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Autodesk Announces 2015 3D Animation Software

Autodesk Inc. unveiled the 2015 versions of its popular 3D animations tools: Autodesk 3ds Max, Maya, MotionBuilder, Mudbox, Softimage, and the newest addition to the lineup, Maya LT, a 3D animation and modeling tool for professional indie game makers. Autodesk also announced the availability of the 2015 Entertainment Creation Suite for 3D animation and visual effects.

Creating animation today is increasingly complex as consumer demand for bigger, better, more sophisticated computer graphics (CG) continues to rise. Autodesk 2015 animation software aims to provide the right tools for a 3D animation project. Every animation product has updates to enable artists to better manage complex projects and large data sets, while helping stay on schedule and on budget. Artists now have access to a variety of features ranging from high fidelity interactive viewports, “a what you see is what you get” work environment and single-click, cross-product workflows and ability to use low-cost consumer devices to capture body movements.

Ushering in the new era in 3D animation production Highlights of the 2015 releases are:

Autodesk Maya 2015 software adds new capabilities to the toolset such as the new Bifrost procedural effects platform which provides an extensible, artist-friendly workflow for complex simulation and rendering tasks, initially applied to near photorealistic liquids; XGen Arbitrary Primitive Generator for the easy creation of richly detailed geometry such as hair, fur, and foliage; Geodesic Voxel Binding method for skinning characters; ShaderFX, a new node-based visual interface for shader programing; support for Pixar’s OpenSubdiv libraries; enhanced polygon modeling tools; and expanded UV options;

Autodesk 3ds Max 2015 software has been extended and redesigned to help improve performance, ease-of-use and management of complex scenes. New in 2015 is ShaderFX, a new node-based visual interface that allows game artists and programmers to more easily create advanced HLSL viewport shaders; point cloud dataset support for reality capture workflows; new viewport performance optimizations; a redesigned scene explorer to make it easier for artists to manage large scenes; ActiveShade support for the NVIDIA mental ray renderer; and new Python scripting support – a highly requested user feature for pipeline integration;

Autodesk MotionBuilder 2015 provides several features that advance motion capture workflow accessibility such as: a new plug-in for Microsoft Kinect to help capture body movements for use in MotionBuilder, Animatable Depth of Field and Follow Focus camera options to recreate elements of real-world cinematography, a robust content library with 100 commonly required character animations in the Autodesk FBX format and flexible marker assignment to adjust character positions;

Autodesk Mudbox 2015 software boasts streamlined mesh refinement for retopologizing and new Sculpt Layer and Paint Layer groups for organizing and identifying particular layers in complex scenes. The release also has advanced interoperability with Maya 2015, an enhanced texture export and updating workflow, new caliper tool and support for Intel HD graphics 4000 on compatible Windows 8 operating system hybrid tablet/PCs;

Autodesk Softimage 2015* software helps streamline 3D asset creation and management with Alembic caching, enhancements to the ICE platform and animatable weight maps in Syflex cloth.

Autodesk Entertainment Creation Suite 2015 Extend Creative Capabilities
Each edition of the Autodesk Entertainment Creation Suite scales to match the diverse project and budget needs of teams around the world.

Many of the Suites’ features are built upon existing data exchange workflows that help improve product interoperability and foster greater team collaboration across projects. New capabilities are:
— The ability to exchange Ptex and multi-tile UV textures between Maya and Mudbox helps facilitate an iterative round-trip workflow between Mudbox and Maya.
— Enhanced image plane matching between Maya and Mudbox allows artists to use the same reference image without having to readjust the image to match.
— Export Blend Shapes with multiple targets or Blend Shapes from Maya into Mudbox for sculpting, and then merge them back into the original Maya scene.
— Import MotionBuilder character animations created in Softimage in a single step and export CrowdFX simulations from Softimage to Maya for inclusion with scene elements in one click.

Autodesk Maya LT 2015 Software Streamlines Indie Game Development
Maya LT 2015, the latest iteration of Autodesk’s cost-effective 3D animation and modeling software for professional indie game makers, introduces a series of rich new features and integrations that help advance the 3D content creation process for indie game development.

The updated application has:
— Cloud integration allows artists to browse, open, modify and save Dropbox or Autodesk 360 files to the cloud directly through the Maya LT interface. Leverage 123D Catch or 123D Creature files saved in Autodesk’s 123D cloud storage as a reference for creating game assets in Maya LT;
— Unfold 3D helps facilitate the seamless creation of UV maps from 3D models;
— Substance Material Integration allows users to apply materials created in the Allegorithmic Substance Designer procedural texture creation tool to 3D models;

In addition to the new features, Maya LT 2015 also has the extension releases of Maya LT 2014, such as: support for MEL scripting, a send-to-Unity workflow, uncapped polygon export to Unity, the ability to export models or scenes up to 65,000 polygons in the FBX or OBJ formats, Human IK and IK Handle Animation, and Boolean operations on polygon geometry.

Product release dates vary by country. Autodesk Maya, 3ds Max, Entertainment Creation Suites, and Maya LT are also available in two configurations: as a perpetual license or desktop subscription.

* Editor’s Note: Softimage 2015 will be the final new release of this product.

Autodesk Smoke Essentials E-Book Hits Amazon

Autodesk Smoke Essentials – a new e-book from industry-renowned writer, director and colorist Alexis Van Hurkman and Wiley Publishing – is now available for purchase on Amazon and Wiley. The e-book gives artists and editors a practical new resource for learning the fundamentals of Autodesk Smoke – the powerful software application that combines a familiar track-based editing environment with robust features for digital compositing, color correcting and effects.

By providing basic lessons, step-by-step instructions and accompanying video materials, Autodesk Smoke Essentials illustrates how users can streamline effects-intensive projects by editing, compositing and finishing within a single environment. Every chapter begins with a topic introduction, explains methods used and breaks down why those methods are being used, and concludes with open-ended projects to encourage learning.

Autodesk Smoke Essentials offers instruction on many aspects of Smoke including:

  • The Smoke interface inside and out, including all key tools
  • Managing media with the MediaHub and Media Library
  • Editing and trimming clips in a timeline to assemble and polish an edit
  • Creating transitions, adding dissolves and using Timewarp
  • Building basic composites using the Axis effect
  • Using ConnectFX and Action Node for advanced compositing
  • Working with audio clips
  • Adding and mixing audio, music, and sound effects
  • Techniques for color correction and styling titles and credits

For more information about the e-book and pricing, visit Amazon and Wiley.

Autodesk Releases Free App for Reviewing 3D Entertainment Assets

Autodesk Inc. has announced the launch of Autodesk FBX Review at SIGGRAPH 2013 for Microsoft Windows 7 and Windows 8 enabled devices. The standalone app gives professional artists and animators a powerful, lightweight tool to conduct detailed reviews of a wide range of 3D assets, including detailed 3D models, environments and character animations.

Intuitive, Full-Featured Asset Review

Modern workflows include numerous internal and external clients and stakeholders, many in different locations. Autodesk FBX Review allows any user on a Windows device or platform to view 3D assets with a robust feature set, without using commercial 3D animation software. For example, an artist working in Autodesk Maya can send an animation file to anyone who has installed FBX Review, and the recipient will have a full menu of features with which to view the assets.

By supporting a wide range of open 3D file formats, from popular digital creation formats like .fbx, .3ds, and .obj to .dxf, an Autodesk AutoCAD format, FBX Review gives artists the freedom to use their favorite 3D tools. Reviewers can then choose to view assets with various shading options, animations, cameras or lighting options in the Microsoft DirectX 11enabled viewport. Supported viewing options include:

  • Static and Dynamic Tessellation
  • Displacement and Vector Displacement Maps
  • Skin Deformations and Animation
  • Real-Time Shadow Maps
  • Reflection Maps
  • Light and Ambient Occlusion Maps
  • Image Based Lighting
  • Ground and Sky Ambient Color

To evaluate animations and scenes, FBX Review offers easy-to-use controls to cycle through animation takes and different camera angles to quickly play, pause and scrub-through animations. Scenes can be viewed with the cameras and lights native to the file or with the in-app perspective and orthographic cameras.

Mobile-Friendly Design

Autodesk FBX Review’s mobile support provides a near seamless way to continue the production cycle away from the workstation. Developed from the ground up for the Windows 8 platform, the mobile app incorporates the same full feature set as the desktop app, with a simple user interface that leverages the touch screen display, such as a multi-view camera that allows reviewers to pan, circle or zoom in on assets and touch sensitive animation playback and lighting controls. The mobile app simply requires Microsoft Windows 8 OS, 50 MB of disk space for installation and only 4GB of RAM. For optimal asset viewing, mobile devices should also include a graphics card that supports Microsoft DirectX 11.

Price and Availability

Autodesk FBX Review is available for free on The Windows Store for Windows 8 enabled mobile devices and tablets and Windows 7 and 8 supported desktops. You can download the app via The Windows Store or directly from Autodesk Exchange in the Autodesk Maya or Autodesk 3ds Max store.

Click for more information on Autodesk’s FBX Review or the complete system requirements.

“ExpressColor” is the New Mobile Color Correction Tool for iPhone

ExpressColor” for iPhone gives any user—beginner or professional, photographer or cinematographer or DIT—a powerful mobile color correction tool. “ExpressColor” is another creation of Gamma and Density Co., who used the patented invention by Director of Photography Yuri Neyman, ASC and pioneered mobile on-set color correction dailies system with the introduction of the Mac based 3cP SET + POST system in 1998. 3cP SET + POST for Mac continues to be used on hundreds of commercial, motion picture, and television productions.

Gamma & Density Co. continues to be mobile innovators in this field, with the introduction of the new app ExpressColor for iPhone which answers the demand for a hand-held, high-performance, simple, quick, and easy-to-understand tool which allows fast look-creation and effective communication with colleagues, customers and friends via email, Facebook, Twitter, and Dropbox in-app integration.

ExpressColor packs many features that appeal to beginners and professionals alike. For moving image professionals, the app allows you to import a still frame taken from the original footage, grade it on your phone using color wheels and preset looks, and export the graded still, along with a 3D LUTs (look-up-tables) or ASC CDL (American Society of Cinematographers Color Decision List) file to post-production or the DIT, via email or Dropbox. With the help of ExpressColor’s built-in calibration utility, the iPhone’s screen becomes calibrated in-app and adjusts gamma for accurate display of Rec. 709 imagery.

For beginner and amateur users, ExpressColor for iPhone provides all the power of a professional tool with a simple interface, which will have any user creating their own custom look in seconds. The array of hundreds of preset looks allows the quick creation of unique, “one of a kind” images and sharing them instantly with your friends.

Easy-to-Use Color Correction Controls and Ability to Export 3D LUTs

ExpressColor has industry standard color correction tools giving users the ability to control every aspect of their custom look. The app features lift/gamma/gain color wheels with density sliders for the ultimate control over every aspect of color and brightness of the image. As you color correct your image, exposure variations are shown visually and as f-stops changes. ExpressColor also comes with hundreds of preset looks which can be applied to any image, including Alexa Log-C to Rec.709 adjustment, Kodak & Fuji negative & print stock emulators, and a huge array of colored gel filters, including the Rosco Storaro selection.

3D LUTs exported include Academy; Apple Color; Autodesk Flame, Lustre and Smoke; DaVinci Resolve; Blackmagic HDLink Pro; Thomson LUTher; Nucoda; Panavision GDP; Pogle; Assimilate Scratch; Technicolor Digital Printer Lights; Truelight Cube; and ASC CDL (color decision list)

ExpressColor for iPhone is available now in the Apple App Store and is compatible with iPhone and iPad running iOS 6.0 and later.

Click for more information about Gamma & Density Co.’s “ExpressColor”.

Professional Video Editors Spoke, Autodesk Listened

Hot off two ‘Best in Show’ Awards at the 2013 National Association of Broadcasters Convention (NAB) in Las Vegas last month, Autodesk, Inc. announced Autodesk Smoke 2013 Extension 1 professional video editing software is expected to be available beginning May 29, 2013. As part of the product roadmap and influenced by extensive feedback from editors, the release will feature numerous enhancements to help improve functionality, add flexibility and increase speed.

At NAB, Autodesk and Blackmagic Design announced a technology collaboration, and now just weeks later, the first outcome of the collaboration is available to customers. The Smoke 2013 Extension 1 release will introduce support for Blackmagic video IO devices: DeckLink (PCIe video boards); UltraStudio (Thunderbolt boxes) and the Intensity product line.

Key Features

  • New support for Blackmagic DeckLink, UltraStudio and Intensity series video IO devices
  • New Trim View and new dynamic trimming tools for faster editing
  • New support for SonyRAW footage from Sony F5 and F55 cameras
  • Improved conform workflow with Apple Final Cut Pro X allows more accurate translation of speed changes and ability to conform ARRI Alexa ProRes files
  • Improved feedback mechanisms help editors better track background processes, monitor renders and identify errors
  • Improved performance in MediaHub when navigating large data sets
  • Improved 3D compositing performance in Action when working with 3D objects, shaders and textures

Autodesk Smoke Availability

Autodesk Smoke 2013 Extension 1 will be available to Autodesk Subscription customers later this month. Join the tens of thousands of trial users by downloading the free Smoke 30-day trial. For product features and video tutorials, see the Smoke product center, join the Smoke community, visit the Smoke Learning Channel, follow #AutodeskSmoke on Twitter and like Smoke on Facebook.

Click for more information about Autodesk Smoke 2013 Extension 1.

Click to try the 30 Day FREE TRIAL of Autodesk Smoke 2013.

Autodesk and Blackmagic Design Announce Technology Collaboration

Blackmagic Design and Autodesk, Inc. has announced that the two companies intend to collaborate on future integrations between Blackmagic Design technology and Autodesk technology. This collaboration will build seamless workflows for customers in the professional video, television and commercial post-production industries.

The ongoing work between Blackmagic Design and Autodesk will include the testing and development of integrated workflows between Autodesk technology and Blackmagic Design’s PCIe and Thunderbolt based desktop video capture and playback products, including the DeckLink, UltraStudio and Intensity product lines.

Blackmagic Design’s DeckLink, UltraStudio and Intensity lines include the world’s highest performance capture and playback cards for Mac, Windows and Linux. Including both PCIe and Thunderbolt based technology, these products come in both internal and external models and are used by professionals globally in every aspect of film and video production.

Click for more information about Blackmagic Design product line.

Click for more information about the Autodesk product line.

Autodesk Smoke 2013 Now Shipping

Autodesk, Inc., a leader in 3D design, engineering and entertainment software, announced that, endorsed by twenty five thousand Facebook fans, six industry awards and thousands of new users through the trial download and active forum communities, the new Autodesk Smoke 2013, professional video editing software is now shipping.

Autodesk Smoke 2013 is designed to meet the needs of professional editors working in video production, corporate video, online video and other competitive creative environments where productions require editing and effects. The new Smoke offers editing and effects within a single, efficient timeline-based workflow, a sleek user interface and runs on a wide variety of Apple MacBook Pro and Apple iMac computers. Extensive customer research and feedback received during the pre-release trial actively helped drive the product development. New features which grew directly out of user recommendations include: ability to drag and drop a clip from the source player into the timeline; ability to expand/collapse the timeline FX pipeline area; and redesign and streamlining of the UI and interface elements to speed up workflows.

Key features include:

  • New Smoke User Interface (UI) — An intuitive all-in-one creative workflow that combines track-based editorial, industry-standard editing conventions and proven Autodesk creative tools
  • ConnectFX — Powerful node-based compositing inside the timeline allows high-end effects and advanced compositing without leaving the editorial environment
  • Creative Tools — A robust toolset with proven high-end finishing tools, Action for true 3D compositing, the Colour Warper for professional grading and color matching, the Master Keyer for one-click chroma keying and stereoscopic 3D editing and effects
  • Flexible System Requirements — Runs on most Apple iMac and MacBook Pro systems using high-bandwidth Thunderbolt storage and IO bringing true high-end editing and effects to flexible desktop and mobile workflows

Autodesk revamped Smoke to address a growing niche for editors who need to do more than just edit. In a recent survey of over 300 active users of the trial download, over half of which were new to Smoke, many respondents called out the benefits of having an all-in-one package that integrates editing and effects. 51% called out ConnectFX as the top feature and one remarked.

Join the Smoke Community

For in-depth features, benefits and video tutorials, see the Smoke product center, join the Smoke community, visit the Smoke Learning Channel, join the #AutodeskSmoke conversation on Twitter or friend us on Facebook.

Click for Autodesk Smoke 2013.

Click for more information about Autodesk.







Autodesk Smoke 2013 Pre-Release Trial Attracts Thousands of Video Editors

At the International Broadcasting Convention 2012 (IBC), September 7 to 11, 2012, Autodesk, Inc., will show off the latest version of the Autodesk Smoke 2013 professional video editing software pre-release trial. Since announcing the new Smoke earlier this year, Autodesk has been closely collaborating with thousands of editors working in broadcast, cable and corporate video to guide the development of the software. IBC will be the first public viewing of the pre-release trial version 4.

The radically redesigned Smoke video editing and visual effects software for the Mac integrates high-end effects tools within a standard nonlinear editing workflow. Since making a huge splash at NAB 2012 where Smoke won six awards, thousands of video editors from around the globe have downloaded the software, contributed valuable feedback, attended training events and “friended” Autodesk Smoke on Facebook. The United States leads the world on the number of Smoke pre-release trial downloads, followed closely by Europe and Asia.

The blogosphere is ignited with enthusiasm over the new strategy, the extended trial period and the powerful functionality of the new Smoke.

Product Information and Availability

Autodesk Smoke 2013 Pre-Release Trial 3 was made available for download on August 27, 2012. The newest version features numerous stability, feature and workflow enhancements as well as several new features: a new conform workflow, timeline search and ConnectFX functionality. Autodesk expects Smoke 2013 will be available later this year.

Join the Smoke Community

Customer presentations and product demonstrations will be streamed live from the Autodesk IBC booth to Virtual IBC on AREA — Autodesk’s digital entertainment community. Smoke will be featured at the Fifth Annual Amsterdam SuperMeet on Sunday, September 9 at the Grand Hotel Krasnapolsky. For features, benefits and video tutorials, see the Smoke product center, join the Smoke community, visit the Smoke Learning Channel, join the #AutodeskSmoke conversation on Twitter or friend us on Facebook .


Click for more information about Autodesk.

Autodesk Streamlines Flagship VFX Software With Flame 20th Anniversary Edition

At the International Broadcasting Convention 2012 (IBC), September 7 to 11, 2012, Autodesk, Inc., will demonstrate the powerful new Flame 20th Anniversary Edition software. The new software is part of Autodesk Flame Premium 2013, a high-end software toolset that integrates visual effects, editorial and real-time color grading. The new edition streamlines complex tasks and improves speed with a new creative workspace, top-level editorial timeline integration and an enhanced GPU pipeline.

New Creative Workspace

The new release of Flame Premium brings core post-production tools into a unified creative environment where a full editorial timeline is now closely linked to the popular Flame Desktop, Batch and Action. The redesigned workflow also features improved access to media and a new task-based workflow with one-click access to the main finishing tasks and creative tools.

Integrated Editorial and Effects Timeline

Now available at the top level of the application, the redesigned timeline allows artists to more easily work within the context of the timeline. Artists can now build timelines from scratch or match an offline cut without leaving the desktop. With this new integration, artists can more easily accomplish editorial tasks and move seamlessly between creative and editorial functions.

With an impressive resume that includes multiple Emmys and work on “Modern Family,” “Entourage” and “Star Trek: The Next Generation,” CBS Digital in Los Angeles has a distinguished history of pushing creative boundaries. The studio currently relies on a robust Autodesk creative finishing pipeline of two Flame Premiums, two Flames and two Flares.

Enhanced GPU Pipeline

Flame Premium now features a re-engineered GPU/CPU processing pipeline for faster compositing and visual effects development in Batch and Action.

Glassworks, a multiple award-winning commercial post-production boutique, recently upgraded their Flame Suite to better compete in the competitive global marketplace.

Flame Premium 2013 20th Anniversary edition also adds native support of the 16-bit, 4K-capable Sony F65 digital cinema camera format, using the necessary color transforms to bring the RAW format into the ACES compliant color space.

Product Information and Availability

Customer presentations and product demonstrations will be streamed live from the Autodesk IBC booth to the AREA — Autodesk’s digital entertainment community. Flame Premium 2013 20th Anniversary Edition and the 2013 Extension releases of Autodesk Flame and Autodesk Flare software are anticipated to ship later this autumn. The 20th Anniversary edition and extension releases will be available exclusively to Autodesk Subscription customers. For features, Subscription benefits and video tutorials, visit the Flame Premium product center, join the Flame Community on AREA or friend us on our new Facebook page.

Click for more information about Autodesk Flame.

Digital Production Buzz – August 30, 2012

  • Live Streaming from Cellular Phones
  • Autodesk Releases a New Version of Smoke
  • Surviving the Permit Process for Film Shoots
  • Legal Issues with Making Money Internationally
  • New Media Archiving Gear from XenData at IBC

GUESTS: Mike Savello, Marc-André Ferguson, David Vassar, Sally Kaplan, Jonathan Handel, and Phil Storey

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New interviews every week! Join Larry Jordan and Michael Horton as they talk with:

Mike Savello, Vice-president of Sales, LiveU

LiveU provides live video streaming over cellular phones. We first saw this at the NAB 2012 Show, but they have since used their technology to broadcast live from the 2012 Olympics in London. Mike Savello is their VP of Sales and joins us this week to explain their technology and how it can be used by filmmakers to create compelling new content – live!

Mark-André Ferguson, Smoke Product Evangelist, Autodesk

Autodesk is in the process of creating a major new release of Smoke. With the launch of their first public trial release in June, they have since released two updates. Release 3 arrived earlier this week and we talk with Mark-André Ferguson, Smoke Product Evangelist for Autodesk, about the new release and the reaction from the marketplace.

David Vassar and Sally Kaplan, Co-producers, “California Forever”

California Forever” is a two-part PBS series that premieres in September that tells the story of California’s state parks. Produced by Sally Kaplan, and co-produced, written, and directed by David Vassar, shot on the Red camera, this series was almost four years in the making. What we are interested in learning about, though, was the permitting process that Sally went through to get permission to film in more than 40 state parks. Why were permits necessary, how hard was the process, and what can we learn from her experience?

Jonathan Handel, Entertainment Labor Reporter, Hollywood Reporter

This week, a California judge ruled that the Directors Guild of America is properly complying with a 2008 settlement agreement requiring the DGA to report foreign royalties. The problem, as stated in the lawsuit, was that the DGA reports were virtually incomprehensible. Jonathan Handel, Entertainment Labor Reporter for the Hollywood Reporter joins us this week to explain the situation and what it means to filmmakers selling films overseas who aren’t DGA members.

Phil Storey, Co-founder and CEO, XenData

XenData is a leading provider of digital video archiving products tailored for the media industry. They are announcing some new archiving gear next week at the IBC trade show in Amsterdam. So, we invited Dr. Phil Storey, CEO of XenData, to explain their latest announcements and what they mean to filmmakers.

You can’t find people or interviews like this anywhere else — it’s another fascinating show!

The Buzz is all the information you need now to know what’s coming next!

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