I attended the 3vis event “Make Your Dreams a Reality” in Vancouver http://www.3vis.com/enCA/evenements which showcased a lot of Autodesk 2012 software including 3ds Max, Maya, Motion Builder, Mudbox and XSI. 3vis put on a nice show with some prizes, food and open bar 🙂 The event was broken up into three major presentations.
The first presentation was by Louis Marcoux, who talked about 3ds Max and Motion Builder. 3ds Max has a new “Nitrous” viewport in 2012 that has multithreaded support, SSAO (Screen Space Ambient Occlusion), Soft Shadows and Indirect Illumination, which held up pretty well in a fairly detailed model of a town. One of the cool new feature is the stylized rendering which allows for different fx to be applied to the render, which give the look of Photoshop filters. The substance procedural textures was also pretty interesting, and looked like you could create a wide variety of pattern textures with minimal effort. There was also a small demo on the iRay renderer, which looked pretty nice, although the fact that you choose when it is complete makes me wonder how much extra processing time will occur with no visibile improvements as people do not know the correct range to get the results they want… I would have to play with it a bit to see if this was an issue I guess. Louis also talked about how easily the Autodesk packages integrate with each other, and gave an example of moving between Max and Motion Builder, where he had setup some motion capture data with his Xbox Kinect… I will have to look closer into some of this Kinect stuff, with my Kinect soon.
The next talk was by Lee Fraser on Maya 2012 and Mudbox 2012. The talk focused on some of the new improvements with Maya Viewport 2.0 for more realtime rendering options (which is great for closely matching game rendering). Maya 2012 has improved audio options, sequencer and “uber cam” options for in Maya editing of shot sequences. Some of the fluid option for liquids in Maya give some nice realistic results. There are also some improvements to the modeling system that allow curves to be used to shape and cutout polygons from a polygon mesh. The Turtle render is used for advanced baking options for lightmaps, and had some nice results. The Mudbox options included support for Linux, general improvements for mapping textures onto geometry, and improvements for organizing UVs.
The final talk was by Mark Schoennagel and his talk was on XSI, specifically on ICE. From a developers perspective this was probably the neatest talk (from an artist probably not the most intersting), as Mark went through the process of creating different ice nodes for both custom and recreating built in XSI features (which showed how almost any effect could be reverse engineered using ICE). Some of the most interesting things were using ICE to create an internal ray tracer within XSI, effects that change particles from one form into another, and the many ways ICE can be used to create cool fx.
This was a lot of fun, and I learned some cool things.
Bye for now,