With a little help from their friends at the ubiquitous Industrial Light & Magic, a Venice, Calif.-based software company is expanding its line of free high-end animation tools.
SplutterFish LLC, a 3D rendering software solutions provider, is releasing a Bitmap I/O plug-in for use in Discreet’s 3ds max and Autodesk Viz, in support of OpenEXR, a new open-source, high-dynamic-range image file format developed by ILM. “We thankful for ILM’s generosity in making the EXR code available to the open source community," says Steve Blackmon, CEO of SplutterFish. "It’s great to see an industry leader like ILM working to establish usable and production-proven standards like this that will raise the bar for creative professionals working in the CG community.”
OpenEXR, a previously proprietary file format developed and used by ILM, defines a flexible, efficient, and extensible image file format which includes a new, high-precision, 16-bit half-float image description that offers a greater dynamic range than existing 8- and 10-bit file formats. ILM released the format code in January to the open source community to serve as an industry standard for computer imaging applications. It’s rapidly gaining support from professional computer graphics hardware and software vendors as well as practitioners in the digital content community. OpenEXR has been in use in film production on high-profile projects as The Hulk, Gangs of New York, Men in Black II, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, and Signs. SplutterFish has long been an advocate for providing free tools to the 3ds max community.
The OpenEXR plug-in for 3ds max and Autodesk VIZ is currently available from SplutterFish and can be downloaded, free-of-charge, from the company’s website, www.splutterfish.com/download.