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Thea Render v1.3 edition is now available for everyone as a demo/evaluation version. This new edition brings various improvements and particularly the evolution of Thea Presto GPU+CPU render engine. Thea Render comes with a standalone studio application and is available for 3dsMax, Blender, Cinema4D, Rhino and SketchUp. For those unfamiliar with the renderer, Thea Render has been built to deliver the highest rendering quality and versatility, offering biased, unbiased and GPU rendering.
We are breaking from norm with this week's Sunday Flashback, and dedicating it to the sad announcement of EOL for Softimage, which was made public earlier this week from Autodesk. While our roots are predominantly with Alias|wavefront + Maya, we did have the chance to use Softimage in the late 90s...because the reality is, most of us who have been working with 3D have touched a myriad of other 3D applications - whether it was LightWave, Softimage, Power Animator or 3D Studio Max. Here is a screenshot of Softimage that we recall, along with a few photos and reading material.
The release candidate for the upcoming Blender 2.70 release is now available for download. This is a build for users to test and find issues before the final release is made. If you find bugs, please report them to the bug tracker. New features include initial support for volumetrics in Cycles, and faster rendering of hair and textures. The motion tracker now supports weighted tracks and has improved planar tracking. For mesh modeling there are new Laplacian deform and wireframe modifiers, along with more control in the bevel tool. The game engine now supports object levels of detail. The first results from the new user interface project are also in this release, with dozens of changes to make the interface more consistent and powerful. This is also the first release of the multithreaded dependency graph, which makes modifier and constraint evaluation faster in scenes with multiple objects.
Random Control has announced the start of a Beta Program with the goal of reducing the wait time between software release. This program is open only to regular customers only, so those with educational or demo versions will not be able to participate in this program.
NOX is a free stand-alone, physically-accurate state-of-an-art renderer. Its engine is based on unbiased methods. Global illumination is evaluated using Path Tracing or Bidirectional Path Tracing. Light behavior is based on laws of physics, however some simplifications occur. Many post-production actions can be done in NOX internally, so no additional software is necessary. NOX works with scenes created and imported from 3ds Max, Blender and Cinema4D.
As promised, Krita peeps have delivered on the new version of Krita! v2.8 new features and updates show a loooot of work has been put into this app and the sponsored dollars going to developers is worth every penny. At the top of the list is official Windows support, better tablet support, wraparound tool, improved tagging system and default presets, layer picker, new colour balance filter and lots more! Download your own today!
Today, Autodesk announced that Softimage was no longer going to be developed (not that it was being developed in any considerable way) and that version 2015 was going to be the last version to be released for it. What a shame and sad news for all 3D people, especially Softimage users and those who have used it for such a long time and are now royally shafted by ADSK. While it is somehow not surprising, many predicted this day would come...since the acquisition in 2008, it is still shocking as a reality. Which begs the question why ADSK bought Softimage in the first place... oh yeah - MONEY. If you own them all, no one can stand a chance against you. Sure, people are looking at MODO and Houdini as their transition app (yeah Autodesk is offering free Max or Maya licenses to existing XSI users...but who will go that route), but at the end of the day, those guys are also commercial companies who have to make profits and if you can't sell, you're fucked. Which leaves us the users, even more fucked. So our bet is on the growing opensource movement. It's been gaining momentum as of late, and we believe things can only get better there. If you want to read the bullshit notice about Softimage EOL announcement, it's after the break.
Alec Moody, the co-owner of handplane 3d LLC, has announced that handplane will be switching the existing licensing system to be freeware, upon version 1.4 release. A license file has been uploaded for current builds in the meantime...so head on over and download it!
||March 02, 2014
This week’s Sunday Flashback is the Art of Maya book! Some of you may recall this book, first published in October 2000, to be either a nice coffee table art book or a serious failure in terms of being an actual learning book… you know, to learn how to do shit in Maya with. The latter, it definitely was not. But it was an aesthetically pleasing book which gave a high-level overview into the many facets of 3D and the surrounding fundamental principles around modeling, animating, texturing, lighting, rendering and so on. What made this book stand out was the fact that it was the first book of its kind, released by the Alias|wavefront Education team. You gotta remember that any sort of book published at the time for 3D, were pretty much black and white text-heavy books with the occasional image - the majority of these being software manuals.
The guys at Krita have put out the next cut, Krita 2.8 RC! There is a list of improvements and bug fixes made in this release...and looks like we can expect to get the final Krita 2.8 this coming Wednesday. Yahoo!
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