Computer Graphics World

April 2011

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 5 of 51

Autodesk Hits a New Suite Spot Autodesk has revealed new releases of its digital entertainment creation software and middleware. The 2012 versions enable iterative workfl ows, help users manage complexity, and provide new creative tools. “Our 2012 product releases harness the latest hardware tech- nology to increase performance and deliver stunning graphics in the viewport,” says Marc Petit, Autodesk senior vice presi- dent, Media & Entertainment. “We have also enhanced interop- erability and simplifi ed pipeline integration, making it easier for our customers to take advantage of specialized tool sets, and provided new creative tools for modern production trends like virtual moviemaking and stereoscopic 3D production.” Building on its success by offering packaged suites, Autodesk continued in this direction by unveiling its 2012 Entertainment Creation Suites that give artists and production facilities access to a range of creative tool sets at an attrac- tive price. Artists can extend their familiar Autodesk 3ds Max or Maya workfl ow with intuitive tools for sculpting and texture painting, real-time character animation, and effects. Single- step interoperability and more consistent user interfaces in the suites enable artists to more easily utilize multiple products from the company; they also make specialized tool sets more accessible to the user. The stars of the suites are the individual software applica- tions, each sold separately as well as bundled in new pack- ages. All the products in these Entertainment Creation Suites offer new features and enhancements. For instance, 3ds Max 2012 delivers a new accelerated graphics core, mRigids for dynamic rigid-body simulations in the viewport and new sculpt- ing and painting enhancements, like the Clone brush. Maya 2012 provides signifi cant enhancements to the viewport offer- ing full-screen effects, editable motion trails for animation edit- ing in the viewport, as well as new simulation options. Autodesk Softimage 2012 provides new procedural ICE modeling, inte- grated Syfl ex cloth simulation, stereoscopic capabilities, and multiple core SDK additions. Autodesk Mudbox 2012 delivers enhancements to the painting tool set, new UV and topology- independent workfl ows, practical posing tools, and improved large dataset handling. Autodesk MotionBuilder 2012 provides a new in-viewport stereoscopic display and camera rig, a unifi ed interface and solver for Autodesk HumanIK 4.5 or 2012 middleware, as well as new tools for virtual moviemaking. A stand-alone license for either Maya 2012 or 3ds Max 2012 costs $3495. The Entertainment Creation Suite Premium 4 PRODUCT: DCC April 2011 2012, which offers Maya or Max, together with Softimage, Mudbox, and MotionBuilder software, costs $6495 (a 42 percent savings over purchasing the software separately). A stand-alone license for Softimage 2012 is priced at $2995. In addition, Autodesk announced creative fi nishing software for fi lm, television, and postproduction. Autodesk Flame Premi- um combines high-end visual effects and fi nishing tools with real-time color grading in a single solution. The 2012 release features: tools for integrating ultra-realistic 3D lighting effects into composites; a comprehensive set of effects tools for fi nish- ing stereoscopic 3D projects; enhanced fi nishing workfl ows with CG pipelines; and tools for making 3D compositing as fast and interactive as traditional 2D compositing. Autodesk Smoke 2012 offers a timeline-based, all-in-one creative solution for professional fi nishing on the Mac. The Smoke tool set spans color correction, compositing, 3D visual effects, and stereoscopic 3D, and features an effi cient comple- mentary workfl ow with Apple Final Cut Pro. Autodesk also targeted the middleware market for gaming in an attempt to solve known runtime challenges by enabling programmers to focus on high-impact areas of development. To this end, an enhanced API in Autodesk Beast 2012 global- illumination middleware enables developers to integrate the eRnsT interactive lighting preview tool into custom game-level editors. Autodesk HumanIK 2012 character animation middle- ware now supports the next-generation portable entertain- ment system (code name: NGP) from Sony Computer Enter- tainment, as well as the Apple iOS mobile platform, enabling more realistic character animation on the latest mobile gaming devices. And, Autodesk Kynapse 2012 artifi cial intelligence middleware focuses on improving runtime performance and making advanced features easier to use.

Articles in this issue

Archives of this issue

view archives of Computer Graphics World - April 2011