Autodesk Announces '11 Versions of Flame, Flare, Smoke and Lustre

By ANIMATION XPRES... | 17 May, 2010 - 12:31

Autodesk has announced the 2011 releases of its creative finishing products for visual effects, editorial finishing and color grading: Autodesk Flame, Autodesk Flare, Autodesk Flint, Autodesk Smoke and Autodesk Lustre. The 2011 releases offer new creative tools, improved interoperability and introduce an end-to-kend stereoscopic 3D (S3D) finishing workflow for TV and film.

Autodesk creative finishing products helped create stunning content for films ("Avatar," "The Hurt Locker," "Inglourious Basterds" and "Shutter Island"), popular TV shows ("CSI NY," "NCIS," "Mad Men" and "Big Love") and many commercials (E*Trade Super Bowl campaign, Snickers "Game," "The Beatles: Rock Band" video game trailer and "American Idol" music videos).

"Film and TV production is a highly competitive, high-stakes game, whether competing for viewers or tackling new technology challenges such as stereoscopic 3D," said Arun D'Souza, Head, M & E, Autodesk, India & SAARC. "The 2011 releases of our creative finishing products are designed to help customers stand out from the crowd, helping them create the kind of unique content that turns heads. 3D is core to what we do at Autodesk, so being a leader in end-to-end stereo workflow capabilities is a natural extension for us."

Commenting on the opportunities in the M&E industry Jayant Keswani, Head, Marketing, Autodesk, India & SAARC said "Globally, demand for S3D in TV and film is on the rise with ESPN, Sky, Discovery and other TV networks launching stereo programming this year, including this year's Masters Tournament. Seventy percent of the gross for "Avatar" came from S3D screens, and Hollywood is expected to release at least 20 stereoscopic films this year. He also added, "Our solutions are designed to provide that creative capability, making it easier and more affordable for artists to build a cohesive pipeline-integrating 2D and 3D, simulation and animation, rendering and compositing-so that they can create innovative entertainment more efficiently."

The 2011 releases of Flame, Flare, Smoke and Lustre offer stereoscopic 3D finishing capabilities, augmenting the stereo computer graphics (CG) capabilities of Autodesk Maya 2011 software while providing familiar and proven creative workflows for visual effects, editorial finishing and grading. The new stereoscopic capabilities are designed to help implement S3D finishing with minimal disruption to existing creative workflows. Key new features:

    * Cross-product support for the Autodesk FBX 2011 software stereoscopic 3D camera rig
    * New stereoscopic camera rig and object support in Action, the Flame and Smoke 3D compositing environment
    * Concurrent stereoscopic visual effects, editorial finishing and grading workflow
    * Stereoscopic monitoring and preview modes in products

Customers Praise Stereoscopic Workflow
"The Flame stereoscopic workflow and toolset are so powerful and intuitive. I finally have all the tools I need to help deliver stereo shots easily."
- Ara Khanikian, Senior Flame Artist, Rodeo FX (Canada)

"Stereoscopic compositing was hard to do, until now."
- Ivar Beer, Head of Digital Production, CinePostproduction (Germany)

"That's really what's impressive... it's like the stereoscopic functions were always there. It's hard to imagine the release without stereoscopic workflow. I don't need to learn any new software or techniques or a new language. I already speak the language."
- David Klinkowize, Designer and Editor, Creative Group (United States)

"Having stereoscopic functionality in Flame means that our team of artists do not have to learn a completely new system. That's a huge bonus for us, both from a workflow point of view and a financial perspective. The 3D functions in Flame work in a very similar and familiar way so setting up complex projects is fairly easy."
- Jonathan Hancock, 2D VFX Manager, BSkyB Creative (United States)

Autodesk Smoke 2011
Launched in December 2009, Autodesk Smoke for Mac OS X is rapidly gaining ground in Mac-based creative workflows by offering, for the first time on that platform, an all-in-one editorial finishing solution. With integrated tools for editorial, conform, color correction, keying, tracking, paint, rotoscoping, compositing and 3D visual effects, Smoke is designed to help reduce the need for editors to work with multiple applications to deliver higher-quality finished content. Smoke is also available as a turnkey solution for the Linux operating system. New Smoke 2011 features:

. New tools for editing, viewing and compositing stereoscopic 3D content
. Drag-and-drop conform of AAF or XML files from Apple Final Cut Pro or Avid Media Composer
. Native in-application support for RED RAW media and H.264 QuickTime

Autodesk Flame 2011
The new 2011 releases of Flame and Flare add new creative tools and help further integrate advanced 3D capabilities at the core of their premier visual effects, design and finishing toolset:

. New GPU-based pixel shader rendering pipeline that helps improve the quality of rendered results and enables support for new texture mapping and lighting effects
. New Substance procedural texture library with at least 100 near photorealistic textures that can be applied to 3D objects, 3D text or surfaces
. Native in-application support for RED RAW media and H.264 QuickTime
. Support for individual rendering layers when soft importing OpenEXR media files

    * 3D compositing enhancements - supports multiple outputs in Action: z-depth, normal and matte passes; new support for diffuse, parallax, reflection and specular mapping

Autodesk Lustre 2011
Autodesk Lustre features S3D capabilities that enable advanced creative look development by helping give colorists control over color and lighting effects in both stereoscopic and standard grading workflows.

. New support for grading of OpenEXR media files
. RED workflow enhancements: support for RED Rocket through Mac Wiretap Gateway
. Open management of grading metadata

This year, the original developers of Lustre received a Scientific and Engineering Academy Award for design and development of the Lustre technology. First used on the "Lord of the Rings" trilogy, Lustre helped usher in a new era of digital intermediates for color grading and look development.

Product Availability
Autodesk anticipates that the 2011 releases of Flame, Flare, Flint, Inferno, Lustre, Smoke for Mac OS X and Smoke Advanced will be available later this month. For features and benefits, visit the Flame, Flare, Flint, Inferno, Lustre, Smoke for Mac OS X and Smoke (for Linux) product centers.