Toon Boom Tools
Toon Boom previewed Toon Boom Studio 4, designed to aid users in producing animations for video, Web sites, television, film, games, and mobile devices. Studio 4 offers support for Adobe Illustrator layers, a Vectorize Preview window, improved drawing tools, Alpha Onion Skinning, and support for the Tablet PC OS for Windows XP and Vista.
Vue 6 xStream on OS X
E-on Software has announced the availability of its Vue 6 xStream for Macintosh OS X. Vue 6 xStream offers CG professionals a tool set to integrate Autodesk Maya, NewTek LightWave, or Maxon Cinema4D projects in realistic 3D environments. Vue 6 xStream combines environment creation utilities, rendering technologies, and animation tools. It extends the feature set of Autodesk Maya, NewTek LightWave, and Maxon Cinema4D to include support for Vue’s natural environment technologies. Vue 6 xStream is designed to integrate into virtually any professional production pipeline, from architectural visualization to game, broadcast, and film. Vue 6 xStream is compatible with Mac OS X 10.4 (Universal Binary) and Widows XP and Vista (32- and 64-bit) operating systems. Vue 6 xStream retails for $895, with upgrades and educational discounts available.
E-on software; www.e-onsoftware.com
Massive Software has updated its Massive AI-driven 3D animation system to Version 3.0 with improved dynamic hair and fur, interactive viewing of subdivision surfaces, and layer simulations. Version 3.0 also gains native support for Mental Images’ Mental Ray high-end, photorealistic rendering software. Massive software aids artists in producing realistic character animation with up to hundreds of thousands of autonomous performances. Native support for Mental Ray within Massive provides customers greater options for rendering Massive scenes and enables an optimized workflow for applications and pipelines that rely on Mental Ray. Massive 3.0 is now available at a cost of $17,999 per license. Massive Jet 3.0 is available for $5,999 per license.
Massive Software; www.massivesoftware.com
Reallusion has upgraded its iClone and CrazyTalk software applications for students, directors, animators, and previsualization professionals. iClone 3.0 features an improved real-time engine and such character animation enhancements as motion path draw and follow, in-scene motion editing, and IK and FK animation. Its directing tool set adds game-style right click reticule menus, in-screen picking and editing of objects, a new multi-camera and lighting system, and multiple undo. iClone 3 visual enhancements include real reflection and refraction, facial normal mapping, and environmental sky, water, and terrain elements with character terrain following. CrazyTalk 5 offers core facial animation technology with finer facial fitting for multiple character styles, including people, animals, cartoons, and nonhuman characters. Additional features in Version 5 are Bezier curve facial fitting, multiple 3D profile options for fitting facial types, and an interface for facial emotion editing.
3D Figure Design
Poser Pro 7
E frontier has released Poser Pro 7 software, which combines Poser 7 with professional-level application integration, a 64-bit render engine, and network rendering support. For digital content production, previsualization, gaming, and movie production, Poser Pro supports the Collada exchange format and offers the ability to host Poser scenes in Autodesk 3ds Max and Maya, Maxon Cinema4D, and NewTek LightWave. The professional version also boasts increased support for Adobe Photoshop CS3 Extended, the ability to export HDR imagery, and more than 1gb of 3D content. Poser Pro 7 is scheduled to ship this fall.
Wondertouch, a developer of particle-effects creation tools, has unveiled three new libraries in its Professional Emitters software line for use with the company’s ParticleIllusion 3.0. Each library contains 30 ready-to-use, particle-based emitters that enable digital content creators to customize particle effects projects quickly and efficiently. The Wondertouch Pro Emitters collection now boasts a total of 360 ParticleIllusion 3.0 emitters, which are arranged into 12 themed libraries. The libraries encompass motion graphics, artistic backgrounds, text, abstract effects, and real-world effects, such as explosions, fire, auroras, and breaking glass. Each Professional Emitter Library contains 30 customizable emitters. The new Wondertouch Professional Emitter Libraries—Pyro 1, Pyro 2, and Hearts—can be purchased at a cost of $39 each, or together for $90. Professional Emitters Complete, a collection of all 12 libraries, is available for $329.
Digital Anarchy has released ToonIt 1.0 for Film/Video, and Primatte Chromakey 3.0 for use with Adobe Photoshop. The ToonIt for Film/Video cartooning effects package lets users to create cartoon shading and lines from video and film sources. Four filters in ToonIt speed tasks such as hand painting and rotoscoping. ToonIt is compatible with Adobe’s After Effects and Premiere Pr , as well as Apple’s Final Cut Pro and Motion. Primatte Chromakey brings film/TV chromakey to Photoshop users and preserves details, such as wisps of hair and sheer material. Version 3.0 features more automated masking tools and improved blending between subject and foreground. ToonIt for Film/Video is priced at $295, whereas Primatte Chromakey 3.0 costs $299.
E-on software, makers of Vue software for producing natural-looking 3D environments, has announced the availability of Ozone 3.0 for use with Autodesk 3ds Max and Maya, Maxon Cinema4D, NewTek LightWave, and Softimage XSI. Ozone 3.0 aids artists in creating and rendering scenes with realistic 3D clouds and spectral atmospheres. The latest version features spectral and volumetric atmosphere models based on real-world atmospheric behavior, a new spectral engine, 3D clouds with optimized volumetric cloud layers, and a library of more than 100 predefined atmospheres. Its new spectral atmosphere technology models the behavior of the Earth’s atmosphere to produce various atmospheric effects. Ozone 3.0 is compatible with Windows 2000/XP/XP64/Vista32/Vista64 and Mac OS X 10.4 (Universal Binary) operating systems. Ozone 3.0 starts at $199. An upgrade from Ozone 2 is priced at $99.
E-on software; www.e-onsoftware.com
Next Limit Upgrades
Next Limit Technologies has released Maxwell Render 1.5, which sports new matte material, an enhanced material editor, drag-and-drop functionality, and new SimuLens and Shift Lens utilities. The company also launched new sections of its Web site, including specific pages for each supported plug-in, video tutorials, and other resources. Next Limit Technologies has updated RealFlow4 Version 4.3 with several environment variables to improve and smooth the integration of RealFlow in company pipelines. An updated version of the company’s Cinema4D plug-in is now available for download and compatible with Windows and Mac platforms.
Next Limit Technologies; www.nextlimit.com,
Frantic Films Software, a division of visual effects studio Frantic Films, has launched Deadline 3.0, the latest version of the studio’s renderfarm software. Deadline 3.0 assists users in and rendering on Microsoft Windows, Linux, and Mac OS X-based renderfarms of various sizes. Reliable rendering is ensured by its “swarm” architecture, support for popular rendering packages, job scheduling options, and administrative and auditing features; integrated remote administration tools and remote error reporting; and cost-effective reliability for small, medium, and large renderfarms. Deadline is available now starting at $130 per render node for the first 10 licenses; prices drop per unit with increased volume.
Frantic Films Software;
Icarus Studios Viewer
Icarus Studios, a platform and tools provider for builders of 3D virtual worlds, MMOGs, and simulation projects, debuted a streaming motion-capture viewer. The new solution enables multiple actors, cameras, and virtual props collectively to be viewed in real time while being captured. The technology is available from Motion Analysis, a provider of motion-capture systems, as Talon Viewer. The tool will be commercially available by the end of the year.
Icarus Studios; www.icarusstudios.com
Eyeon Software has introduced Fusion64, reportedly the first 64-bit desktop compositing application on the market and the first desktop compositor in the industry to break the accessibility limit of 4gb of both virtual and physical memory. Fusion64 is designed to help Fusion artists better reap the benefits of today’s multi-core and multi-processor systems. The 64-bit version offers OFX plug-in support, a new Vector Motion Blur tool, enhanced 3D scene importing, 3D LUTs accelerated by GPUs, Python scripting, and expanded metadata handling for DPX, Cineon, and OpenEXR formats.
Eyeon Software; www.eyeonline.com
3D Systems Corporation, as part of its new Go Pro campaign, presents its Sinterstation Pro SLS and ViperT Pro SLA systems for the production of accurate engineered parts. Taking advantage of new ProScanT imaging technology, the Sinterstation Pro SLS and ViperT Pro SLA enable designers and engineers to create precise, ready-to-use parts directly from a 3D CAD model. Adhering to strict tolerances and deadlines, these systems can build parts as large as 60 inches long with fine features and crisp edges.
3D Systems; www.3dsystems.com/pro
3Dconnexion and Blender
3Dconnexion announced that its line of 3D navigation devices is supported by Blender, a free, open-source 3D content-creation software suite. Designers and animators can use 3Dconnexion’s SpaceNavigator 3D mouse with Blender for an improved design experience while animating, rendering, modeling, texturing, and creating interactive 3D applications, such as games. The SpaceNavigator 3D mouse, the latest addition to 3Dconnexion’s product family, features a controller cap that can be pulled, tilted, or twisted to simultaneously pan, zoom, and rotate 3D models. SpaceNavigator Personal Edition and SpaceNavigator Standard Edition are priced at $59 and $99, respectively.
InterSense, maker of motion-tracking technology, has released MicroTrax user-interface devices for its IS-900 inertial-ultrasonic motion-tracking system. The new MicroTrax devices offer a small head tracker that uses passive and active stereo glasses in 3D applications, a small clip-on power pack, an ergonomic handheld wireless wand for immersive-display applications, and a rechargeable docking station. Another new release, the IS-1200 VisTracker is an inertial-optical tracking system offering mobility for building wide-area tracking in industrial settings and augmented/mixed-reality applications.
SeeFile Software, a developer of Web server software for sharing media files, together with Intelligent Gadgets, demonstrated the benefits of a combined video-enabled collaborative review-and-approval system during SIGGRAPH 2007 in San Diego. The system includes SeeFile 3.0 and Intelligent Gadgets’ SyncVUEpro Skype-based media review tool loaded on an Apple Mac mini server with 1tb of hard-disk space. The combined solution enables large video files to be uploaded, downloaded, and reviewed online over the Internet. The hardware/software bundle enables a video editing facility or educational institution to create a video-sharing server for remote review. The solution is priced at $1995 and is available from SeeFile. The software-only bundle is priced at $995.
SeeFile Software; www.seefile.com
Immersion has introduced a laser scanning solution for six-degrees-of-freedom MicroScribe digitizing systems. The MicroScribe digitizer and RSI laser system quickly collects point-cloud data of 3D objects for applications such as rendering and visualization. Software transforms the point-cloud data into polygon data stored in native industry-standard file formats. The MicroScribe laser solution is designed to be lightweight and compact, measuring six inches square with a palm-sized scanner controller.