Autodesk launches Entertainment Creation Suite 2014
Autodesk has announced the new features of the Autodesk Entertainment Creation Suite 2014. The versatile workflow includes award-winning 3D animation, visual effects and creative tools, Maya 2014, 3ds Max 2014, MotionBuilder 2014, Mudbox 2014, Softimage 2014 and Sketchbook Designer 2014, all which have been updated to offer new workflow enhancements that help artists collaborate, manage complexity and move data through their pipeline more efficiently.
With three configurations, the Suites scale to meet team, budget or project demands. The Standard edition offers a choice of either Maya 2014 or 3ds Max 2014 with MotionBuilder 2014, Mudbox 2014 and Sketchbook Designer 2014. The Premium edition offers all the software of the Standard Suite, but with the addition of Softimage 2014 3D animation and visual effects software. With the Ultimate Suite, customers have access to the value of the Premium edition, with the added benefit of including both Maya 2014 and 3ds Max 2014.
The Maya 2014 update includes an expanded, integrated modelling feature set; intuitive Grease Pencil; and innovative new Paint Effects features that are designed to improve productivity and enhance creativity. The Maya DX11Shader, working with enhancements to Viewport 2.0, enables artists to work in a high-quality real-time environment that closely matches final output. New Scene Assembly, a File Path Editor, and URI (Uniform Resource Identifier) support tools allows for easier building and managing of large and complex worlds.
3ds Max 2014 offers a new Populate feature to quickly and easily generate moving or idle crowds with life-like human reactions and activity. Additional updates include: a significantly enhanced and more efficient Particle Flow toolset; and a performance-enhanced viewport that now supports Microsoft DirectX 11 shaders. Perspective Match and Vector Map tools allow artists to extend their creative capabilities by crossing the 2D/3D divide.
The new Camera Sequencer toolset in Softimage 2014 offers the ability to cut between multiple cameras to edit clips, leaving the original animation data unchanged; directorial control over scenes; improved CrowdFX and ICE (Interactive Creative Environment) features enable artists to use the concept of passes and partitions in any combination with any aspect of ICE; and an improved High-Quality Viewport delivers a higher fidelity interactive experience. Softimage 2014 now offers easier integration into existing pipelines through improved support for animation data exchange via the Autodesk FBX 2014 format.
Autodesk claims that MotionBuilder 2014 lets studios more efficiently manipulate and refine motion capture and other character animation data for use in onset visualisation, previsualisation, virtual cinematography, feature film production and game development. Linux operating system support is now available, as well as new motion capture workflow options; artist-friendly methods for positioning, measuring and selecting objects; the ability to use custom viewport renderers; and an API (Application Programming Interface) for file referencing.
The 2014 update to Mudbox offers single-click automatic and manual options to manipulate meshes or to precisely control various aspects of the output mesh with a user-directed solution. Artists can now concentrate purely on aesthetic considerations as they sculpt, without altering the underlying structure. Enhanced multi-touch workflows now include support for stencils and additional touch-enabled input devices.
SketchBook Designer 2014 is an intuitive hybrid paint and vector toolset that enables exploration and presentation of new ideas for characters, props and environments. Additional benefits include: sketching, painting and image compositing workflows; easy colour manipulation; mixed media workflows and an industry-unique transformation tool. The dynamic, scalable user interface is optimised for both pen and mouse interaction and is designed to offer maximum creative freedom.
“Modern production teams must manage multiple complex, visually demanding projects at any given time, and Autodesk works closely with world renowned entertainment studios to develop the most powerful solutions,” said Chris Bradshaw, senior vice president, Media & Entertainment at Autodesk. “The Entertainment Creation Suites provide a unified and flexible workflow, offering teams of all sizes the ability to better manage across a globally distributed creative workforce. Each product in the toolset saves valuable production time, while giving artists more creative freedom to work with the best tool for the job at hand.”
Purchasing options are available at www.autodesk.com/purchaseoptions
© 2013, Michael Burns. All rights reserved.