As it gears up for feature film development, visual effects and animation house Frantic Films has entered into an agreement to incorporate the NVIDIA Gelato GPU-accelerated film renderer as a key element of its production pipeline. In addition, the Frantic Films Software division is putting finishing touches on Amaretto, a plug-in for Discreet’s 3ds max modeling and animation software, bringing the Gelato renderer to a registered user base of more than 280,000.
“Frantic has maintained a close relationship with NVIDIA since the creation of the Digital Film Group,” comments Frantic Films president Chris Bond. “Gelato brings the latest in rendering technology to our production pipeline and Amaretto allows 3D artists to take full advantage of the power of this GPU-accelerated software from within the familiar 3ds max user interface.”
Amaretto allows rendering of existing 3ds max scenes and access to the Gelato renderer’s feature set, which includes fast sub-pixel displacement, analytical sub-division surfaces and shader language. It also offers translation of 3ds max materials into Gelato shader networks, support for the Gelato renderer’s advanced displacement capabilities and a sophisticated preview and history system that allows users to share their shader previews, browse preview libraries and instantly apply presets to Gelato shaders in order to create new shader variations. The software was built on a hybrid C++/MAXScript design that allows artists and technical directors to quickly adapt it to their needs.
The Gelato renderer is now shipping for both Windows XP and Linux. Pricing, evaluation copies, product details and a list of Gelato resellers are available at http://film.nvidia.com. Details on the availability and pricing of the Amaretto plug-in for 3ds max will be made available on Frantic Films website at www.franticfilms.com. Frantic Films has produced effects for such films as The Italian Job, X2: X-Men United, The Core, Swordfish and Stephen King’s Storm of the Century.