After a meeting with Autodesk M&E today there was obviously lots of news and change in the wings for the software juggernaut. We had organised the meeting to get a feel from them on the products in their growing lineup that might suit us in the compositing and video editing arena.
We have a growing desire for this in FBE and several requests for a ramp up on the Adobe apps in this space (After Effects, Premiere etc). On the Autodesk side it seems that Combustion might be a neato app with its integration with Max and its handling of 3D for compositing colour and texture into a rendered space. I will have to look into this more closely! As for editing, Autodesk only operate at the HIGH level here and arent what we are after. Toxic sounds like in a version or two it will support 3D compositing (rather than faked 3D) which could be exciting as well.
3ds Max 2009
The press release from Autodesk not only announces a new version of 3ds Max hot on the heels of the previous one, but also introduces a split in the product. We will now have the Entertainment version and the Design one. Though there is obvious rationale in building apps that cater more closely to the two markets in which Max is so dominant (Arch Vis and Gaming) it does make the software a bit weird and for what we do I can just see us wanting both in FBE - one for the modelling to game engine pipeline and the other for more traditional visualisation.
Tools like the daylight simulation and analysis set in the Design version look like obvious things to delve into (though if Revit can do the deed...??... time will tell). The interoperability of each release improves and the importance of FBX increases. Hopefully this will see people able to move between applications without building things - though how this will work with things like Sketchup and our game engines of choice is yet to be seen.
The press release for Revit and their related packages shows continuing dedication to BIM. With Mental Ray now to be part of Revit Architecture this puts many cats amongst the pigeons with relation to how Architectural modelling & visualisation could/should be done. I am wondering if the material and lighting defs in Revit will now translate over to Mental Ray materials - that will make life just sooo nice. There isnt alot more info yet - but this is an emerging tech area and things are evolving very quickly. The Revit OpEd blog has a few extra bits about interface enhancements like the View Cube.
Sustainability is another baby getting attention - check this vid with not just some sweet software, but a nice big touch screen to boot.
[screenshot from the vid - this is quite amazing stuff if it all really works this well]
With all these products (except the film ones - including Maya) now going for yearly updates in March we shoudnt have too long to wait before we can get our hands on these apps for real. That said we have been having a little trouble working through licensing with mighty Autodesk - though they have a press release covering their commitment to education...