Jul/31
2013

Link: http://nevercenter.com/silo/

 
 
 
 
Silo 2 is a focused 3D modeling application with the ability to effortlessly switch between organically sculpting high-polygon models and precisely controlling hard-edged surfaces. It can be used for anything from creating 3D characters for video games and movies to quickly exploring 3D architectural ideas.

Silo is currently being used at top studios worldwide as both a stand-alone design tool and as a versatile element of a multi-software 3D graphics workflow. It is available for both Windows and Mac OS.

Pure, Focused 3D Modeling
 
 

Silo brings 3D modeling zen to artists via a clean, focused environment and a streamlined toolset, honed over years of development. It was initially born of our own frustration with the needless complexity and slow, unmanageable workflows of all-in-one graphics software. We single-mindedly devoted Silo to modeling, discovering that the modeling workflow could be made much simpler without sacrificing any power. This unique approach has attracted in equal number students, hobbyists, and professional artists in film, games, architecture, and other fields looking to maximize their production. (Read interviews with professional artists using Silo.)

At Silo's heart is an innovative, robust, and 100% customizable polygon editing toolset, suitable to both organic and hard-surface modeling. This polygonal base mesh is used to drive subdivision surfaces if desired: just hit C and V to navigate between subdivision levels and the base mesh at any time. Those coming to Silo from other applications will find that, despite having fewer tools, Silo isn't lacking any functionality. Instead, basic modeling tools such as Tweak, Cut, Bevel, Extrude, and Slide intelligently adapt to the task at hand based on context, drastically cutting down on the time spent switching or hunting for tools. (Watch context-sensitivity in action with the Cut Tool.)

On top of this core toolset we've added non-destructive brush-based displacement painting (especially useful for high res meshes or directly editing subdivision layers), advanced uv unwrapping, and the unique Topology Brush which lets you literally draw a new edge flow onto a 3D surface. Intuitive, advanced selection tools including Tweak, Loop, Ring, Path, Grow/Shrink, and Soft Selection are key to a fast, fluid workflow. (Watch how Tweak lets you instantly grab and adjust points, edges, and faces to organically reshape the model.)


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Visit the Explore section for much more on Silo's features, or try Silo today for free.


A Step-By-Step Guide to Modeling in Silo

The best way to learn is by doing. Antony Ward and Nevercenter's own David Randall team up to take you step-by-step from an empty screen to a high-quality character model, offering an extensive introduction to Silo's interface, tools, and workflow along the way. Available now from Amazon.com.

Tutorials, videos, and other resources on both Silo and the modeling process are also available throughout the site, including:

3D Modeling Wiki
The Online Silo Manual
Videos: Silo's Features and Tools
Videos: Silo Tutorials
 
 
 
Jul/31
2013

The Blender Foundation and online developer community is proud to present Blender 2.68.

Many different mesh modelling tools were added and improved. Cycles render performance was improved on

Windows and on GPU's. The motion tracker can now automate placement and choice of markers more with new tools. Smoke rendering quality has been improved to reduce blockiness.

Python scripts and drivers are now disabled by default when loading files. This is for improved security, without this feature malicious .blend files could cause problems. See the Python security documentation for details.

2.68 release: July 18th, 2013.
2.68a release: July 24th, 2013.

Over 14 fixes made it in the 2.68a update, check them here.

Modeling

Improved bridge tool to bridge multiple loops at once, subdivision, surface blending and bridging face regions. New grid-fill tool filling a grid from edge loops, X mirror and projected proportional editing, snap to symmetry, face split option for dissolve, vertex connect cut across faces.

Physics

Smoke has improved rendering quality avoid blockiness, and subframe simulation support to handle fast moving emitters. Particles can now be emitted from faces generated by modifiers that were not in the original mesh.

Usability

Improved weight painting tools, mask modifier for sequencer strips, 2D image paint more consistent with 3D painting, better key shortcuts display, quick enabling and disabling of multiple layers or visibility, auto indent for multi-line Python statements,

Addons

New addons are Texture Atlas to bake shadow and lightmaps for an entire scene, and Edit Linked Library, for quick editing of linked assets.

Cycles Render

Rendering performance has been improved on CPU and GPU and support for new GPUs was added. A new Mist render pass is available, Ray visibility is now supported for all light sources, and new Nodes have been added. Hair rendering on the GPU has been enabled as well.

Some new features and smaller improvements to existing ones were done for motion tracking. Main features are markers' position refining, which allows you to refine marker position after it was occluded by an object, and automatic keyframe selection, which tries to automatically find a best keyframe for the reconstruction.

Improved weight painting tools, mask modifier for sequencer strips, 2D image paint more consistent with 3D painting, better key shortcuts display, quick enabling and disabling of multiple layers or visibility, auto indent for multi-line Python statements,

New addons are Texture Atlas to bake shadow and lightmaps for an entire scene, and Edit Linked Library, for quick editing of linked assets.

Auto-running Python scripts can now be controlled more securely.

In addition to the new features, over 280 bugs that existed in previous releases have been fixed.



Jul/26
2013

All in the Eyes: Disney Research Demos Technology for Richly Expressive 3D Printed Eyes

Press Release by Jennifer Liu
Walt Disney Imagineering


 

3D Printing Enables Lively Interactions with Characters of Many Shapes and Sizes Face - to - face communication begins with the eyes, a crucial factor in the design of interactive physical characters. By employing 3D printing, Disney Research, Pittsburgh has developed a newtechnology that is uniquely expressive, robust and adaptable for creating interactive characters’ eyes.

The technology, PAPILLON, will be demonstrated at ACM SIGGRAPH 2013, the International Conference on Computer Graphics and Interactive Techniques, July 21-25 in Anaheim, California. The classic approach in the entertainment industry is to build mechanically actuated eyes. Though these animatronic eyes can be compelling, they are complex, expensive and difficult to scale down to small characters. The animatronic approach also isn’t suitable for characters derived from animated movies or cartoons whose eyes are non-realistic and highly exaggerated. An alternative, video projection, can be very expressive; it’s possible, for instance, to project hearts onto the eyes to express affection, or question marks to suggest confusion. They also don’t have moving parts. But creating an optical path to the eyes is difficult in small characters and projection doesn’t always work well for complex faces or for eyes that stick out or are deeply sunk into the face.

The advent of 3D printing, however, has made it possible to create customized optical elements, or “printed optics.” These elements include such structures as light pipes, which can direct and bend light much like a fiber optical element. PAPILLON can thus enable video projection in even small characters and at a fraction of the cost of bundled fiber optics, said Eric Brockmeyer, a Disney Research, Pittsburgh research associate. Printed optics also enables unusual eye shapes and placements.

For the SIGGRAPH demonstration, the Disney Research, Pittsburgh team has created three characters – Beep, Boop and their dog - like pet Iggy – that are each about the size of softball. Though immobile, they have wildly expressive eyes. The characters respond to the gestures of human visitors and will demonstrate a broad range of possible interactions, such as playing music together.

“One of our goals was to create minimal displays, to figure out how much resolution do you really need to express emotion,” Brockmeyer said. “It turns out you really don’t need that much to convey a compelling interactive experience.”

The arbitrary shapes of the display surface made possible by 3D printing would create a challenge for conventional video projection, but the PAPILLON team developed an algorithm based on Fibonacci spirals that minimizes distortions and other visible artifacts when images are projected onto the eyes.

“PAPILLON is a technology that is scalable and flexible,” said Ivan Poupyrev, a senior research scientist who leads the interaction team at Disney Research, Pittsburgh. “We envision it being used for building interactive toys, supplemental characters for videogames, robots or perhaps eventually even human prosthetic eyes.”

In addition to Poupyrev and Brockmeyer, the research team included Moshe Mahler, James Krahe, Yuri Suzuki and Alex Rothera of Disney Research, Pittsburgh and Joanne Dauner, Disney Research, Pittsburgh intern and visual communications student at the Berlin University of Arts.

More information about PAPILLON is available online at:

http://www.disneyresearch.com/project/papillon/

###
About Disney Research
Disney Research(www.disneyresearch.com) is a network of research laboratories supporting The Walt Disney Company. Its purpose is to pursue scientific and technological innovation to advance the company's broad media and entertainment efforts. Disney Research is managed by an internal Disney Research Council co-chaired by Disney Pixar's Ed Catmull and Walt Disney Imagineering's Bruce Vaughn, and including the directors of the individual labs. It has facilities in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Pittsburgh, Boston and Zürich. Research topics include computer graphics, video processing, computer vision, robotics, radio and antennas, wireless communications, human - computer interaction, displays, data mining, machine learning and behavioral sciences


Jul/25
2013

Link: http://www.e-onsoftware.com/try/vue_2014_ple/

E-on Software - Press Releases

July 25, 2013

E-on Software Releases the Vue 11.5 Personal Learning Edition!

TEST DRIVE THE LEADING SOLUTION FOR DIGITAL NATURE AT NO CHARGE

July 24, 2013. Beaverton, Oregon: e-on software, maker of the leading solutions for Digital Nature, announced today the immediate availability of the free Vue 11.5 xStream and Vue 11.5 Infinite Personal Learning Editions.

Vue 11.5 Personal Learning Edition (PLE)

Vue 11.5 Infinite and Vue 11.5 xStream are the latest production-driven version of e-on software’s professional solutions for the creation, animation and rendering of natural 3D environments. Both programs offer CG professionals the premiere solution for creating exceptionally rich and realistic Digital Nature environments with seamless integration into any production workflow.

While Vue Infinite is a standalone application, Vue xStream operates seamlessly inside of 3ds Max, Maya, LightWave, Cinema4D and Softimage.

Key features of Vue 11 include faster rendering, illumination caching, terrain and EcoPainter improvements, 360° population, interactive EcoSystem population, EcoParticles, EcoCollision, Render Stack Improvements, Improved Material Management, Color Input/Ouput Function in the Post Render Options, World Browser Improvements, Camera Management Improvements, and more...

Learn more about the new technologies in Vue 11.5 at www.e-onsoftware.com/xstream.

The Vue 11.5 PLE is a fully functional version of Vue 11.5 xStream/Infinite. With the PLE, users can:

  • Create complete projects,
  • Save their work and export to other applications,
  • Render stills and animations without size/length limit,
  • Experience Vue’s power directly inside 3ds Max/Maya/Softimage/LightWave/Cinema4D,
  • Learn at their own pace (the PLE never expires)!

The Personal Learning Edition ships with a wide selection of Vue 11 presets, as well as the full PDF Reference manual.

Users can download the Vue 11.5 PLE at no charge from E-On Software

PLE Requirements and Restrictions:

The Vue 11.5 Personal Learning Edition is available in English for Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7 and Windows 8, and on Mac OSX 10.5+ (Mac Intel only) for both 32 and 64 bit.

Scene files created and saved with the PLE cannot be exchanged with other PLE users and are not compatible with other versions of Vue.

The PLE is for personal, non-commercial use only. Network rendering is disabled, and renders may be watermarked and carry a logo.

About e-on software

E-on software is the leading developer of solutions for the creation, animation, rendering and integration of natural 3D environments (Vue, Ozone and Carbon Scatter), as well as real-time immersive visualization tools for Architecture and GeoDesign (LumenRT). Offering a wide array of Digital Nature products and applications, e-on software provides solutions adapted to every project and budget. E-on software products are used worldwide by the film, television, architecture, game, science, educational and entertainment industries.

E-on software products were used in feature films such as as as "Epic","Hunger Games", "Upside Down", "Hugo", "Tintin", "Super 8", "Thor", "Avatar", "Clash of the Titans", "Sucker Punch", "Despicable Me 1 & 2", "Ice Age 4", "The Wolf Man", "2012", "Lovely Bones", "GI Joe – The Rise of the Cobra", "Land of the Lost", "Terminator 4, "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button", "Indiana Jones 4", "Monster Vs Aliens", "Australia", "The Spiderwick Chronicles", "KungFu Panda", "Pirates of the Caribbean 2" and TV series such as "Spartacus", "Smallville", "Battlestar Gallactica", "Caprica", "Stargate Atlantis", "Stargate Continuum", and more. Read more on these stories in e-on software's Spotlights section: www.e-onsoftware.com/spotlight.

E-on software was founded on the premise that powerful graphics tools should never get in the way of the designer's creativity. By investing significant resources into research and development, e-on software is able to deliver cutting-edge, user friendly technologies that produce stunning Digital Nature scenery.

E-on software is based in Beaverton, Oregon with an European office in Paris, France.

Visit their website at http://www.e-onsoftware.com.

Jul/24
2013

This program gives you the ability to enlarge your images/photos without distortion and improved sharpness control. It helps preserve the detail, excelling in preserving those clean edges, sharpness and fine image detail.

It has fine tuning options for S-Spline Max settings allowing you improved sharpness control and a new technology for reducing JPEG compression artifact and noise. You can use this  on its own or as an Adobe Photoshop plugin, Photoshop Elements, Corel PainShopPro or Corel Photo Paint. Large quantities of images can be resized in one go, through batch processing. Multi-processor support, 64-bit support, and the new GPU acceleration included with PhotoZoom Pro 5 ensure reduced processing time.

PhotoZoom Pro 5 is extremely easy to use, and comes with various pre-defined settings. These settings can be manually fine-tuned as well. You can even put together your own resize profiles: compilations of your favorite resize method and size settings, which can be selected with a single click. When you often use the same settings, resize profiles will streamline your workflow.

Optimized for both printing and on-screen purposes, PhotoZoom Pro 5 is an absolute must-have for anyone who wants to resize images at the highest possible quality. System Requirements

Features:

  • The latest S-Spline interpolation algorithms

  • Higher quality image enlargements & higher quality downsizing

  • Various presets for different types of images

  • Advanced fine-tuning tools: create your own presets and resize profiles

  • Reduces (JPEG) compression artifacts and noise from low quality originals

  • Batch processing

  • Multi-processor support and GPU acceleration

  • Powerful crop tool

  • Works as stand-alone application

  • Works as a plug-in for Adobe® Photoshop®, Adobe® Photoshop® Elements, Corel® PHOTO-PAINT, and Corel® PaintShop Pro

  • Extreme enlargements: up to 1 million by 1 million pixels!

  • Extensive support for high-end images

  • Compatible with the latest versions of Windows, Mac, and Adobe Photoshop (all 64-bit & 32-bit)

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