It seems like everyone’s releasing everything! After Micheal 7, Poser 11, Keyshot 6, and SketchUp 2016… now it’s HitFilm 4 that’s just been released!
Well, it’s been a whopping week for software releases. Today we have SketchUp 2016 released.
It’s super-release Tuesday! After DAZ’s Micheal 7 and Poser 11 were released today, now comes KeyShot 6. I’d expected it sometime before Christmas, but Animation World News reported a few hours ago that it’s actually shipping now (note that there’s now a cheap £75 Educational version). My previous post on this blog has details of the new features.
Poser 11 and Poser Pro 11 have been released today! UK prices are £95 for 11 and £239 for Pro 11. USA prices are $139.99 / $349.99. Both Windows and Mac version are available now, and are heavily discounted.
New features in v.11 include:
* an integrated (‘Superfly’) version of Blender’s professional level Cycles render-engine, including caustics.
* the Pro 11 version supports Nvidia CUDA, giving a GPU-assisted boost to render times.
* new Poser base female character, Pauline, shipping as standard.
* add realistic tattoos and scars, via new layered materials.
* improved OpenGL ‘Comic Book’ real-time rendering, adjustable ink outlines.
I wonder if we might start to see new semi-toon characters + presets dedicated solely to the comic book look?
* a new scalable user interface, for those working on humongously large monitors.
* it’s now easier to step back and forth between characters, as you build a scene.
* Pro also has bone control handles, and direct character manipulation is now easier.
* new rigging features, with some automation.
* customisable tool/dial/character palettes and hot keys. Adjustable auto-save.
Looks good. Let’s hope that the Blender/Cycles ‘Superfly’ rendering engine gives fast and good-looking results with standard characters, without having to faff around applying/tweaking three-dozen new materials by hand. And that ‘the comic-book look’ is viable for producing comic-books which will please the highly discerning eye of comics fans. If Poser 11 gets those two things right, then I’d say it’s back in the game against DAZ Studio.
DAZ’s flagship male character Michael 7 has been launched today, for Daz Studio 4.8 users only. He’s a Genesis 3 character, and currently has heavy discounts.
And the hair is Frazer hair…
I must say that DAZ seem to have done rather a good job of giving him character and uniqueness. 60-point of facial articulation, too, and apparently not too heavy on the poly-count either.
For those wondering about where to get the Genesis 3 male base, if it’s anything like Genesis 3 female then it’s accessed via a download triggered inside the software…
“You can select it [the new G3 character icon] in your Library [inside of DAZ Studio 4.8 beta only] then click the Download & Install button”
Big Comic Page reviews the new made-with-Poser commercial comic-book Faster than Light #3 (not to be confused with the videogame FTL: Faster Than Light), which is from the Anomaly team…
“Judging by the first [story] arc I can see this being adapted for TV in the not too distant future [and] not much would have to be changed”
Elsewhere reviewers have noted the series as shaping up to provide…
“all the idealism of the original Star Trek and the grit and immediacy of Gravity“
There’s a webinar to explain the features of the forthcoming Poser Pro 11…
* new female base figure, Pauline
* a new Blender Cycles-based render engine (without having to learn Blender, phew!)
* improved real-time Comic-Book Mode
* and probably much more…
Launches: 17th November 2015.
The long-awaited Keyshot 6 is on its way soon, very probably before Christmas. It appears that users can expect a host of new goodies users in version 6, including:
* Ambient occlusion, albeit as a material type.
* A new “Product” preset setting — “useful for products with transparent materials illuminated by the environment and local lighting”.
* A new “Interior” preset setting — an easy way to convincingly light an interior scene with natural light.
* Basic editing of 3D geometry.
* File import, or at least linking(?), for Cinema 4D, Maya, 3DS Max.
* Save to a layered Photoshop (PSD) file. Sadly, there’s still no ability to have ground shadows render onto their own layer.
* Material editing and mixing via nodes, for those who like that sort of thing.
* An improved Move Tool for moving objects around the stage.
And much more. Sadly the clunky batch-rendering stack doesn’t get a usability overhaul, via some much-needed drag-and-drop .bip file-adding functionality.
Top Poser content-creators Aeon Soul (formerly Aery Soul) appear to be leaving the Runtime DNA store. Or, at least, they’re closing out their products there and are saying that “many items will never be on sale again”…
And there’s now a new emerging Aeon Soul store at the DAZ Store, with brand new products for DAZ Studio and heavy introductory discounts…
Issue 2 of the free Digital Art LIVE magazine is now available. The 84-page issue’s theme is ‘alien flora and fauna’, and there’s also a ‘future humans’ gallery showing possible future human evolution…
Here’s my personal monthly pick of October’s releases for Daz Studio and Poser (and a couple for Vue).
The famous Stonemason has more sci-fi with Section 04 out this month. You might think: “Oh no, not more generic SF corridors!”. Until you see the quality of the texturing, the wear and the detailing that Stonemason always gives to his scenes. Section 04 also comes with an optional Sections 05 and 06 Textures pack.
Need corridor guards? The new Quadra (Poser 9+ only, it seems) could look rather good, though it might need to have some wear applied over the textures, in order to match Stonemason’s look…
Need somewhere for your corridors to go to? Petipet’s Sci-fi Lab…
(Note that 1971s has a nice steampunk take on the same lab idea, this month: Steampunk area B).
Also in sci-fi, the Titan Suit Texture Expansion Set gives a new look to the various versions of the popular Titan Suit.
Alessandro’s new Koala Bear shows how far we’ve come in just the last five years in getting quality animals into the DAZ/Poser ecosystem. Requires Look At My Hair, for which the koala comes with fur presets. A Koala environment is also available this month, too, with Alessandro releasing an Australian Outback environment (note this is also in .obj, Vue users) and a pack of extra Australian outback plants.
Vue users also have a new fine woodland stream setting from Luigi Marini…
I didn’t spot much that’s unusual or unique for fantasy lovers this month, but the Halfway Up the Mountain scene is perhaps one of the best takes on the idea that I’ve seen. If you need a vast panorama with a cast of thousands assaulting a mountain stronghold, then this might be the one. Just add a cult of crazed monks casting defensive spells, squadrons of attack-serpents, and a small army of armoured mountain trolls.
A standout standalone semi-toon character this month is She Gini, a sort of robot version of the famous original Ball-joint Doll.
Anemone for Genesis 2 Female. Nicely designed, and subtly semi-toon, she’s more detailed than she seems at first glance. Anemone would probably work rather well in a comic-strip or point-‘n-click game set under the sea.
Vintage era items this month include Vintage Television Sets.
Also a nicely detailed Vintage Piano Room. Plenty of possibilities here for Christmas scenes, or even for a story-book tale such as a “mouse adventure” set around and inside the piano.
Musica Fantasia is a new classic violin, which might accompany the piano. And fantasy / faery / Ancient Greece / mythological artists might note that it also has a detailed set of pan-pipes.
And to play the piano/violin? Nalfaar iRay is a new DAZ Studio 4.8 standalone update of a classic older male character…
Lastly, some poses. It’s not every day we get five “riding a bicycle poses”, which are in the new 50 Essential Sports Poses pack. Note it seems that these are only compatible with the new Genesis 3 Female.
I also see that MightyMite has started a whole series of classic superhero comic-book poses, which may be a useful time-saver for some.
That’s it, more next month!
NASA’s Mars 3d-Printed Habitat Challenge: the winners and runners up…
The new Marmoset Toolbag (now in version 2.08) has come a long way. The original Toolbag was a gamer maker’s texturing and preview tool. Capable real-time rendering, and able to do glows like iClone can. But texture support was only for game makers, as TGA or PSD (aurgh!). Applying even those materials was a nightmare, and woe betide you if you wanted to move objects around the screen in real-time.
But the new Marmoset Toolbag 2 (summer 2015) is set up much more like a sort of real-time Keyshot (*), and most of the problems are gone. And with version 2.08 it’s now become a welcome contender in the “genuine real-time 3D” arena, though is still not a match for the similarly-priced iClone in terms of overall abilities and wide range.
The public renders made with Toolbag do tend to look better than you might see on a quick Google Images search for iClone pics. But my feeling is that’s due to the ultra high-quality game models being used in Toolbag, obviously of the very highest quality and probably destined for inclusion in commercial games or production portfolios.
As an instance of Toolbag’s features-lag against the likes of iClone, consider that with version 2.08 Toolbag has only just added real-time depth-fog volumes and full FBX import. But by version 3 (late 2016?) I’m thinking Toolbag may well have become very capable and polished. It’s one I’ll be taking a look at again, in about a year’s time.
* — although, arguably, Keyshot is very nearly ‘the real-time Keyshot’
The new monthly Digital Art LIVE magazine featuring in-depth interviews with 3D and 2D sci-fi artists. Available now, for free! The first issue is a special themed issue on ‘future cities’.