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August 2016

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SIGGRAPH NEWS 38 POST AUGUST 2016 AUTODESK MAKES MAYA, MAX & ARNOLD ANNOUNCEMENTS SAN FRANCISCO — At SIGGRAPH, Autodesk ( showed the latest design animation solutions for Maya 2017, featuring integrated rendering with Arnold, new motion graphics tools, and numerous fea- tures and enhancements that help artists work faster and easier. Maya 2017 now includes Arnold as its default renderer. This integration of Arnold into Maya 2017 builds on the popular MAXtoA Arnold plug-in and brings advanced rendering capabilities within Maya. Maya 2017 now includes a full set of 3D tools for creating motion graphics. The MASH procedural toolset, first introduced in Maya 2016 extension 2, has been improved with new nodes and new capabilities that allow designers to quickly create animations and motion effects. Maya 2017 also features a more intuitive UI and improvements to 3D text tools that enable artists to work faster as they create complex motion graphics, animations and effects. There's also a new MAXtoA plug-in allowing 3DS Max users to take advan- tage of Arnold's rendering capabilities available from Solid Angle's Website. Autodesk also unveiled the latest version of its 3D animation and modeling software for indie game developers — Maya LT 2017 — as well as Stingray 1.4, the newest version of its powerful 3D game engine and realtime rendering solution. Maya LT 2017 is available globally via subscription. Subscribers of Maya LT receive access to Stingray 1.4 as part of their subscription. THINKBOX IMPROVES POINT CLOUD MESHING APPLICATION LOS ANGELES — Thinkbox Software ( has introduced Sequoia 1.1, a new version of the standalone point cloud mesh- ing application that nearly doubles the software's previous performance speed. Additional advancements include native Linux support, along with new workflows capable of maintaining georeferenced data precision, and simplifying the process of exporting textured mesh data to 3D applica- tions and game engines. Sequoia quickly and efficiently creates geometry from point cloud data acquired from laser scanners, photogrammetry and other sourc- es. Compatible with the Windows, MacOS and Linux platforms, it easily handles large data sets exceeding system memory, and remains interactive throughout. Native integration with Thinkbox's Deadline enables point cloud and mesh processing across multiple com- pute nodes. Other feature addi- tions include baking high-resolution point colors to texture maps, support for new point cloud file formats, including Zoller + Fröhlich and Riegl; new mesh file formats, including Autodesk .FBX, U3D, and 3D PDF; and new image file formats .CIN, .DPX, .HDR and .SGI. NOZON/CHAOS GROUP PARTNERSHIP SIMPLIFIES VOLUMETRIC VR BRUSSELS, BELGIUM — Nozon ( and Chaos Group (chaos have entered into a technology partnership that enables artists to create pre-rendered, volumetric VR. Using PresenZ and V-Ray, artists can design spaces with free movement and full parallax, without the help of a game engine. Nozon is a post production facility that delivers high-quality visual effects, 3D animation and fully immersive 360-degree CG movies. In 2015, Nozon created PresenZ, a technology that allows users to pre-render volumetric movies, merging the visual quality of a sci-fi blockbuster with the immersive feeling of a realtime game engine. Positional tracking has been a key to immersion for a long time. Without it, the presence breaks quickly and the user gets cyber sickness. While game engines have been the standard place to incorporate the six degrees of free- dom, image quality and scene complexity are very limited. Thanks to this new partnership, artists can use offline rendering to add important movements to their VR, like head motion or walking around inside an image. And because it's offline, there are no limitations on polycounts or scene density. "Animators, architects, designers — everyone has a need for immersive VR right now," notes Matthieu Labeau, business development manager at Nozon. "Working with Chaos Group, we've been able to bring our technology to the entire V-Ray community, one of the largest user bases of 3D artists in the world. Now everyone has the same opportunity to apply volumetric VR to their 360-degree movies." Creating volumetric VR with PresenZ follows the traditional 3D workflow. Scenes are built in a 3D application and rendered directly in V-Ray. PresenZ's V-Ray integration is currently in private beta. FACEWARE LAUNCHES NEW INTERACTIVE DIVISION LOS ANGELES — Faceware Technologies (, a developer of markerless 3D facial motion capture solutions, has launched Faceware Interactive, a new division focused on the development of software and hardware that can be used in the creation of digital characters with whom real people can interact. The company showcased some of its early work in this area at the recent SIGGRAPH 2016 show. Faceware's software technology iden- tifies the movement of an actor's face from video and applies that movement to a computer-generated character. The company also offers head-mounted and stationary cameras. In order to focus more effort in the interactive area, Faceware formed this new division and is investing in research and development of both software and hardware to further enable interactive experiences in the public and professional space. "To us, interacting with and through those characters so people can connect on a deeper level is the logical next step," says Peter Busch, VP of business development at Faceware Technologies. "We have much of the underlying technology in place and early efforts point to a promising future full of growth. While we can't share product information yet, we'll have some exciting news to share in the near future."

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