While CG Channel tries to write about all of the major new versions of CG software that get released each month, sometimes there are smaller updates or useful plugins that we don’t manage to cover.
Rather then letting those releases slip past unnoticed, we’ve put together a round-up of five updates to visual effects, feature animation and architectural visualization tools that didn’t get full stories in December 2021.
Below, you can find summaries of what’s new in 3ds Max particle and volume meshing plugin AqMesher 2.5, plus ArtEngine 2021.15, HitFilm 2021.3, ftrack Studio 4.9 and Redshift 3.0.62.
An iterative update to MagicPictures Software‘s plugin for converting native 3ds Max particle systems, Krakatoa particle caches or OpenVDB volumes to meshes. The software was originally released in 2019.
- Support for 3ds Max 2022
- Many new simulation nodes
- Support for Particle Flow event selection on the Particles Obj node and Particles Listbox node
The previous 2.0 release was a major backwards-compatibility-breaking update moving the plugin’s UI to a node-based editor and adding a longish list of new node types.
Windows 10 only. Compatible with 3ds Max 2017+. Requires a Nvidia GPU.
A new perpetual licence costs $245, down $30 from the original release.
Unity’s AI-trained software for processing PBR materials for games gets a new system for previewing output inside the Unity game engine and new texture baking, cloning and style transfer features.
- Experimental new Unity window
Enables users to preview the output of any node in a HDRP Unity scene inside ArtEngine.
- New Plane Generator node
Takes the raw mesh of a 3D scan and generates an axis-aligned plane projected to the midpoint of the scan. Can be used with the Baker node as the low-poly target when baking out texture maps.
- Revamped UI
Introduces colour coding for executed, unexecuted and error state nodes, plus preset header and footer panels for 2D and 3D windows.
Since we last wrote about the software, ArtEngine 2021.12 added a new Style Transfer node, and ArtEngine 2021.13 added an experimental Clone Stamp node that works across all of the maps in a material.
Windows 8.1+ only. Requires a compatible Nvidia GPU.
Rental-only, with a minimum one-year subscription term. The base edition costs $228/year. The Pro edition costs $1,140/year. The Studio edition costs $4,000/year. Compare editions.
ftrack Studio 4.9 (December 2021 update)
ftrack’s cloud-based production tracking and production management system, widely used at visual effects facilities, gets a range of workflow improvements, particularly to shot review sessions.
- A consistent review experience, whether reviewing material internally or externally
A standardized UI and media player, as shown in the video above.
- The ability to manually set review sessions Open or Closed
- The ability to group by custom attribute links in the Tasks Spreadsheet
- Improved filtering in Overview and cross-project views
- Export data without including tasks
- See the name of your ftrack Studio page in your browser tab
Browser-based. System requirements for on-premises server hosting can be found here.
Starts at $30/month/user or $300/year/user.
The latest update to the video editing, compositing and effects software, following a shift to annual version numbering at the start of the year, and developer FXhome’s acquisition by stock media firm Artlist.
New features (HitFilm 2021.3 Pro)
- New Grade Clips
Allow effects to be applied across multiple clips on the Editor timeline.
- New Rough Edges effect
Adds organic variation to the edges of the alpha channel of a clip.
- New Water Caustics effect
Procedurally generates animated patterns of reflection and refraction, to simulate looking through water.
- New Edge Distortion effect
Creates line boil, adding movement to the lines or edges within a clip.
- New Pencil Sketch effect
- Improvements to timeline caching and YouTube export
Since we last wrote about the software, HitFilm Pro 2021.2 added a new media proxy system, FBX camera import/export, support for the Blackmagic RAW format, new effects plugins, and new Page Turn transitions.
Windows 10+, macOS 10.14+.
- Initial support for hair in near-real-time preview mode Redshift RT
- Blender: support for per-light AOVs and ID matte AOVs
- Houdini: support for instancing meshes, volumes and lights at the same time
- Houdini: new crowds instancing technology in Solaris
- Katana: support for Katana 5.0
Windows 10, Linux and macOS 11.5+. Compatible with 3ds Max 2014+, Blender 2.83+, Cinema 4D R21+, Houdini 17.0+ (18.0+ on macOS), Katana 3.0v1+ and Maya 2016.5.
Now available rental-only. Individual subscriptions cost $45/month or $264/year
Read a full list of new features in Redshift 3.0.62 on Maxon’s forum (Registration required)
Tags: 3ds max, AI-based, AI-trained, AOV, Aq Mesher, Aq Mesher 2.5, AqMesher, AqMesher 2.5, arch viz, architectural visualization, ArtEngine, ArtEngine 2021.5, Blackmagic RAW, Blender, caustics, Cinema 4D, clone stamp, color grading, compositing, Cryptomatte, December 2021, edge distortion, editing, FBX, feature animation, ftrack Studio 4.9, game art, game development, Game Engine, GPU rendering, HDRP, HitFilm, HitFilm 2021.3, HitFilm Express, HitFilm Express 2021.3, HitFilm Pro, HitFilm Pro 2021.3, Houdini, ID matte, instancing, Katana, Krakatoa, material authoring, Maya, mesh particle system, mesh volume, new CG software, new features, news roundup, non-photorealistic rendering, OpenVDB, PBR, Plane Generator, plugin, price, production management, production tracking, proxy system, Redshift, Redshift 3.0.62, Redshift RT, renderer, rendering, shot review, simulation, Solaris, style transfer, system requirements, texture baking, Unity, vfx, visual effects
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