Tag Archives: modeling

Autodesk launches Maya 2019 for animation, rendering, more

Autodesk has released the latest version of Maya, its 3D animation, modeling, simulation and rendering software. Maya 2019 features significant updates for speed and interactivity and addresses some challenges artists face throughout production, providing faster animation playback to reduce the need for playblasts, higher quality 3D previews with Autodesk Arnold updates in viewport 2.0, improved pipeline integration with more flexible development environment support, and performance improvements that most Maya artists will notice in their daily work.

Key new Maya 2019 features include:
• Faster Animation: New cached playback increases animation playback speeds in viewport 2.0, giving animators a more interactive and responsive animating environment to produce better quality animations. It helps reduce the need to produce time-consuming playblasts to evaluate animation work, so animators can work faster.


• Higher Quality Previews Closer to Final Renders: Arnold upgrades improve realtime previews in viewport 2.0, allowing artists to preview higher quality results that are closer to the final Arnold render for better creativity and less wasted time.
• Faster Maya: New performance and stability upgrades help improve daily productivity in a range of areas that most artists will notice in their daily work.
• Refining Animation Data: New filters within the graph editor make it easier to work with motion capture data, including the Butterworth filter and the key reducer to help refine animation curves.
• Rigging Improvements: New updates help make the work of riggers and character TDs easier, including the ability to hide sets from the outliner to streamline scenes, improvements to the bake deformer tool and new methods for saving deformer weights to more easily script rig creation.
• Pipeline Integration Improvements: Development environment updates make it easier for pipeline and tool developers to create, customize and integrate into production pipelines.
• Help for Animators in Training: Sample rigged and animated characters, as well as motion capture samples, make it easier for students to learn and quickly get started animating.

Maya 2019 is available now as a standalone subscription or with a collection of end-to-end creative tools within the Autodesk Media & Entertainment Collection.

Maxon upgrades Cinema 4D to Release 17

Maxon’s Cinema 4D has undergone a major upgrade via its Release 17. Central to Cinema 4D R17 is the new Take System, which provides complete and flexible scene handling to manage render layers and animation variations. Also included are new lens distortion tools for improved motion tracking and completely reworked spline tools for greater efficiency when manipulating points, lines, tangents, arcs and more.

Maxon‘s Take System offers new functionality beyond a render layer system, allowing artists to create numerous independent takes of a scene and change almost any parameter for intuitive variations — all saved in a single scene file to eliminate file management hassles and wasted disk space. The ability to maintain complete versioning and variation control also saves valuable production time.

With lens distortion support, users can generate a distortion profile for any image (e.g., for curved and plunging lines when integrating 3D elements into videos or photos), remove distortion for tracking and scene creation, reapply distortion at render time and save lens settings for future use.

The new spline tools give artists added control for manipulating points, lines, tangents and arcs more intuitively. Users can also leverage Boolean operators like “intersect,” “subtract,” “union,” “and” and “or” for an even faster workflow.

Other updates include a new graph view that highlights problem track points in a graph and lets users easily remove them from the calculation for improved efficiency; dozens of new features to sculpt with precision and ease; and enhancements to the animation workflow that allow artists to animate faster and with more precision.

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Rounding out the upgrade is a pair of integrations. R17 now integrates with Side Effect’s Houdini Engine so that users can load Houdini Digital Assets (HDA) into Cinema 4D and manipulate them like standard Cinema 4D generators. Also, tighter integration with 3D modeling program SketchUp lets creative professionals quickly populate scenes by accessing free, ready-to-use objects created and made available by the SketchUp user community.

Review: Maxon Cinema 4D Studio R16

By Brady Betzel

It’s not every day that I need a full-fledged 3D application when editing in reality television, but when I do I call on 
Maxon’s Cinema 4D. The Cinema 4D Studio R16 release is chock full of features aimed at people like me who want to get in and get out of their 3D app without pulling out all of their hair.

I previously reviewed Cinema 4D Studio R15, and that is when I began to fall in love with just how easy it was becoming to build raytraced titles or grow grass with the click of my Wacom stylus. Now we are seeing the evolution from not just a standard 3D app but a motion graphics powerhouse that can be used to craft a powerful set of opening credits or seamlessly composite a beautiful flower vase using the new motion tracker all inside of Cinema 4D Studio R16.

I’ve grown up with Cinema 4D, so I may be a little partial to it, but luckily for me the great Continue reading

BlackGinger creates CG cars to help tell history of Mazda

Cape Town, South Africa-based VFX, animation and post house BlackGinger recently completed work on a Mazda 3 commercial that takes an historical look into the car-maker’s evolution.

To help tell the story of Mazda through the years, BlackGinger added CG elements, including cars, to live-action footage. “Much research went into recreating every aspect of classic cars that are no longer available,” explains Darrin Hofmeyr, animation supervisor at BlackGinger, “namely the Le Mans winner and the three wheeled Mazdago. We took great care to match the CG cars to the originals.” Check out the spot here.

But it wasn’t just the cars that needed attention — the locations these vehicles were driving through needed to be as accurate as they could be in order to tell the story of Mazda. This Continue reading