The past week saw a significant update to ZBrush, several mobile application updates, an interesting acquisition by Maxon, and a brainchild of Wacom and Otoy. We’re three months into 2021 already, but the global hardware shortages show no signs of letting up.
This section covers news sourced from various trusted media and business outlets.
Pixologic Releases ZBrush 2021.6
ZBrush 2021.6 is now available to download and comes with all the features Pixologic unveiled last week. The features showcased included repelling from surface and bend settings to help control the form of curves, new Curve Alpha and Extrude Profile Brushes, new Snake Curve brushes, and much more. The update will also bring Lazy Mouse, ZBrush’s system for automatically smoothing out jitters in freehand, to Lasso tools. In addition to the above, this update also adds the option to import and export data in Pixar’s USD (Universal Scene Description) format. Read more.
Blackmagic Design Ships Fusion Studio 17.0
Blackmagic’s node-based compositing application received a major update to version 17.0 this week. The update adds a new animation curves modifier for retiming animations, a GPU-accelerated 2D shapes toolset for motion graphics work, and an option to bookmark views of complex node graphs. Blackmagic also added support for bookmarks to switch between different views in the node editor and support for activation keys for Fusion Studio with this update. Read more.
Shapr3D to Add Drawing Capabilities for the First Time
Shapr3D, a popular iPad app that allows professionals to create 3D models from anywhere, announced a new update that brings drawing capabilities to the app. The update is scheduled to go live on March 7th. With this update, Shapr3D now supports the full concept-to-manufacturable-drawing journey right within the mobile app. Read more.
Otoy and Wacom Partner to Release Sculptron 1.0 – A GPU-based Sculpt-Animate Application
Otoy announced a brand-new project that it has been developing in partnership with Wacom to bring real-time GPU mesh sculpting to the OctaneRender and Wacom ecosystems. The toolset, called Sculptron, is a GPU-based sculpt-animate application that introduces mesh sculpting natively into animation workflows. It comes with a set of new deformers and animation capabilities. Otoy reports that you can animate huge poly-count scenes and objects with unprecedented deformation speeds. Read more.
Maxon Announces Acquisition of Mobile 3D Sculpting Application – Forger
Maxon continues its acquisition spree in 2021. The company announced that it has completed the acquisition of Forger – a digital 3D sculpting and texture painting application for iOS devices. Forger is a well-known application that offers desktop-class, professional-level sculpting workflows on mobile devices. Read more.
Enscape Updated to Version 3.0 – Features a Brand-new Look
Enscape, a real-time rendering and virtual reality software that works with popular software like Revit, Rhino, and Archicad, among many others, announced a major update. Enscape 3.0 brings a revamped user interface with improved functionality to complement all kinds of workflows. In addition to the new UI, Enscape has also added 333 new assets that focus on iconic and specific assets to local regions like vehicles, trees, objects, etc. You can find the full announcement here.
Foundry to Discontinue Mari for macOS at the End of 2021
Apple’s move to deprecate OpenGL in favor of Apple Metal has most companies rushing to update their applications, but Foundry is going the other way. The company announced its decision to drop macOS support at the end of 2021 in a blog post. The official reasoning behind the move is as follows – “spending the required time to convert Mari to Metal would impact its momentum and roadmap for all customers.” Read more.
Foundry Live Kicks Off on March 15th
Foundry Live is one of the largest online events hosted by Foundry. The event will offer sneak peeks of Foundry product development and innovations, workshops to improve workflows, and much more. The event starts with a Future of Look Development and Lighting Solutions on the 15th and has five sessions planned in total (until March 25th). You can enroll here.
AMD Announces RX 6700 XT – A Mid-Range Graphics Card
In what’s now become customary, AMD followed up NVIDIA’s launch of the RTX 3060 with a launch of another piece of hardware you can’t actually buy – the Radeon RX 6700 XT. The pricing of these graphics cards, however, pit it more directly against NVIDIA’s RTX 3070. Unfortunately, the global hardware continues, and I don’t expect any stock of these graphics cards in most regions. AMD performance numbers show it outpacing the RTX 3070 by a slim margin. The lack of support (for AMD graphics) in professional applications makes it less interesting of a launch for workstation builds. Read more.
Educational Content and Helpful Resources for CG Professionals
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[Blender] UV-Packer for Blender Launched (free): https://www.uv-packer.com/features/
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Alex & Jerry