SilhouetteFX Releases Version 5
Silhouette partner Perry Kivolowitz received an Academy Award for Scientific and Technical Achievement in 1996 for the co-invention of shape-driven warping and morphing. Sixteen years later Silhouette introduces a re-imagining of shape-based warping. Extremely fast, the Silhouette Morph node is capable of producing film resolution warps in a few milliseconds (in its draft mode). Performance remains high even as warps become more complex. On a shape by shape basis, warps can be exact (where controlled pixels hit their marks precisely) or may be of looser precision (shapes become permeable). The Silhouette warper provides control over image folding, a feature overlooked in many warping systems.
Importantly, the Silhouette Warper accepts overlapping shapes. Combined with Silhouette’s new Inverse Kinematics capability (see below), support of overlapping shapes makes warping of armatures, maquettes and other articulated objects such as people straightforward.
The company has signed a licensing agreement with Imagineer Systems permitting the integration of the planar tracking technology from Imagineer’s mocha Pro™ into Silhouette V5. Silhouette V5 will continue to offer the company’s own point and planar trackers in addition to the mocha tracker. With the inclusion of mocha’s excellent planar tracker, Silhouette now provides artists a variety of different tracking technologies to complete the most demanding shots.
Silhouette’s feature set has been augmented with the addition of an innovative approach to Inverse Kinematics. 3D modeling systems have long enjoyed the benefit of IK for animating articulated objects such as people, animals and creatures in general. Silhouette V5 adapts the layer system already familiar to Silhouette users to dynamically generate “bone” structures for articulated shape transformation. When the IK feature is enabled, dragging a shape such as a fingertip has the potential to transform an entire arm. Since so much of roto work is on articulated objects, Silhouette’s IK feature can be a big time saver.
In addition to these major advances, Silhouette V5 adds numerous features and changes such as automatic stereo alignment, depth channel support, local disk caching for speedy playback, filled shapes, object searching, source transformations, an improved and more accurate planar tracker, and the ability to rotate the viewer for upside down and sideways shots