This year’s CheckMate Advisory Board Meeting was a rousing success! While we made sure to feed and entertain everyone while they were in New Orleans, 3D Modeling was, as usual, at the forefront of everyone’s minds. We also got to add a number of new board members, representing IKEA, Armstrong & White, as well as welcoming Michele Bousquet back in an Advisory Board role, given her track record with CheckMate. There were many roundtable discussions over the two-day, on-site meeting, and what the Advisory Board had to say about using TurboSquid models was surprising, even to us.
Over the next few months, we’ll be posting more specific information gathered from the meetings, but for now, we feel it’s important to give our dedicated artist community a quick recap on several major topics.
This is information that comes directly from the folks who are buying and using your 3D model content daily, and the insights they provided covered a broad range of industries and needs, from film and television, to architectural design, game development, advertising, news, and furniture manufacturing. Since you’re making models to sell on the site, we feel this kind of feedback is timely and worth reading.
The folks at cebas Visual Technology, Inc. have been keeping very busy and last month they released a major upgrade to their flagship finalRender rendering engine for 3ds Max, and launched the 3.5 and 3.5 SE versions of these impressive tools. “We have brought this new release of our industry leading tool finalRender to market much faster than usual,” said cebas CEO Edwin Braun.”Our users asked us to make new features available as we develop them so they can put them into production immediately. cebas has responded by releasing a x.5 version as a major release for the first time in its 20-plus year history,” he added.
finalRender 3.5 brings completely new features and major enhancements, with more stability and productivity. The introduction of a brand new GI-Engine, along with an innovative concept for handling primary and secondary raytracing engines fulfills even the highest demands of finalRender users. Global illumination renderings are faster and cleaner, and show more detail than ever with unexpected ease-of-use.
“The new features of finalRender 3.5 are totally amazing,” says Michael Plängsken, founder of Ground Studios, a German television and motion picture production special effects house. “HarmonicsGI elevates to a completely new quality level, especially with interior renderings. The setup phase is much enhanced. You can now switch between all available GI engines without losing settings, which is great for testing. Also, the enhanced DomeLight can do super-crisp shadows just with an HDRI mapped into it,” Plängsken continued. “The ability to split up complete scenes into its single objects without occlusion is totally unique. finalRender has proven a crucial tool in our 3D visualization tool set. It’s their best release ever,” Plängsken concluded.
Additional features include a new 3D Camera, developed for and first used in “Alice in Wonderland”. This versatile true 3D stereo camera tool is now available to the general finalRender user to build their own stereoscopic experiences.
finalRender 3.5 also bundled in the powerful and comprehensive finalToon, ScatterTool, and OceanShader tools to provide even more value when compared against other offerings. Also, pyroCluster is now part of finalRender 3.5 SE at no extra cost. And working in concert with the team at Sitni Sati, finalRender 3.5 also provides highly integrated GI and rendering acceleration for FumeFX effects (FumeFX must be purchased separately).
We are pleased to announce today that we have officially launched the new Allegorithmic Substance library on TurboSquid. These procedural shaders, which are currently usable within the Autodesk 3ds Max and Maya 2011 Advantage Pack subscriptions, offer an easy way to create robust textures for 3D objects.
You can search for these new Substances on the Substance landing page to see what’s currently available. Allegorithmic posts new Substances daily, so you can check back often to see what’s new. You can also view the Press Release to get the full details of this partnership.
For all of you loyal AfterBurn 3.x and 4.x users out there, TurboSquid and Sitni Sati have decided to offer a special promotion for you until the end of 2010. You can now crossgrade your copy of AfterBurn to the recently released FumeFX 2.0 for only $495 (over 40% off the retail price of FumeFX 2). This promotion means you can buy the same tools used by Blur, ILM, and Encore Hollywood to make stunning visual effects at a tremendous savings.
Star Wars The Old Republic Image Courtesy of Blur Studios
As you may know, FumeFX 2 not only boasts a faster, voxel-based simulation engine, but also comes with advanced tools for adding wavelet turbulence noise to your simulations (a huge production timesaver) as well as sophisticated retiming tools for instantly tweaking the speed of your effects. It also comes with two simulation licenses so you can offload your simulations to other network machines, leaving you free to productive while FumeFX calculates its results.
In order to upgrade, contact our Member Services team and be sure to provide your AfterBurn serial number(s) with your request so that they can point you to our Director of Sales to help process your request. And if you have questions, our Member Services team can also assist in getting you all the information you need in order to make an informed buying decision.
I’m happy to report that two of our plug-in development partners, Sitni Sati (the makers of FumeFX, AfterBurn, DreamScape and others) and cebas VISUAL TECHNOLOGIES (the makers of finalRender, finalToon, thinkingParticles and many others) have announced the first of several joint development efforts designed to take their wildly popular FumeFX and finalRender technologies and create far deeper interaction and abilities between the two products. In an upcoming release of both products, you’ll get much faster rendering capabilities as well as enhanced Global Illumination of FumeFX simulations for amazing results. Just take a look at this YouTube video showing a glimpse of how the two products will work together:
You can read more about this exciting alliance on both the Sitni Sati and cebas websites!
If you have any questions about any of these 3ds Max plug-in tools, don’t hesitate to contact our Member Services team for answers.
In case anyone out there has missed it, there is a YouTube video that has caught fire recently called Iron Baby. Created by Jocelyn “Strob” Simard and his team, this viral video has gotten almost 5 million hits and is such a sensation that it got the attention of, and tweet from, Iron Man director Jon Favreau. What many of you probably haven’t realized is that the effects for this short were created entirely using 3ds Max, VRay, AfterBurn and FumeFX.
Additionally, the artist has posted his Iron Baby model in all its rigged glory (including some sample animation) to the TurboSquid website so other artists can purchase it and learn how he created this remarkable product. The model includes the HDRI images used to render the stunning metal effects, and free downloads of high-resolution renderings. You should definitely check it out.
And as an added bonus, here’s the video for everyone to see: