Post Magazine

APRIL 2010

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Bits & Pieces Autodeskdiscusses 2011 releases M ONTREAL — Autodesk’s ( todesk. com) 2011 software releases are now available. Maurice Patel, Autodesk’s entertainment industry manager, says the company has been working hard to recognize and respond to trends they see in the film, television and videogame markets.These include in- Rob Hoffmann, spoke more specifically about the 2011 releases. Maya 2011, he says, features an en- hanced user interface, an accelerated skinning work- flow, non-destructive live retargeting features, 64-bit Mac OS X support, 3D editorial features and color management tools. 3DS Max 2011 includes a new node-based mate- rial editor, which Hoffmann says was an often-requested feature by customers. The Quicksilver hardware renderer im- proves rendering performance and makes use of both the CPU and GPU. Users can also now render images larger than screen resolution. Softimage 2011 features a new shader Maya 2011 features 64-bit Mac OS X support. creased interest in stereoscopic 3D, virtual production, an increase in the use of digital characters, changing business and distribution models, broadening demo- graphics, and the growth in mobile and online games. As such,Autodesk is responding with tools and ef- ficiencies that customers can take advantage of to create entertainment. One example is the increased interoperability between the software tools the com- pany includes in its Entertainment Creation Suites. These suites can represent a cost savings of as much as 35 percent when compared to purchasing the ap- plications individually. Another example is the refine- ment Autodesk has made to Mental Ray, which now allows the same renderer to be used for any 3DS Max, Maya or Softimage project. Autodesk’s senior product marketing manager, operating environment and ICE Kinemat- ics, which allows technical directors to cre- ate advanced elements, as well as easily troubleshoot and de-bug rigs. The Face Robot lipsyncing tool allows users to eas- ily create facial animation based on an audio file. Mudbox 2011, the company’s digital sculpting tool, features new tools for pos- ing models, along with new image adjustment brushes. Enhanced file transfer capabilities streamline workflows that include Maya and Photoshop. The new release also offers 64-bit OS X support.The company’s realtime character animation software, MotionBuilder 2011, now integrates more smoothly into production pipelines and features GPU-calcu- lated deformers. For those looking for value and a package of tools, the Autodesk Entertainment Creation Suites come with a choice of either Maya 2011 or 3DS Max 2011, along with MotionBuilder 2011 and Mudbox 2011. While pricing will remain similar to the 2010 re- leases, the price of Softimage 2011 has been reduced to $2,995 in its standalone version. By Marc Loftus HPintros compact workstation & mobile solution P ALO ALTO, CA — HP (www.hp. com) introduced a number of new products last month, including a small form factor workstation, multi-core processor updates to its Z Workstation series, and a mobile workstation featuring its DreamColor display technology. The HP Z200 Small Form Factor joins Ireland-based film and television post facility Windmill Lane Pictures ( has completed a move to the heart of Dublin’s creative district. The refurbished build- ing incorporates facilities for audio and video post, including three new sound studios designed by acoustic design con- sultancy White Mark Ltd. Two of the rooms are designed for 5.1 work, while the third is a stereo room. The studio has standardized on Digidesign Pro Tools and a D-Command console, along with Genelec speakers. The two main studios have JVC HD100 projectors. 4 Post • April 2010 the Z workstation line and delivers work- station performance and reliability in a compact and affordable package.The HP Z200 SFF workstation is two-thirds smaller than the Z200 minitower and has dual core options based on the Intel Core i3 and i5 series, as well as a quad- core option based on the Xeon 3400 se- ries. The Z200 sup- ports up to 16GBs of ECC memory and up to 2TBs of high-speed storage. It offers an 89 percent efficient power supply and is available now with prices start at $739. New six-core, 32nm Intel Xeon 5600 series proces- sors are now available on HP Z800 worksta- tions, which deliver greater parallel pro- cessing performance. The HP Z400, Z600 and Z800 are available with prices start- ing at $929 for Z400, $1,579 for the Z600, and $1,799 for the Z800. The new EliteBook 8740w offers Core i5 and i7 procs and supports 16GB of system memory. It features an anodized-aluminum finish and the ability to produce accurate, consistent color through a 17-inch DreamColor display. It offers a choice of the ATI FirePro M7820 with 1GB of GDDR5 video memory or either Nvidia’s Quadro FX 2800M or 3800M, both with 1GB GDDR3 video memory.The 8740w is available this month.

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