WinMac Linux NXN alienbrain VFX 2.0 is a scalable client/server system based on the asset management technology of NXN's flagship product, NXN alienbrain Studio. The VFX system is designed to provide customizable production management systems for a wide variety of workflow environments. It stores, manages, and protects all files that are generated during film production, including models, textures, storyboards, design drawings, animatics, production notes, both scanned and rendered film frames, audio takes, sound effects and music. Cost varies according to configuration.
NXN Software; www.nxn-software.com
Win Pinnacle Systems is shipping its new turnkey compositing and editing system, Liquid chrome. The system combines three Pinnacle components—Liquid editing software, the Targa 3000 compositing engine, and the K2 single-chip 3D DVE. Liquid chrome features high-quality codecs for I-frame MPEG-2 4:2:2 up to 50mb per second, uncompressed and DV25 video formats, real-time 2D and 3D DVE capability, four real-time video streams, unlimited layering, and effects processing that enables users to render complex, many-layered effects with no workflow interruption. Prices start at $14,995.
Pinnacle Systems; www.pinnaclesys.com
Mac Blackmagic Design released a public beta of the Version 4.0 software update for its DeckLink family of uncompressed Quick-Time video capture cards. DeckLink Version 4.0 adds support for RT Extreme and multichannel audio features in Apple's Final Cut Pro 4 video editing application. RT Extreme adds support for real-time effects built into Final Cut Pro 4, and increases the capability of all models of DeckLink hardware.
Blackmagic Design; www.blackmagic-design.com
Mac AJA Video Systems' Io is an uncompressed audio/video FireWire capture device for Apple's Final Cut Pro 4. Priced at $2290, Io is an 8- or 10-bit broadcast video device that enables users to connect professional-level analog or digital audio/video to an Apple PowerPC G4 or PowerBook G4 through a simple FireWire interface. Io supports 10-bit component and composite analog video, SDI digital video, multiple audio formats, including balanced and unbalanced analog, AES/EBU digital, optical ADAT, optical S/PDIF, RS-422 machine control, and genlock.
AJA Video Systems; www.aja.com
MODELING AND ANIMATION
WinMac Kaydara announced the upcoming release of MotionBuilder 5, the next generation of its real-time 3D character animation software. MotionBuilder is designed for users working in areas such as feature films, television series and commercials, games, and interactive Web 3D. According to the company, its new proprietary real-time photorealistic rendering engine and "smart" character technology (HumanIK) enable complex character set-ups and animation to be created in minutes rather than days or weeks. Another enhancement is a new timeline that enables users to edit 3D animation tracks in combination with audio, video, and constraints. Character animation upgrades include added support for quadrupeds, and finger and toe controls.
Win In cooperation with Curious Labs, publisher of the character animation and modeling program Poser, Reiss Studio released Body-Studio 2.0 for Windows, a plug-in that integrates Poser 3D character animation technology with Discreet's 3ds max modeling and animation package. The plug-in is designed to enable Poser users to render and play back Poser animations directly inside 3ds max. The cost is $179.
Reiss Studio; www.reiss-studio.com
The Liberty product line from Polhemus, maker of electromagnetic-based capture, tracking, and digitizing tools, offers updated technology and sophisticated digital signal processor (DSP) electronics. Its primary features are speed (240Hz per sensor), an intuitive user interface, scalability, and improved signal-to-noise ratios. The products employ advanced DSPs to track objects at speeds of 240 updates per second. Four sensors are available on the Liberty 240/4. The Liberty 240/8 has four additional sensors.