Issue: Volume 39 Issue 3: (May/Jun 2016)


The Foundry Delivers Nuke 10

The Foundry has released Nuke 10 and Nuke Non-commercial 10, which focus on enhancing performance and delivering new functionality in the areas of paint, playback, export, and more. There are key updates across the entire product range: Nuke, NukeX, and Nuke Studio.

OpenColorIO integration leads the list of updates to keep Nuke in line with industry standards. And NukeX and Nuke Studio get a new Smart Vector toolset for automated cleanup, replacement, and augmentation tasks. Nuke Studio’s timeline toolset now has new in-timeline soft effects, including a real-time keyer and color correction and enhanced audio handling with audio scrubbing support. Users also have access to a brand-new raytrace renderer.

A new license plus a first year of maintenance costs $4,272 for Nuke, $7,998 for NukeX, and $9,331 for Nuke Studio. Upgrade pricing is also available.

AMD Unveils 32GB Card

AMD introduced the new AMD FirePro W9100 32gb, touted as the first workstation graphics card with industry-leading 32gb memory support for large-asset workflows with creative applications, planned for availability in Q2 2016. AMD also introduced the AMD FireRender plug-in for Autodesk 3ds Max, which enables VR storytellers to bring ideas to life through enhanced 4k workflows and photorealistic rendering functionality.

Autodesk Releases New Versions of Its Offerings

Autodesk has unveiled the latest versions of subscription-based visual effects, post and 3D animation software, including Autodesk Flame Family 2017, Maya 2016 extension 2, and 3ds Max 2017. Each release includes an array of new features and enhancements to help studios and artists manage modern workflow demands.

The Autodesk Flame Family 2017 releases advance the art of finishing with new tools and workflows that connect color and VFX.

Building on a strong Maya 2016 release, 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. 

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, the Autodesk Raytracer Renderer, a 3ds Max asset library, and more. 

Autodesk Flame Family 2017, 3ds Max 2017, and Maya 2016 extension 2 are available starting now.

HP Introduces Z1 G3 Workstation All-in-One

HP has introduced the new HP Z1 G3 Workstation, which combines the simplicity of an All-in-One design with the performance of traditional tower workstations. The third-generation HP Z1 Workstation is 47 percent smaller, 51 percent lighter, and 21 percent less expensive than the previous generation. It has a 23.6-inch diagonal anti-glare UHD 4k display and comes with Intel Xeon processor options. The HP Z1 G3 is expected to be available in May starting at $1,498.

HP also detailed its new receiver software for Apple Mac OS X. Using HP Remote Graphics Software (RGS), the receiver gives Mac users access to their high-end HP Z Workstations. HP RGS allows users to securely use the workstation, even when they are away from that workstation.

HP Remote Graphics Software is available now for HP Z Desktop and ZBook Mobile Workstations as a free download for existing HP Z Workstation customers. The Mac receiver is free for HP RGS users and is coming soon.

Dell Debuts VR-Ready Precision Tower

Dell has announced new VR-ready solutions that feature a refined set of criteria for optimal VR experiences, whether consuming or creating VR content. 

Dell has defined VR-ready solutions by three criteria: Minimum CPU, memory, and graphics requirements to support optimal VR viewing experiences; graphics drivers that are qualified to work reliably with these solutions; pass performance tests conducted by Dell using test criteria based on HMD (head-mounted display) suppliers, ISVs, or third-party benchmarks where available.

Working closely with its hardware and software partners, Dell is formalizing its commitment to the future of VR by delivering solutions that are optimized for VR consumption and creation alongside mainstream professional ISV applications used by professional customers. 

Dell also announced upgrades to its Dell Precision Tower Workstations to meet the needs of professional creators, with new increased performance, graphics, and memory for VR content creation. The newly refreshed Dell Precision Tower 5810, 7810, and 7910 Workstations and Rack 7910 have been upgraded with new Intel Broadwell EP Processors that have more cores and performance for multi-threaded applications that are ideal for professional modeling, analysis, and calculations.

Additional upgrades include the latest professional graphics technology from AMD and Nvidia, Dell Precision Ultra-Speed PCle drives with up to 4x performance than traditional SATA SSD storage, and up to 1tb of DDR4 memory running at 2400mhz speed.

The Dell Precision Tower 5810, 7810, and 7910 Workstations and Rack 7910 are currently available.

Unity Launches Two New Versions

Unity Technologies announced the availability of two new versions. Unity 5.3.4 gives developers focused on a product launch the latest set of features and tools in a stable environment. Unity 5.4 offers a set of in-development features ideal for developers in experimentation and prototype mode. Unity also announced that moving forward, beta releases will be made available to personal edition users. Unity 5.4 is focused on new visual features, improved performance, and a major VR rendering upgrade.

Unity also announced that its Analytics service is moving out of beta and is available to all developers. Analytics is built into Unity, with no SDK required, providing one-click integration. 

Also announced is the Unity Certification Program and Unity Certified Developer Courseware. It’s a program designed to give developers the opportunity to prove their skills in Unity, achieve a qualification, and use that to further their careers. Courseware will be available for purchase online soon, and certification exams will be made available at Unity-hosted events worldwide.

Lenovo Debuts New Dual-Processor Workstations

Lenovo has introduced a new dual-processor workstation line that includes the ThinkStation P910 and ThinkStation P710. Both feature the latest professional processors from Intel and represent the highest-performing workstations with the largest capacity for expandability within the Lenovo product line.

The new Intel Xeon E5-2600 v4 processors run up to 22 percent faster than those in the company’s previous-generation workstations. The P910 can support three Nvidia Quadro M6000 graphics cards with 24gb VRAM. The P910 can be configured with up to 1tb of memory, with the P710 available with 384gb of DDR4. New, higher storage capacities offer further expandability within the 14 drive bays available in the ThinkStation P910 and 12 drive bays available in the ThinkStation P710.