Eovia has started shipping Carrara 4, the latest version of its 3D animation, modeling, and rendering software, in Standard and Professional versions.
New to Version 4 are an updated Scene Wizard, faster OpenGL functionality, and the ability to apply shaders to a group. The upgrade also features new terrain and sky modules, shader transforms, new texture and lighting controls, raytraced depth of field, and improvements to rendering, motion paths, IK, and timeline support.
Carrara 4 Pro exceeds the Standard version in its capabilities and power, adding vector and 3D motion blur, network rendering, and Amapi Designer 7 and Eovia's TransPoser and CADstyle plug-ins. The Pro version also extends the user's file import options to include BVH, COB, FBX, and LWO files.
Carrara 4 Pro is priced at $579 for the full version and $189 as an upgrade from Versions 2 and 3, whereas Carrara 4 Standard costs $279 for the full version and $119 as an upgrade.
Maker of conceptual design software, @Last Software has unveiled Version 4.0 of its SketchUp 3D design tool for previsualization in the entertainment, film, and gaming industries. Designed for quick and easy sketching, modification, and presentation of 3D models, SketchUp has been upgraded with a Ruby scripting interface; Face Me, which makes 2D components look 3D; Texture Tweaker, enabling textures and photos to be stretched and manipulated across a continuous surface; Follow Me, for pushing and pulling a surface along a path; and The Intersector, aiding users in intersecting complex shapes with a single mouse click. SketchUp 4.0 is available now for $495 for a new license and $95 for an upgrade.
The company also has debuted a previsualization extension for SketchUp 4.0. SketchUp 4 Film & Stage, now available for Windows and Mac OS X platforms, assists SketchUp users in storyboarding, scene design, layout, and logistic planning. SketchUp 4 Film & Stage includes a library of pre-drawn film-specific components, as well as a Camera Tool with which to control aspect ratios and camera position. Users also have the option of exporting AVI and QuickTime files for use with such professional video applications as Apple's Final Cut Pro.
@Last Software; www.sketchup.com
Maxon Computer has introduced the ninth generation of its modeling and animation tool, Cinema 4D.
As well as housing more than 100 new functions and features, Cinema 4D Release 9 offers a re-engineered modeling core, designed to ease and speed the process. The modeling core gains support for N-Gons, with which users can create models based on polygons having virtually any number of points. At the same time, Cinema 4D's modeling tool set adds improved polygon knitting and stitching and a new brush tool for painting point deformations on a model.
Cinema 4D's user interface is made more intuitive by HeadsUpDisplay (HUD). By bringing the necessary tools within the editor, HUD provides access to configurable information and functions, and enables users to take advantage of a full-screen editor. For character animators, the upgrade offers new Clothilde functions that ease the process of adding clothing to characters and simulating cloth. Hard-IK sports more kinematics for character motion, whereas Motion Blending enables motions to be blended into each other. And the cloth dynamics engine, made specifically for simulating cloth, ensures fast collision detection.
Release 9 boasts Sub-Polygon Displacement, which generates more details during rendering and lessens both memory consumption and render times. Cinema 4D also now supports the direct export of multipass rendering data to Discreet's Combustion and Apple's Final Cut Pro, as well as Adobe's After Effects.
Maxon Computer; www.maxon.net
Celco has announced the availability of Version 2.0 of its FilmOut Pro advanced film recording software.
The newly upgraded film recorder and image control software is designed for use with the latest generation of the company's Fury and FireStorm digital motion picture film recorders.
Sporting a new user interface, FilmOut Pro 2.0 provides users with various image processing and viewing tools with which to define aspect ratios and formats, crop and resize images, and more.
Version 2.0 further offers an automated color-management utility, an interactive A/B image-comparison slider, image-sharpening algorithms, degrain functions, and the ability to display image histograms by color channel. FilmOut Pro is bundled with FinalView, an image-viewing software solution that provides users with a final look at the image, in its exact size and position on film, before it is sent to the recorder.