Autodesk 2012 Lineup Offers New Solutions
Mudbox 2012 delivers enhancements to the painting toolset, innovative new UV and topology-independent workflows, practical posing tools and improved large dataset handling.
MotionBuilder 2012 provides new in-viewport stereoscopic display and camera rig, a unified interface and solver for Autodesk HumanIK 4.5 or 2012 middleware, as well as new tools for virtual moviemaking.
Flame Premium 2012 offers a comprehensive set of effects tools for finishing stereoscopic 3-D projects, enhanced finishing workflows with CG pipelines and a range of new tools designed to make 3D compositing as fast and interactive as traditional 2D compositing.
Smoke 2012, the all-in-one creative solution for professional finishing on the Mac, contains a redesigned 3D lighting system and Flame FX, a comprehensive new set of creative and technical tools for common finishing tasks, featuring Damage, Deform, Edge Detect and Pixel Spread.
"As we move forward, we're seeing the finishing aspect of things and color grading start to combine, and relighting is that sweet spot in the middle," offers Marc Hamaker, senior manager product marketing, creative finishing. "This includes extracting point clouds from images and extracting 3-D data from flat scenes."
Live linking: Character animators can see and play with their characters in a game engine while they work in the familiar Maya software environment. What previously might have taken up to weeks before artists could validate their work now happens immediately.
Visual programming: Using a node-based visual programming environment, technical artists and directors can quickly build and edit custom interactions without coding. Live linking make it easier to debug complex animation setups, which can be edited quickly without coding. Programmers can build custom nodes that can be used by the team to achieve specific results.
Middleware integration: Programmers no longer need to worry about writing low level animation code and data translators. Project Skyline comes with an animation engine that can be integrated into the game engine with minimal effort.
Speaking of middleware, Autodesk launches an enhanced API (application programming interface) in Autodesk Beast 2012 global illumination middleware, which enables developers to integrate the eRnsT interactive lighting preview tool into custom game level editors; Autodesk HumanIK 2012 character animation middleware , which now supports the next-gen portable entertainment system (codename: NGP) from Sony Computer Ent. Inc., as well as the Apple iOS mobile platform, enabling more realistic character animation on the latest mobile gaming devices; and Autodesk Kynapse 2012 artificial intelligence middleware, focusing on improving runtime performance and making advanced features easier to use.
Bill Desowitz is senior editor of AWN & VFXWorld.