SIGGRAPH Quick Bytes: Final Day

Balance

It’s odd to think of a product that won a Technical Achievement Award in 2002 from the Academy as ‘new,’ but ScienceD claims that its match-moving software 3DEqualizer4, which releases soon for Linux, Mac OSX, and Windows XP, features a rewrite for 90 percent of its core code. That rewrite includes automagical tracking and a new user interface. Among the biggest boasts are that the new software is up to 100 times faster and it can handle lens distortion over a zoom. We can’t speak to the speed improvements, but the lens distortion over a zoom function is cool. The company’s online tutorials, PLE versions, and leasing programs can help new users and those who need only an occasional match move.

Power to the Renderer

Pixar has announced unlimited threading with one license of RenderMan Pro Server 15.0 RenderMan 15 (fifteen!) also introduces a simpler and more efficient method for rendering volumetric effects using two new geometric primitives, a new shading pipeline stage that Pixar dubs ‘refinement,’ new subdivision surface API, and support for Disney’s Ptext texture format Performance enhancements include faster shadow rendering, better memory performance for subdivision surfaces and brick maps, faster ray tracing, faster baking for re-rendering ‘ and more.

NVIDIA’s Realtime Ray Tracing

From hours to minutes to milliseconds. Soon, users will be able to play with lights, reflections, refracgions and shadows using software running on PCs equipped with NVIDIA cards. The software applications need to take advantage of NVIDIA’s OptiX engine (API) and SceniX for the hardware company’s Quadro FX GPU’s. But, why wouldn’t they?

More Realtime Rendering

MachStudio Pro from StudioGPU digs into the graphics processing units to offer realtime rendering on the desktop. According to the company, what you see is what you need: Images created in realtime are of sufficient quality for finals for broadcast applications, games interstitials, and architectural applications and as previs for high-resolution films. MachStudio’s workflow allows artists to manipulate cameras, lighting, ambient occlusion, animation, and materials in realtime. The company has written exporters for most 3D software including Maya, 3ds max, Rhino, SketchUp Pro, and ArchiCAD, and imports FBX files. The software is priced around $5,000, and that price includes and ATI card.