Tag Archives: 3ds Max

NAB: Autodesk buys Solid Angle, updates products

At the NAB show, Autodesk announced that it has acquired Solid Angle, developer of Arnold, an advanced, ray-tracing image renderer for high-quality 3D animation and visual effects creation used in film, television and advertising worldwide. Arnold has been used on Academy Award-winning films such as Ex Machina and The Martian, as well as Emmy Award-winning series Game of Thrones, among other popular features, TV shows and commercials.

As part of Autodesk, Solid Angle’s development team will continue to evolve Arnold, working in close collaboration with its user community. Arnold will remain available as a standalone renderer for both Autodesk products and third-party applications including Houdini, Katana, and Cinema 4D on Linux, Mac OS X and Windows. Both Autodesk 3ds Max and Autodesk Maya will also continue to support other third-party renderers.

“We’re constantly looking out for promising technologies that help artists boost creativity and productivity,” shared Chris Bradshaw, senior VP, Autodesk Media & Entertainment. “Efficient rendering is increasingly critical for 3D content creation and acquiring Solid Angle will allow us to help customers better tackle this computationally intensive part of the creative process. Together, we can improve rendering workflows within our products as well as accelerate the development of new rendering solutions that tap into the full potential of the cloud, helping all studios scale production.”

“Autodesk shares our passion for numerical methods and computational performance and our desire to simplify the rendering pipeline, so artists can create top quality visuals more easily,” said Solid Angle Founder Marcos Fajardo. “With Autodesk, we’ll be able to accelerate development as well as scale our marketing, sales and support operations for Arnold to better meet the needs of our growing user base. Working side-by-side, we can solve production challenges in rendering and beyond.”

Arnold pricing and packaging is unchanged and Autodesk will continue to offer perpetual licenses of Arnold. Customers should continue to purchase Arnold through their usual Solid Angle channels.

Product Updates
In other news, Autodesk updated three of its products.

Autodesk Flame 2017:
– Camera FX scene-based tools enable the creation of sophisticated 3D composites in Action.Powered by algorithms from the Stingray game engine, artists can use these highly interactive VFX tools for ambient occlusion, realistic reflections, and depth of field without slowing interactivity.
– Connected color workflow introduces a new level of integration between VFX and proven color grading. This new workflow brings color grading information from Autodesk Lustre directly into Flame’s node-based compositing environment and maintains a live connection so that composites can be rendered and seen in context in Lustre (our main image). This collaborative workflow allows artists to rapidly finish high-end projects by moving seamlessly between compositing, VFX and look development tools.
– Color management enhancements to Flame, Autodesk Flare and Autodesk Flame Assist allow users to quickly standardize the way a source’s colorspace is identified and processed.
– User-requested enhancements include improvements to desktop reels, conform and timeline workflow, batch, media panel and the UI.

Autodesk Maya 2016 Extension 2:
Extension 2 adds new capabilities for creating 3D motion graphics, a new rendering workflow and tools for artists that allow them to create and animate characters faster and easier than ever.
– New motion graphics tools bring a procedural, node-based 3D design workflow directly into Maya. Combining powerful motion graphics tools with Maya’s deep creative toolset allows artists to quickly create sophisticated and unique 3D motion graphics such as futuristic UIs, expressive text, and organic animation and effects.
– Updated render management makes segmenting your scenes into render layers easier and faster, giving artists more control.
– Character creation workflows with a new quick rig tool and shape authoring enhancements that allow artists to create, rig and animate characters faster. Additional updates include: improvements to symmetry and poly modeling, UV editing, animation performance, rigging, the Bifrost workflow and XGen; a content browser; deep adaptive fluid simulation and high-accuracy viscosity in Bifrost; and XGen hair cards.

Autodesk 3ds Max 2017:
Freeing up more time for creativity, 3ds Max 2017 offers artists a fresh new look as well as modeling, animation and rendering enhancements, including:
– A new UI with support for high DPI displays expands the array of monitors and laptops users may run the software on while correctly applying Windows display scaling.
– Autodesk Raytracer Renderer (ART) a fast, physically-based renderer, enables the creation of photoreal imagery and videos.
– 3ds Max asset library, available via the Autodesk Exchange App Store, offers quick access to model libraries; simply search assets and drag and drop them into a scene.
– Additional updates include fast form hard surfaces; UV mapping, object tool and animation productivity enhancements; a scene converter for moving from one renderer to another or to realtime engines; and tighter pipeline integration via an improved Python/.NET toolset.

Autodesk intros Stingray game engine

Autodesk’s new Stingray game engine will be available to game developers worldwide beginning August 19. Later this summer, Autodesk will also offer Autodesk Maya LT desktop subscription customers access to Autodesk Stingray as part of their subscription.

Built on the data-driven architecture of the Bitsquid engine, which Autodesk acquired in 2014, Stingray is a new platform for making 3D games. The engine supports a host of industry-standard game development workflows and includes powerful connectivity to Autodesk 3D animation software that simplifies game development across a wide range of platforms.

Highlights of the new Stingray engine include a seamless art-to-engine workflow, allowing users to import, create, iterate, test and review 3D assets and gameplay faster using a one-click workflow and live link between Stingray and Autodesk 3D animation software.

In addition, a lightweight code base allows game developers to make significant changes to the engine and renderer without requiring source code access. A rendering pipeline, physically-based shading, advanced particle effects, post processed visual effects, lightmap baking and a high-performance reflection system help make the games look high end.

Stingray includes solutions such as Beast, HumanIK, Navigation, Scaleform Studio (UI technology built on Scaleform), FBX, Audiokinetic Wwise and Nvidia PhysX. At the same time, a wide range of development tools — including visual node-based-scripting and Lua scripting — make game creation more accessible for game makers with varying levels of experience. C++ source code will also be available as an additional purchase upon request.

Among Stingray’s other features is the ability to make and apply changes to gameplay and visuals across supported platforms: Apple iOS, Google Android, Microsoft Windows 7 and Windows 8, Oculus Rift DevKit 2, Sony PlayStation 4 and Microsoft Xbox One. 

Autodesk previewed Stingray at GDC 2015 earlier this year in San Francisco. Since then, game developers around the world have signed up for Autodesk’s beta program and shipped games using this technology.

The Stingray engine can also be used in design environments and is an informative next step to further understand design data before anything is physically built. The engine’s realtime digital environment is programmed to look and feel like the physical world. Through the high-end development tools and visual scripting system, customers can program objects, light effects, environmental elements, materials and entourage elements to behave and react as they would in the physical world.

Chaos Group’s new V-Ray 3.2 for 3ds Max update is VR-ready

The Chaos Group has released V-Ray 3.2 for 3ds Max, a free update that introduces compatibility with 3ds Max 2016 and adds VR rendering capabilities and multiple V-Ray RT GPU enhancements.

Available for download at chaosgroup.com, V-Ray 3.2 for 3ds Max adds two new VR camera types to render stereo cube maps and spherical stereo images for VR headsets such as Oculus Rift and Samsung Gear VR. The update also offers V-Ray RT GPU improvements including displacement, anisotropic highlights, composite map, output curves, texture baking, UDIM support (Mari), and QMC sampling on Nvidia CUDA.

The update’s support for OpenVDB, Field3D, and Phoenix FD volume grid formats allows users to import and render data from popular effects applications such as Houdini and FumeFX. Newly equipped with distributed rendering, users also can add or remove distributed rendering nodes on the fly. An updated Light Cache algorithm removes light leaks and improves animation. With respect to geometry-ray 3.2 for 3ds Max includes new preview types for proxy objects, with mesh simplification for optimized proxy display; faster rendering of hair and fur; and Intel Embree support for 3ds Max Hair and Fur and V-Ray Fur. With support for 3ds Max 2016 comes full support for the new “physical camera” and its exposure control feature, as well as a new V-Ray lens analysis utility that adds support for the 3ds Max Physical Camera.

Chaos’ Service Pack 1 for V-Ray 3.0 for 3ds Max offers 100 improvements

Chaos Group’s new Service Pack 1 for V-Ray 3.0 for 3ds Max offers almost 100 new features, including faster render speeds, a new Microfacet GTR/GGX BRDF and advancements in V-Ray RT GPU.  Service Pack 1 is a free update for all V-Ray 3.0 customers and is available now for download.

Chaos’ V-Ray RT GPU now supports rendering hair and subsurface scattering, allowing for more advanced character work. Improved refresh speeds help with greater interactivity for look development and faster iterations. Light Cache support now makes it possible to render architectural interiors using the GPU.

V-Ray 3.0 for 3ds Max Service Pack 1 adds support for Microfacet GTR/GGX BRDF, for hard surfaces such as metal. In addition, many shaders have been refined for faster rendering and added functionality. There are now Clip opacity and Stochastic opacity material options for faster rendering of opacity-mapped trees and vegetation, improved translucency of two-sided materials, and optimized volume rendering with Light Cache support.
Other new features in Service Pack 1 include:

Geometry
• Updated to Embree 2.3; Embree can now accelerate VRayProxy objects, instances and Ornatrix/HairFarm hair
• New VRayInstancer geometric plugin for instancing objects using ParticleFlow systems
• Improved cutaway and section rendering with VRayClipper
• Automatic instancing of identical proxy objects
• Added support for subdivision objects in Alembic files through OpenSubdiv
• Added support for point cloud rendering in 3ds Max 2015
• New VRMesh/Alembic viewer for proxy objects

Lighting
• New disc-shaped area light
• Faster sampling of rectangular area lights
• Ability to control diffuse and specular lighting contributions separately

Render Elements and Compositing
• Support for OpenEXR 2.2 with new DWA compression options
• Render out light contributions into separate components (raw, diffuse, specular, etc.)
• New controls for object visibility in VRayVelocity render elements

V-Ray Frame Buffer
• New dockable history and color correction tools in V-Ray Frame Buffer
• New Reinhard highlight burn color correction
• Save multi-channel OpenEXR and .vrimg files directly from VFB
• Ability to load background image into VFB
• New option for loading files into VFB for post processing
• Improved anaglyph stereoscopic preview

 

Autodesk to acquire Shotgun Software

Autodesk has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Shotgun Software, a developer of scalable, cloud-based production tracking, review and asset management software for the film, television and games industries. This transaction is expected to close during Autodesk’s fiscal quarter ending July 31, 2014, and have no impact on Autodesk’s guidance issued on May 15, 2014. Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.

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Shotgun’s Don Parker.

Shotgun’s tools for production management are tightly integrated with many tools in the industry, including Autodesk 3ds Max and Autodesk Maya software. “Shotgun and Autodesk share a vision of an industry-wide, cloud-based production management system,” said Don Parker, Shotgun co-founder and chief executive officer. “Autodesk’s broad global network and development resources will speed up the pace of innovation and development of our global platform. Together, we will extend our tools deeper into the production process, and develop new solutions that best support the studios of the future.”

Since the launch of the Shotgun solution in 2006, it has become widely-adopted across the industry, providing business tools for managers and visual collaboration tools for artists and supervisors who are often working globally with distributed teams. More than 500 customers, including a number of leading studios, are using Shotgun’s customizable system and contribute to the ongoing development of its growing ecosystem of applications.

The existing Shotgun team will continue to support current and new customers, and lead future product development.

adesk guy

Autodesk’s Chris Bradshaw.

“The acquisition of Shotgun will accelerate Autodesk’s efforts to deliver solutions that help our creative customers solve the critical problem of operating more efficiently by collaborating globally to deliver increasingly complex productions on time and budget,” said Chris Bradshaw, senior VP, Autodesk Media & Entertainment. “Shotgun brings deep expertise and industry-leading technology in cloud products and production management, so we welcome the team, customers and community to Autodesk.”

 

 

Chaos Group ships V-Ray 3.0 for 3ds Max

Sofia, Bulgaria — Chaos Group’s new V-Ray 3.0 for Autodesk’s 3ds Max is now shipping. And thanks to optimizations to the raytracing core, Brute Force GI, Progressive Path Tracing, Reflections, Refractions and more are running up to five times faster; while the new Progressive Production Renderer brings fast set-ups and quick iterations.

“When your customers come from a variety of industries like architecture, product design, games, and VFX, the feature requests can be fairly diverse,” said Vlado Koylazov, lead developer and Chaos Group co-founder. “But speed and simplicity benefit all artists, so they are at the core of 3.0’s development.”

V-Ray 3.0’s new interface is designed with experienced users in mind. Three UI modes (Basic, Advanced, and Expert) can be selected to match an artist’s preference. The new V-Ray toolbar includes Quick Settings with dropdowns for production-ready presets for common uses like Archviz Exterior, Archviz Interior, and VFX. Settings for Quality and Shading Rate can be fine-tuned with easy-to-use sliders, making the entire process highly intuitive.

VFX artists will find that V-Ray 3.0 (www.V-Ray.com) offers improved Subsurface Scattering (SSS) including options for object-based and ray traced illumination, faster hair rendering speeds (up to 15x), view-dependent tessellation that automatically smoothes hair curves, and a dedicated Skin Shader with layered reflections. Now with UDIM and UVTILE support, it’s even easier to move Mari and Autodesk Mudbox assets into V-Ray.

“Our game cinematics are usually packed with epic action scenes, huge environments, multiple characters with hair and SSS, fire, explosions, debris, all with 3D motion blur and render passes. That’s a lot to work with, but V-Ray makes it easy to get the job done,” said Kevin Margo, VFX supervisor at Blur Studios, one of the software’s beta testers.

As an industry standard for large environments and complex scenes, V-Ray’s recent use on ILM’s Star Trek Into Darkness, Pacific Rim and The Lone Ranger has proven why it’s become such a dependable part of the pipeline for the digital environments and matte painting team.

“When we started The Lone Ranger, we changed some of the toolsets under the hood: we went strictly over to 3ds Max, using V-Ray as our renderer. That was the final piece of the puzzle. We were getting not only great render results, but great render throughput: it could handle everything we were throwing at it,” said Dan Wheaton, digital matte supervisor at ILM.

V-Ray 3.0 offers a number of additional workflow shortcuts, technical advances and support for open sources technologies:
• Render Mask – Users can define render regions using an object selection or image mask
•Reflection/ Refraction Trace Sets – Provides more direct control in choosing whether reflections and refractions are visible in objects
•Max Ray Intensity – Will easily fix artifacts from over-bright sources
•Probabilistic Lights – Increases the speed of scenes with a high number of lights
•V-Ray RT GPU – Improved with support for Render Elements
•V-Ray Frame Buffer – Improved with added color correction controls
•Open Source Technologies include: Alembic integration with support for hair and particles; Deep Data output support including OpenEXR 2.0; Ptex object-space vector displacement support; Open Shading Language (OSL) support for programmable shaders; and OpenColorIO support for advanced color management.

V-Ray 2.0 upgrades start at $420 and the full Workstation license price will be $1,050. As upgrade bundle prices vary, customers should contact their local reseller, or to Chaos Group directly.

Image Caption: Ciro Sannino created this image using the V-Ray 3.0 Beta and Progressive Rendering.

Be a part of Autodesk’s Best of the Best 2014 show reel

MONTREAL — Autodesk is now accepting submissions for its Best of the Best 2014 show reel, which will premiere at the NAB Convention from April 7-10, 2014 in Las Vegas.

Highlighting the year’s top talent and most innovative work created using Autodesk tools, the reel will be featured on AREA, the Autodesk website, the Autodesk YouTube Channel and at various industry events throughout the year.

Recent creative projects eligible for submission include animations, films, broadcast, cinematics, commercials, episodic work and/or music videos that were created with 3ds Max, Maya, MotionBuilder, Softimage, Smoke, Flame, Lustre or the Autodesk Entertainment Creation Suite.

For more information visit http://area.autodesk.com/submitcontent/2013/bestofthebest.