Spiral Graphics Genetica 2

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RECOMMENDED

New Lab-based operations unlock Genetica’s existing power.

genetica 2

For 2D illustrators and 3D modellers realistic natural textures are an essential tool of the trade and, for maximum flexibility and end quality, you really need to be able to create them yourself.

What makes Spiral Graphics’ Genetica special is that it lets you build up your textures by combining basic building blocks or “nodes”. This recipe-style approach offers huge advantages in that you can non-destructively fine-tune endless variations on a theme all of which are guaranteed to tile seamlessly. Even better, the textures are truly resolution-independent so they can be re-rendered at any size and at any level of detail. In short you can tailor a unique texture perfectly fitted to the job in hand.

The difficulty is that producing realistic end results as different as a zebra skin or a wooden crate can easily involve dozens of different interacting nodes. This has processing overheads, but far worse is the daunting complexity involved. This is the issue that Genetica 2 addresses. To begin with, the program now provides no less than 500 presets ranged into categories such as Cloth, Marble, Plant and Animal and so on. For most textures you can start with one of these presets and the job is already half done.

Even more significant is the introduction of a completely new type of master node called a “Lab”. These Labs are used for handling common high-level texturing tasks – creating starting substances, fractal noises and wood patterns and then weathering, tiling and layering the results. Unlike the basic nodes which are each controlled with a couple of settings, each Lab provides a whole host of connected parameters and is capable of producing widely ranging results. With the Layering Lab for example you can produce effects as different as peeling paint, vents and grates or fabric weaves with all necessary controls immediately to hand.

For those advanced users looking for even more power, the new Genetica 2 Pro adds an Atmosphere node for creating realistic volumetric effects such as clouds, and a new Hair node and Fibre Lab for creating materials such as fur and grass. It also provides a batch processor so that you can automatically generate new texture variations and render your textures as ready-to-use bitmap presets at various resolutions. And it also provides an option for converting any Lab node back into multiple basic nodes so providing absolute control.

It’s a useful option for experts, but for all users the real strength of Genetica 2 is the way that its new Lab-based system unlocks and unleashes the full potential of its existing texture engine.

Features
4
Ease of Use
5
Value for Money
6
Overall
5

ratings out of 6

Tom Arah

October 2005


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