Issue: Volume 36 Issue 5: (July/August 2013)


The Foundry Hammers Out MARI 2.0

The Foundry has launched MARI 2.0, a new version of its 3D digital paint tool that introduces a brand-new, artist-focused layer system. The new layer system makes MARI easier to use and will be a familiar working environment for users of Adobe Photoshop and other layer-based paint tools.

The streamlined Layer View introduces grouping, tagging, and filtering options, making highly complex stacks easy to navigate and control. Procedural Layers let artists easily create the look they want, seamlessly blending procedural and painted detail with the same tool kit. Plus, every layer has its own Mask Group, allowing artists to use blending, groups, adjustments, and procedurals in all their masks.

MARI 2.0 is available now for $1,995, including one year of maintenance.

Graphics Chips Q1 Market Results Vary

Jon Peddie Research (JPR) revealed the estimated graphics chip shipments and suppliers’ market share for Q1 2013, and the news was disappointing for Intel but encouraging for Nvidia and for AMD on the desktop. Quarter to quarter, AMD lost 0.3%, Intel slipped 5.3%, and Nvidia increased 3.6%.

The overall PC market declined 13.7% quarter to quarter, while the graphics market only declined 3.2%, reflecting an interest on the part of consumers for double-attach – the adding of a discrete GPU to a system with integrated processor graphics. On a year-to-year basis, JPR found that total graphics shipments during Q1 ‘13 dropped 12.9%, similar to PC shipments, which declined by 12.6% overall. GPUs are traditionally a leading indicator of the market, since a GPU goes into every system, and most of the PC vendors are guiding down to flat for Q2 ‘13.

The popularity of tablets and the persistent economic malaise are the most often mentioned reasons for the altered nature of the PC market. Nonetheless, the CAGR for PC graphics from 2012 to 2016 is 2.6%, and JPR expects the total shipments of graphics chips in 2016 to be 394 million units.

The 10-year average change for graphics shipments for quarter to quarter is a growth of -2.2%. This quarter is below the average, with a 3.2% decrease.

The findings include discrete and integrated graphics (CPU and chipset) for desktops, notebooks, and netbooks, and PC-based commercial and industrial/scientific and embedded.

In summary, the graphics market decreased year to year for the quarter. Shipments were down 15.8 million units from this quarter last year.

Creative-Cartel Intros Joust to Aid Workflow

The Creative-Cartel is now publicly offering its new workflow software, Joust, for use on a film or television production. Until recently, Joust was only available internally at The Creative-Cartel, and was most recently used on the M. Night Shyamalan film After Earth.

Streamlining the management of the digital workflow, Joust can save productions hundreds of thousands of dollars in traditional budget line items, such as VFX pulls and conform. It also brings efficiency to the production process, as the tool helps automate and put control of all of the digital data and metadata in the hands of production, where it can be accessed and utilized quickly and efficiently.

Joust acts as a repository for all digital data and metadata during principal photography, including data wrangling, script and camera notes, as well as pertinent color information for each shot. Once the digital data and metadata are collected, Joust becomes a production and post-production tool with features that include a dailies and vendor review system, the ability to create bid packages, watermark images, and automate vendor submissions.

Additionally, editorial is able to interact with Joust to manage plate pulls and transcoding so that VFX plates are delivered to the vendors in hours, not days. And finally, Joust allows production to do a partial conform – either as a rolling conform throughout the show or when turning over reels for final DI.