3d-io Gmbh has updated their skinning package BonesPro to a new version 4.20 that adds in support for Autodesk’s 2011 products including 3dsMax and 3dsMax Design. They maintain backwards compatibility all the way through 3dsMax 9, but manage to add in several new features:
Added support for Autodesk 3ds Max 2011 and Autodesk 3ds Max Design 2011.
BonesPro now accepts shape objects as bones.
Added support for various additional object types as bones (i.e. dummy helpers) and improved handling and accuracy of certain types like CAT muscles.
Soft selection now supports custom falloff curves.
Various minor fixes, including improved *.bpm file handling of CAT bones.
You can download a free trial version (good for 30 runs), or buy the full version for 299 €.
Inglobe Technologies, an Italian software company specializing in augmented reality solutions, has release the first Augmented Reality Plug-in for Autodesk 3dsMax. Based on their existing ARmedia platform, it allows the user to visualize their 3dsMax models on their physical workspace using a simple webcam and printable image-marker.
By means of the AR-media™ Exporter users can create and publish augmented reality files autonomously. Files created by the Exporter can be visualized on any computer with the freely available AR-media™ Player, without the need of having Autodesk® 3dsMax® and the Plugin installed. Users can now create their own 3dsMax® Augmented Reality models and distribute them to their clients as independent, stand-alone files and let their clients experience such models in Augmented Reality in a click.
Look after the break for all the details, and another demonstration.
Users of Autodesk’s 3dsMax who find themselves spending a lot of their time dealing with texture and UV layouts, have a new tool in their arsenal via a plugin named ‘UV-Packer’ which has just hit version 1.1.
UV-Packer automatically redistributes all UV charts in a UV map for optimal fit. Do you often find yourself spending a lot of time to rearrange charts generated by pelting or do you need to modify UV maps because the proportions of the UV space or the size of the required padding have changed?
UV-Packer does it with a single click of a button.
It can also rescale the separate UV charts depending on the mesh surface area to even out the pixel distribution across different parts of the mesh.
The plugin is compatible with 3dsMax 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008, and 3dsMAX 9. They offer a free trial download good for 30 uses, and the full version retails for 79 €.
If you use InDesign for your layouts & graphics work (popular in publication work), then Zevrix has a few new tools you may find interesting.
First off is the BatchOutput Server v4.9.8, which automates InDesign output by processing files from “hotfolders”. Mark a folder for monitoring by the BatchOutput Server and it will automatically convert the files to PDF and PostScript, freeing your workstation for other use. This version supports font auto-activation, updating modified links, variable output filenames, and custom e-mail notifications of the process. If you work with lots of large InDesign files this seems like a must-have at $699.95, with a free trial to get you started.
Related is the BatchOutput plugin for InDesign, vastly improving the PDF Preflight process used normally. With this new version of BatchOutput, v3.6.4, you can batch preflight hundreds of InDesign files overnight and get the results in the morning. Supporting several of the features of BatchOutput Server, it is meant to run on a single machine. Available for $119, with a free trial for new users.
Lastly is their File Courier application, now at version 1.1.2. Another plugin for InDesign, it lets you trivially compress, password protect a PDF version of your document and then automatically send an email with all of the relevant information to your client. It supports FTP uploads, network folders, and email attachment transfers, and several logging and tracking features. Available for a mere $29.95.
More details on all three products in press releases after the break.
While ZBrush excels as soft body and organic modeling, unwrapping these models for UV Texturing can be tricky. Pixologic acknowledges this and has just released a new free plugin called ‘UV Master’ that makes UV Unwrapping a 1-click affair.
With UV Master’s cutting-edge technology you can leave all the technical work to the computer. Because the UV maps generated by the plugin can be in one UV island you will be able to understand your modelís UVs in any 2D image editor and paint or edit them like you would do with manually unwrapped UVs. Amazingly, what needs mere minutes with UV Master could take hours in other dedicated solutions! Just load your model, click Unwrap and you’re done!
If the automatic process is just too convenient for you, you can use other new tools for more manual controls of seams. Alltogether, a must-have addition to ZBrush.
The r|shaders pack from Core Zero brings some beautiful procedural shaders to 3ds Max, and has just enetered Beta 1.5. In addition to this milestone, they are running a promotional 50% discount sale through February and March in preparation for release soon afterwards.
Currently 7 shaders are operational (ice, ocean, deep ocean, sand, snow, ice land, and snow land) with 2 more to come prior to release (magma and ground). The results are amazing, and their website has detailed examples of both the UI and results for each shader.
If you’re unhappy with the built-in hair capabilities of Autodesk’s 3ds Max, then you might want to check out “Hair Farm” from CyberRadiance.
Hair Farm is not just another tool for producing hair on virtual characters. It is a completely new design that combines state-of-the-art technologies with an artist-friendly user interface and a flexible workflow.
Some of the novel technologies in Hair Farm are the following:
A whole new hair modeling pipeline combining the best ideas both the industry and the academia, including hair mesh modeling,
An artist-friendly realistic hair material that can efficiently handle complicated light behavior like multiple scattering in hair volume to produce physically-based realism,
A highly optimized high-quality ray tracer for hair that automatically handles anti-aliasing without the need to specify the number of samples,
A whole new hair simulation technique that can robustly handle complicated models and advanced physical behavior like hair-hair interaction,
Technologies in curve representations for modeling and rendering.
The results are impressive, as evidenced by their gallery. Available now for prices ranging from $70 (rendernode) to $1000 (professional).
Users of Deep Exploration 6.0 have a new plugin to check out, HDRLightStudio Live. The new plugin allows for real-lighting manipulation using theri HDR Lightmaps.
“As much as 80% of the rendering production process is spent on the creation and optimization of lighting,” said Right Hemisphere President and CTO Mark Thomas. “The real-time lighting creation and feedback loop this plug-in enables dramatically reduces the time it takes to create professional quality images that can truly replace traditional photography.”
Cinema4D users can try out a new fantastic fluid simulation system from JawSet called ‘Turbulence4D’. Already in use at major studios in films like Surrogates, it’s from the same people who brought you Turbulence2D for AfterEffects.
It is still in very early stages of development, so the Beta plugin is freely available for download in a “buyer beware” fashion. If you know you’ll be interested, you can go ahead and buy a reduced-price license (299 €) now that will be fully functional when the first release version is available.
The result of last month’s merger of GenArts and WonderTouch have just resulted in the first ever release of Particleillusion for AfterEffects, as an integrated plugin that brings the full functionality of Particleillusion into the popular compositing package.
Like its stand-alone sibling particleIllusion 3.0, pIAE is built on the industry’s most robust 2D particle generation engine. As a result, it features the same highly acclaimed speed and ease of use that have made wondertouch products so popular with more than 10,000 compositing artists around the world. In addition, pIAE provides access to the thousands of existing wondertouch emitters — downloadable presets designed to allow users to effortlessly create natural, high-quality effects such as smoke, fire, explosions, sparkles, fireworks and countless abstract effects — without ever leaving the After Effects environment.
Buy it from Wondertouch for $299, only $179 if you’re already a ParticleIllusion customer.
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