More Poser-y goodness at Renderosity, on sales of Poser 11. I don’t see their 50% discount yet from the UK, but Renderosity are in the USA — so possibly the discounts haven’t yet been activated there. Looks like the offer will run to 26th July 2016.
Still using trusty old Photoshop CS6? Not been wow-ed by the new features in the various Photoshop CC versions? I haven’t been, I’ll admit. Even though a realtime healing brush preview and a font bookmarking system might have been somewhat nice to have.
But the latest Photoshop CC 2015.5 brings a couple of very nice new features, which may tempt users to make the move. One of the new features is very major and seems especially useful for DAZ/Poser artists.
* Face-Aware Liquify. If you’re rendering faces and characters in big renders, this may well help you to nudge the face out of the ‘uncanny valley’ and make it more appealingly human. You don’t have to laboriously place dots and virtual push-pins on the face, as everything is automatically pinpointed for you by Photoshop. Here’s the very impressive video demo…
* Match Font. Need to replace some lettering in a bit-mapped image? Draw a box around it, and similar fonts from your system are shown. Nice, but not vital. Third-party services such as WhatTheFont! do the same thing, while searching across a far wider set of fonts than the few hundred installed on your PC. I guess maybe some of these services are even available as Photoshop plugins?
A big 50% sale on the excellent new Poser 11 and Poser 11 Pro, at Renderosity.
For Poser 11 users who haven’t loaded up the Smith Micro Download Manager for a while, the SR4 patch for Poser 11 is ready for download…
A few of the new things I noted in SR4…
* Lots of general, performance and stability updates and improvements.
* Content Library List View now up “up to 3x” faster at displaying huge runtime folders. (Yup!)
* Content Library’s “Autocomplete” can now be toggled off. (Wonderful!)
* SuperFly rendering now based on Cycles 1.7. (Good to see Poser keeping pace with new Cycles versions)
* OBJ export: Added options for using full texture paths in MTL file and copying textures to output folder. (Useful)
* The PoserFusion plugins now interface Poser 11 with the “most recent LightWave versions”.
Many Poser users will remember Anomaly, Brian Haberlin’s best-selling sci-fi masterwork book, which was made with Poser. Now there’s a sequel set for February 2017, Anomaly 2: The Rubicon. Apparently “The sequel picks up right where Anomaly ended.” It’s pre-ordering now on Amazon.
Issue 8 of the free monthly Digital Art Live magazine is now available, with a theme of “Our Future Frontier”. Mars colonisation, and more, in an 84-page issue.
April’s issue 7 also had a theme, being a whopping 116 pages of strong “Female Future Heroes”…
I see that there are two new open-source Windows video editors, since I last went looking for a possible replacement for the lumbering heap of annoyances that is Adobe Premiere Elements 12.
Each is relatively simple, compared to the various behemoths that are meant for editing Hollywood movies. They may thus may be useful to you, if the old Windows Movie Maker is too limited or if Adobe Premiere Elements is just too awful an experience to keep on using. I installed both, and as a test I tried slapping together an 28Mb audio .MP3 and a 1Mb still .JPG, and outputing to a video small enough to upload to YouTube (less than 100mb).
* OpenShot 2.0 (beta) has a Windows version and a simple modern interface. Though it’s not 64-bit, which may be why it crashed for me again and again on final rendering, tried with three different export settings. Uninstalled.
* Shotcut. Windows 64-bit, but I never got it to the rendering stage. Because the simple task of fitting a static .JPG onto an .MP3 audio file is made into vastly more work than it should be, and in an interface that only a software developer could really love. Uninstalled.
So, no luck for me with these two. But you may have a different experience. OpenShot 2.0 in particular is worth a try, to see if you get crash-free exports.
Poser 11’s SR3 patch has been released. There’s a big list of small fixes, though nothing very major that I could spot, other than…
“Queue Manager (Poser Pro only) – Enabled SuperFly support.”
That’s great news.
Also a new “SuperFly Tileable” Materials library category, which may be handy if it’s pre-filled with goodies. My updates are downloading now.
A free playable pinball table game, as a skin-able template for Blender. Creative Commons Attribution.
Update: the author of the .blend has been blocked, so the template can no longer be downloaded.
There’s a new e-on software competition, Jungle Book, for Vue users.
Google Nik Collection for Photoshop is now free. Personally I still prefer the older-but-similar plugin suite of tools called 55mm Digital Film Tools, but Nik can do all that 55mm does and a bit more.
“Starting March 24, 2016, the latest Nik Collection will be freely available to download: Analog Efex Pro, Color Efex Pro, Silver Efex Pro, Viveza, HDR Efex Pro, Sharpener Pro and Dfine. If you purchased the Nik Collection in 2016, you will receive a full refund, which we’ll automatically issue back to you in the coming days.”
* 64-bit version.
* Now has a Mac version.
* Masked PNG output, for use in Powerpoint.
* Support for semi-transparency on import (from Flash only?).
* Variable outline-width (but no Photoshop-style artistic-line Styles, yet).
Studio Ghibli’s former animation software Toonz is being made open source (100% free) from 26th March 2016. It has “the ability to combine the hand-drawn animation with the digitally painted ones seamlessly”. It was also used to make Futurama.
The current owners want to make it “a world standard for 2D animation”, hence it’s becoming a freebie. The new open version will be developed under the name of OpenToonz.
Check out especially the Plastic Tool, and think how one might use that with a Poser comic-book mode render to speed up comic book production. And “apply brushes along the line” on both raster and vector. Yum, this will be very interesting to explore.
More official training and features videos here.