+ Autodesk has announced the launch of FBX Review for Microsoft Windows 7 and 8 enabled devises. The app gives artists and animators a powerful, lightweight tool to conduct detailed reviews of a wide range of 3D assets, including detailed models, environments and character animations. FBX Review supports a wide range of file formats including but not limited to .fbx, .3ds, .obj and .dxf and allows reviewers to view assets with various shading options, animations, cameras or lighting options in the Microsoft DirectX 11 enabled viewport. Options include: Static & Dynamic Tessellation, Displacement & Vector Displacement Maps, Skin Deformations & Animation, Real-Time Shadow Maps, Reflection Maps, Light & Ambient Occlusion Maps, Image Based Lighting, Ground & Sky Ambient Color. The app is available now from The Windows Store, Autodesk Exchange (Maya or 3ds stores).
+ Autodesk also announced its Media & Entertainment support and learning content for the 2014 product line is now available under Creative Commons licensing—totaling 20,000 pages of documentation, 70 videos and 140 downloadable 3D asset files. The Autodesk Knowledge Network is initially implementing CC licensing for the media and entertainment industry, but also plans to publish product help materials across the company. In addition, Autodesk intends to place its Knowledge Base and Discussion Forums as well as past and future training content from Autodesk University under the CC model. Once digital content has been released to CC, it can be modified, remixed and shared globally.
+ LightWave 3D Group, a division of NewTek, revealed new features in the newest version of its award-winning 3D modeling, animation and rendering software LightWave 11.6. The release complements features introduced in v11.5 like the Genoma character rigging system with modular presets, predator and prey Flocking capabilties, per-object Instancing control and soft-body Bullet Dynamics with support for FiberFX. Users can now animate in new ways with Spline Control (nulls etc. act as nodes in a spline to control or deform object like tentacles, tales and whips), Raycast Motion utilizing Raycasting technology to make an object aware of its surroundings and a Compound Node allowing simplification and customization of complex networks. The new version also introduces NVIDIA CgFX shader technology for 3D asset creation, allows output to 3D printers with import/export options supporting STL, PLY and VRML, and offers full stereoscopic reviews with support for NVIDIA 3D Vision and HDMI stero devices. LW 11.6 is priced at $1,495 with shipment set for Q4 (www.lightwave3d.com/buy).
+ LightWave also introduces 3D sculpting game-changer ChronoSculpt, which introduces sculpting over time and offers a new way to review and correct cache animation and dynamic simulation using time-based sculpting tools with a flexible interface supporting leading file formats for professional 3D programs including LW, Autodesk’s 3ds Max and Maya, Luxology Modo and Maxon Cinema 4D. Highlights include quick removal of dynamic simulation errors to sculpt deformations on cache files; Sculpt, Drag, Pinch and Erase tools to manipulate geometry over time; Transform, Pin and Bulge tools to move, scale and rotate geometry in dynamic sims cache; universal file format support (Alembic, LWO, OBJ, MDD) and Autodesk Geometry Cache for easy pipeline integration; and ChronoSculpt Clip Timeline to quickly adjust and reposition the length of a cache animation sculpt anywhere on the timeline, or make global changes to the entire animation. $399, available now (www.chronosculpt.com).
+ Germany-based tech house MAXON has once again improved upon its CINEMA 4D tool with Release 15 for professional 3D content creation. The new version is packed with improvements and added features such as all-new beveling for modeling efficiency, interactive kerning for advanced typographic control and Team Render, allowing convenient rendering across networks within the C4D interface. Further key features include amped up dynamic sculpting, new texture management tools, Grass Material simulator based on the Hair and Fur engine, Camera Crane rig to simulate real-life Jib shots and various workflow, modeling and animation improvements. R15 is available for Mac OS X and Windows, shipment scheduled for September; pricing and distribution at www.maxon.net (demos at SIGGRAPH Booth #315).