Hardware shortages are driving me, and everyone else, nuts. Crypto miners are buying up laptops now (!!). Several applications receive significant updates and bug fixes, and Dassault Systèmes concluded the first all-virtual 3Dexperienceworld event. It’s still February 2021, and here’s what happened this past week.
This section covers news sourced from various trusted media and business outlets.
Luxion Releases KeyShot 10.1 with Feature Updates and Enhancements
The popular real-time ray tracing and global illumination program, KeyShot, received an update to version 10.1. The new version of KeyShot introduces additions to complement both feature and workflow with Collision Detection and Part Settling, Smart Export to multiple AR formats at once, USD Import, and multi-selection for both Light Manager and Keyframe Animation. Read more.
Kinematic Labs Ships PhysX Painter 2.0 for 3ds Max
Kinematic Labs released PhysX Painter 2.0, a major update to the popular 3ds Max plugin for populating scenes with objects by painting them in and letting them settle under gravity. In addition to performance enhancements that will allow users to paint ‘thousands’ of assets into a scene without a visible slowdown, the update also adds new Attract and Explode forces, and a Drop Brush, for letting objects fall from a height. Read more.
Preset Syncing (only Photoshop) and Document Collaboration Introduced in Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, and Fresco
With the newest update, collaborators can edit a single, shared cloud document, one at a time. Adobe announced that users only need to save their .psd or .ai files as cloud documents before sending others an invite to edit them. Preset syncing allows users to access their Photoshop presets, regardless of where they’re accessing the application – across any operating system or platform. Read more.
Epic Games Announces MetaHuman Creator
Building photorealistic, animation-ready digital humans for games and virtual production work just got a lot easier with Epic Games announcing MetaHuman Creator – a groundbreaking browser-based app. The service will launch in early access within the next few months. Epic says that it aims to facilitate the creation of digital human characters in less than an hour, and at a level of quality suitable for next-gen games platforms and “high-end virtual production.” Read more.
3D Tracking Software SynthEyes 2102 Adds Support for Apple M1 Mac Devices
Andersson Technologies announced an update to SynthEyes with version 2102 (followed by a quick bug-fix update the next week). The update focuses on workflow and performance enhancements. SynthEyes now supports all M1-based Apple devices. In addition to M1 support, the update also brings UI improvements, especially for those using high-DPI monitors for a smoother workflow experience. You can find the full list of updates here.
Particle Illusion 2021 Standalone Version is Completely Free to Use
Boris FX has released a free standalone version of Particle Illusion, the GPU-accelerated 2D particle generator – an integral part of its Continuum suite of effects plugins. The free version has no licensing, watermarking, or any such limitations. However, features like direct compositing on source and Mocha planar tracking for Emitters will be missing in the free standalone version. Read more (scroll down for the feature comparison table).
Amazon Details GameLift Updates in 2021
Amazon GameLift allows developers to deploy, operate, and scale dedicated, low-cost servers for session-based multiplayer games. In addition to finally expanding feature availability in China, Amazon has also announced the availability of AMD Epyc Instances when using FleetIQ. The move should help game developers using GameLift bring their costs further down. You can find the full announcement here.
Foundry Ships Mari 4.7v2 – A Bug-Fix Update
Mari 4.7 brought a host of features to the table but, as expected for any major release, was accompanied by bugs too. The Mari 4.7v2 update addresses a few critical issues like the addition of an extra step to the history stack when undoing the creation of a Material Layer and the unexpected behavior of the Color Intensity slider. You can find the full list of bug fixes here.
Autodesk Build Now Available to Users Worldwide
Autodesk unveiled Autodesk Build as part of the Autodesk Construction Cloud suite of applications to users globally. It was first showcased at Autodesk University 2020. Autodesk Build is a new project and field management solution that allows project management, quality, safety, cost, and closeout by connecting data, workflows, and teams in a single, highly-configurable environment. Read more.
Solidworks Demos Viewport Ray Tracing with Vulkan Using AMD Hardware
Dassault Systèmes is working with AMD on a new graphics engine for Solidworks. In a technology demonstration at 3DEXPERIENCE World, Dassault Systèmes and AMD showed a prototype graphics engine running on top of Solidworks, using the soon-to-be-released AMD ‘Navi21’ Pro GPU with hardware ray tracing. The move is welcome as it paves the way for Solidworks to offer full ray-tracing capabilities to its viewport using Vulkan. Keep in mind, this is a technology demonstration and doesn’t guarantee even an eventual feature update yet. Read more.
E-On Software Ships Vue 2021.1 and PlantFactory 2021.1
Popular digital nature tools, Vue and PlantFactory, received their first significant updates this year. The update adds USD export, improved integration with Cinema 4D, and support for native Arnold materials. You can find the full list of changes here.
Unable to Find Ampere Graphics Cards in Stock, Cryptocurrency Miners Reportedly Proceed to Employ RTX 3000 Laptops
In what continues to be an unreal year for anyone wanting to buy PC hardware, cryptocurrency miners are buying up laptops now? A series of Tweets showcased how miners have switched over to RTX 3000-based laptops to add to their mining capacity. The images showed scores of laptops propped up on shelves. That said, the news is hardly surprising because stock for notebooks with the latest hardware has been just as bad as latest-gen PC hardware has been. You can see one of the Tweets here (trigger warning for those who’ve been trying to buy a laptop this year).
Educational Content and Helpful Resources for CG Professionals
This new section features tools, training materials, tutorials, and so on for various CG applications.
[Podcast] Talking to Andrew Murdock (FOUNDER, ANIMATOR AND SOUND DESIGNER, LOTS OF ROBOTS): https://open.spotify.com/episode/7By7YhfZIPAahNltz6T6dk
- 6:31 Wicked Games: recording studios and “Blade Runner” backgrounds
- 14:00 “Rocket Pants” and going solo
- 17:17 The story of Lots of Robots
- 25:24 How Andrew works independently
- 28:01 Cell animation: Inside Covid-19
- 32:33 Joining the tyFlow cult
- 38:26 Trends and changes in CG
- 42:45 Thoughts on new hardware
- 46:36 The importance of personal projects
- 48:31 Inspiration, music and understanding DNA
- 55:56 Saving lives with CGI
We’ve updated our Software Version List showing the current Version of popular Content Creation Industry Software.
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That’s about it from us. Feel free to send some feedback our way!
Alex & Jerry