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Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Sculpting Wrinkles in ZBrush

+ This week, The Gnomon Workshop releases the first full length DVD lecture from renowned creature sculptor Cesar Dacol Jr. Titled Creating Wrinkles in ZBrush: Realistic Surface Anatomy, Cesar takes a software agnostic approach to describing the anatomy of a wrinkle. He discusses real world wrinkle form topics such as compression zones and anchor points, as well as tissue composition and other external environmental influences. The topics covered in this title make this a must have for not only ZBrush sculptors, but also for any digital or traditional sculptor looking to add that finished wrinkle pass to their arsenal.
At some point everyone becomes enamored with surface detailing and wrinkles. In this DVD Cesar Dacol Jr. unlocks the secrets that he uses in the feature film industry. He will navigate you through the processes of internal and external forces that cause wrinkles. You will never look at a wrinkle the same way as you explore compression zones, anchor points, tissue composition and external elements in your design. Wrinkles can be complex and overwhelming, but Cesar will teach you some basic tricks that simplify the thought process behind the rhythmic patterns. You will discover the why, where and how to apply wrinkles convincingly to a sculpture. Even though this model was created in a computer using ZBrush, the methods taught are analog-based and can be easily ported into a traditional sculpture or other 3D applications like MudBox.
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nPower Body Object Toolkit

+ nPower Software, a division of IntegrityWare, Inc, announced today a new Power Body Object Toolkit product (with support for Autodesk 3ds max® 2011 and Autodesk 3ds max® Design 2011). Power Body Object Toolkit is a set of complimentary tools designed to improve work flow for customers importing SAT files into 3ds Max using the new Body Object licensed from IntegrityWare / nPower Software . The 2011 release of 3ds Max introduces the Body Object as the standard representation for imported SAT files, and incorporates the SAT translator from IntegrityWare / nPower Software. Power Body Object Toolkit is intended to complement this new functionality in 3ds Max 2011. Power Body Object Toolkit facilitates end to end workflow by simplifying the process of preparing models for rendering, and sending accurate, reliable data to rapid prototyping systems. The Power Body Object Toolkit provides tools to clean up and repair import data (like Power Join for sewing surfaces, and blending tools for filling in holes or missing surfaces). It also contains tools for preparing the render data like the Power Detailer, which allows users to apply company logos or features to the model, and Power UVW Unwrap for applying textures and materials. And Power Detailer facilitates rapid prototyping by providing accurate, water tight STL output files. Power Body Object Toolkit is the product that will optimize your work flow for importing SAT models into Autodesk® 3ds max® for rendering, animation, or rapid prototyping.
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Digital design competition called 'Raygun Shootout'

+ It is a digital design competition focused around the Dr. Grordbort universe created by Weta Workshop. The competition involves entrants designing Rayguns and other Dr.Grordbort related paraphernalia to go into the draw to win a trip to Weta Workshop in New Zealand. The competition was previously only available to entrants whose submissions were designed in Blender. For the last two months of the competition (August to September) we are opening up the competition so submissions can be designed in any 3D creation suite. There are now two trips to New Zealand up for grabs. Rayguns will be judged by the fine folk at Weta so make sure your raygun is of the finest quality.
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Architectural Visualization Challenge II

+ Ronen Bekerman / 3D Architectural Visualization Blog & Forums Launches the 2nd Architectural Visualization Challenge - 'HOVER'. This time the challenge will focus on two aspects of architectural design. First one is the state of HOVER representing all types of cantilevered, bridged and by any other means floating spaces in architecture also giving the name to this Challenge. Second is prefabricated architectural design, known in short as PREFAB. Participants will be given a set of premade model parts from which they will have to derive their own design base and visualize it. There will be no limit of size or function, and much like in the previous challenge, the context is totally up to participants. They can create a small house hovering over an ocean facing cliff, suspended from trees deep into the jungle or smack in middle Manhattan protruding from one of the skyscrapers… To help out the participants in their endeavors, a special inspiration page was set up with a collection of related projects to help spur their imagination. 'HOVER' started July 21st 2010, Duration 3 Months, Deadline October 21st 2010.
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Monday, August 02, 2010

MachStudio Pro 2

+ StudioGPU is redefining productivity for 3D artists working in broadcast, cinema and design with the announcement of StudioGPU MachStudio™ Pro 2 real-time non-linear 3D workflow and rendering software. Operating as an open hub for advanced 3D workflow, MachStudio Pro 2 now offers 3D artists advanced features such as native integration with Pixar RenderMan®; the ability to create and use MetaSL®-based custom procedural shaders and render out with mental ray®. Additional new features include a solid DirectX® 11 foundation for improved GPU acceleration, tessellation and multi-threading, FBX-out capabilities, improved support for Python programming customization and more.
MachStudio Pro software streamlines the production workflow at many of the most notable production studios in the world, including Weta Workshop, Zoic Studios, and The Third Floor. A virtual real-time studio environment, MachStudio Pro allows artists, designers, engineers, directors, and technical directors (TDs) to work with 3D lighting, camera views and multi-point perspectives in an interactive non-linear fashion to produce real-time high-fidelity views as they will appear in the final rendered format. MachStudio Pro 2 software continues to revolutionize 3D production environments with new features that include:
- Pixar RenderMan Integration: Provides the flexibility to switch between or combine fast high-fidelity MachStudio Pro GPU-based rendering and industry-standard Academy Award®-winning Pixar RenderMan CPU-based ray tracing rendering software on-the-fly to create beauty shots and/or specific render passes.
- MetaSL and mental ray Support: Allows 3D artists to quickly and easily build MetaSL-based custom procedural shaders using an intuitive mental mill® node graph user interface for rendering out to both the mental ray and MachStudio Pro renderer.
- Improved Pipeline Rendering Functionality: Offers a new Unified Pass Renderer (UPR), which breaks out all passes for the final render, and an EXR Sandwich Tool that combines all EXR files into one layered file for compositing.
- DirectX 11-Based Workflow: Offers more efficient rendering, tessellation, and multi-threading capabilities for improved performance throughout the pipeline.
- Volumetric and Screen Space Global Illumination (GI): Takes into account the bouncing of light from surfaces, allowing for more realistic renderings.
- Spot and Directional Lights: Allows for greater freedom towards achieving perfect lighting conditions.
- FBX Output: Exports models and baked textures in the FBX file format for compatibility with all leading 3D modeling and animation software programs.
- Increased Python Support: Allows for the creation of custom properties, parenting objects, and spot and directional lights.
- Workflow Improvements: Eases organization and viewing of everything in a scene, including groups, hierarchies, context menus, light sets, influencers and render pass isolation.
Award-winning MachStudio Pro supports Microsoft Windows 7, Windows XP Professional and Windows Vista operating systems on most professional graphic accelerator cards. MachStudio Pro software is available in North America for $3,999 (USD) or bundled with the ATI FirePro V8800 3D workstation graphics accelerator card for $4,999 (USD). MachStudio Pro 2 is expected to ship in Q3 2010. All existing MachStudio Pro customers will receive the MachStudio Pro 2 software upgrade at no charge upon product availability.Student, education and volume licensing is also available upon request. For more information about MachStudio Pro and to download the free full-featured MachStudio Pro 30-day trial software, visit the StudioGPU web site at www.studiogpu.com.


NewTek Introduces LightWave™ 10

+ NewTek, worldwide leader of 3D animation and video products, today announced NewTek LightWave™ 10, the next generation of its Emmy® award-winning professional 3D modeling, animation, and rendering software. LightWave 10 will combine ground-breaking CORE Technology with enhanced Modeler and Layout to deliver the most extensive upgrade in years to LightWave’s production-proven workflow. NewTek continues to innovate with LightWave 10, offering powerful new features and benefits to LightWave artists, including an amazingly photoreal real-time version of our award-winning renderer, VPR (Viewport Preview Renderer) and advanced, real-time CG hardware viewport shading, delivering Anaglyph Stereo, Ambient Occlusion, Transparency, Refractions, and Bloom. LightWave 10 will also offer extensive, new immersive real-time virtual cinematography and game development tools. These solutions evolved as a result of the virtual cinematic production techniques that were pioneered by leading Hollywood artists and technicians for films like “Avatar,” "Tintin,” and "A Christmas Carol.” For production studios and more advanced individuals, this immersive technology includes integrated support for the InterSense VCam™, virtual camera system. The individual artist gains a similar immersive experience with LightWave 10 and its integrated support for 3Dconnexion’s complete line of 3D mice. This powerful combination provides directors and artists with the ability to interact in real time within a 3D set. For more information, please visit: www.newtek.com.


Bryce 7

+ With advanced abilities to edit terrain, develop real-world lighting and create authentic environmental textures, Bryce has always been recognized as a high-quality, yet affordable, 3D solution that is ideal for achieving breathtakingly realistic imagery. Today, DAZ 3D extends the opportunity for photo-real environment creation with the availability of Bryce 7, Bryce 7 PRO and the Bryce 7 Personal Learning Edition (PLE). Working directly with the DAZ 3D community, Bryce 7 was inspired by the unique needs of professional artists, game designers and 3D enthusiasts alike. With three specialized versions, Bryce is better able to cater to users' needs and skill sets, building upon DAZ 3D's goal to bring 3D to the masses. Artists utilizing Bryce 7 will gain the ability to easily incorporate 3D models made in Google SketchUp or Electronic Arts' Spore Creature Creator into their pipeline. This direct import option, created specifically for Bryce 7 workflows, streamlines integration and eliminates cumbersome tweaking, utilizing new import and export options for both the COLLADA and FBX file formats. Bryce users can now also export their amazing environments for use in a variety of other tools and 3D applications. Additionally, the DAZ Studio Bridge within the Bryce pipeline has been re-designed to transfer models from DAZ Studio 3, into Bryce 7 with less overhead and greater ease. Even complex layered 3D figures and accessories now seamlessly import into Bryce 7. For more information, please - Click Here


RenderMan Studio and RenderMan 4 for Maya

+ Pixar Animation Studios today disclosed full details of the upcoming versions of its RenderMan Studio and RenderMan for Maya products at SIGGRAPH 2010. Targeted for release in the fall of 2010, RenderMan for Maya 4.0 is Pixar’s RenderMan plug-in for Autodesk’s Maya, optimized to provide fast and easy access to the photorealistic rendering technology used to create the stunning visual effects in the majority of today’s feature films. This latest version provides accelerated performance via the addition of unlimited threading and significant acceleration and memory efficiencies from core optimizations to the internal renderer. Additionally RenderMan for Maya 4.0 brings support for Maya Fluids, Maya 2011 compatibility, and the addition of a new unified interface for RenderMan Controls.
Also targeted for release in the fall of 2010, RenderMan Studio 3.0 includes all of the above new features and adds enhanced Slim integration, a new production-quality shader library, a relighting GUI built on PRMan’s re-rendering API, enhanced co-shader support, PSets, Ptex compatibility, and more. In addition, RenderMan Studio now includes Tractor 1.0, Pixar’s recently released distributed render management solution built on an innovative new architecture designed to manage both small and large multi-core render farms.
RenderMan for Maya 4.0 is compatible with Mac OS 10.5 and 10.6, Windows 7, Windows Vista 32-bit and 64-bit, and Windows Vista 64-bit HPC Server. In addition to the above, RenderMan Studio 3.0 is compatible with Linux 32-bit and 64-bit. New purchasers of the current versions of both products are entitled to a free upgrade when these versions release. Tractor 1.0 is included in RenderMan Studio and is also available as a standalone product. Each additional Tractor license is able to execute one task on a remote client for only $99. Until December 31, 2012, existing Alfred, Alfserver, RenderMan Pro Server, and RenderMan Studio customers on active maintenance are entitled to freely replace their Alfred and Alfserver licenses with an equivalent number of Tractor licenses on a one to one basis at any time. Tractor 1.0 is compatible with Mac OS X and Linux 32-bit and 64-bit, but can deploy tasks to Windows 7, Windows Vista 32-bit and 64-bit, and Windows Vista 64-bit HPC Server also. Pixar’s annual maintenance program benefits customers with access to ongoing support and free upgrades. For more information please visit www.pixar.com

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