Issue: Volume 34 Issue 4: (April 2011)

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SOFTWARE

VFX
Free Effects


CoreMelt introduces CoreMeltFree, a free collection of 33 visual effects plug-ins based on its CoreMelt Complete V2 bundle of GPU-accelerated plug-ins for faster rendering, increased productivity, and streamlined workflow. CoreMeltFree includes an assortment of visual effects plug-ins—ranging from soft organic glows and blurs to advanced color-correction tools and instant photo montages, to audio reactive animations—from each of the eight products in CoreMelt Complete V2. CoreMelt’s software plug-ins are designed for motion graphics artists and editors working in Adobe After Effects and Apple’s Final Cut Pro, Final Cut Express, and Motion. CoreMeltFree is now available for free download from the CoreMelt Web site.

CoreMelt; www.coremelt.com



3D Animation
Getting Started


Smith Micro Software’s Productivity and Graphics Group has released Poser Debut for 3D art and animation. Poser Debut provides easy-to-use 3D scene creation tools, step-by-step project guide tutorial videos, and more than 70 fully rigged, ready-to-pose characters with a variety of clothing, props, cameras, and lights able to be dropped into any scene. Poser Debut is designed to help users quickly produce entire scenes and pose 3D characters on the virtual stage. Users simply click and drag to pose figures joint by joint or to move lights and cameras in real time, as well as drag and drop any item in the library’s display directly into the scene. Its FireFly Rendering Engine transforms the 3D scene into a full-color photorealistic or cartoon-style image or animation. Now available, Poser Debut is priced at $50.

Smith Micro Software;www.smithmicro.com

Rendering
That’s Final


Cebas Visual Technology announces FinalRender 3.5 and 3.5 SE Service Pack 1 (SP1), its rendering systems for Autodesk 3ds Max and 3ds Max Design. Both designed to deliver power, functionality, and rendering speed, FinalRender 3.5 SE SP1 is well suited to production houses and advanced users, and FinalRender 3.5 SP1 is targeted at mainstream users. SP1 improves program stability, workflow, and network rendering. The latest updates include enhancements to the FinalRender Scanline core renderer, Harmonics GI, ThinkingParticles, layer and light materials, light sources, proxy objects, architecture material, alpha channel, and anaglyph stereo and stereo camera elements. FinalRender 3.5 and 3.5 SE SP1, for use with 32-bit and 64-bit versions of 3ds Max and 3ds Max Design 2008 through 2011, are now available as free downloads to registered customers.

Cebas Visual Technology; www.cebas.com

Sculpting
Free Trial


Pixologic has introduced ZBrush 4 Trial, which provides access to all the features and functionality of the full commercial version of ZBrush 4. ZBrush 2D/3D digital sculpting software is employed in film, game, concept design, toy and collectible, and scientific illustration projects. Users of the Trial edition gain 30 days of use, which can be spread over a period of 45 calendar days. ZBrush 4 Trial is accompanied by Getting Started with ZBrush, a 52-page digital guide offering ZBrush concepts, techniques, and key features. The ZBrush tool set includes: Shadow Box, Clip Brushes, SubTools, MatchMaker Brush, Spotlight, Timeline, Best Preview Render (BPR), 3D Shadows, Ambient Occlusion (AO), Subsurface Scattering (SSS), Multiple SubTool Transparency, and 3D Fibers. ZBrush 4 Trial is free, whereas ZBrush 4 is priced at $699.

Pixologic; www.pixologic.com

Multimedia Platform
Going Simian

 
Simian has upgraded its Web-based multimedia platform for building, managing, presenting, and analyzing a variety of creative deliverables for use in advertising, film, television, music, and interactive media projects. In addition to a revamped design and streamlined functionality, Simian Version 2.0 offers feature-rich project workspaces, enhanced analytics, social syndication, metadata tagging, Web-site integration, and custom presentations. Simian Projects features a microsite builder with predesigned themes, as well as role-based log-ins and secure link sharing for collaborating on video, images, audio, documents, and rich media. Simian Reels boasts an expanded interface, simplified tools, and an analytics tracking system. Simian Media Library includes a customizable asset manager for cataloging digital assets. Version 2.0 also features media file search and retrieval, technical metadata importation and display, video transcoding, and support for social sites, such as Facebook and Twitter.

Simian; www.gosimian.com

Hardware

Graphics procesors
Quadro on the Go

Nvidia has unveiled a new line of Quadro professional graphics solutions for mobile workstations employed by animators, film and video editors, industrial designers, and engineers. The new Quadro graphics processing units (GPUs) leverage the Nvidia Fermi architecture, combining fast visualization and high-performance computing; Nvidia Optimus technology, which automatically powers the GPU only when needed and can drive up to four displays simultaneously; massively parallel processing horsepower; and twice the number of CUDA cores and twice the graphics memory compared to previous generations. The new product line includes the ultra-high-end Quadro 5010M, high-end Quadro 4000M and Quadro 3000M, and mid-range Quadro 2000M and Quadro 1000M. The Nvidia Quadro 5010M delivers Error Correction Code (ECC), 64-bit double precision capabilities, and 4gb of fast GDDR5 memory for work on even the largest projects. Other features include the Nvidia CUDA parallel computing architecture, Nvidia 3D Vision Pro, Nvidia Scalable Geometry Engine, and Nvidia GPU Tessellation Engine technologies, as well as support for OpenGL 4.1, Shader Model 5.0, and DirectX 11.

Nvidia; www.nvidia.com/quadromobile

Graphics Cards
Edge Overlap


Matrox Graphics announced multi-projector edge overlap support with the 4.00.02 display driver for Matrox M-Series graphics cards operating under Microsoft Windows 7. The new Matrox PowerDesk Edge Overlap feature enables M-Series users to adjust the number of overlapping pixels between blending-enabled projectors to create a seamless, unified image. With edge overlap natively supported at the GPU level and no scaling required, M-Series cards can be combined with edge blending-enabled projectors to drive seamless digital content on up to eight projectors in a range of configurations for digital signage, presentation, boardroom, and classroom applications. Matrox Edge Overlap on M-Series graphics cards allows users to combine a standard PC with cost-effective projectors to create a seamless, multi-projector solution. The new feature is now available for download from the Matrox drivers Web page.

Matrox Graphics; www.matrox.com/edge_overlap

Video
Portable Recorder


AJA Video Systems is now shipping Ki Pro Mini, a smaller, lighter version of its portable tapeless recorder that captures images to the Apple ProRes 422 codec directly from camera. Able to mount easily to a range of digital cameras and accessories, Ki Pro Mini can capture high-quality, 10-bit 4:2:2 files that are immediately ready for editing. Ki Pro Mini bridges production and post, effectively eliminating log and capture, and also supports SDI and HDMI cameras. Additional features include: 10-bit, full-raster recording to Apple ProRes 422 SD and HD formats, recording of SD/HD files from digital video cameras to Compact Flash cards, professional video connectivity through SD/HD-SDI and HDMI I/O, and aircraft-grade aluminum construction. Optional Ki Pro Mini Mounting Plates and an optional Mini Stand are also available. Ki Pro Mini is priced at $1995.

AJA Video Systems; www.aja.com, www.ajavideo.com

Displays
HD Desktop


NEC Display Solutions of America introduces the 23-inch MultiSync EA232WMi display. A 16:9 model designed for engineering, CAD, and other professional applications, the new MultiSync EA232WMi maintains an IPS panel for superior color, viewing angles, and image quality, in addition to featuring energy-efficient LED-backlit, ambient light sensor, and ECO ModeT technologies. The MultiSync EA232WMi offers 1920x1080 full-HD resolution, a 25,000:1 dynamic contrast ratio, an integrated four-port USB 2.0 hub, and DisplayPort, DVI-I, and VGA connectivity. Available now, the MultiSync EA232WMi is priced at $299 with a three-year limited parts and labor warranty.

NEC Display Solutions of America; www.necdisplay.com



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