Autodesk Announces 2013 Digital Entertainment Creation Software Portfolio

New Releases Remove Technical Barriers to Creativity With Enhanced Workflows and Toolsets

Autodesk, Inc., (NASDAQ: ADSK) announced the 2013 versions of its Digital Entertainment Creation (DEC) software and suites, used by leading artists working in film, game development, television and advertising. The new releases improve consistency and interoperability between applications, making it even easier for artists to take advantage of powerful new and enhanced creative features.

"Creative artists want to work at the speed of thought," said Marc Petit, Autodesk senior vice president, Media & Entertainment. "They need software that enables them to explore new concepts, iterate and refine their ideas. The 2013 releases of our Entertainment Creation Suites provide rich visual feedback earlier in the creative process and allow artists to work in their favorite tools by making it easier to move between multiple applications. Autodesk is also removing technical barriers to the creation of believable characters by providing new simulation tools for realistic cloth, hair and crowds."


Artists can now create sophisticated crowd simulations in a dedicated environment within Softimage. Using the power of the ICE (Interactive Creative Environment) multi-threaded particle system, artists can create massively complex effects with huge numbers of characters that react intelligently to their environment and each other. CrowdFX simulations can be easily exported to Maya 2013 for integration into existing Maya scenes.

"Entertainment companies are seeking out new ways to standardize and optimize their workflows, better manage increasing project complexity, and take full advantage of globally distributed production resources," added Petit. "Autodesk is working closely with the leading studios in the film and games industries to develop and package workflows that address these challenges into our Entertainment Creation Suites."


With the addition of high-quality depth sorting, together with support for image planes and animation ghosting, Viewport 2.0 now offers a more functionally complete high-performance, high-quality viewport. With Viewport 2.0, artists can evaluate their work in a higher fidelity interactive environment in order to make better creative decisions. In addition, the same hardware rendering technology can be used to batch render larger-than-screen-size frames, producing high-quality animatics and previsualizations in less time.

Expanded Suites Deliver More Powerful Toolsets

Autodesk extended its suites offering with the new Autodesk Entertainment Creation Suite Ultimate edition. This suite contains both Autodesk 3ds Max 2013 and Autodesk Maya 2013 animation software, together with Autodesk Softimage 2013 3D animation and visual effects software, Autodesk Mudbox 2013 3D sculpting and painting software and Autodesk MotionBuilder 2013 real-time virtual production and motion capture editing software.


Artists and directors can now each view the scene information that is important to them in an appropriate context, thanks to a new Floating Viewer. This enables one camera view to be displayed on a separate monitor from the main viewports; as an example, the artist might be viewing their working cameras on a computer monitor, while the director is viewing the final output on an additional display.

All editions of the Autodesk Entertainment Creation Suites now also include Autodesk SketchBook Designer 2013 concept art software. This product enables artists to explore and present new ideas for characters, props and environments using an intuitive hybrid paint and vector toolset.

For more information about the three editions of the Entertainment Creation Suites, visit http://www.autodesk.com/entertainmentcreationsuites


Combine painted bump map detail with extracted normal map detail to produce a single normal map—even in tangent space. Artists can now create relief detail both by sculpting and painting, and combine the results into a single map suitable for use in games engines.

Enhanced Interoperability Provides Greater Flexibility

Building on the existing data exchange workflows, the Autodesk Entertainment Creation Suites 2013 offer a variety of new features to further enhance interoperability between products:

  • Live character streaming between MotionBuilder and Maya provides an efficient way to previsualize a retargeting result in the final Maya scene before transferring the data between applications.
  • More consistent hotkeys make it easier for Maya artists to navigate viewports in the 3D suite applications, and help artists familiar with 3ds Max to get up to speed with Softimage faster.
  • The enhanced, consistent F-Curve Editor within 3ds Max, Maya, Softimage and MotionBuilder now offers consistent functionality, helping animators transition between these applications more smoothly.
  • Autodesk HumanIK Interoperability with CAT (Character Animation Toolkit) provides a single-step, round-trip workflow to transfer 3ds Max CAT bipedal characters between 3ds Max, Maya and MotionBuilder.
  • Enhanced interoperability between Maya and 3ds Max enables artists to move 3D data between the applications in a single step.


Animators can now convert 3ds Max CAT (Character Animation Toolkit) bipedal characters into characters that are compatible with the Autodesk HumanIK solver used in Maya 2013 software and MotionBuilder 2013 software in a single step. These portable characters enable animators to transfer existing character structure, definition, and animation between the software packages in order to take advantage of particular feature sets. Animation changes created in Maya or MotionBuilder can be updated back onto the original CAT character in 3ds Max, facilitating a round-trip workflow.

Autodesk 2013 Software Helps Power Creativity, Enable Collaboration and Manage Data Complexity

Products contained within the Autodesk Entertainment Creation Suites 2013 have also been updated to offer new creative toolsets, more interactive viewports and workflow enhancements that help artists collaborate, manage complexity and move data through their pipeline more efficiently:

  • Autodesk Maya 2013 software delivers powerful new toolsets for dynamic simulation, animation and rendering that offer new levels of creativity, while everyday productivity enhancements help artists work faster. In addition, the Open Data initiative introduced in Maya 2013 offers tools to help facilitate parallel workflows and better complexity handling.
  • Autodesk 3ds Max 2013 software delivers ActiveShade support in the NVIDIA iray renderer; a new render pass system; and enhanced interoperability with Adobe After Effects and Adobe Photoshop software. The 2013 version also offers new tools for motion graphics, 3D animation, and simulation.
  • Autodesk Softimage 2013 software delivers a new high-fidelity interactive environment and powerful new creative toolsets that include a new CrowdFX simulation feature set, along with enhanced modeling, animation, physics, and selection tools.
  • Autodesk MotionBuilder 2013 software helps production teams more reliably acquire, aggregate and refine data, and offers a new nonlinear editing paradigm for Virtual Production. Highlights are the option to record live motion capture data directly to disk, a flexible new HUD (heads-up display), a floating viewer and support for broadcast WAVE files.
  • Autodesk Mudbox 2013 software helps artists create complex production-ready scenes with greater ease, with the Gigatexel engine and the ability to work efficiently with significantly more objects. In addition, Mudbox 2013 offers new multipurpose curves, support for edge sharpness data and enhanced interoperability with Adobe Photoshop software.


Supporting the new Open Data initiative, Maya artists can now read and write the Alembic open computer graphics interchange framework format. Codeveloped by Sony Pictures Imageworks Inc. and Lucasfilm Ltd., Alembic distills complex animated and simulated data into application-independent baked geometry. As a result, massive datasets can be more easily passed between disciplines—as an example, animation and lighting—helping reduce the overhead and loss of interactivity associated with transferring fully editable scene data.

Autodesk also announced the 2013 version of its Autodesk Flame Premium software, which combines high-end visual effects and finishing tools with real-time color grading in a single solution. The 2013 version features:

  • More creative and technical tools for advanced compositing and 3D relighting
  • Interactivity enhancements in Action for an even more fluid creative experience
  • Improved 3D tracking workflow for greater flexibility and control when positioning compositing elements in a scene
  • Enhanced grading capabilities including new color grading presets to get started on look development, new media export workflow and Tangent Element modular control panel support


Image courtesy of The Mill
Substance materialize can be used to sample a defined section of an existing image and tile it in any direction and to generate normal, specular, AO and parallax displacement maps for realistic lighting properties. As pictured here, it is used for rapid set extension by sampling one building to form a 'terrace' - extending to the vanishing point while also creating a back row of buildings.

Availability

Product availability varies by country. Details and license purchasing options are available at http://www.autodesk.com/purchaseoptions

About Autodesk

Autodesk, Inc., is a leader in 3D design, engineering and entertainment software. Customers across the manufacturing, architecture, building, construction, and media and entertainment industries -- including the last 17 Academy Award winners for Best Visual Effects -- use Autodesk software to design, visualize and simulate their ideas. Since its introduction of AutoCAD software in 1982, Autodesk continues to develop the broadest portfolio of state-of-the-art software for global markets. For additional information about Autodesk, visit http://www.autodesk.com

Autodesk, AutoCAD, Maya, MotionBuilder, Mudbox, SketchBook, Softimage and 3ds Max are registered trademarks or trademarks of Autodesk, Inc., and/or its subsidiaries and/or affiliates in the USA and/or other countries. Academy Award is a registered trademark of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. iray is a registered trademark of NVIDIA ARC GmbH, licensed for use by Autodesk, Inc. All other brand names, product names or trademarks belong to their respective holders. Autodesk reserves the right to alter product and services offerings, and specifications and pricing at any time without notice, and is not responsible for typographical or graphical errors that may appear in this document.

© 2012 Autodesk, Inc. All rights reserved.

Autodesk


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