Computer Graphics World

September/October 2013

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review EFFECTS SILHOUETTE $1,495 base package $3,995 S3D option SilhouetteFX SilhouetteFX Silhouette Silhouette has been around for many years and is best known for its rotoscoping tools. Yet, the software has evolved into a full visual effects suite, with the ability to do painting, keying, and tracking. Version 5 of the software adds a number of new features, including tracking, image morphing, 3D, and inverse kinematics. Silhouette is available for Windows, OS X, and Linux. The software is 64-bit and, like most VFX software, requires a fairly fast system with lots of RAM and a good graphics card. For those who want to integrate Silhouette into a compositing pipeline, the software plugs in to Adobe's After Effects CS5 or higher and can integrate with The Foundry's Nuke. The interface to Silhouette is straightforward and will feel familiar to After Effects or Nuke users. In the middle of the screen is a large viewport for working, and that is surrounded by toolbars, node controls, timelines, and project files. I found the application to be easy to use with minimal training, though the website has many hours of in-depth tutorials. Probably the most common use of Silhouette is for rotoscoping. You can create as many mattes as you want using a variety of spline tools, which can all be animated. These mattes can each have their own feathering, and motion By George Maestri blur is also supported for those times when your subject is moving quickly. Mattes can be layered and placed into hierarchies for better control. New to Version 5 is an inverse-kinematics tool, which allows layers to be connected together using a bone system. This is designed to help rotoscope images with joints – such as humans, but also animals, mechanical assemblies, and more. With the right types of scenes, this can be a real time-saver. Another popular tool is Paint, which is a high dynamic range, non-destructive, 2D paint system. This is most commonly used for visual effects, such as wire or dust removal. Silhouette provides a September/October 2013, Volume 36, Issue 6: COMPUTER GRAPHICS WORLD (USPS 665-250) (ISSN-0271-4159) is published bi-monthly with special additional issues in January and July resulting in 8 issues per year by COP Communications, Inc. Corporate offices: 620 West Elk Avenue, Glendale, CA 91204, Tel: 818-291-1100; FAX: 818-291-1190; Web Address: Periodicals Postage Paid at Glendale, CA, 91205 & additional mailing offices. COMPUTER GRAPHICS WORLD is distributed worldwide. Annual subscription prices are $72, USA; $98, Canada & Mexico; $150 International airfreight. To order subscriptions, call 847-559-7310. © 2013 CGW by COP Communications, Inc. All rights reserved. No material may be reprinted without permission. Authorization to photocopy items for internal or personal use, or the internal or personal use of specific clients, is granted by Computer Graphics World, ISSN-0271-4159, provided that the appropriate fee is paid directly to Copyright Clearance Center Inc., 222 Rosewood Drive, Danvers, MA 01923 USA 508-750-8400. Prior to photocopying items for educational classroom use, please contact Copyright Clearance Center Inc., 222 Rosewood Drive, Danvers, MA 01923 USA 508-750-8400. For further information check Copyright Clearance Center Inc. online at: The COMPUTER GRAPHICS WORLD fee code for users of the Transactional Reporting Services is 0271-4159/96 $1.00 + .35. POSTMASTER: Send change of address form to Computer Graphics World, P.O. Box 3296, Northbrook, IL 60065-3296. C G W S e p t e mb e r / O c t o b e r 2 013 ■ 47

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