Bauhaus Software Inc. has announced the launch of its flagship product, Mirage, a unified environment for creating animated graphics and special effects. Mirage seamlessly integrates realtime video paint, animation and effects functionalities into a single product. Designed for projects of any resolution, ranging from HDTV and film to web video, Mirage provides a common sense, powerful alternative to expensive proprietary solutions and complex software workflows. Mirage is based on technology formerly distributed as NewTek's Aura Video Paint. The pre-release version of Mirage is available now to existing NewTek Aura, LightWave and Video Toaster customers. Upgrade pricing is set at $295 (for a limited time). The full product will be released to new and existing customers in October for $895, and will be available on both Windows XP/2000 and Apple Macintosh OS/X operating systems.
Mirage's digitally organic workflow pulls together divergent tools and functionalities, enabling artists to create and animate both traditional CG and natural media styles in a single digital environment. Mirage artists are free to explore entirely new ideas in 2D animation and visual effects by easily combining tools such as video paint, stop-motion, natural-media drawing tools, volumetric lights, particles, keying, color correction and point tracking within the same project. When positioned between source footage/3D packages and editing software, Mirage provides a completely new realtime approach to animated graphics and special effects.
"Mirage enables innovation and experimentation in design by providing a powerful and creative environment," explained Wanda Meloni, principal of M2 Research. "Mirage is a unique tool that allows digital artists to create completely new types of animation and effects, while quickly and easily integrating into any production pipeline."
Mirage includes a powerful integrated particle system with fully animatable parameters and 2D alpha collision detection. Also included in Mirage is a volumetric lighting system, which allows users to create and animate realistic volumetric effects quickly and easily in 2D. Mirage allows proxy loading of incoming clips, making them instantly available and maintaining the incredible speed of operation users expect.
"I've used Mirage in some of my more recent projects, and find it to be a great help," said Rob Baldwin, a Los Angeles-based freelance animator. "A lot of the things that are tricky and time consuming to do in 3D can be done quickly by painting frame sequences something that's really tough to do in other applications. Cleanup and processing of my 3D frames is fast and easy, and I find myself painting more and more textures directly in Mirage, as it supports my object's UVs and has some of the best brushes and paint styles of any application out there!"
Mirage's diverse toolset provides a strong, centralized workflow for animated graphics, 2D animation and special effects creation. Using Mirage, broadcasters benefit from the speed and ease with which motion graphics can be created, animated and composited. Cartoon and 2D animators use Mirage as a unified paint and effects solution, allowing them to sidestep traditional scan/ink/paint workflows, and move directly from digital pencil tests to editing within a single product.
Bauhaus Software (www.bauhaussoftware.com) is dedicated to providing professional digital artists with the ultimate tools for producing next-generation animated graphics and special effects. Based in San Antonio, Texas, the company's products are distributed through both direct and reseller-based sales efforts.