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Issue: Volume 34 Issue 3: (March 2011)

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Software

Digital imaging

CAD Conversion

Luxion, a developer of advanced rendering and lighting technology, has announced Version 2.2 of its KeyShot software for creating photographic images from 3D CAD models. The latest edition offers improvements to the import pipeline and model interaction in real time, as well as enhanced render speeds, especially when working with complex materials. KeyShot 2.2 includes native support for Autodesk AutoCAD, ensuring interoperability with leading CAD systems. Additional features new to Version 2.2 include: the preservation of model structure from a CAD model, including all subassemblies; preservation of part/layer names; a part outline in the real-time window; the ability to move multiple objects; the ability to duplicate objects; and support for SolidWorks 2011, Catia V5, Autodesk Inventor 2011, DXF/DWG (AutoCAD), SketchUp 8, 3Dconnexion 3D mice, and foreign languages, including Chinese, English, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, and Polish. KeyShot 2.2 is available for the Mac and PC starting at $995. KeyShot 2.2 is a free upgrade to all existing KeyShot 2 customers. A free trial is available online.

Luxion; www.keyshot.com

Video

Expanded to Avid

Singular Software, developer of workflow automation applications for digital media, has enhanced PluralEyes with expanded support for nonlinear editing applications, including Avid’s Media Composer and NewsCutter software applications. Plural­Eyes accelerates the workflow for multi-camera, multi-take, and dual-system audio productions by analyzing audio information and automatically synchronizing audio and video clips. For video producers of all skill levels, PluralEyes can be used for a range of projects, from weddings and live events to documentaries, commercials, and indie films. PluralEyes for Media Composer is now available for $149 running on Windows XP, Vista, or Windows 7. A 30-day free trial version of PluralEyes is also available for download.

Singular Software;www.singularsoftware.com

Simulation

Atmospheric Upgrade

E-on software, makers of digital nature solutions and technologies, has unveiled Version 5 of its Ozone atmospheric plug-in for Maxon’s Cinema4D, NewTek’s LightWave, and Autodesk’s 3ds Max, Maya, and Softimage. Ozone 5 employs E-on software’s Spectral 3 engine for the simulation and rendering of atmospheric effects, including realistic environments with volumetric clouds, accurate light dispersion, and natural phenomena, such as Godrays. Ozone 5 is compatible with V-Ray’s Sun and Sky technologies and MentalRay’s specific technologies, such as Sun&Sky, Photo­metric Lights, and Distributed Bucket Rendering. Version 5 adds faster rendering; cloud cross shadowing, a user-controllable feature whereby clouds cast shadows on each other; and a library of more than 150 predefined atmospheric conditions and 140-plus preset cloud shapes. Ozone 5 runs on Windows XP, Windows Vista, and Windows 7, and on Mac OS X 10.5+ (Mac Intel only) for 32 and 64 bits. Ozone 5 is available for $295, with upgrades from Ozone 4.0 available for $95. RenderNode network rendering licenses are available at $95 per node.

E-on software;www.e-onsoftware.com

VFX

Five Filters Phyx has released Phyx Stylist for the FxFactory platform by Noise Industries, developer of visual effects tools for the postproduction and broadcast markets. Phyx Stylist is a collection of generators and filters designed to work with Adobe After Effects, Apple Final Cut Pro, Apple Motion, and Apple Final Cut Express. Phyx Stylist’s image processing tools help artists replicate the look of optical systems, generate realistic fog, re-light actors, remove unwanted haze from footage, and produce shimmering stars, highlights, and illuminations. Phyx Stylist includes five distinct filters and generators for adding effects and enhancing image quality. Phyx Stylist is priced at $199. Adobe After Effects, Apple Final Cut Studio, and Apple Final Cut Express users can download a free trial version of FxFactory from the Noise Industries’ Web site.

Phyx; www.phyxware.com
Noise Industries; www.noiseindustries.com

Studio Update

pmG has released MessiahStudio5, the latest version of its CG visual effects software enhanced with user-suggested improvements. The new Dynamic Render interactive renderer shows users fully rendered images of a scene as changes are made, whereas the new Sketch mode enables animators and directors to draw in 2D on top of each frame, draw corrections and guides for animation feedback, or rough out a motion in traditional cell style before animating in 3D. UV Bake Render enables users to render complex materials created in Messiah’s shader flow to a UV-based texture map and export to game engines or models for sale. MessiahStudio5 CG production software is available in two versions—Basic, priced at $499, and Professional, priced at $1199—which come complete with effects, animation, rendering, and a software development kit (SDK).

pmG Worldwide LLC; www.projectmessiah.com

CG Combo

Tweak Software and The Foundry have announced the integration of the companies’ RV and Nuke software tools. The integrated RV/Nuke package adds high-performance RV playback to the Nuke node-based compositor and enables a seamless visual effects workflow. The RV/Nuke package developed by Tweak Software with support from The Foundry creates an integrated workflow that provides artists tools to play back, organize, compare, and track the history of their work in Nuke. Tweak Software’s RV image and sequence viewer communicates with Nuke over a live connection to enable seamless interoperation. The RV/Nuke package is available as a no-cost download to current users of Nuke and RV.

Tweak Software; www.tweaksoftware.com
The Foundry; www.thefoundry.co.uk

Rendering

V-Ray Max

Chaos Group has released its V-Ray 2.0 for 3ds Max rendering solution, which includes the V-Ray RT interactive rendering system and V-Ray RT GPU, to meet the growing demand for 3D stereoscopic content. V-Ray 2.0 boasts new features and improvements designed to enable faster feedback and final results. Version 2.0 adds native stereoscopic support, as well as support for light dispersion. Added utilities include: VRayLensEffects for producing glow and glare with support for obstacle images and diffraction, VRayCarPaintMtl material with accurate flake simulation, VRayLightSelect to extract the contribution of individual lights, VRayStereoRig for easy stereoscopic setup, VRayLensAnalysis for realistic distortion patterns for V-Ray Physical Cameras, VRayDistanceTex for a range of effects based on the distance between objects in the scene, and VRayMultiSubTex to assign different textures based on object ID. V-Ray 2.0 for 3ds Max is now available.  

Chaos Group; www.chaosgroup.com

Video

3D Footage
Artbeats announces its burgeoning Stereoscopic 3D (S3D) stock footage library to meet the growing demand for 3D elements for television and film. Current offerings include a variety of nature shots, plus the first S3D aerial stock footage available to the royalty-free market. New 3D content will be added monthly, including pyrotechnic, city scene, establishment, winter scene, and additional aerial collections. Artbeats used Pictorvision’s gyrostabilized eclipse 3D aerial rig and two RED MX cameras with Optimo 17-80mm lenses to capture aerials of downtown Los Angeles, Hollywood, Santa Monica, Long Beach, and the shores of Catalina. Artbeats’ 3D equipment will expand to include RED Epic cameras and a beamsplitter rig. Artbeats’ S3D stock footage is offered as Quicktime movie files with formats that include HD stereo pairs, separate HD right and left views, and 4k versions. Artbeats provides metadata specific to each S3D clip, an S3D Video Guide, and a free downloadable full-HD-resolution S3D clip. Royalty-free pricing for S3D HD footage is $449 to $799 per clip. Artbeats FootageHub rights-managed S3D HD clips range in price from $499 to $1999.

Artbeats; www.artbeats.com/S3D

Hardware

Video

Quick Check

DSC Labs, a developer of products for image quality improvement, introduces Hawk Quick Check Chart (QCC), designed by senior video and broadcast engineer Gary Hawkins. Hawk QCC provides a simple way to match cameras on location. For a single- or multi-camera shoot, the Hawk QCC records critical information from an original scene setup using a primary chart; it then provides data for camera evaluation and scene matching. Hawk QCC measures 11x9.5 inches and features white patches for white balancing; gamma at 18 percent gray for accurate iris or lighting adjustment; black patches for scene black and flare checking; flesh tones for checking consistency of flesh tones; and mid-gray strip top and bottom to monitor evenness of lighting. The new Hawk QCC is now available for $130.

DSC Labs; www.dsclabs.com

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