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Issue: Volume: 32 Issue: 12 (Dec. 2009)

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SOFTWARE


Plug-in

A Cartoon Look
Noise Industries, developer of visual effects tools for the postproduction and broadcast markets, has released its LiveToon plug-in from development partner DVShade. LiveToon enables editors and compositors to create and add professional-looking cartoon, graphic novel, and sketch effects to footage quickly and easily, using built-in presets. Users control various parameters, including posterization, saturation, cartoon edge lines, and screen effects ranging from dots and lines to hash and circulars for a customized, comic-book, cartoon, graphic novel, or sketch look. Dot, line, hash, and circular halftone screen effects, GPU acceleration, and high-precision rendering round out LiveToon. LiveToon is now available for $49. Users of Adobe After Effects CS3, Apple Final Cut Studio 2, and Apple Final Cut Express 4 can download a free 15-day trial version of FxFactory and test-drive hundreds of FxFactory plug-ins.
Noise Industries; www.noiseindustries.com

Character Motions

Extended Support
Mixamo has announced support for Autodesk 3ds Max software biped system control rigs. Game developers and 3D artists using 3ds Max can now animate biped characters by taking advantage of Mixamo’s online collection of customizable, motion-capture-quality character motions. Animators, game artists, and 3D professionals can browse through Mixamo’s collection of production-quality, 3D character motions developed from motion-captured data. A user selects an animation; customizes the motion using director-level, slider-based controls in real time; and uploads personal biped characters to Mixamo, which automatically retargets the motion to the character. The user then downloads the motion directly into his production pipeline using the Autodesk FBX file format. Mixamo sports an intuitive user interface, and is designed to accelerate productivity. The Mixamo online service leverages the 2010 version of the freely available Autodesk 3ds Max FBX plug-in, and supports Autodesk 3ds Max 2008 or later.
Mixamo; www.mixamo.com

HARDWARE




Input

Bamboo with Multi-Touch
Wacom has infused its new family of Bamboo tablets with Multi-Touch input technology, enabling a natural and intuitive creative experience. Users benefit from Multi-Touch finger-based input and gestures such as pan, scroll, zoom, rotate, and forward/backward. Bamboo, compatible with Windows or Mac operating systems, is designed to be easy to use, to provide new ways to interact with computer-based content, and to serve the needs of touch-centric users, such as Apple iPhone owners.

The next-generation Bamboo USB devices still deliver Wacom’s patented, pressure-sensitive, battery-free, cordless pen with a digital eraser. The Bamboo family includes five models: Bamboo Touch (touch-only), Bamboo Pen (pen-only), and Bamboo Pen and Touch, Bamboo Craft, and Bamboo Fun, three versions with a combination of pen and Multi-Touch. Now available, Bamboo Touch and Bamboo Pen are priced at $69 each, Bamboo Pen and Touch is $99, Bamboo Craft is $129, and Bamboo Fun is $199. Bamboo supports Windows 7, Windows XP, Windows Vista, and Mac OS 10.4 and 10.5.
Wacom; www.wacom.com



3D Scanner

Handy Scanning  
Creaform, maker of Handyscan 3D laser scanners, has unveiled the entry-level UNI­scan. Starting at a price of $28,900, the UNI­scan is designed to be the most affordable and economical model in the company’s line of 3D scanners. The new 3D scanner is well suited for applications of reverse engineering, styling, design, artwork scanning, multimedia content creation, 3D archiving, packaging design, rapid prototyping, and heritage preservation. The UNIscan boasts up to 80-micro accuracy and all popular Handyscan 3D features, such as self-positioning, portability, versatility, and ease of use. The UNIscan comes complete with VxScan Express, a version of Creaform’s proprietary data-acquisition software.
Creaform; www.creaform3d.com
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