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PRESS RELEASES

Dec 15, 2017
The Making of 'The Ningyo,' How Two VFX Artists Created an Award-winning Short Sci-fi/ Fantasy Film in Their Living Room
Filmmakers Miguel Ortega and Tran Ma Spent Three Years Making Their Crowdfunded Indie Short; Realized with Support from Chaos Group’s Partners in Art Program

LOS ANGELES, Calif. – December 14, 2017 – Indie filmmakers are frequently forced to use anything and everything they can get their hands on in order to realize their vision, but artist couple Miguel Ortega and Tran Ma have taken that concept further than most. Relying on VFX skills the duo earned through years of working on big budget Hollywood films, the pair turned their home into a movie set. Three years later, the result is The Ningyo, an award-winning short film that has attracted the attention of some of Hollywood’s biggest players. 

Set in 1911, The Ningyo follows a professor who specializes in “cryptozoology,” the search for mythological creatures. The title stems from a Japanese myth about a fish-like creature known as the ningyo that can curse a person with immortality. When a map leading to one is discovered, it sets off a globe-spanning hunt that takes our protagonist from his university office to a secret cryptozoo and the bottom of the sea.

The 27-minute film may take audiences on an incredible voyage, but behind-the-scenes the production was surprisingly humble. Where practical photography was possible, they used it. Everything else was created in 3D using industry-standard software like Maya, Nuke and V-Ray.

The Ningyo began in 2013 as a Kickstarter campaign seeking $50,000, and thanks to the donations of 1,025 contributors, the project went on to far surpass its goal and receive over $80,000. One of the largest contributors was Chaos Group, which supported the project as part of its “Partners in Art” program, an initiative designed to help independent filmmakers by providing financial backing, software licenses and custom tools.

“When Miguel showed me what they were working on, I knew we had to help,” said Lon Grohs, Chief Commercial Officer at Chaos Group. “Talent and technology are breaking down barriers, allowing artists to create blockbuster-quality productions at home. Miguel and Tran’s work is living proof.”

To create The Ningyo, Ortega and Ma turned their living room into the primary sound stage, while their bedroom doubled as a Victorian-style college professor’s office. Even the stairway played a role, transforming into a cavern’s sloping entrance. Each set consisted of physical objects paired with black screens rather than green, in order to help establish the Lovecraftian tone while honoring the look and feel of films like The Godfather, which is famous for using darkness to help create atmosphere. Once the sets were ready, the 3D part of the environments were lit in the Academy Award-winning rendering software V-Ray, using up to 80 CG stand-ins for the characters.

“We started by getting the environments to look good in CG first, so the lighting was already perfect when the actor hit the set,” recalled Ortega. “If you think about it, it's kind of crazy to light a guy in front of a green screen first, and then make all of the environment work for a person that's only taking up 10-percent of the screen. So we did it in reverse using V-Ray, resulting in a seamless blend of practical and digital.”

Once each scene was filmed, Ortega and Ma would break down the set and begin creating the next. The process could take months, as each new scene needed to first be populated with real-world objects that fit with the film’s turn-of-the-century look and feel. Some were created by altering modern objects, while others were vintage items purchased online. Once filming was complete, Ortega and Ma began digitally enhancing the scenes, which included the creation of several studio-quality creatures that were meticulously sculpted in 3D before being photorealistically rendered with V-Ray.

“By jumping back and forth between camera trickery and then just straight up visual effects, people are kind of thrown off balance, they’re not sure,” said Ortega. “They can't say ‘oh, that's a CG shot’ or ‘oh that's a practical shot’ because it's jumping back and forth.” 

Ortega and Ma came to the project with more than 20 years of VFX experience between them, having worked on blockbuster films such as Marvel’s Thor, Transformers 3, The Mist and more. The Ningyo, however, challenged them to use tools and processes they had never needed to learn until now. The two had worked with V-Ray and Nuke on their previous short, the award-winning The Green Ruby Pumpkin, but with nearly 90-percent of the CG coming from just the two of them, the process was at times slow going. 

“It has been a learning experience,” said Ortega. “For a lot of this stuff, we just had no idea how to do it. We didn't know how to do cloth simulations, we didn't know how to do fur, we didn't know how to do volumetrics, and this is the stuff that we learned as went. We would render it and it would be like ‘yeah, that looks good, now we need to do 80 digital doubles for the lecture hall. Can V-Ray handle that?’ Bam, it handled it. We kept throwing more and more at V-Ray, and it was great.” 

Once the short film – subtitled “Episode One” – was complete, Ortega and Ma began to submit their project to film festivals in March 2017. Initially, the film met with resistance, as some festival directors didn’t believe The Ningyo should qualify as an indie film because the visual effects appeared to be “too good” to originate outside of the Hollywood studio system, while others didn’t realize they were effects at all.

“What’s funny about it is we didn’t win one single visual effects award until we won at FilmQuest, because a lot of people thought that most of the stuff in the film wasn’t digital, or they thought we spent millions of dollars,” said Ortega. “The irony is that we didn’t have anything. There’s one shot where the actor shuts the camera off himself, because we didn’t have a cinematographer that day. We’re making this at home — you can’t get more indie than that. We just happen to know visual effects.” 

The Ningyo has since gone on to earn over 30 festival nominations, including winning Best Fantastic Short at FilmQuest US, Best Sci-Fi Fantasy Short Film and Best Fantasy Film at the GenreBlast Film Festival, Best Cinematography at the HollyShorts Film Festival, the Audience Award at the Something Wicked Film Festival and more. 

Following the success of The Ningyo on the festival circuit, Ortega and Ma signed a deal with Creative Artists Agency (CAA), one of the largest entertainment agencies in the world. Soon after, the team confirmed that they had struck a deal with an as yet unnamed studio to adapt the short into a major motion picture. Details on The Ningyo’s next act will be announced in the near future. 

The Ningyo (Episode One) is available to stream online.

About V-Ray
From architecture and design to visual effects in film and television, V-Ray is the most widely used rendering solution in the world. Whether used to showcase products at IKEA or bring the “Game of Thrones” dragons to life, V-Ray has helped artists and designers visualize their best work for over 20 years, pushing the boundaries of imagery, animation, and virtual reality. In 2017, V-Ray was honored with an Academy Award for helping to facilitate the “widespread adoption of fully ray-traced rendering [in] motion pictures.”

About Chaos Group
Chaos Group is a worldwide leader in computer graphics technology, helping artists and designers create photorealistic imagery and animation for design, television and feature films. Chaos Group specializes in physically-based rendering and simulation software used daily by top design studios, architectural firms, advertising agencies and visual effects companies around the globe. Today, the company's research and development in cloud rendering, material scanning and virtual reality is shaping the future of creative storytelling and digital design. Founded in 1997, Chaos Group is privately owned with offices in Sofia, Los Angeles, Seoul and Tokyo. For more information, visit: chaosgroup.com.

Dec 15, 2017
Neoscape Visualizes Revitalized Shanghai Waterfront in Futuristic 4K Video
Stereoscopic 3D Film Blends V-Ray Visual Effects with Live Action to Highlight John Portman & Associates’ Design for Yangpu Ba Dai Tou

LOS ANGELES, Calif. – December 14, 2017 – Visualizing a major development is a lot of work, long before the client requests an 8-minute video. Add in 4K animation, live footage, and stereoscopic 3D and you better call the best. To help everything run smoothly on their latest film, Neoscape put their trust in V-Ray, turning a massive project into a futuristic CGI visit to Yangpu Ba Dai Tou, John Portman & Associates’ latest plan for the Shanghai riverfront.

The Yangpu Ba Dai Tou plan seeks to turn an aging industrial area into a “vital and vibrant residential district.” Mixed-use construction will combine offices, hotels, retail spaces, parks and repurposed historical structures, creating an environment that is both modern and friendly to pedestrians. To convey this idea, architects at John Portman & Associates needed a powerful visual that would walk people through key site components like the “Pearl Necklace” (a pedestrian circle) and the “Dragon Spine” (the retail and project connector). When a video highlighting the development became necessary, they turned to Neoscape, one of the world’s leading visualization studios.

“When we put together the creative treatment, we knew that we didn’t want it to be a simple programmatic study,” said Carlos Cristerna, Principal and Director of Visualization at Neoscape. “We wanted to create a more interesting visual style without overcomplicating the production, so we devised a more abstract approach to the story.”

Since the Dragon Spine was already part of the architect’s design, Neoscape used it as a narrative device, taking the audience through Shanghai, up the river, and back to the site. This potent cultural symbol allowed the firm to reference both the history of Yangpu, and the original point of entry into Asia. Colorful graphics inspired by long exposures, Chinese paintings, and films like Tron provided the final touch, helping Neoscape incorporate the traditional dragon from Chinese New Year, with a few modern flourishes.

While 3D animation played an essential role in the production, Neoscape also saw an opportunity to combine their visualizations with live video, shot on location in Shanghai. The brief called for multiple aspect ratios, meaning the final video would live both online (16:9) and out in the world (19:4), mainly on a 55’ x 11’ projection screen in Yangpu Ba Dai Tou’s marketing center.

“We had to be very deliberate in our selection of camera moves and framing, so whatever we shot would work for multiple ratios,” noted Cristerna. “You’ll notice that in the video, most of the cameras pan from bottom to top, top to bottom, or use a subtle move that reveals the subject. This was done so no matter what ratio you are viewing it on, you’ll be able to see the totality of the shot, as it was intended. It was kind of like a moving Ken Burns approach.”

The next challenge was producing a version with stereoscopic depth. A common way to produce 3D movies, stereoscopy creates the illusion of depth in images. A useful trick, but also a time-consuming process that doubles the rendering load for visualization projects, as it creates a need for an image for both the right and left eyes. With 4K visual effects already in production and only 20 weeks to deliver an 8-minute film, twice the render load meant that Neoscape would have to put their rendering software into overdrive. The team put their faith in V-Ray for 3ds Max, the AEC industry’s most popular renderer, as it could be trusted for both quality and speed.

“At one point on the project, we calculated that we would need 17.5 days of non-stop rendering for the 3D work alone; one computer would have taken 1,010 days, and this was when we only had 12 days left!” said Cristerna. “Luckily, because of V-Ray, our average times were very good, and most frames rendered a lot faster than we anticipated.”

Excluding the neon sequence, 32,500 frames were rendered by Neoscape. The 4K production, however, continued to loom over the project. Because client reviews were conducted live via video conference between Boston, Atlanta and Shanghai (including two translators), video reviews couldn’t be done in 4K or stereo 3D, resulting in Neoscape’s big rush at the end of the production.

“One of our biggest challenges was that you can’t see the film in stereo while you’re working on it, so we needed to adjust our pipeline to review those shots,” added Cristerna. “After the stereo reviews, we realized that we had to re-render a few shots with wider interocular distances to increase the depth, so we could use them to greater effect as a device that impacts viewers’ emotions. We adjusted about half of our cameras that day.”

The hard work paid off. Instead of a linear walkthrough, Neoscape has created an abstract visual story. Viewers teleport around the development, taking in new sights that have been augmented by timelapses, animations and video footage that depicts residents and visitors engaging with all aspects of the area - commercial, residential and public. As cars cruise and buildings shimmer, that “vital and vibrant” look its creators hoped for quickly takes form.

Today, the film is running high up in the air in Yangpu Ba Dai Tou’s marketing center in 4K stereoscopic 3D. Ironically, Cristerna is the only Neoscape team member that’s seen it on location.

“When we wrapped, I hand delivered the film to Jack Portman in person, and since his client was there, we had a private screening. After the lights came on, one thing was clear: Jack was happy, his client was happy, and so were we. It was a good feeling.”

See the full film now.

About Chaos Group
Chaos Group is a worldwide leader in computer graphics technology, helping artists and designers create photorealistic imagery and animation for architecture, design, and visual effects. Chaos Group’s award-winning physically-based rendering and simulation software is used daily by top design studios, architectural firms, advertising agencies, and visual effects companies around the globe. Today, the company's research and development in cloud rendering, material scanning, and virtual reality is shaping the future of creative storytelling and digital design. Founded in 1997, Chaos Group is privately owned with offices in Sofia, Los Angeles, Seoul, and Tokyo. For more information, visit: chaosgroup.com.

About Neoscape
Established in 1995 as a visualization firm, Neoscape has evolved into a full service creative consultancy with studios in Boston, New York, and San Francisco. Over the years, our team of passionate and curious problem solvers has created integrated visual campaigns for some of the biggest companies in commercial and residential real estate and design. Our objective is to create immersive storytelling experiences for our clients that spark understanding, kindle vision, and ignite buy-in.

Nov 15, 2017
Chaos Group Releases V-Ray 3.6 for SketchUp
Streamlined UI and Faster GPU Rendering in Latest Update to Most Popular Professional Renderer for SketchUp

Streamlined UI and Faster GPU Rendering in Latest Update to Most Popular Professional Renderer for SketchUp

LOS ANGELES, Calif., Nov. 15, 2017 -- Today, Chaos Group released V-Ray 3.6 for SketchUp, the latest update to their professional rendering plugin. Built on Chaos Group’s industry-leading technology, V-Ray 3.6 for SketchUp simplifies the design process for architects and designers, offering photorealistic visuals and easy-to-use controls from concept to construction. This latest update brings a streamlined interface, enhanced GPU rendering and support for SketchUp 2018.

Powerful GPU & new hybrid rendering
The speed improvements long associated with the GPU are now even easier to access, including added support for aerial perspective, displacement, subsurface scattering, and matte/shadows. The addition of a new GPU + CPU hybrid rendering mode will also maximize all existing hardware for NVIDIA CUDA users, ensuring that designers can use any and all computing power, whenever they need it.

Viewport rendering (VPR)
Users are no longer limited to the frame buffer, as they can now render live directly in the SketchUp viewport. With new Viewport rendering, users can easily select and render multiple regions at once, quickly blending between V-Ray render and the SketchUp model using their +/- hotkeys to control opacity.

User interface
Building on V-Ray 3 for SketchUp’s massive UI overhaul, the new, smarter UI is now cleaner and easier to navigate, with better support for 4K monitors. Other UI updates include:

File manager – All scene files can now be managed in one place using the first file manager for SketchUp. Users can set file paths, create scene archives, and keep track of assets like textures, IES files, and proxy objects, bringing a convenient organization tool to their design and visualization process.

New V-Ray color picker – Simple, yet powerful, the new color picker allows users to select color values in Screen sRGB (0–255) or Rendering (0.0–1.0) color space, enabling even more accurate color selections.

Better viewport materials – V-Ray materials will now display more accurately in the SketchUp viewport, so users know what they’ll get when it’s time to render. 

Additional new tools and improvements include:

Adaptive Lights – For scenes with many lights, the new Adaptive Lights mode can help cut render times by up to 700%.

Sunlight studies – Create sunlight & shadow studies with SketchUp sun animation.

Fog – Add depth to scenes with realistic 3D fog and light scattering effects.

V-Ray Scene import – Import and render V-Ray scenes (.vrscene) from other applications such as 3ds Max, Rhino, and Revit.

Animated proxy objects – Easily add pre-animated 3D objects like walking people and trees blowing in the wind as animated V-Ray proxies.

Proxy previews – Control the look of V-Ray proxies in the SketchUp viewport. Select from Whole mesh, Bounding box, Point (Origin), and a new low poly Proxy preview mode.

New texture maps – Fine-tune the look of a scene with new gradient, color temperature and procedural noise texture maps.

2D Displacement – Quickly add surface detail without extra modeling using optimized 2D displacement. Perfect for architectural materials like brick and stone.

Improved denoising – V-Ray Denoiser is now easier to set up and you can refine settings even after you render.

VRscans materials – Now compatible with real world scanned materials from VRscans, a subscription service that provides access to a library of over 500 photorealistic, drag-and-drop materials. 

Learn more at the V-Ray for SketchUp product page.

Pricing/Availability

V-Ray 3.6 for SketchUp is a free update for all V-Ray 3.x for SketchUp customers. Login at chaosgroup.com to download. For a free trial or pricing information, please visit the V-Ray for SketchUp product page. V-Ray 3.6 for SketchUp is available for Windows & Mac OS, and is compatible with SketchUp versions 8–2018.

About Chaos Group

Chaos Group is a worldwide leader in computer graphics technology, helping artists and designers create photorealistic imagery and animation for design, television and feature films. Chaos Group specializes in physically-based rendering and simulation software used daily by top design studios, architectural firms, advertising agencies and visual effects companies around the globe. Today, the company's research and development in cloud rendering, material scanning and virtual reality is shaping the future of creative storytelling and digital design. Founded in 1997, Chaos Group is privately owned with offices in Sofia, Los Angeles, Seoul and Tokyo. For more information, visit: chaosgroup.com.

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Press Contacts:
Chaos Group

David Tracy, david.tracy@chaosgroup.com
www.chaosgroup.com

Liaison Inc.
Colin McLaughlin, (503) 796-9822, colin@liaisonpr.com
www.liaisonpr.com

Sep 12, 2017
Chaos Group Brings GPU+CPU Hybrid Rendering to V-Ray 3.6 for Maya
New Technology Breaks Hardware Barrier, Ensuring Fast, Consistent Rendering; Support for Maya 2018

New Technology Breaks Hardware Barrier, Ensuring Fast, Consistent Rendering; Support for Maya 2018

LOS ANGELES, Calif. – September 12, 2017 – Today, Chaos Group released V-Ray 3.6 for Maya, a major update to its Academy Award-winning production renderer. Used on television and film projects like Guardians of the Galaxy 2, Spider-Man: Homecoming, and Stranger Things, this update introduces a new hybrid rendering system that maximizes GPUs and CPUs on high-end VFX productions.  

“High-performance CPUs and GPUs can be limiting if they don’t work together,” said Vlado Koylavoz, Chaos Group co-founder. “With V-Ray Hybrid, artists can maximize their GPUs and CPUs in studio or in the cloud, putting their entire machine to use, so everything you pay for is always working to your advantage.”

V-Ray’s new hybrid rendering technology adds CPU support to its NVIDIA CUDA-powered GPU renderer. Now, with V-Ray Hybrid artists will have greater flexibility to render a scene using GPUs, CPUs or a combination of both. The rendered images will be identical, regardless of hardware. This allows artists to use any and all computing power, from high-performance GPU workstations to CPU render nodes.

For more information on V-Ray Hybrid, please visit the Chaos Group Labs blog.

Other Features Include:

Maya 2018 compatibility – Support for the recent updates to Autodesk Maya.
  
Full Light Select Render Element – Render individual lights or groups of lights as separate render elements, with full support for global illumination, reflections and refractions for accurate light mixing in post.
 
Cryptomatte – Automatically generate ID mattes with support for transparency, depth of field and motion blur. This will speed up workflows for compositors working in Fusion or Nuke.
 
NVIDIA NVLink – Supports shared GPU memory across NVLink compatible graphics cards.
 
MDL materials – NVIDIA’s universal material format is now supported in V-Ray for Maya, allowing designers to apply MDL materials authored in programs like Substance Designer to their assets and scenes.
 
Viewport 2.0 improvements – V-Ray lights can now illuminate objects in Viewport 2.0, making light setup much easier. Direct support for environmental reflections and V-Ray materials have also been added. 

To see the new features in action, please visit: chaosgroup.com/vray/maya#new.

Pricing/Availability
V-Ray 3.6 for Maya is a free update for all V-Ray 3.x customers. Login at chaosgroup.com to download. For full pricing information, please visit the V-Ray for Maya product page.
 
About Chaos Group
Chaos Group is a worldwide leader in computer graphics technology, helping artists and designers create photorealistic imagery and animation for design, television and feature films. Chaos Group specializes in physically-based rendering and simulation software used daily by top design studios, architectural firms, advertising agencies and visual effects companies around the globe. Today, the company's research and development in cloud rendering, material scanning and virtual reality is shaping the future of creative storytelling and digital design. Founded in 1997, Chaos Group is privately owned with offices in Sofia, Los Angeles, Baltimore, Seoul and Tokyo. For more information, visit: chaosgroup.com.

######

Press Contacts:
Chaos Group

David Tracy, david.tracy@chaosgroup.com
www.chaosgroup.com

Liaison Inc.
Colin McLaughlin, (503) 796-9822, colin@liaisonpr.com
www.liaisonpr.com

Aug 30, 2017
Chaos Group Acquires Render Legion and Corona Renderer
Market Leading Architectural Visualization Rendering Companies Join Forces; Joint Development Already in Process

Market Leading Architectural Visualization Rendering Companies Join Forces; Joint Development Already in Process

LOS ANGELES, Calif. — July 28, 2017 — Today, Chaos Group, a world leader in computer graphics technology, announced the acquisition of Prague-based Render Legion, creator of the fast-growing Corona Renderer. With this acquisition, combined with its leading renderer V-Ray, Chaos Group now strengthens its position as the top provider of professional rendering software for the architectural visualization market.

Known for its ease of use, the Corona Renderer has become a popular choice for architectural visualization, building a loyal user base in just a few years. The Render Legion team, including its founders and developers, will join Chaos Group as they continue to develop Corona using additional support and resources provided through the deal.

“Our mission has always been to help all artists and designers visualize anything they can imagine,” said Peter Mitev, CEO of Chaos Group. “This is something we have in common with the Render Legion team. Now that we can share ideas and resources, we'll be able to address the needs of this growing market and develop the future of rendering faster than we ever could before.”

Chaos Group’s Academy Award-winning renderer, V-Ray will continue to be a core component of the company’s portfolio. Both V-Ray and Corona will benefit from joint collaborations, bringing complementary features and optimizations to each product.

“We were looking for a strategic partner who could help us grow and shared the same vision. Chaos Group was able to offer us important knowledge, resources and expertise that will help us achieve our goals,” said Ondřej Karlik, Co-founder of Render Legion. “We believe that Corona and our other projects will be further developed with the greatest care and intention.”

The Render Legion acquisition is Chaos Group’s largest investment to date. It is the third investment in a visualization company in the last two years, including interactive presentation platform, CL3VER and virtual reality pioneer, Nurulize. Expected to reach $112 billion in 2019, the computer graphics industry, fueled by a rise in the demand for 3D visuals, has presented a prime opportunity for companies who make the creation of photorealistic imagery more accessible. As the world’s leading rendering and visualization company, Chaos Group is now perfectly positioned to address the wider market demand in the coming years.

About Chaos Group

Chaos Group is a worldwide leader in computer graphics technology, helping artists and designers create photorealistic imagery and animation for design, television and feature films. Chaos Group specializes in physically-based rendering and simulation software used daily by top design studios, architectural firms, advertising agencies and visual effects companies around the globe. Today, the company's research and development in cloud rendering, material scanning and virtual reality is shaping the future of creative storytelling and digital design. Founded in 1997, Chaos Group is privately owned with offices in Sofia, Los Angeles, Baltimore, Seoul and Tokyo. For more information, visit: chaosgroup.com.

About Render Legion

Render Legion is a dynamically growing, innovative company specialising in development of powerful, intuitive and easy-to-use graphics software. Founded in 2014 in Prague, Render Legion makes the Corona Renderer, an architectural and design visualization tool used by top studios around the world. For more information, visit: corona-renderer.com.

Jun 26, 2017
Chaos Group Introduces GPU+CPU Hybrid Rendering in V-Ray 3.6 for 3ds Max
Major Update Includes Improved Compositing Output and Support for 3ds Max 2018

Major Update Includes Improved Compositing Output and Support for 3ds Max 2018

LOS ANGELES, Calif. – June 20, 2017 – Today, Chaos Group releases V-Ray 3.6 for 3ds Max, an update to its leading renderer that introduces new hybrid rendering technology, improved compositing output, and compatibility with Autodesk 3ds Max 2018.

V-Ray’s new hybrid rendering technology adds CPU support to its NVIDIA CUDA-powered GPU renderer. Now, with V-Ray Hybrid artists will have greater flexibility to render a scene using GPUs, CPUs or a combination of both. The rendered images will be identical, regardless of hardware. This allows artists to use any and all hardware, from high-powered GPU workstations to CPU render nodes.

“GPU rendering is on the rise, and V-Ray Hybrid solves two important issues that could make it even more popular,” said Vlado Koylazov, Chaos Group co-founder. “It lets artists use all of their existing hardware, and it gives them a fallback solution if they run into GPU RAM limitations. This makes GPU rendering a more practical solution for a much wider audience.”

For more information on V-Ray Hybrid, please visit the Chaos Group Labs blog.

Other Features Include:

Full Light Select Render Element – Render individual lights or groups of lights as separate render elements, with full support for global illumination, reflections and refractions for accurate light mixing in post.

Cryptomatte – Automatically generate ID mattes with support for transparency, depth of field and motion blur. This will speed up workflows for compositors working in NUKE or Fusion.

NVIDIA NVLink – Supports shared GPU memory across NVLink compatible graphics cards.

Pricing/Availability
V-Ray 3.6 for 3ds Max is a free update for all V-Ray 3.x customers. Login at chaosgroup.com to download. For full pricing information, please visit the V-Ray for 3ds Max product page.

About Chaos Group

Chaos Group is a worldwide leader in computer graphics technology, helping artists and designers create photorealistic imagery and animation for design, television and feature films. Chaos Group specializes in physically-based rendering and simulation software used daily by top design studios, architectural firms, advertising agencies and visual effects companies around the globe. Today, the company's research and development in cloud rendering, material scanning and virtual reality is shaping the future of creative storytelling and digital design. Founded in 1997, Chaos Group is privately owned with offices in Sofia, Los Angeles, Baltimore, Seoul and Tokyo. For more information, visit: chaosgroup.com.

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Press Contacts:

Chaos Group
David Tracy, david.tracy@chaosgroup.com
www.chaosgroup.com

Liaison Inc.
Colin McLaughlin, (503) 796-9822, colin@liaisonpr.com
www.liaisonpr.com

May 30, 2017
Chaos Group Releases V-Ray Software Development Kit to Add Photorealistic Rendering to Any Application
Academy-Award Winning Ray Tracing Technology Now Available to Third-Party Developers

Academy-Award Winning Ray Tracing Technology Now Available to Third-Party Developers

SOFIA, Bulgaria – May 30, 2017 – Today, Chaos Group releases V-Ray Application SDK, a complete software development kit with high-level API that allows developers to integrate the full power of V-Ray’s photorealistic rendering technology into any application. The V-Ray AppSDK is specifically designed to be a fast and flexible solution for companies looking to add ray traced rendering capabilities to their software.

“We designed and built the V-Ray Application SDK to help companies get the full benefits of photorealistic ray tracing without having to write, or maintain, their own rendering engine,” said Iavor Trifonov, Chaos Group VP of Cloud and Integrations. “Now, companies can rely on V-Ray’s expert development and continuous improvements, while focusing their efforts on their own applications.”

From architecture and design to advertising and visual effects, V-Ray is the most widely used rendering solution in the world. This versatility makes the V-Ray AppSDK suitable for a wide range of design and visualization applications, such as:

  • 3D, CAD and DCC applications
  • AEC, BIM and architectural design
  • Home, kitchen and bath design
  • Interior design
  • Automotive design and car configurators
  • Aerospace & nautical design
  • Product design and virtual prototyping
  • Jewelry design
  • Retail, apparel and virtual showrooms
  • Scientific, medical and forensic visualization
  • Visual effects and pipeline customization
  • Virtual reality and augmented reality

The V-Ray AppSDK simplifies and accelerates the integration process, and offers full programmatic control over V-Ray’s extensive feature set. With support for a wide range of popular API bindings, such as Python, C#.NET, Javascript (Node.js) and C++, software developers are able to program in their preferred language. In addition, the software development kit also includes documentation, learning resources, code samples, test scenes, and ready-to-use functionality presets.

Availability
V-Ray AppSDK Developer licenses are available upon request. For more information, visit: chaosgroup.com/vray/application-sdk.

About Chaos Group
Chaos Group is a worldwide leader in computer graphics technology, helping artists and designers create photorealistic imagery and animation for design, television and feature films. Chaos Group specializes in physically based rendering and simulation software used daily by top design studios, architectural firms, advertising agencies and visual effects companies around the globe. Today, the company's research and development in cloud rendering, material scanning and virtual reality is shaping the future of creative storytelling and digital design. Founded in 1997, Chaos Group is privately owned with offices in Sofia, Los Angeles, Baltimore, Seoul and Tokyo. For more information, visit: chaosgroup.com.

######

Press Contacts:

Chaos Group
David Tracy, david.tracy@chaosgroup.com
www.chaosgroup.com

Liaison Inc.
Colin McLaughlin, (503) 796-9822, colin@liaisonpr.com
www.liaisonpr.com

May 3, 2017
Chaos Group to Showcase Advances in V-Ray GPU Rendering at GPU Technology Conference
Presentation Topics Include: Breaking the GPU Memory Barrier, High-End Production Features, and a Tech Preview of a New Hybrid Renderer

Presentation Topics Include: Breaking the GPU Memory Barrier, High-End Production Features, and a Tech Preview of a New Hybrid Renderer

LOS ANGELES, Calif. – May 3, 2017 – Chaos Group, a worldwide leader in computer graphics, will present several major advances to V-Ray’s GPU rendering capabilities at the GPU Technology Conference (GTC) 2017, in San Jose, California. Chaos Group lead GPU rendering developer Blagovest Taskov, will present his talk “Next Generation GPU Rendering: High-end Production Features on GPU” on Tuesday, May 9 at 10:30 a.m.

GTC attracts developers, researchers, and technologists from some of the top companies, universities, research firms and government agencies who are invested in solving key production challenges with NVIDIA GPUs. During Chaos Group’s talk, Taskov will cover key issues that have affected the automotive, design, architecture and entertainment industries, as well as the solutions the company has pioneered to solve them.

Topics include:

Breaking the GPU rendering memory barrier
Memory limitations inherent to GPU computing have always been a fundamental challenge when rendering on GPUs. With recent advances to V-Ray GPU, Chaos Group has reduced overall memory usage by up to 70%, and up to 700% through On-demand Mip-mapping, an intelligent way to automatically resize textures. Since textures consume the most memory, solutions like these will radically increase the size and complexity of the scenes artists and designers can render.

In addition to memory-efficient software developments, V-Ray is now the first commercial renderer to support NVIDIA’s powerful, high-bandwidth interconnect NVLink, which allows video memory to be shared between graphics cards. NVLink is now available in the latest NVIDIA Quadro GP100 and NVIDIA Tesla P100 cards. Taskov will explain the process that bridged V-Ray with NVLink, resulting in a connection that expands the GPU memory threshold even further.

V-Ray adds GPU–CPU hybrid rendering capabilities
Taskov will also share an exclusive technology preview demonstrating V-Ray’s GPU renderer running on CPU. For the first time, V-Ray will compute the same CUDA code on both the GPU and CPU, with the exact same results, allowing users to maximize their hardware, while paving the way for wider adoption of GPU rendering.

Further, V-Ray GPU R&D will be demonstrated, including high-end production features like Adaptive Lights, a fast new lighting algorithm that significantly reduces render times; Stochastic Flakes, which help automotive design teams create car paints with procedural glitter and sparkle effects; and new support for NVIDIA’s MDL materials, which is quickly gaining traction as an industry-standard material format.

For more information, visit: chaosgroup.com.

About Chaos Group
Chaos Group is a worldwide leader in computer graphics technology, helping artists and designers create photoreal imagery and animation for design, television, and feature films. Chaos Group specializes in physically-based rendering and simulation software used daily by top design studios, architectural firms, advertising agencies, and visual effects companies around the globe. Today, the company's research and development in cloud rendering, material scanning, and virtual reality is shaping the future of creative storytelling and digital design. Founded in 1997, Chaos Group is privately owned with offices in Sofia, Los Angeles, Baltimore, Seoul, and Tokyo. For more information, visit: chaosgroup.com.

######

Press Contacts:
Chaos Group

David Tracy, david.tracy@chaosgroup.com
www.chaosgroup.com

Liaison Inc.
Colin McLaughlin, (503) 796-9822, colin@liaisonpr.com
www.liaisonpr.com

Apr 5, 2017
Chaos Group Releases V-Ray 3 for Rhino
New Easy to Use, Powerful Rendering Software for Architecture and Product Design; Now VR-Ready

New Easy to Use, Powerful Rendering Software for Architecture and Product Design; Now VR-Ready

LOS ANGELES, Calif. – April 5, 2017 – Today, Chaos Group released V-Ray 3 for Rhino, a powerful, professional rendering plugin that connects seamlessly with McNeel’s versatile 3D modeling application. Designed for architects and product designers, V-Ray 3 for Rhino is fast, interactive and highly optimized to run on CPU or GPU hardware. Highlights of the new version include a material library of over 500 drag-and-drop materials and an intuitive interface that has been streamlined to speed up any design workflow.

“Designers want to work as fluidly as possible, without any roadblocks. They want to test ideas, swap materials and render concepts without getting hung up on the technical details,” said Corey Rubadue, VP of AEC and Design at Chaos Group. “Not only did we make V-Ray 3 for Rhino as fast as possible, we streamlined the entire user experience to let designers focus on what matters most to them – design.”

With V-Ray 3 for Rhino, users now have a complete range of photorealistic rendering tools in their design arsenal. This includes hundreds of ready-made, physical materials, a variety of realistic light types and photographic camera controls. The new VR camera is capable of rendering high-quality images that can be readily viewed on popular virtual reality headsets such as Google Cardboard, Gear VR, Oculus Rift and HTC Vive.

The new and easy-to-use V-Ray Swarm distributed rendering system has also been added to dramatically speed up rendering of high-resolution images by using the power of multiple computers. V-Ray 3 for Rhino offers designers the creative freedom and versatility they need to render anything they can imagine.

“The new V-Ray for Rhino takes me beyond the limits of my CAD platform and enables new levels of productivity and design possibilities,” said Dustin Brown, Senior Industrial Design Lead at Microsoft and owner of speckofdustin.com. “Studying materials with V-Ray is a joy. The addition of fur and the new material editor opens up even more possibilities.”

New tools and feature highlights include:

Virtual Reality – Render virtual reality content for the most popular VR headsets (Samsung Gear VR, Google Cardboard, HTC Vive and Oculus Rift).

V-Ray Swarm – Introducing a powerful, scalable distributed rendering system that's simple and fast.

Section cuts – Easily create quick cutaways and cross sections with the V-Ray Clipper.

Aerial perspective – Quickly add realistic atmospheric depth and haze.

Denoiser – Automatically remove noise and cut render times by up to 50%.

Grass & fur – Create realistic grass, fabrics and carpet with V-Ray Fur.

Proxy objects – Add highly detailed and complex objects like grass, trees, and cars with memory-efficient proxy models.

Render elements – Render as separate layers for more artistic control in your image-editing software.

Frame buffer – Track your render history and fine-tune colors, exposure, and more directly in the V-Ray Frame Buffer.

V-Ray Scene export – Share complete, ready-to-render V-Ray 3 for Rhino files with any V-Ray 3.4 or higher application.

HDR Light Studio support – Set up great-looking studio lighting quickly. V-Ray 3 for Rhino seamlessly supports HDR Light Studio — Lightmap’s dedicated lighting application.

Grasshopper support – Render generative design models with the new V-Ray to Grasshopper add-in.

Learn more at the V-Ray 3 for Rhino product page.

Pricing/Availability

V-Ray 3 for Rhino is available now for Windows. Workstation licenses are $695 and are fully compatible with Rhino 5. Upgrades are also available; please contact your local reseller for more information.

About Chaos Group

Chaos Group is a worldwide leader in computer graphics technology, helping artists and designers create photoreal imagery and animation for design, television and feature films. Chaos Group specializes in physically-based rendering and simulation software used daily by top design studios, architectural firms, advertising agencies and visual effects companies around the globe. Today, the company's research and development in cloud rendering, material scanning and virtual reality is shaping the future of creative storytelling and digital design. Founded in 1997, Chaos Group is privately owned with offices in Sofia, Los Angeles, Baltimore, Seoul and Tokyo. For more information, visit: chaosgroup.com.

######

Press Contacts:

Chaos Group

David Tracy, david.tracy@chaosgroup.com

www.chaosgroup.com

Liaison Inc.

Colin McLaughlin, (503) 796-9822, colin@liaisonpr.com

www.liaisonpr.com

Mar 28, 2017
Chaos Group Releases V-Ray 3.5 for Maya
Fast Adaptive Lights and Major GPU Rendering Improvements Now Available in Latest Update

Fast Adaptive Lights and Major GPU Rendering Improvements Now Available in Latest Update

LOS ANGELES, Calif. – March 28, 2017 – Today, Chaos Group released V-Ray 3.5 for Maya, a major update to its Academy Award-winning CPU and GPU production renderer. Used on recent television and film projects including The Fate of the Furious, Beauty and the Beast, and Stranger Things, this update brings faster rendering, more responsive look development and added realism to high-end VFX and animation projects. 

"We are constantly working with studios to address their daily production challenges, as well as researching and developing new ideas," said Vlado Koylazov, Co-founder and CTO at Chaos Group. "V-Ray 3.5 is the result of our continued efforts to help artists and to advance rendering technology at the same time."

New additions include:

Faster rendering with Adaptive Lights
V-Ray 3.5 introduces Adaptive Lights, a fast new lighting algorithm that speeds up rendering in scenes with many lights. With Adaptive Lights, V-Ray determines which light sources are most important, so ray tracing calculations are focused and more precise. When tested on multiple CPU and GPU scenes, render times were typically two to seven times faster. 

“At Digital Domain, we used Adaptive Lights extensively on The Fate of the Furious. It allowed us to render highly complex environments with thousands of lights in a fraction of the time compared to what other renderers could offer. We saw 4X speedups per frame, which significantly helped our render throughput on the show,” said Carlos Cidrais, Lighting Lead at Digital Domain. “Chaos Group was extremely supportive, responding to our requests and fixing bugs in just a few days. V-Ray 3.5 for Maya has broadened the horizons of what we can deliver to our clients.”

Interactive look development in V-Ray IPR
Look development is quicker and more responsive in V-Ray 3.5 for Maya. The improved V-Ray IPR starts instantly, updates faster and uses less memory. Changes to materials in the Hypershade Material Viewer now update instantly as well. 

New V-Ray Frame Buffer tools make rendering with V-Ray IPR even faster. The Render Mask: Isolate select mode focuses rendering on a specific object without rendering the entire scene, and a new Set Focus Point option allows the camera’s focal point to be set interactively, simply by clicking on an object.

Improved shading and reflections
For more accurate reflections and realistic skin, V-Ray 3.5 for Maya adds support for the alSurface material. Developed by Anders Langlands, the alSurface shader includes layered subsurface scattering and glossy Fresnel reflections. This makes it a popular choice for rendering photorealistic skin.

“Our specialty is our ability to bring creatures to life. With V-Ray’s help, we’ve been able to design and render creatures like the Demogorgon for the Netflix series, Stranger Things,” said Aaron Sims, owner of Aaron Sims Creative. “The new alSurface shader and interactive look development tools are a perfect fit for creature work. We’re looking forward to using them on our next production.”

Additional features and improvements:

Maya 2017 support

•    Support for XGen Interactive Groomable Splines
•    Support for AOV setups in new Render Setup templates

Resumable rendering

•    Stop your render at any point and continue where you left off

GPU rendering improvements

•    On-demand Mip-mapping – Fit larger, more detailed scenes into memory with automatic texture sizing and loading

•    Matte Shadow catcher – Composite 3D scenes with realistic shadows onto background images

•    Improved glossy materials – Cleaner renders of glossy materials

•    Low thread priority – Continue working while rendering, now possible on a single GPU

•    Directional lights – Add realistic area lights with directional controls

•    Stochastic Flakes – Create car paints, snow and sand with procedural glitter and sparkle effects

•    Clipper – Create cross sections using a clipping plane

•    Aerial Perspective – Add atmospheric depth and haze

•    Cached irradiance maps – Pre-calculate global illumination using CPU and render with GPU

•    Lens distortion – Add realistic barrel or pincushion lens distortion

•    Interactive lens effects – GPU-accelerated bloom and glare effects

For more information, visit: https://www.chaosgroup.com/vray/maya.

Pricing and Availability
V-Ray 3.5 for Maya is a free update for all V-Ray 3.x customers. Login at chaosgroup.com to download. This version also marks the debut of online licensing for V-Ray for Maya users, who can now choose this option instead of the traditional dongle. A full-featured 30-day trial is also available.

About Chaos Group
Chaos Group is a worldwide leader in computer graphics technology, helping artists and designers create photoreal imagery and animation for design, television, and feature films. Chaos Group specializes in physically-based rendering and simulation software used daily by top design studios, architectural firms, advertising agencies, and visual effects companies around the globe. Today, the company's research and development in cloud rendering, material scanning, and virtual reality is shaping the future of creative storytelling and digital design. Founded in 1997, Chaos Group is privately owned with offices in Sofia, Los Angeles, Baltimore, Seoul, and Tokyo. For more information, visit: chaosgroup.com.

######

Press Contacts:

Chaos Group
David Tracy, david.tracy@chaosgroup.com
www.chaosgroup.com

Liaison Inc.
Colin McLaughlin, (503) 796-9822, colin@liaisonpr.com
www.liaisonpr.com

Mar 10, 2017
Chaos Group Releases All-in-one Fluid Dynamics Plugin Phoenix FD 3 for Autodesk Maya
Fire, Smoke, Liquid and Ocean Simulations Now Possible Directly in Maya; FLIP Solver Tops New Feature Set

Fire, Smoke, Liquid and Ocean Simulations Now Possible Directly in Maya; FLIP Solver Tops New Feature Set

LOS ANGELES, Calif. — March 8, 2017 — Today, Chaos Group releases Phoenix FD 3 for Maya, a major update to its all-in-one fluid dynamics plugin for Autodesk Maya. Phoenix FD supports a wide range of fluid simulations including smoke, fire, water and oceans, making it a popular choice for fast-paced television productions such as Arrow, Once Upon a Time and The Man in the High Castle. With a new FLIP liquid solver, plus a new fire and smoke solver, Phoenix FD 3 for Maya delivers realistic visual effects in shorter time frames.

Phoenix FD 3 for Maya’s quick presets and intuitive controls now make it faster and easier for artists to create any type of fluid simulation. Phoenix FD works seamlessly in Maya and renders with V-Ray, Chaos Group’s Academy Award-winning rendering solution.

“Phoenix FD lets us simulate fire and smoke effects quickly for projects with short deadlines,” said Saker Klippsten, CTO at Zoic Studios. “Artists save valuable time by iterating looks without leaving Maya.”

Highlights of Phoenix FD 3 for Maya include:

•    FLIP solver – Fast, realistic liquid solver.

•    New fire & smoke solver – Create realistic smoke and fire with super-fine details.

•    Quick presets – New toolbar with presets for fire, smoke and liquid simulations.

•    Ocean simulations – Create ocean surfaces that never repeat using procedural ocean displacement. Preview and render the ocean surface without simulating cache files.

•    Wave force – Transition from a procedural ocean surface to detailed wave simulations.

•    Force controls – Art direct and control simulations with forces like wind, mesh attraction and more.

•    Path follow – Create simulations that follow a path along a spline.

•    Interactive simulations – Fine-tune simulations interactively in the viewport with Phoenix FD’s GPU-accelerated preview.

•    Refine simulations – Increase simulation resolution and add detail without changing overall shape or behavior.

•    Simulation retiming – Speed up or slow down simulation playback. Perfect for slow motion effects.

•    Cascade simulations – Create a series of simulations that trigger and interact with each other.

•    Emission sources – Use a wide range of customizable emission sources, including animated meshes, texture maps and particles, to drive complex simulations.

•    Fast volume rendering – Optimized volume rendering with accurate lighting and global illumination.

•    Compatibility – Supports industry-standard tools and formats like Alembic and OpenVDB.

•    Simulation licenses – Use Phoenix FD simulation licenses to submit jobs over the network to Deadline and Backburner.

For more information, visit: https://www.chaosgroup.com/phoenix-fd/maya.

Pricing & Availability
Phoenix FD 3 is available now for Autodesk Maya and is a free upgrade for all Phoenix FD 2.x for Maya customers. A Phoenix FD 3 for Maya Workstation license is $830 and includes one floating user license and one floating simulation license. Additional simulation licenses are available for $210. Contact sales@chaosgroup.com for volume discounts.

About Chaos Group
Chaos Group is a worldwide leader in computer graphics technology, helping artists and designers create photoreal imagery and animation for design, television, and feature films. Chaos Group specializes in physically based rendering and simulation software used daily by top design studios, architectural firms, advertising agencies, and visual effects companies around the globe. Today, the company's research and development in cloud rendering, material scanning, and virtual reality is shaping the future of creative storytelling and digital design. Founded in 1997, Chaos Group is privately owned with offices in Sofia, Los Angeles, Baltimore, Seoul, and Tokyo. For more information, visit: chaosgroup.com.

######
Press Contacts:

Chaos Group
David Tracy, david.tracy@chaosgroup.com
www.chaosgroup.com

Liaison Inc.
Colin McLaughlin, (503) 796-9822, colin@liaisonpr.com
www.liaisonpr.com

Mar 8, 2017
Chaos Group Releases V-Ray 3 for SketchUp
New Easy to Use, Professional Rendering Software for Architects and Designers; Now VR-Ready

New Easy to Use, Professional Rendering Software for Architects and Designers; Now VR-Ready

LOS ANGELES, Calif. — March 8, 2017 —Today, Chaos Group released V-Ray 3 for SketchUp, a photorealistic rendering plugin that is fast and easy to use. Built for architects and designers, the intuitive new interface lets users create great-looking renders quickly, with no training required. V-Ray 3 for SketchUp is interactive and significantly faster, taking full advantage of CPU or GPU acceleration. From quick design models to fully detailed and photorealistic scenes, V-Ray 3 is designed to be SketchUp’s most powerful rendering solution.

“Our users want as much rendering power as they can get, but in the most streamlined form possible,” said Corey Rubadue, VP of AEC and Design at Chaos Group. “V-Ray 3 for SketchUp has been rebuilt from the ground up to make the entire user experience simpler, so anyone can create professional-level renders on day one.”

V-Ray 3 for SketchUp includes a full suite of tools for lighting, materials and rendering. Now, any natural or artificial lighting scenario can be created with built-in light types, a physical sun and sky system, and HDR environments. For realistic interior scenes, these tools can be paired with V-Ray’s unique global illumination methods, resulting in the most accurate representation of light possible.

This new version also includes a drag-and-drop library of over 200 physically accurate materials, perfect for adding realism to any project. Real-world camera controls let designers work like a photographer, with settings for exposure, perspective correction and depth of field. V-Ray 3 for SketchUp includes everything users need to render anything they want.

"SketchUp users tend to have a eye for detail. They know their models in and out, and exactly what they want to convey in an illustration. So it's no surprise to us that so many of them choose V-Ray to bring their projects to life,” said Chris Keating, General Manager of Architecture and Design at Trimble. “Now, with V-Ray 3, these designers can pair SketchUp 2017's vastly improved graphics pipeline with the high-touch visualization tools they need to compose jaw-dropping illustrations faster than ever."

“Gensler has used V-Ray for years, not only for its quality and speed, but for the way it works with all our design applications,” said Scott DeWoody, Firmwide Creative Media Manager at Gensler. “With all the new features, including VR Rendering, this new version of V-Ray for SketchUp is a substantial addition to our design toolset.”

New tools and feature highlights include:


•    Virtual Reality – Render VR-ready content for the most popular virtual reality headsets (Samsung GearVR, Google Cardboard, HTC Vive and Oculus Rift).


•    V-Ray Swarm – Introducing a powerful, scalable distributed rendering system that's simple and fast.


•    Section cuts – Easily create quick cutaways and section renders with V-Ray Clipper.


•    Aerial perspective – Quickly add realistic atmospheric depth and haze.


•    Denoiser – Automatically remove noise and cut render times by up to 50%.


•    Grass – Create realistic grass, fabrics and carpet with V-Ray Fur.


•    Proxy objects – Bring more detail to your project with memory-efficient proxy models of complex objects like grass, trees, cars and more.


•    Render elements – Render as separate layers for more artistic control in your image-editing software.


•    Frame buffer – Track render history and fine-tune color, exposure, and more directly in V-Ray’s frame buffer.


•    V-Ray Scene export – Share complete, ready-to-render V-Ray 3 for SketchUp files with any V-Ray 3.4 or higher application.


Learn more at the V-Ray 3 for SketchUp product page.

Pricing/Availability
V-Ray 3 for SketchUp is available now for Windows & Mac OS. Workstation licenses are $695 and are fully compatible with V-Ray 3.0  for SketchUp version 2015, 2016 and 2017. Upgrades are also available; please contact your local reseller for more information.

About Chaos Group
Chaos Group is a worldwide leader in computer graphics technology, helping artists and designers create photoreal imagery and animation for design, television and feature films. Chaos Group specializes in physically-based rendering and simulation software used daily by top design studios, architectural firms, advertising agencies and visual effects companies around the globe. Today, the company's research and development in cloud rendering, material scanning and virtual reality is shaping the future of creative storytelling and digital design. Founded in 1997, Chaos Group is privately owned with offices in Sofia, Los Angeles, Baltimore, Seoul and Tokyo. For more information, visit: chaosgroup.com.
 
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Press Contacts:
 
Chaos Group
David Tracy, david.tracy@chaosgroup.com
www.chaosgroup.com


Liaison Inc.
Colin McLaughlin, (503) 796-9822, colin@liaisonpr.com
www.liaisonpr.com