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View Full Version : who's "out there" or "on the bleeding edge" ?



cresshead
03-13-2010, 06:27 AM
"out there" or "on the bleeding edge"

so which companies do you think is 'out there' on the bleeding edge of pushing 3d apps/plugins and 3d tech in advancing all things 3d..from film, tv, vfx, product design etc?

my small list...

1.pixologic with zbrush
2.chaos group with Vray
3.cebas with volume breaker
4.autodesk with maya 2011
5.Blender 2.5 features coming online
6.AutoDesSys and bonzai 3D
7.3d coat's rapid growth

Titus
03-13-2010, 06:50 AM
"out there" or "on the bleeding edge"

so which companies do you think is 'out there' on the bleeding edge of pushing 3d apps/plugins and 3d tech in advancing all things 3d..from film, tv, vfx, product design etc?

my small list...

1.pixologic with zbrush
2.chaos group with Vray
3.cebas with volume breaker
4.autodesk with maya 2011
5.Blender 2.5 features coming online
6.AutoDesSys and bonzai 3D
7.3d coat's rapid growth

Mmmh. I don't know. Blender 2.5 is hardly production ready, as I've stated before my small studio is moving to blender for internal projects and definitively 2.5 is unstable, I simply can't find things (they moved everything!). But I think at the end is going to be a good bet.

cresshead
03-13-2010, 11:48 AM
blender implements new tech found in siggraph white papers so it's defo on the leading edge.

Intuition
03-13-2010, 03:13 PM
I agree with your original list though I haven't tried volume break yet. What is it?

Also, I'd like to add

...

Luxology with modo.

Its overall UI, toolset, render engine are such a force to be reckoned with that AD made a pdf comparing modo to thier lineup.

Sure its missing CA and particles, etc but what it does offer it does very well.

Greenlaw
03-13-2010, 03:18 PM
There's a neat little utility I use all the time called ShaderMap Pro (http://shadermap.renderingsystems.com/sm_pro.php). It basically takes a photo image and turns into a normal map, displacement/bump map, spec map, and AO map. The program displays the effect of any combination of the maps in realtime, outputs the textures quickly, and the results are remarkably good. Basically the program applies special filters to remove shadows and highlights and calculates a credible depth map from the image; from there is figures out how to do the rest. ShaderMap Pro a great timesaver, and believe it or not, it's only $20.

I don't know if this is 'cutting-edge', but I don't know of anything else that does this so easily and at this price. There is even a free command-line version, but I highly recommend the 'pro' version with the UI.

My most recent use of ShaderMap Pro was taking photographs of fronts of buildings here in L.A. and making normal and AO maps from them to map to boxes with minimal details. The result was surprisingly believable. I also use it on almost every job to process tile-able color textures of rock and terrain for normal and AO maps.

G.

cresshead
03-13-2010, 03:37 PM
I agree with your original list though I haven't tried volume break yet. What is it?



have you seen the feature film 2012?
how all the buildings are destroyed = volume breaker for 3dsmax by Cebas.

Intuition
03-13-2010, 03:41 PM
have you seen the feature film 2012?
how all the buildings are destroyed = volume breaker for 3dsmax by Cebas.

Oh right. Yeah I was working here at DD when it was made.

There were multiple methods for breaking things up for 2012. Some used houdini, some used bullit and now I am finding that some was achieved using this volume breaker.

We have tools falling out the cracks here. ;)

SplineGod
03-13-2010, 08:09 PM
My most recent use of ShaderMap Pro was taking photographs of fronts of buildings here in L.A. and making normal and AO maps from them to map to boxes with minimal details. The result was surprisingly believable. I also use it on almost every job to process tile-able color textures of rock and terrain for normal and AO maps.

G.
Do you have any examples of the buildings? :)

Greenlaw
03-14-2010, 09:34 PM
Do you have any examples of the buildings? :)

We used these buildings in a commercial last year which I won't name because the commercial wasn't one of our finer Box moments. (We had no control over compositing or editorial in this one.) I'll see if I can dig up some of the test images though--the test images showed off the effect better anyway.

The effect is pretty basic and straightforward though; much of the realism comes from the fact that the textures are based on photos we shot of downtown L.A., and the normal and ao map generated from ShaderMap Pro simply allows you to light the surface much more credibly than if it was just a box with a color map on it. The only hard/tedious part was painting the cars, people, reflections, and obviously directional shadows out of some of the building images. 'Quick and dirty', but convincing enough for how it was used in the final project.

I tried the ShaderMap Pro a while back with photos of friezes and got some good lighting results, so it's good for cheating in this kind of architectural detail too. Luckily, we have a big library of these type of images, so I'm keeping this in my back pocket for the right job. :)

BTW, a similar program came out a while ago called CrazyBump that got a lot of attention, but to me ShaderMap Pro seemed just good but a whole lot cheaper. Just my opinion of course.

SplineGod
03-14-2010, 10:05 PM
Cool, Im not expecting miracles with it but it seems a good way to go for adding some details in a quick fashion. :)