler v11.2c (RC107)This is a maintenance release. Here are a few improvements:
- Global illumination in Puppy Ray is now physically plausible.
- Completed the 3D instance-based rendering api.
- Included content for the 3d api.
- included a utility for testing 3d content and rendering OBJ files.
These are the 2 videos revealing the new instance based rendering API.
The utility to render OBJ files is shown at around 8m20s in the first video.
When rendering in Puppy Ray GPU, you can see there's more of a natural matte look, with more bounce from surrounding light, particularly based on glancing angle, and less of a metallic look.
Here's a tip for Puppy Ray GPU:
Regarding anti-aliasing, some things take longer to resolve than others. Areas with large amounts of motion blur, and especially refractive water, will take longer to resolve and remove grain. Bounce light also often takes a long time to clean up, but direct light resolves quickly. The sky is largely unaffected by antialiasing, so you'll see little difference there, but it's already smooth to begin with.
More tips in newsletter #146
Notes from Dan, the developer:
The trees are really a developer feature at this time.
But still, you can imagine using them in some ways, such as rendering them to pick up as custom brush and then paint or stamp them into a scene.
Important Limitation / Caveat:
the renderer api has some limitations in what kind of OBJ files it can parse, which could keep it from being a general purpose tool for working with just any geometry at this time. Use this with caution(!), save your work before experimenting. Namely, only triangle-based geometry (3 point polygons) are supported, and there are some limits to the texturing features, such as only UV mapping for textures and not planar/cylindrical/spherical or some of the more exotic flags in the MTL specification. If surfaces have UVs, they should be completely UV mapped, and not partially (such as some polygons with, and some without)
With that in mind, if users really want to render an OBJ file, there is the "Render and OBJ" utility under menu:View>Utilities>Widgets... It is primarily intended to help developers test geometry, but it can at least render geometry.
Want to learn more about the OBJ rendering widget and using it with trees? Click here to learn more
Howler v11.3 - Summer Splash II - Look what the Tide brought in!(RC119)
Here are some new features and tweaks coming with Howler 11.3:
Layer mode preview
Check this user feedback:
LOVE LOVE LOVE the preview for the layer styles! Makes making choices SO much easier!
Tweaks to color themes
Final tweaks to the interactive gradient tool.
Here's recent feedback from a beta tester:
The interactive gradient is beyond awesome! Works wonderfully
Scripting with VB scripts
There is now a way to run VB scripts and create new scripted tools. Here's an example that draws random circles. The VB interpreter is directly accessible from the Filter menu.
Other and enhancements:
- added clarity in the plugin browser (seriously: did you know there's a plugin browser?)
Be sure to bookmark and return here: There may be more coming. We're passionate about Project Dogwaffle - It's an eternal work of love in progress.
Late Summer 2018:
Howler v11.4 - Plushy whales and snow cones(RC134) - filename of installer: Howler_11_4_RC134_SSE2.exe
exact size: 106 MB (111,690,774 bytes)
Size: 111690774 bytes (106 MiB)
- Realtime preview of clone/rubthrough sources
- Search and sort images by similarity
- Create a new paper texture for a document
- New media browsing on the sidebar - enhanced productivity by faster access to your brushes.
- Most used brush bin on the sidebar - quick access to your top 4 favorite brushes
- The histogram now lives on the sidebar
- Added a GUI class, a histogram class, the ability to access the last brush stroke, and improved error reporting for scripting with VB scripts
Most used brush bin on sidebar:
The GUI class for VB scripting: now you can make VB scripts with interfaces.
October 2018 - Still v11.4 - RC157 (October 2018)
This is a free update if you already have v11.
- Saving frame sequences in PuppyRay GPU. Each frame that is rendered can be saved to disk. If the computer crashes or you otherwise loose the sequence of rendered frames, you can recover it. They are currently saved as Jpeg, which is not ideal as it is not lossless, but it's far better than nothing.
- There's a dropmenu of useful functions next to the "S" button for jumping to the swap image. These functions are same as right-click menu on the main image preview icon in upper right corner of the sidebar.
- Polar Designer
- Also the 3D API is performance improved
- And other 3D API improvements. Example: MipMaps.
- There's a new Warps menu under Menu/filters/Transforms which includes the Polar Designer
- There's a new FlexArray class, a new Quadtree class, and a new Triangle/Barycentric class in the API, and numerous scattered speed improvements.
- fixed bug loading image sequences/seeing the first frame.
- We brought back right clicking on the preview/paper thumbnails.
- We didn't really mention "Store sequence" in our previous build. Look in Animation > Store >.... How to use it? The sequence is on disk, expected in a folder of image files in a few formats such as png or jpeg, bmp or tiff. The Stored copy is built from that sequence.