Toon Boom Technologies designed and installed a new pipeline at Mercury Filmworks, one of Canada's large scale studios producing Flash style series, to increase productivity, raise the level of quality and do away with the issues common to a traditional Flash pipeline.
Christopher Harz takes a look at new innovations taking place in burgeoning 3D industries beyond entertainment.
Alias' Maya software played a central role in the development of Gollum, Shelob, the Battle of Pelennor Fields and the Witch King's death in THE LORD OF THE RINGS: THE RETURN OF THE KING. In fact, Maya has been the core 3D animation software used in all three RINGS films created by Weta Digital and distributed by New Line Cinema.
Turbo Squid, the world's largest collection of royalty-free 3D assets for sale, has formed a custom 3D modeling service, allowing clients to draw from a global pool of more than 6,300 digital artists when a job is needed. The service is designed to give Turbo Squid clients another avenue for content if they cannot fulfill their needs through the Turbo Squid library of more than 80,000 3D models, meshes, textures, audio files and mo-cap data available for download.
Softimage has launched SOFTIMAGE|BEHAVIORv.1.5 - the latest version of its cutting edge crowd effects software. This third release includes an array of customer-driven improvements as well as new and innovative features that enable users to build sophisticated behavioral simulations quickly and creatively.
Discreet announced it has significantly increased its share in the 3D animation tools market this year with expansion in core and emerging markets. Having exceeded 200,000 license sales of its 3ds max software, Discreet has forged ahead with 3ds max 6, the most recent release of its acclaimed 3D modeling, animation and rendering software.
"As a strategic partner with Discreet, SplutterFish is committed to ensuring that Brazil r/s meets the demanding standards of quality and compatibility for this latest version of 3ds max that the renderer is already known for," said SplutterFish ceo Scott Kirvan.
GenArts Inc., a leading provider of digital visual effects plug-ins for the film, broadcast and video industry, will be showcasing its upcoming release of Sapphire Plug-ins in the plug-in pavilion, booth # 617, at DV Expo West 2003, Los Angeles Convention Center, Dec. 10-12, 2003.
Visitors to the GenArts booth will be able to experience hands-on demos of the widely anticipated Sapphire Plug-ins for After Effects and compatible products, including Apple's Final Cut Pro, Discreet's combustion, and Eyeon Software's Digital Fusion, among others.
AJA Video Systems will introduce Io LD and Io LA to the U.S. at GV Expo in Washington, D.C. on Dec. 3, 2003 The two newest members of AJA's Io family, Io LD and Io LA support the highest quality 10-bit uncompressed video available - on both the digital and analog inputs and outputs. These smaller and lower cost relatives of Io are application specific: Io LD is designed to work with SDI digital systems, and Io LA is for analog component or composite systems. AJA will be located in Apple's booth # 412 at GV Expo. Io LD and Io LA will begin shipping in January 2004.
Nevercenter Ltd. Co. has released its new modeler Silo, version 1.16, which now includes support for linking to RenderMan-compliant renderers and POV-ray for direct rendering from Silo. Options include the ability to add header and footer files to the render file, and the ability to optionally include or exclude light, camera and material information. In addition, version 1.16s improvements include a more advanced universal manipulator and manipulator options, as well as some tool enhancements and workflow improvements.
Additional 1.16 updates include:
Continuing our run of excerpts from the Inspired 3D series, David Parish, in the second of a two-part article, addresses the dead give-aways between the real world and the CG world.
In addition to selling mental ray 3.2 integrated in 3ds max 6, Discreet will now offer a standalone version of the high-quality rendering solution. mental ray 3.2 can be deployed in multi-workstation and render farm configurations enabling greater return-on-investment and productivity gains for the world's largest community of 3D animators in film, games and design visualization.
Digital Element, an Oakland-based software developer and publishing firm specializing in art tools, and Digimation Inc., a leading provider of 3D models, announced the release of the Modelshop plug-in for Photoshop, which includes 50 3D models from Digimation's Model Bank Collection.
Kaydara Inc. and MAXON Computer GmbH announced full integration of Kaydara's versatile FBX 3D interchange format into the new CINEMA 4D R8.5 upgrade, MAXON's premier high-end 3D modeling and animation tool. Kaydara FBX allows for the universal interchange of 3D data between every major 3D package and a significant number of second-tier applications.
Bauhaus Software Inc. announced the immediate availability of Mirage for Mac OS X Pre-Release, the first release of its unified environment for animated graphics and special effects creation on the Mac platform. Designed for artists, Mirage integrates realtime video paint, animation and effects functionalities into a single product. Using Mirage, visual artists are free to explore entirely new creative ideas and techniques, combining tools such as animated paint, natural-media drawing tools, volumetric lights, particles, keying, color correction and pixel tracking within the same project.
The world of integrated effects creation just got faster. Shipping immediately for an upgrade price of $199, Boris FX 7 brings high performance directly into the editing environment with new OpenGL acceleration and faster renders. Editors can now experience advanced keyframe control with more than 20 new filters and paint tools for advanced masking and compositing.
Character Animation Technologies Ltd. of Dunedin, New Zealand, announced the worldwide availability of the company's first product offering, Character Animation Toolkit (CAT) Version 1.0. Designed for animators by animators, CAT is a fully integrated next-generation character animation system plug-in for Discreet's 3ds max. CAT provides production-proven technology to animation professionals in film, video, broadcast and games development, who are seeking overall speed, efficiency and flexibility in creating fully customizable rigs and animation sequences.
Nexsan Technologies, a leader in innovative storage solutions, announced that its new ATABeast is now shipping in volume and available worldwide. The ATABeast disk vault sets the bar in high-end, high capacity storage, delivering industry-leading features with unparalleled density and security. ATABeast offers a TCO that also establishes new standards of affordability.
Bionatics has announced the signing of a partnership with Discreet to bundle its EASYnat software with 3ds max 6. As part of the deal, all 3ds max 6 will be integrated with the EASYnat growth engine, shipped with a basic library of four plants. The plant library can then be increased through the Bionatics Website.
Softimage announced that it is lowering the price of SOFTIMAGE|XSI, a 3D nonlinear production environment, by as much as 50% until Dec. 22, 2003. SOFTIMAGE|3D system will be available in North America for $747.50. The other promotions include the ability to upgrade for free to the latest version of the SOFTIMAGE|XSI software when purchasing 12 months of maintenance.
Other limited-time promotions include:* SOFTIMAGE|XSI Essentials Enterprise: Now available for $3,995, reduced from $7,995
HP announced the new HP Visualization Center sv7, an affordable, high-end visualization solution designed for companies, such as large automotive and aerospace firms who need to visualize designs on auditorium-scale displays. The center will allow executive committees and engineering teams to review full-scale design concepts and digital assemblies that allow users to model and walk through the manufacturing process.