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Softimage unveils SOFTIMAGE|XSI 6.5 and SOFTIMAGE|FACE ROBOT 1.8
[permalink] 07.08.2007

Softimage XSI boxSoftimage unveiled new versions of their 3D animation software packages: SOFTIMAGE|XSI 6.5 and SOFTIMAGE|FACE ROBOT 1.8. Both SOFTIMAGE|XSI 6.5 Essentials and Advanced software will include more than thirty enhancements that were developed for key customers such as Lionhead Studios, Valve, EA, Animal Logic, Nerdcorps, Pandemic and NCSoft. Among the new features is a high dynamic range rendermap support; additional SDK APIs, UV editing enhancements; and enhanced audio support. Softimage also announced plans to repackage its Essentials and Advanced versions of SOFTIMAGE|XSI software: The Essentials version now includes Hair & Fur, and Syflex Cloth capabilities and its price will increase to $2,995 US, while the price for Advanced will decrease to $4,995 US. SOFTIMAGE|FACE ROBOT 1.8 will offer specific new features that focus on game development pipeline efficiencies, including Crosswalk, MOTOR (motion transfer), Delta Referencing and Animation Layers built on the SOFTIMAGE|XSI 6 core; a new shape rig export system allowing users to export entire head blend shapes for use in XSI and Autodesk Maya software; improved game export pipeline offering auto-enveloping, which delivers more accurate and higher quality results; and more training materials. All the new products are expected to be available Fall 2007. For more information, videos and presentations, navigate to the Softimage's SIGGRAPH 07 web site. [source]

LightWave 3D 9.3 available
[permalink] 07.08.2007
LightWave 3D 9 bannerNewTek's 3D package LightWave 3D got updated. Version 9.3 is the second in a series of free updates to the Emmy-award winning 3D application and provides improvements in rendering technology, including: the ability to render lines with photorealistic motion blur; two new sub-surface scattering shaders that are significantly faster than earlier shaders, and higher quality as well; various performance enhancements throughout the product; as well as numerous maintenance improvements. Available free to all registered owners of LightWave v9. [source]
NVIDIA ships new version of GELATO
[permalink] 07.08.2007

NVIDIA Plush Banner

NVIDIA Corporation demonstrated its next-generation, near-real-time, high-quality rendering product GELATO with performance improvements capable of re-lighting a complex scene in real-time. The company also released a version 2.2 of the product, which offers substantial performance improvements and many new features, such as faster ray-traced reflections, more accurate subsurface scattering, enhanced texture conversion and improved support for the Autodesk Maya Hair feature. Gelato 2.2 rendering software also offers an improved user interface and data exporting functionality along with enhanced Maya batch rendering. Gelato is well-suited for 3D software applications, including Autodesk Maya and Autodesk 3ds Max, which require high-quality rendering for animation, game development, CAD, industrial design, and architecture. Basic Gelato 2.2 is available now as a free download. Gelato Pro 2.2, priced at $1500, offers advanced rendering features and greater scalability for professional production pipelines. NVIDIA also presented The Plush Life, a new animated 3D short film by the NVIDIA Digital Film Group, which showcases many of the advanced rendering features of Gelato 2.2, emphasizing the latest hair and velvet shader technology and impressive image quality that can be achieved with Gelato software. [source]

Color Symmetry brings color-consistency to the VFX process
[permalink] 06.08.2007

Color Symmetry iconColor Symmetry, made by a California-based Duiker Research Corp., is a suite of plug-ins powered by a custom library of film profiles, proprietary LUTs, color correction nodes and transformation techniques that eliminate color disparity between the way images appear when being manipulated, integrated and rendered and the way they would look on a real film stock. The whole suite is designed to enhance you studio's color pipeline from initial rendering all the way up to the finishing stage - providing color-handling and film-emulating plug-ins for 3ds Max, Maya, LightWave 3D up to Toxik, Fusion and Shake (see the full list of supported host applications below). The Color Symmetry plug-in suite is available now, with platform-transparent support for Windows, Linux and Mac OS X systems. A single license of Color Symmetry includes plug-ins for Adobe After Effects / Photoshop, Apple Shake, Autodesk 3ds Max / Maya / Toxik, NewTek LightWave 3D, eyeon Fusion, IRIDAS FrameCycler, ASSIMILATE SCRATCH and OpenFX-compatible hosts. No pricing information has been disclosed publicly, yet. See the Color Symmetry Brochure or White Paper to learn more. [source]

New 3ds Max is here...
[permalink] 06.08.2007

Autodesk 3ds Max box shotAutodesk announced 3ds Max 2008, latest version of its out-of-the-box solution for 3D modeling, animation and rendering. This release focuses on overcoming challenges associated with working on large and complex datasets, thus bringing new viewport technology and optimizations for improved performance with scenes consisting of tens of thousands of objects. Selection and material assignment operations are said to be up to 10 times faster, object transformations should be up to 60 times faster! New Scene Explorer will offer hierarchical view of scene data, as well as fast scene analysis and editing tools. 3ds Max 2008 will also feature new, less menu-dependent modeling tools, mental ray workflow improvements or new integrated MAXScript ProEditor. For a list of new features in this release visit www.autodesk.com/3dsmax. Autodesk anticipates that 3ds Max 2008 will be available in October 2007 for a SRP of $3,495 US (for $795 US in case of an upgrade, respectively). [source]

Autodesk Launches Maya 2008
[permalink] 06.08.2007

Autodesk Maya 8 box shotDuring their 'product launching frenzy', Autodesk announced (along with new versions of Max, Toxik and Motion Builder) new version of Maya - Maya 2008. The new version improves overall modeling efficiency with a streamlined Mesh Smooth workflow, a new Slide Edge feature and performance-related improvements to Booleans, Bridge, Bevel and other tools. The speed of other tools and features - like Poly Reduce, Poly Smooth or mental ray mesh translation - also increased. Maya 2008 offers a host of improvements in the game development field as well, with support for DirectX HLSL shaders in the Maya viewport, a new hardware shader API, enhancements to the high-quality render view, accelerated mental ray texture baking, and more. The software also supports Windows Vista OS and includes latest mental ray 3.6 core (which - apart from the mentioned mesh/instances translation performance improvements - features faster IPR startup)... See the Features section on Autodesk's Maya site for a more detailed list of changes. Autodesk will release Maya 2008 in September 2007 for Windows and Linux systems (64-bit and 32-bit versions), as well as Mac OS X for Intel-based Macintosh and PowerPC computers (32-bit version only). [source]

Autodesk MotionBuilder 7.5 Extension 2
[permalink] 06.08.2007
The second extension for Autodesk MotionBuilder 7.5 software, real-time 3D character animation and 3D storytelling solution, is planned to be available for download to all Autodesk MotionBuilder Platinum members later this month. The extension delivers new performance enhancements (improved load speeds, faster scene evaluation), new Biped Template (enables 3ds Max software users to quickly rig their Biped characters in MotionBuilder), new Finger solver in the Actor toolset (allows animators to apply optical marker data to a character's fingers in real-time) and additional platform support for the Intel-based Macintosh system and the 64-bit Windows XP OS. [source]
Focusrite unveils ISA 828
[permalink] 06.08.2007

Focusrtite ISA 828Focusrite's new ISA 828 eight channel rack-mounted (2U) microphone preamplifier comes with original ISA transformer-balanced preamps with the same circuit design as the ISA110 module from Focusrite's Forte console (including Lundahl L1538 transformers and Zobel network). The microphone input stage includes a variable impedance circuit, the four front panel instrument inputs also feature high and low impedance options. Insert switches are on every channel, as well as a high-pass filter. Optionally, the unit can be retrofitted with eight-channel 192kHz A/D card (with noise performance at -122dBF and jitter less than 250 picoseconds). Every channel features a six LED input meter with trim utilising the same reference points as Digidesign's Pro Tools HD. Detailed photos of the unit at Focusrite's web site: Front, Rear. [source]

SOFTIMAGE|CAT 3 now available
[permalink] 04.08.2007

Softimage CATSoftimage has released SOFTIMAGE|CAT 3, the latest version of the popular character rigging and animation plug-in for Autodesk 3ds Max software. CAT's third incarnation brings new character rig presets (allows customers to add skin meshes, deformation objects, manipulator objects, and any kind of 3ds Max object to a character rig), real-time update to pre-set character rigs, realistic skin and tendon deformation for 3D character rigs (i.e. CATMuscle), procedural controls for bones, and joint limits to restrict bone movements to a pre-defined range. For a more detailed list of new features, visit this page. SOFTIMAGE|CAT 3 is available now for $995 US via download delivery, customers of CAT 2 can upgrade for $295 US. Before committing to buy the software, you can view the CAT animated galleries, or download the free trial version (requires registration). [source]

Bowers & Wilkins presents audiophile iPod speakers
[permalink] 03.08.2007

Bowers Wilkins Zeppelin iPod SpeakersHi-Fi legend B&W, the company behind monitoring loudspeakers used e.g. at Abbey Road Studios or Skywalker Sound, introduced "Made for iPod" speakers called Zeppelin. It is a one-piece amplified speaker system and docking station that transforms an iPod into a capable, very compact "audiophile-grade" stereo system. Zeppelin is available from September 2007 at select Apple Stores at a MSRP of $599 US. [source]

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New broadcast products from Blackmagic Design

Blackmagic Design Q1 Broadcast Update Blackmagic Design announced several new products incl. the Blackmagic URSA Broadcast Ultra HD camera for both ENG and studio work costing 3,495 USD; new Blackmagic Fiber Converters to extend and fully power cameras up to 2 km away from video, talkback, tally and more; new ATEM 4 M/E Broadcast Studio live production switcher with 4 M/Es, 20 inputs, 16 new ATEM Advanced Chroma Keyers, DVEs, and more; and new ATEM 1 M/E Advanced Panel with LCD and customizable controls. All the new products are available now! [source]

V-Ray 3.6 for Rhino
Chaos Software has released V-Ray 3.6 for Rhino. The new version incorporates powerful GPU and hybrid rendering, adaptive lights, improved de-noising, cloud rendering, and a library of over 600 lifelike materials. [more]
Sonnox introduces VoxDoubler
Sonnox released VoxDoubler, the first plug-in from a new range they're calling Toolbox. [more]
Steinberg WaveLab 9.5 trial version now available
Steinberg announced the immediate availability of the free trial versions of WaveLab Pro 9. [more]
Modo exports Facebook-ready 3D objects
Foundry announced that Modo will help creators bring 3D and virtual reality content to the masses, arising from an early partnership with Facebook. [more]
Panasonic VariCam LT FW 6.0
New firmware 6.0 for Panasonic's VariCam LT digital film camera adds enhanced functionality with AK-HRP1000/1005/HRP200 remote operation panels; faster boot-up; support for playback of multiple clips in succession as well as in order of selection; new lenses compatibility (Canon CN-E70-200mm T4. [more]
Blender add-on Magic UV updated to v5.0
The Magic UV plug-in for Blender has been updated to version 5. [more]

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