PreonLab 2.3 released
It has been a great year for PreonLab – what better way to celebrate than by releasing a new version? PreonLab 2.3 marks the final update before the next major version and brings more powerful post-processing, improved usability and many refinements, addressing some of your most pressing feedback. Some of the most prominent new features are:
- Sensor mesh:: Measure fluid attributes on arbitrarily shaped surfaces.
- Improved usability: A redesigned message area and cleaned-up on-screen-display.
- Better rain source: Rain drops with randomly varying diameters.
The sensor plane was always one of the most important post-processing tools in PreonLab. The new sensor mesh object brings all familiar capabilities of sensor planes to arbitrarily shaped surfaces. This means that you can now measure and plot fluid attributes like flow rate, velocity and pressure on custom mesh surfaces, but also on built-in shapes like spheres, cylinders and capsules. The image below shows a simple setup with a rotating fluid source and a cylindrical sensor mesh plotting flow rates.
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When starting PreonLab 2.3 for the first time, you will immediately notice the redesigned message area below the graphics window. The new design allows for more space for your content, while at the same time improving the overview over messages, warnings and errors. Other usability improvements include a progress bar for scene loading, a cleaned-up on-screen-display and a reorganized import for geometries.
Better rain source
PreonLab’s particle-based approach to fluid simulation is a great fit for raining simulations. However in the past, creating the actual rain could be a problem. So far, the rain source in PreonLab always emitted one particle per rain drop, which only created drops of realistic size for a very specific solver resolution. With the new rain source, you can specify the drop size directly as a source parameter. Given sufficient fluid resolution, the new rain source will generate rain drops that consist of multiple particles. In order to mimic real rain even more accurately, we also added the possibility to generate drops with randomly varying diameters between user-specified bounds.
PreonLab 2.3 also introduces some more subtle changes to our internal data structures. Opening a previously simulated scene and performing post-processing like rendering now requires significantly less memory than before and in many cases also runs faster. This is important if you want to view and post-process the output generated by a powerful workstation on a more modest system. Furthermore, we implemented some measures to bring the performance of PreonLab closer to the performance of the Preon command line interface (CLI), reducing the overhead of the graphical user interface.
Another optimization included in PreonLab 2.3 concerns the size of .prscene files. For setups with many keyframes, you can expect reduced disk space consumption and faster scene loading.