April 17, 2007

The Foundry Announces Furnace 4 for Shake

Las Vegas - Visual effects software developer The Foundry has launched its Furnace 4 plug-ins for Apple Shake, comprising motion estimation technology and a host of tools designed to ease the production of first-class digital visual effects.
The Foundry is demonstrating Furnace 4 at booth SL14413 in the South Hall at NAB 2007. Furnace, available for Linux and OS X, was originally launched in 2002 and has become popular suite of image processing plug-ins to enhance workflow and boost productivity.
A key focus for the Furnace 4 release has been to take advantage of the latest advances in technology, combined with over seven years of The Foundry's research into motion estimation, to deliver optimized output, enhanced speed, and a more intuitive user interface and to improve the user experience.
The latest release features eight new tools, including: Contrast to automatically detect and enhance the shadow region within filmed or HD footage, without blowing out highlights in other parts of the image; DeFlicker2, an automated plug-in that removes in-scene flicker caused by poorly synchronized light rigs or stray lights; and RotoTracker, which tracks a rotoshape through a sequence, keeping it accurately attached to an object even as it changes shape.
Key features of Furnace 4 for Shake are:
Contrast: designed to enhance the color contrast within an image. It is adaptive and spatially varying. Based on its analysis of the scene content, it automatically calculates a different curve transformation for each pixel in the image and true color is enhanced.
DeFlicker2: a fully automated plug-in designed to remove in-scene flicker caused by poorly synchronized light rigs and stray lights.
RotoShape: converts .Raw vector masks into Shake rotoshapes and vice versa for improved interoperability.
RotoTracker: will track a rotoshape through a sequence, keeping it accurately attached to an object even as it changes shape.
ShadowRemoval: removes translucent objects such as shadows from a sequence. The artist loosely highlights the area to be removed and ShadowRemoval will perform a seamless extraction of the unwanted object.
VectorConverter: a tool designed to convert images representing motion vector fields, originating from other vendor applications, into the vector format used in Furnace by providing a simple interface to rewire, scale, offset, and invert the color channels.
VectorGenerator: uses The Foundry's next generation motion estimation engine to produce accurate sets of vectors between frames. By using VectorGenerator, the artist only needs to calculate the vectors once and the user can input them into many of the Furnace plug-ins, saving time.
VectorWarper: allows the user to warp an image sequence using vectors from a different image sequence. This plug-in can be used creatively to produce unusual temporal image effects.
Now shipping, Furnace 4 node-locked is priced at $4400, with Furnace 4 float priced at $6600. Existing customers can upgrade for $2200 node-locked and $3300 floating.