Issue: Volume 38 Issue 4: (Jul/Aug 2015)



Motion Capture

Solver Boost
IKinema launched IKinema Action for MotionBuilder, the first third-party solver for Autodesk’s 3D character animation software. Based on the same core technology as Action for Maya, Action for MotionBuilder provides retargeting, marker solving, and rigging capabilities, enabling animators to achieve realism with motion-capture data directly within MotionBuilder. The offering improves the animation quality and simplifies pipelines with consistent results from the mocap shoot through to postprocessing and animation. 


Follow Closely
Vicon has launched Tracker 3, the latest version of its engineering object tracking software. The upgrade improves the quality and precision of data used in virtual reality (VR) experiences, and now includes native integration with MathWorks Simulink, a simulation and model-­based design application. The upgrade addresses key issues that often affect the perception of realism and physical presence in an immersive environment. Improvements have been made to increase the quality of the data, in particular to tackle the amount of unwanted noise that causes latency. By implementing new computer vision algorithms, Tracker 3 captures a higher quality of data, which then requires less filtering – ultimately enhancing the user’s experience.


Procedural Processes
Side Effects Software and Maxon have begun a public beta of the Houdini Engine for Cinema 4D. The Houdini Engine enables Houdini’s procedural technology to work inside other digital content creation applications. Studios can build custom effects using the Houdini Engine API and give access to artists using Maxon Cinema 4D. Houdini users will benefit from Cinema 4D’s intuitive workflow. Optimized effects and objects for Cinema 4D are available for free from Side Effects in the online Orbolt Store.

Reverse Engineering

New Power
nPower Software has released Power Surfacing RE, an add-in reverse engineering (RE) product for SolidWorks 3D design software that improves the process for reverse engineering scanned meshes, other mesh data, and SolidWorks geometry within SolidWorks. Power Surfacing RE is built on top of nPower’s Power Surfacing product. Power Surfacing RE simplifies the process with tools to reference and convert the scanned mesh into “standard” SolidWorks NURBS geometry, so SolidWorks commands normally used on native SolidWorks geometry can be used. Power Surfacing RE also includes mesh cleanup and preparation tools to simplify the reverse engineering process. The product cost $2,495. 


Creator’s Choice
The Productivity and Graphics group of Smith Micro Software has rolled out the latest version of its Anime Studio software for streamlining complex animations. The new Frame-by-Frame feature of Anime Studio 11 lets artists switch between traditional animation and more automated bone-rigging techniques, making it faster and easier to achieve different effects without switching tools. New and enhanced drawing and painting features provide a natural feel and raster-like characteristics with lifelike results. Anime Studio Pro 11 is available for $299.99, and Anime Studio Debut 11 for novice artists costs $49.99. 


Stock Images

Taking Stock
Adobe has launched Adobe Stock, stock content service integrated directly into the creation process and the tools creatives use. Available through Adobe Creative Cloud, this service simplifies the purchase and use of stock content. Adobe Stock offers 40 million-plus high-quality images and is integrated into the latest releases of Photoshop CC, InDesign CC, Illustrator CC, Premiere Pro CC, and After Effects CC. Designers can launch Adobe Stock directly within the CC desktop software. Adobe Stock is also available as a standalone stock service. Pricing for CC individual and team customers is $9.99 for a single image; $29.99 per month for 10 images monthly, and $199 per month for 750 images monthly.