Issue: Volume 33 Issue 10: (November 2010)

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Software

Rendering

Chaos Group Developments
Chaos Group has taken the wraps off its V-Ray RT running on GPU, opening the new software solution for public beta testing to all current V-Ray RT for 3ds Max users. V-Ray RT GPU is integrated within Autodesk 3ds Max to enable faster rendering and real-time interaction with the virtual environment. Chaos Group’s scalable rendering solu- tion offers new features, such as real- time shading and lights set-up, distrib- uted and cross-platform rendering, and progressive path tracing. After the beta testing period, V-Ray RT GPU will be incorporated in V-Ray 2.0. V-Ray 2.0 for 3ds Max will combine a V-Ray for 3ds Max production renderer, V-Ray RT on CPU, and V-Ray RT on GPU. Chaos Group anticipates releasing V-Ray RT GPU next month.

Chaos Group; http://www.chaosgroup.com


VFX

GenArts Sapphire 5
GenArts, provider of specialized visual effects software for the film, television, and video industries, released a new version of GenArts Sapphire for Nuke. Industry-standard visual effects plug- ins for a variety of platforms, Sapphire 5 extends benefits to Nuke users as well as those on other OFX hosts, such as Fusion, Scratch, Toxik, Baselight, Film Master, and Mistika. Sapphire 5 for Nuke/OFX features more than 200 industry-standard visual effects plug-ins, including glow, blur, edge ray, defocus, and texture tools; floating-point support; GPU acceleration; and support for the OFX standard. GenArts Sapphire 5 for Nuke/OFX is now available. Floating licenses for Nuke, Fusion, and Toxik are priced at $2499; node-locked licenses are available for $1699. Rental licenses are now available for the first time, for $169 per month. Current users may upgrade to Sapphire 5 for $599.

GenArts; http://www.genarts.com


Animation

Craft Director Studio
Craft Animations demonstrated its Craft Director Studio software, designed to add realistic vehicle and camera anima- tion to film, commercial, game, and Web-site projects. Based on research in autonomous control systems, Craft Director Studio is intended to eliminate multi-step animation and design process- es, such as scripting and rigging. The software tool’s drag-and-drop modeling features provide a more rapid pipeline capable of decreasing overall production times by as much as 80 percent.

Craft Animations; http://www.craftanimations.com


Hardware

Video

SpheroCamHDR
Spheron-VR AG recently presented the latest version of its HDR Camera, the SpheroCamHDR. The SpheroCam HDR can capture 360-degree, spheri- cal images in a single scan. With 26 f- stops of exposure and clarity of up to 50 megapixels, the SpheroCam HDR is designed to capture the optimal image quality for 3D image-based rendering. The camera’s 3D immersive measure- ment technology records spatial data and enables the placement of CG objects in virtually any location. The company’s new HDR camera is being used by such VFX companies as The Mill–London for 3D advertising productions and Sony Pictures Imageworks for the production of major Hollywood feature films.

Spheron-VR AG; http://www.spheron.com


Professional services

Craft Custom Development
Craft Animations announced its Custom Development Service for designers, animators, educators, and engineers who require specialized capabilities, real- time integration, or custom tool sets for specific task completion. The new service, employing knowledge of specialized tool development and autonomous control systems, delivers personalized stand-alone solutions, add-ons, or plug-ins based on specific customer requests. The Craft Animations Custom Development Service offers the following tool expansion oppor- tunities, for example: creation of specific animation patterns, transformation of raw data to visual representations and anima- tions, integration of animation capabilities in visualization systems and game engines, and complex rigging services. Pricing is dependent on the scope and depth of each request and the need for proprietary ownership.

Craft Animations; http://www.craftanimations.com


Education

Long-distance Learning
Escape Studios launched a new series of online mentored learning courses to meet the needs of international graduates look- ing to gain employment and of companies seeking fresh computer graphics talent. Delivered via Escape Studios’ e-learning platform, the new 12-month, mentored curriculum covers the techniques and tools required to start a career in visual effects, as well as provides the recruitment advice needed to break into the CG indus- try. All students gain access to a virtual classroom, where they can interact with and seek feedback from tutors and fellow classmates. Escape Studios’ mentored learning program is integrated with social media sites, such as Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube. The secure e-learning site also encourages students to submit assign- ments for grading, communicate directly with tutors, and work together with friends on projects. Escape Studios has opened its first overseas branch in the USA.

Escape Studios; http://www.escapestudios.co.uk


3d Printing Service

Shapeways Add-in
Shapeways, the online marketplace that provides access to the latest 3D printing technologies, launched a Shapeways add- in for SolidWorks 3D mechanical CAD (MCAD) software. Using the Shapeways tool, SolidWorks users can upload a design directly to www.Shapeways.com and opt to 3D print it in a number of materials currently offered by Shapeways, including stainless steel, glass, full-color sandstone, and a vari- ety of durable plastics. SolidWorks users can download the Shapeways add-in for free from the Design Solutions Web site at http://www.designsolutions.nl/shapeways.

Shapeways; http://www.shapeways.com


Workstations

Multi-core Boxx News
Boxx Technologies introduced its fastest dual-socket workstation, the 3DBoxx 8550 Extreme Edition, to help maximize creativity and productivity. The new work- station features Intel Xeon 5600 series processors optimized to run at 4.2Ghz and providing 12 cores of high-powered, multi-tasking performance for 3D design, animation, visualization, compositing, video editing, digital intermediate work, and rendering. The 3DBoxx 8550 Extreme Edition liquid-cooled workstation is built for multi-GPU configurations; in fact, its seven PCI-E x16, 2.0 slots support up to four dual-slot GPUs. The company also introduced the 3DBoxx 4880 XXtreme liquid-cooled workstation with a six-core Intel Core i7 processor and four Nvidia Quadro 5000 GPUs.

Boxx Technologies; http://www.boxxtech.com


Input Devices

3D Mouse Support
3Dconnexion’s full line of 3D mice is supported by Adobe’s Photoshop CS5 and Autodesk’s Maya 2011 and Softim- age 2011. 3Dconnexion’s newest driver update for Autodesk 3ds Max brings advanced 3D navigation and control to the design process. Using the Menu or Panel button on the 3D mouse activates a pop-up menu to centralize all 3D mouse- related options in one location. These new features are now available in a free 3DxWare software update and support 3ds Max 2009 to 2011 across the entire product line, including the Professional Series with the SpacePilot Pro ($399) and SpaceExplorer ($299), and the Standard Series with the SpaceNavigator ($99) and SpaceNavigator for Notebooks ($129).

3Dconnexion; http://www.3dconnexion.com

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