Krakatoa SR Documentation
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KRAKATOA

KRAKATOA™ is Thinkbox Software's production-proven Volumetric Particle Rendering, Manipulation and Management Toolkit.  

Krakatoa is available in several distinct flavors:

  • KRAKATOA MX for Autodesk 3ds Max.
  • KRAKATOA MY for Autodesk Maya on Microsoft Windows, Apple OSX and Linux operating systems.
  • KRAKATOA C4D for MAXON CINEMA 4D on Microsoft Windows and Apple OSX operating systems.
  • KRAKATOA SR stand-alone renderer allowing Python or C++ API connection to any host application on Microsoft Windows, Apple OSX and Linux operating systems.

KRAKATOA is CPU-based, highly optimized for 64 bit computing, heavily multi-threaded, and can be used successfully on most hardware running Windows, Linux or OSX operating systems including laptops and render nodes without dedicated high-end graphics accelerators.

KRAKATOA was specifically designed to process and render millions and even billions of particles and adapts its memory footprint to the requested rendering features. It provides a pipeline for acquiring, caching, transforming, modifying, shading and rendering vast quantities of particles at unprecedented speed to represent natural phenomena like dust, smoke, silt, ocean surface foam, plasma and even solid objects.

KRAKATOA offers both Particle and Voxel rendering modes using the same source data. It supports volumetric and additive particle shading, texturing, high-quality particle self-shadowing and shadow casting from and onto matte objects. Per-particle Scatter, Emission, Absorption and Density data channels, as well as various Light Scattering models allow deep levels of control over the final image. Motion Blur and Depth Of Field camera effects are naturally supported.

The unclamped High Dynamic Range output to OpenEXR files can also include various render passes for image post processing. KRAKATOA SR and KRAKATOA MY read DTEX maps for shadow casting and mattes, while KRAKATOA MX implements OpenEXR-based Deep Opacity Maps for shadows integration with other renderers.

KRAKATOA integrates with the native particle systems of 3ds Max and Maya, and provides data exchange capabilities for sharing particles with other 3D and simulation applications.

KRAKATOA SR offers both an easy to use Python-based interface inspired by the Renderman specification, and a powerful C++ API which can be used to connect the renderer to 3D and 2D applications like SideEffects Houdini, The Foundry's Nuke, Maxon Cinema4D and so on. The KRAKATOA MY integration with Autodesk Maya also relies on this C++ API to ensure deep and seamless integration of the renderer into the host application.

Both KRAKATOA MX and KRAKATOA MY include the ability to generate millions of particles using a particle partitioning method which overcomes memory and system limitations of the host 3D application. It also implements a Particle Repopulation algorithm to turn low-resolution particle sequences into high-volume clouds with arbitrary particle counts.

KRAKATOA originally introduced the open, compact and flexible .PRT particle data format which is supported by many 3rd party aplications. In addition, it also supports NextLimit's RealFlow particle BIN file format and a versatile and easy to use ASCII Comma Separated Values .CSV format which could be used to interact with any application that can read and write text files.

KRAKATOA has been used to generate visual effects and elements for movies like "Superman Returns", "Journey 3D", "G.I.Joe", "Twilight:New Moon", "Avatar", "Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows 2", "Transformers 3" and "The Avengers", as well as for numerous TV series, game trailers and commercials.

Click here to visit the Krakatoa Production Gallery.