We want to thank you for your feedback – it is essential for the development of PreonLab. The result of this feedback is PreonLab 1.1, which we are releasing today. Besides many usability improvements, this release also contains some brand-new features that we are excited to share with you.
With PreonLab 1.1, we’re introducing a powerful new post-processing feature: Preon Renderer. We believe that Preon Renderer will allow you to create beautiful and insightful animations in an unprecedented amount of time. We also upgraded the fluid coloring so that you can specify three colors instead of two, allowing you to render images like the one below.
Render fluid surfaces directly without meshing
For high-resolution simulations, it is not uncommon that Preon Mesher produces insanely big meshes. These mesh files consume a huge amount of memory and take forever to load from disk. This was one of the main motivations for the development of Preon Renderer, which directly visualizes particle fluids without any meshing. Unless you want to export your fluids to another program, there is no need anymore for Preon Mesher. Generally, Preon Renderer is slower than Preon Mesher for low-resolution scenes but scales very well with high particle counts and is therefore very fast for high-resolution scenes.
Render fluid surfaces colored smoothly by velocity, height, etc.
Preon Mesher does not support any coloring based on fluid attributes. This is fixed by Preon Renderer, which colors the fluid surface by the fluid color interpolated from neighboring fluid particles.
Render multiple camera perspectives in one pass
When creating video frames as a post-process, loading the simulation data from disk can take a significant amount of time. This is especially annoying if you want to create videos from multiple viewpoints, because you need to playback once for each camera. Preon Renderer allows you to render different camera perspectives in one pass, without loading frame data multiple times.
Supports transparency with an arbitrary number of layers
Preon Renderer fully supports transparency for an arbitrary number of layers and therefore allows you to view more information in a single frame.
Available in PreonLab command-line version (CLI)
You no longer need the graphical user interface to view simulations simulated using a batch script. Preon Renderer is included in the CLI version and is independent from graphic cards or drivers.
We hope that you will like Preon Renderer as much as we do. However, please note that this is only the first step we are taking into this direction – expect more on Preon Renderer in the future! We would also appreciate your feedback on this first version.
In PreonLab 1.0, the simulation domain could only be restricted to a box-shaped domain by using a sink object. With PreonLab 1.1, we have upgraded this functionality a lot. The new box and cylindral-shaped domains can be used to either delete fluid particles, to define holes in a solid geometry, or to define a region where the velocity of fluid particles is scripted. With the latter option you can realize a velocity boundary condition, e.g., to simulate the Karman vortex street shown below. Furthermore, we have added a dimensionless boundary condition which allows you to define a maximum tolerated velocity magnitude for fluid particles.
Boundary conditions and Preon Renderer are the most prominent additions to PreonLab, but we also worked on a number of smaller features, usability improvements and bugfixes. Check out the changelog for a full list of changes. To learn more about the new features, have a look at the updated manual. We hope that you will enjoy working with PreonLab 1.1 and as always, we would appreciate your feedback.