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Tuesday, September 20, 2016

RenderPal V2 2.14 released

+ Shoran Software is happy to announce the release of the fourteenth point release of RenderPal V2, the professional Render Farm Manager supporting a large number of renderers and compositing applications including Maya, 3ds Max, Cinema 4D, SketchUp, Nuke, After Effects, Modo and many more. This new version brings a proper additional settings control in the RenderPal V2 Submitter, per-renderer net job defaults, Path map and Frame checking improvements, support for Thea Studio, Redshift Standalone and Rhinoceros and many other nice new features, improvements and fixes.
>> More Info

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Chaos Group Releases Phoenix FD 3.0 for Autodesk 3ds Max

+ With Phoenix FD 3.0 for 3ds Max, Chaos Group's fluid dynamics plugin has been transformed into a high-end, all-in-one production tool. Already being used on "Game of Thrones" and "The Flash," Phoenix FD 3.0 for 3ds Max expands its capabilities so artists can make realistic fire, smoke, liquids, splashes, foam and ocean waves without much technical experience. Phoenix FD 3.0 for 3ds Max has been given a full makeover, with new intuitive controls, presets and GPU-accelerated previews, making it a fast and easy way to tackle tight deadlines. The new Phoenix FD integrates seamlessly into Autodesk 3ds Max and renders with V-Ray, Chaos Group’s industry-standard lighting and rendering solution. 
>>  More Info

Thursday, July 14, 2016

The Foundry launches award-winning software, KATANA, for Windows

+ Today, The Foundry launches the latest update to its professional look development and lighting tool. Responding to customer demand, KATANA 2.5 will offer support for Windows, putting the award-winning tool in front of more artists working in VFX, broadcast and animation. One of the most powerful lighting and look development tools is getting an update. Easier to install, use and integrate, KATANA 2.5 is now Windows-compatible, a customer request that will bring the famous “lighting recipes” to even more artists working in VFX, broadcast and animation. Support for V-Ray, RenderMan, Arnold and 3Delight have also been added, making the tool even more versatile in the modern 3D pipeline. 
 “KATANA has become the bedrock of our pipeline,” said Kevin Baillie, co-founder at Atomic Fiction. “Big scenes, experimental lighting set-ups, we can throw anything at it and it’ll give us production-ready results that we can share up and down the chain. With timelines getting shorter and shorter, you need tools like KATANA around; there’s no other way to get the work done.”


Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Toonz goes Open Source

+ Digital Video, the makers of TOONZ, and DWANGO, a Japanese publisher, announced today they have signed an agreement for the acquisition by Dwango of Toonz, an animation software which was independently developed by Digital Video (Rome, Italy). Digital Video and Dwango agreed to close the deal under the condition Dwango will publish and develop an Open Source platform based on Toonz (OpenToonz). 

Effective Saturday March 26, the TOONZ Studio Ghibli Version will be made available to the animation community as a free download. OpenToonz will include features developed by Studio Ghibli (*Toonz Ghibli Edition) which has been a long time Toonz user. Through OpenToonz, Dwango will create a platform that will aim to have research labs and the animated film industry actively cooperating with each other. 

With this agreement in place, Digital Video will move to the open source business model, offering to the industry commissioning, installation & configuration, training, support and customization services while allowing the animators’ community to use a state of the art technology at no cost. Digital Video will also continue to develop and market a Toonz Premium version at a very competitive price for those companies willing to invest in the customization of Toonz for their projects. A comprehensive list of the new services available can be found at www.toonzpremium.com.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

PipelineFX Releases Qube! 6.8

+ Today, PipelineFX releases Qube! 6.8, the latest update to the leading render farm management software for visual effects. Qube! 6.8 expands the capabilities of ArtistView bringing job submissions, a simpler configuration process and tabbed navigation into a new user interface. ArtistView was designed to streamline WranglerView, so artists only have to focus on creative elements like queue control, project updates, and render previews. After debuting in 2012 to much acclaim, inquiries from Qube! customers like Mackevision, Base FX and Method Studios suggested that their artists could use a few more tools. Qube! 6.8 kick starts that process by taking submission elements from WranglerView and presenting them in a way that speaks to the workflow needs of top studios. “This development will be the first step in replacing WranglerView as Qube!’s default UI,” said Richard Lewis, CEO of PipelineFX. “Besides being what most of our customers want, the advantage of ArtistView is that it allows us to build in new features quickly, all while keeping up with the trend of showing data visually. The faster you see it, the faster you can act on it.” 

Other New Qube! 6.8 Features:
 #Centralized Preferences – a new easy-to-use admin interface, lets users set job submission defaults across their studio or for specifics groups and users.

 #New Platform Support – Qube! 6.8 adds support for Windows 8, Windows 10, Mac OS X El Capitan, and CentOS versions 6.7, 7.0 and 7.1. 

#Harmony 12 Support – Toon Boom Animation’s Harmony 12 has been fully integrated with Qube! including standalone submissions of Harmony jobs when users are using version 12.2 or greater. 

#VRED Sequencer Support – An updated submission UI joins support for Autodesk VRED 2016 jobs on Mac and Linux. 

 For a video tour of Qube! 6.8, please visit: Qube!Tube.

Friday, October 16, 2015

Houdini 15 Released

+ Just nine months after artists first got their hands on Houdini 14, Side Effects Software has announced the release of Houdini 15 with onion skinning, new shader building tools, crowd ragdolls and Houdini Engine 2.0. 
This new version enhances modeling, rendering and animation tools to meet the needs of generalists, animators, lighters, and game makers while the VFX tools become faster, more scalable and more efficient at handling big data. “With this release, Side Effects is working hard to bring Houdini’s modeling, rendering and animation tools up to the level of its VFX tools,” says Kim Davidson, President and CEO, Side Effects Software. “With more game studios creating content using procedural techniques and commercial studios looking for artist-friendly tools, Houdini 15 offers a well-rounded solution.” 
>> More Info

Sunday, August 30, 2015

10 Awe-Inspiring Digital illustration by Nick Ainley

+ Today we like you to have a look at the awe inspiring illustration artwork of Nik Ainley. Nik is Self-taught, Digital illustrator based in New York; who came to my Notice way back in 2006. Ever Since then he has been producing personal and commissioned illustrations for a wide array of clients, like HSBC, NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC, BRITISH AIRWAYS, MTV and LOGITECH etc. etc.
>>  Digital illustration by Nick Ainley

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Pixar Animation Studios’ Universal Scene Description to be Open-Sourced

+ Pixar Animation Studios announced today its intent to release its Universal Scene Description software (USD) as an open-source project by summer 2016. USD addresses the ever-growing need in the CG film and game industries for an effective way to describe, assemble, interchange, and modify high-complexity virtual scenes between digital content creation tools employed by studios.  
The powerful techniques for composing and non-destructively editing graphics "scene graphs" that form the core of USD have been evolving at Pixar for close to 20 years, dating back to "A Bug's Life." These techniques, such as file-referencing, layered overrides, variation, and inheritance, were completely overhauled into a robust and uniform design for Pixar's next-generation animation system, Presto. "USD is the marriage of Presto's ‘composition engine’ to lazy-access cached scene description, with top-to-bottom enhancements for scalability and leverage of today's multi-core systems effectively," says Sebastian Grassia, Lead Engineer for the USD project. Although it is still under active development and optimization, USD has been in use for nearly a year in the making of "Finding Dory," bringing new levels of performance and stability to Pixar's production.
The open-source Alembic project brought standardization of cached geometry interchange to the VFX industry; USD hopes to build on Alembic's success, taking the next step of standardizing the "algebra" by which assets are aggregated and refined in-context. Says Guido Quaroni, VP of Software R&D at Pixar, "One of the key aspects of Pixar's pipeline is the ability for hundreds of artists to operate simultaneously on the same collections of assets in different contexts, using separate 'layers' of data that are composited together at various production stages. USD generalizes these concepts in an attempt to make them available to any DCC application."
 The USD distribution will include embeddable direct 3D visualization provided by Pixar's modern GPU renderer, Hydra, as well as plugins for several key VFX DCCs, comprehensive documentation, tutorials, and complete python bindings.
Pixar has already been sharing early USD snapshots with a number of industry vendors and studios for evaluation, feedback, and advance incorporation. Damien Fagnou, Global Head of VFX Operations for MPC Film, relates, "USD is an amazing opportunity for both software vendors and VFX companies; this type of common open standard drives the industry to greater innovation by focusing development and leveraging a wide community of artists and developers. We have been working with Pixar to evaluate USD since the beginning of the year and plan to use it as a key part of our future VFX pipeline.”
Jeff Clifford, Head of R&D for Double Negative, states, "Over the past 12 months, Double Negative have converted many large environment assets from our proprietary system over to USD for testing and more recently have been using the USD viewer successfully in production.  Going forward we are hoping a dedicated team can help test and develop USD to cater for all our scene description needs, including our cross-studio collaborations."
Among the vendors helping to evaluate USD are The Foundry and Fabric Software. Andy Lomas, Product Manager of Katana, says, "At The Foundry we believe that USD will have a huge impact, and deserves to become an industry standard similar to OpenEXR and OpenSubdiv. It is an ideal format for creating rich assets that will work naturally with Katana, allowing workflows that were previously only available to large studios using proprietary tools. We consider that it is exactly what is needed to enable a scalable collaborative pipeline, allowing the best in class tools to be used for each part of the production process." 
 VP Product, Fabric Software, Kevin Tureski, states “USD perfectly complements Fabric Engine by handling complex scene data in an application-agnostic fashion. The design of the USD API made it straightforward for us to integrate it directly into Fabric Engine and we already have customers testing the combination.”  
 More information about USD can be found at the official website: openusd.org

Wednesday, August 05, 2015

Ultraflares v1.0 released

+ Backed by over a year and a half of research and development, Ultraflares boasts some of the most advanced and realistic lens flare features available today. Ultraflares comes packed with hundreds of presets including over 65 natural flares, over 60 stylized flares, over 35 glints and over 40 light leaks, all modeled after real-world light phenomena.
Ultraflares is much more than a lens flare plugin; it’s a full feature light studio. Not only does it allow the artist to produce sophisticated lens flares, but also the ability to generate a wide variety of complex camera lens effects including the generation of volumetric lights, glows, light glints, star filters, sun glows, star bursts, film burns & aberrations, light leaks, highlight accents, photo filters, bokehs, lens textures, and much, much more. It is an indispensable tool for 3D artists looking to push their 3D renders to the next level.

Ultraflares features stunningly-realistic iris effects such as spherical aberration, aberration scale, aberration offset and asymmetry for replicating ultra-realistic natural lens flares. Circular completion controls how much of the iris diameter (in degrees) is visible while light distribution, a new and truly unique feature specific to Ultraflares only, controls the illumination across the iris with it’s respective angle. Chromatic aberration can be globally applied to the entire flare while spectral coloring can work on any number of specific objects. Add subtle touches like iris edge ringing to push the realism to the next level.

>> Get Ultraflares

Thursday, July 09, 2015

Pixar Animation Studios Releases RenderMan 20

+ Pixar Animation Studios today released version 20 of its Academy Award®-winning RenderMan software, introducing major innovations allowing cinematic quality imagery to be created more easily and faster than previously possible. Highlights include a game-changing noise reduction technology that directly addresses the problem of image artifacts associated with physically based ray tracers, massively reducing the time needed to deliver completed shots and images. 

 RenderMan 20 also expands the creative choices available to artists and studios through numerous advances in usability including a physical camera, a Visualizer for navigating and inspecting large scenes interactively, expanded shader libraries and presets, and new volume rendering features. A new Marschner hair shader represents the first time Pixar has shipped shading technology specifically developed for use in its feature films, making available truly Pixar quality hair and fur. In addition, RenderMan’s tradition of advanced customization is emphasized through a new light filter API. Rendering shots for dailies is also faster than ever with new enhancements to RenderMan’s noted image checkpointing, allowing entire shots to be quickly previewed nearly immediately and at full resolution. RenderMan 20 continues to channel the combined technology resources of The Walt Disney Company to the desktop of anyone producing visual effects, animation, and visualization. 
>>  More Information

Wednesday, April 01, 2015

Gnomon Workshop Release "Introduction to Substance Painter"

+ The Gnomon Workshop is pleased to announce the release of "Introduction to Substance Painter" with Christophe Desse. In this lecture, Christophe Desse introduces us to the world of Substance Painter. Starting with a detailed introduction to the tools and features, Christophe then goes deeper into the workflow of Substance Painter showing the texturing process on two different subjects. He begins with a detailed car model of a hot rod, showing various techniques that can be used to texture the various components while discussing how to handle the various material settings and maps. He then moves on to the driver, sharing his workflow for character texturing. Many different types of materials are textured and demonstrated, providing a thorough insight into Christophe’s methodology. Lastly, he shares his workflow for setting up shaders, lighting and cameras in the Redshift rendered for Maya, which offers powerful GPU rendering.
>> More Information

Friday, March 27, 2015

Golaem Crowd 4.0 Released

+ Golaem Crowd is being used by more than hundred vfx studios worldwide. The newest releases include Dracula Untold (Framestore), Hercules (Milk VFX, Cinesite), 22 Jump Street (Pixel Magic)... Golaem Crowd helped them ramp up on crowds and deliver great projects quickly. Golaem Crowd 4 provides more advanced features with the same ease of use and facilitates the interaction of the crowd simulation with other elements in the shot: open access to simulation data, curve driven simulation, simulation cache scrubbing and editing… Artists can now take dailies requests into account immediately, without going back to the simulation, and get their shots validated in no time. 
>> More Information

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Pixar Releases Free Non-Commercial RenderMan

+ Pixar Animation Studios today released its Academy Award®-winning RenderMan software for non-commercial use. Free Non-Commercial RenderMan can be used for research, education, evaluation, plug-in development, and any personal projects that do not generate commercial profits. Free Non-Commercial RenderMan is also fully featured, without watermark, time limits, or other user limitations. Featuring Pixar’s new RIS technology, RenderMan delivers extremely fast global illumination and interactive shading and lighting for artists. Currently in use at many studios, RIS is fast, robust, and changing how movies are made. Today, exactly the same technology is available to all users of Non-Commercial RenderMan.
 In conjunction with the release, Pixar has also launched a new RenderMan Community site where users can exchange knowledge and resources, showcase their own work, share assets such as shaders and scripts, and learn about RenderMan from tutorials created by the best in the community. The RenderMan Community site is an example of Pixar’s ongoing commitment to making the film industries finest rendering tools accessible to anyone working in visual effects, animation, and visualization. “The latest release of RenderMan is a technological reinvention. It’s the result of focused research and development at both Pixar and Disney, and these advancements are now freely available to the visual effects and animation community through Non-Commercial RenderMan.” said Dr Ed Catmull, President of Pixar and Walt Disney Animation Studios, and also one of the founders of the original RenderMan architecture. 
“We look forward to seeing what our users create.” “We’ve recently begun to see some final images for ‘Finding Dory.’ It’s our first feature using RenderMan’s RIS technology… and it’s just unbelievable,” said Andrew Stanton, Director, “Finding Dory.” “RIS has opened so many new creative possibilities for us; we’re creating images that were previously impossible for us to achieve. It really is looking spectacular.” 
Those interested in exploring Free Non-Commercial RenderMan are invited to go to the RenderMan website and download a copy. http://renderman.pixar.com/view/non-commercial-renderman