Issue: Volume 36 Issue 3: (Mar/Apr 2013)


OptiTrack’s ‘Motive’ to Simplify the Motion-Capture Process

Motion-capture provider OptiTrack has launched Motive, a unified software platform for eliminating the complexities historically associated with motioncapture workflows. Motive delivers cleaner motion data, enables larger capture volumes, and can be tailored to meet a range of needs.

With an easy-to-navigate interface, Motive helps solve data management and processing issues as well as skeleton solving. When customized with the Motive Body Module add-on, the system delivers simultaneous full body and finger tracking, even in very large capture areas.

Motive contains a 64-bit, multi-threaded architecture that facilitates the tracking of more objects and actors, longer recordings, and support for hundreds of cameras per system. A new shot management system allows drag-and-drop asset selection. Moreover, setup and calibration is fast. The Body Module add-on provides one-click subject calibration, precision finger tracking (with Flex 13 or Prime cameras), and kinematic labeling for clean real-time output. Overall system setup has been simplified to reduce prep time by 75 percent and can be handled by a single operator.

Motive costs $999, and the Body Module add-on sells for $1,499. Existing Opti- Track customers with current software licenses can upgrade to Motive for free.

The Foundry Forges HieroPlayer

The Foundry has launched HieroPlayer, a VFX review and playback tool for artists. It gives Nuke users the power to play back every shot on the VFX timeline in context on their own workstation. This tool is priced at approximately $300 including one year’s maintenance. A Nuke user with a HieroPlayer can export the shot or sequence that they are working on in Nuke, then play it back and review it in context with full audio on HieroPlayer’s VFX timeline. They will also have easy access to multiple versions of their shots.

HieroPlayer also complements Hiero, The Foundry’s shot management, conform, and review tool set. With HieroPlayer, Nuke users get access to a full Hiero project on their VFX workstation.

NewTek Turns on LightWave 11.5

The LightWave 3D Group, a division of NewTek, is offering LightWave 11.5, the newest version of its 3D modeling, animation, and rendering software for artists and designers at no charge for all registered LightWave 11 customers.

The upgrade includes new features and functionality that enhance creativity and streamline productivity, including the Genoma instant character-rigging system with modular presets, making it easy to rig a simple biped or quadruped for animation without the need for specialized rigging tools. The release also contains predator and prey flocking capabilities, per-object instancing control, and soft-body bullet dynamics with support for FiberFX. Also included are interchange tools supporting Adobe After Effects cameras and Pixologic’s Zbrush, stereoscopic and depth-of-field motion blur in the Viewport Preview Renderer (VPR), and more.

LightWave 11.5 costs $1,495. LightWave 11 customers can upgrade to 11.5 free. Educational and other upgrade pricing are also available. A free 60-day, full-feature trial of LightWave 11.5 is available at

Blackmagic Shines with DaVinci Resolve 9.1

Blackmagic Design has unveiled a major release of DaVinci Resolve 9.1, the latest update to its advanced color-correction tool that contains Apple support. DaVinci Resolve 9.1 now enables customers to use Resolve with Apple’s Macbook Retina technology. DaVinci Resolve 9.1 also supports FCP X Audition, enabling stack and scroll through multiple shots in a single location in a timeline for easily transferring files between the two systems. Improvements in mixed frame-rate XML integration also will allow better workflow between Resolve, FCP X, and Final Cut Pro 7 projects. DaVinci Resolve 9.1 supports improvements for Avid AAF, Sony XAVC, and AVC-Intra files, and a number of audio and performance improvements.

DaVinci Resolve 9.1 for Mac, Windows, and Linux is now available for download from the Blackmagic Design website free of charge for all existing full-feature DaVinci Resolve customers. DaVinci Resolve Lite 9.1 public beta is available for both Mac OS X and Windows, and is free to all users.

nPower Empowers SolidWorks

nPower Software has revealed Power Surfacing, an industrial design plug-in for SolidWorks 3D software that makes the design process for modeling Class-A organic, freeform surfaces in SolidWorks more intuitive.

A shape designed with Power Surfacing is a single, unified object, which can be modified in subtle and significant ways without pulling apart the resulting NURBS surfaces. Once converted into a native SolidWorks part, those sub-D models are treated as if they had been created with traditional SolidWorks tools, so that Solid- Works features, like Booleans, fillets, shells, and so forth, can be applied. For design changes, Power Surfacing users can go back to the original sub-D form and modify the surface shape, and downstream features will be reapplied.

Power Surfacing can quickly and accurately convert virtually any sub-D model (even sub-D models that have some triangles) into the precise NURBS representation. It also creates high-quality surfaces, which accurately interpolate the vertices of the original sub-D mesh.

Nvidia Releases New Kepler-based Quadros

Nvidia has rolled out a range of Quadro professional graphics products that offer much greater workstation performance and capabilities.

Built on the efficient processing power of the Nvidia Kepler GPU architecture, the new lineup includes:

  • Quadro K4000 – A high-end card that delivers blazing-fast performance for graphics-intensive applications. It has 3GB of onboard memory, multi-monitor support, and stereo capability in a single-slot configuration. It costs $1,269.
  • Quadro K2000 – A mid-range card that offers outstanding performance with a broad range of professional applications. It comes with 2gb of onboard memory to hold large models and multi-monitor support for enhanced desktop productivity. It is priced at $599.
  • Quadro K2000D – A variant of the Quadro K2000, with native support for two dual-link DVI display connectors for interfacing with ultra-high-resolution medical imaging displays. This is also priced at $599.
  • Quadro K600 – An entry-level card with great performance and certifications for leading professional applications. It is equipped with 1gb of onboard memory, comes in a low-profile design for maximum usage flexibility, and is priced at $199.