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Autodesk Launches New Versions of Visual Effects and Finishing Systems for High-Value Content Creators
Facility wide Improvements with Open File System, Shared Storage and 100 Percent Clip Compatibility
6 September 2007 — Autodesk, Inc. (NASDAQ: ADSK) today announced the 2008 releases of the Autodesk Inferno, Autodesk Flame and Autodesk Flint visual effects systems, as well as the Autodesk Fire and Autodesk Smoke editing/finishing systems. These new releases are offered on Linux based PCs, making Autodesk’s visual effects and editing/finishing products more accessible to both high end and mid range markets. The new releases deliver open file systems, allowing for improved interoperability with third party applications, as well as 100 percent clip compatibility across the Autodesk visual effects and editing/finishing pipeline.
Autodesk’s visual effects and editing/finishing systems have shaped countless award-winning projects, such as the Spider-Man 3, Transformers and Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer films, as well as Coca-Cola’s Happiness Factory and Lexus’ Hydrant commercials. The 2008 product versions will be showcased at the Autodesk stand (7-420) during the International Broadcasters Convention 2007, being held at the RAI Convention Centre in Amsterdam, 7-11 September 2007.
“Autodesk’s new visual effects and editing/finishing releases will create new workflow possibilities, allowing customers to share media throughout their facility using either direct attached storage, storage area network (SAN) or network attached storage (NAS) configurations,” said Stig Gruman, vice president of Advanced Systems, Autodesk Media & Entertainment. “This ability to interoperate with all technologies present in the post-production facility greatly enhances collaboration and data management, which in turn, opens up new markets, including mid range post production and broadcast.”
Indianapolis based WTHR TV NBC 13 became the first local station in Indiana to broadcast a newscast in high definition (HD). “Now the potential to put more Autodesk systems into mid level post and broadcast facilities is real, due to Autodesk’s new standard file system support, Autodesk Wiretap technology and third party tools that bind the whole facility together,” commented Brian Mulligan, WTHR’s senior editor and Autodesk Smoke system artist. Autodesk Smoke was used to create WTHR’s Eyewitness news promo branding and Super Bowl promos.
In addition, the 2008 releases feature an updated user interface (UI) that is streamlined across the products, making it easier for artists to switch between applications. The new UI also provides the user with more tools on the desktop. Alex Ortoll, visual effects supervisor at Estudios Alcine and Flame artist said, "The new 16:9 interface puts many more tools right at my fingertips, thus greatly reducing the need to dig through layers of sub-menus. Though it took me a couple of days to build new ‘muscle memory’ on the new layout, speed improvements are now quite noticeable." Estudios Alcine recently used Flame to create the epic film The Heart of the Earth and is currently working on the feature film Open Graves in Spain.
Highlights of Autodesk’s 2008 Visual Effects and Editing/Finishing Systems
New toolsets and workflow improvements:
• New standard file system support improves facility workflow, allowing systems and third-party applications to instantly share clips without the need for media duplication, and to work with media natively off a SAN or NAS storage device.
• Enhanced concurrent workflows between visual effects, editing and grading are now possible due to metadata handling and Infiniband networking improvements.
• OpenEXR software support and enhanced Autodesk FBX software support create powerful interoperability between Flame and Autodesk Maya software. The visual effects products can now import NURBS objects and artists have the ability to match their compositions with the 3D department by exporting camera data, as well as axis positions and 3D point clouds.
• 100 percent compatibility between Flame and Smoke setups and clips enables round tripping of clips and metadata between visual effects and finishing product lines.
• New multi layer timeline and audio tools in Flame, Flint, and Inferno improve flexibility and interoperability with Smoke and Fire.
• Redesigned 16:9 user interfaces put more tools at artists’ fingertips.
• New Smoke and Flame user interfaces allow a more intuitive switch from one application to the other.
• On screen tool tips have been added to enhance the user experience.
• Enhanced DVE 3D compositing environment in Fire and Smoke delivers more visual effects power and a look and feel that makes it easier for artists to switch back and forth between Smoke and Flame. New Expressions toolset eliminates manual keyframing techniques, allowing artists to quickly create animations.
Pricing and availability
The 2008 releases of Inferno, Flame, Flint, Fire and Smoke will be available in autumn 2007. New 2008 systems will ship on HP 9400 workstations running the Linux operating system.