Wednesday, July 18, 2018
  • Thursday, Aug. 3, 2017
Disney Pioneer Floyd Norman Shares Voice of Experience With SIGGRAPH Attendees
SIGGRAPH keynote speaker Floyd Norman on stage at the L.A. Convention Center (photo by Kyle Espeleta Photography/courtesy of 2017 ACM SIGGRAPH)
44th annual confab highlights include VR Village, rollout of product innovations
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Amidst the dizzying array of technological breakthroughs and innovations rolled out and showcased at SIGGRAPH this week, the 44th annual confab’s keynote speaker Floyd Norman, now 82 years young, provided some stabilizing context. The pioneering animator and artist--the first African-American to be hired by Walt Disney’s vaunted animation department back in 1956--noted that while he’s excited by the new tools that are emerging, including what he’s seeing on the VR/AR front, it all comes back to the viability of the story.

“You have got to serve the story...Technology won’t save you,” affirmed Norman, noting that filmmakers today are still striving to tell a story as well as Disney did with classics such as Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs in 1937. Storytelling is timeless, said Norman who described Walt Disney himself as “a great story editor” who turned out a story that was “tight,” with “no waste, no excess.”

Norman saw that talent first hand as Walt Disney hand-picked him to move up to join the studio’s story team on The Jungle Book in 1966. While hundreds of artists passed through the Disney studio, only a dozen over the years were chosen to work with Walt Disney in the story department. Norman said being part of that select group dozen was a high honor, getting to learn directly from the master. Sadly, Norman didn’t get to continue working directly with him on story as the venerable Walt Disney passed away in December 1966.

Norman shared a piece of advice Walt Disney imparted to young storytellers, including him. “Don’t watch the movie. Watch the audience,” is what Disney said, observing that it’s important to see if and how your work is connecting with viewers. 

Later in his career, Norman found himself at Pixar where he got to know Steve Jobs of Apple who owned that computer animation studio at the time (before it was acquired by Disney). Norman described Jobs as “a cool dude” who was a lot like Walt Disney--”demanding, opinionated...There was one way to do things--his way.” But Norman said he never had a problem “working for someone who wants the very best.” Among Norman’s exploits at Pixar was Toy Story 2.

Both Jobs and Disney also shared the bond of being able to spot talent. Norman cited as an example Disney affording animator Wilfred Jackson the opportunity to direct. “Walt saw it in him,” said Norman, although Jackson never attended film school. Jackson’s directorial touch would be brought to bear on classics as Snow White and The Seven Dwarfs, Peter Pan, Alice in Wonderland, Cinderella, and sequences for Pinocchio and Fantasia.

While SIGGRAPH is a place for learning, with new talent looking to gain expertise and make connections, there was no such resource--or for that matter any significant formal training--back in the day when Norman started out. He noted that there were no schools teaching animation. “We were basically self-taught,” he recalled, sharing that the only instructional text available was a book by Walter T. Foster on how to make animated cartoons. In the absence of formal animation training, Norman studied at the Art Center College of Design as an illustration major. Norman said that his “real [animation] education began at Disney.” There, he learned from several of animation’s “great masters.”

Just prior to this SIGGRAPH opening day keynote session on Monday (7/31)--in which Norman was interviewed on stage by Steve Waskul of Waskul Entertainment--the documentary Floyd Norman: An Animated Life was screened for conference attendees. The film chronicled Norman’s storied career, his historic hiring at Disney and his bucking that studio’s mandatory retirement policy which had called for him to step down at the age of 65. Norman’s response was to just keep coming to work, contributing to Disney and lending his talent and voice of experience to his animation department compatriots.

Incidentally, on the strength of their Floyd Norman: An Animated Life, filmmakers Michael Fiore and Erik Sharkey gained inclusion into SHOOT’s New Directors Showcase last year. During a Showcase panel discussion back in May 2016, Fiore related that he and Sharkey first envisioned the feature documentary as a tribute to “the Forrest Gump of animation” but soon found that Norman’s story was one about ageism. Fiore noted that while Norman dealt with some racism, it was ageism that made the bigger potentially negative impact on his life. Norman’s perseverance and determination that he was not leaving despite a forced retirement is a lesson for us all, said Fiore who noted that Norman is still doing what he loves.

Among the highlights emerging during the course of SIGGRAPH, which ran from July 30-August 3 in Los Angeles, were:

Jerome Solomon, dean of Cogswell College and conference chair for SIGGRAPH 2017, described today’s era as one marked by “a renaissance of computer graphics,” with innovations and applications expanding into assorted different areas. He cited the high caliber of work being produced, with the creme de la creme on display on SIGGRAPH.

For instance, for SIGGRAPH’s VR Village, there were nearly 150 submissions--with only 15.7 percent (a total of 18 installations) accepted, according to Denise Quesnel, VR Village program chair. Innovations generating a buzz included a Disney Research bench on which visitors could sit and then feel the presence of various VR creature visitors, including a mule who kicks the bench.

Another prime new wrinkle at SIGGRAPH was the Computer Animation Festival's VR Theater, which drew capacity crowds, and showcased inspiring VR content, demonstrating its vast storytelling potential.

SIGGRAPH 2017 Award Winners
"The Human Race," a real-time demonstration presented by The Mill during Real-Time Live! on Tuesday night, was awarded the SIGGRAPH 2017 "Best Real-Time Graphics and Interactivity" honor. "The Human Race" is a collaboration with Epic Games and is made possible through the combination of Unreal Engine 4, The Mill Cyclops, and The Mill Blackbird. The demonstration showcased its ability to blur the line between production and post, revolutionizing the conventions of digital filmmaking.

The SIGGRAPH 2017 Emerging Technologies program awarded its "Best in Show" prize to "MetaLimbs: Arms Interaction Metamorphism," from Japan. MetaLimbs proposes a novel approach to body-schema alternation and artificial-limb interaction by adding two robotic arms to the user's body and mapping the global motion of the user's legs and feet relative to the torso.

Fusion 9 with a VR toolset
Blackmagic Design unveiled Fusion 9, a major update to its visual effects, compositing, 3D and motion graphics software. Fusion 9 has been designed to support the latest workflows, and features new VR tools--including entirely new keyer technology, planar tracking, camera tracking, and multi user collaboration tools. Fusion 9’s VR toolset provides a full 360º true 3D workspace, along with a new panoramic viewer and support for popular VR headsets such as Oculus Rift and HTC Vive. Working in VR with Fusion is completely interactive. GPU acceleration makes it extremely fast so customers can wear a headset and interact with elements in a VR scene in real time. Fusion 9 also supports stereoscopic VR. In addition, the new 360º spherical camera renders out complete VR scenes, all in a single pass and without the need for complex camera rigs.
The new planar tracker in Fusion 9 calculates motion planes for accurately compositing elements onto moving objects in a scene. For example, the new planar tracker can be used to replace signs or other flat objects as they move through a scene. Planar tracking data can also be used on rotoscope shapes. That means customers don’t have to manually animate motion, perspective, position, scale or rotation of rotoscoped elements as the image changes.
Fusion 9 also features an entirely new camera tracker that analyzes the motion of a live action camera in a scene and reconstructs the identical motion path in 3D space for use with cameras inside of Fusion. This lets customers composite elements with precisely matched movement and perspective of the original. Fusion will auto analyze the shot and calculate lens focal length and lens distortion.
The new delta keyer brings state of the art image science to Fusion’s keying tools. In addition to new image science and processing, delta keyer features a complete set of matte finesse controls for creating the cleanest possible keys while preserving fine image detail. There’s also a new clean plate tool that can smooth out subtle color variations on blue and green screens in live action footage, making them easier to key.
For multi user collaboration, Fusion 9 Studio includes Studio Player, a new application that features a playlist, storyboard and timeline for playing back shots. Studio Player can track version history, display annotation notes, has support for LUTs and more. The new Studio Player can output via Blackmagic DeckLink and UltraStudio devices, making it perfect for customers that need to see shots in a suite or theater for review and approval. Remote synchronization lets customers around the world synchronize Studio Players in multiple locations. In addition, Fusion 9 features a bin server so shared assets and tools don’t have to be copied onto each artist’s local workstation.
Fusion 9 Studio also gives customers unlimited network rendering. This means that large studios working on complex shots and high end visual effects heavy feature films no longer have to pay a license fee for each render node. Customers simply purchase and install Fusion 9 Studio on all of their artist workstations and then install it on as many render nodes as they need, without any additional charges or ongoing maintenance costs.
In addition to all of the new features, Fusion 9 has more GPU and OpenCL acceleration, making it faster than ever. Fusion 9 also works with additional formats and file types such as DNxHR, MXF and more. This makes it suitable for use in an even broader range of workflows and provides seamless integration with DaVinci Resolve files.
Blackmagic Design also announced a price reduction for Fusion Studio from $995 to only $299. It costs less than most annual cloud based subscription plans. This new low price makes it easier for DaVinci Resolve users to add Fusion Studio to their suites and get incredible keying, paint, compositing, tracking, motion graphics, titling and more.
Because Fusion does not require a subscription or a connection to the cloud, customers don’t have to worry about it being automatically updated in the middle of a job. Customers can upgrade when they wish, such as after the completion of a major job. In addition, Fusion systems don’t have to be connected to the internet, so they can be isolated to eliminate the possibility of hacking. Customers also don’t have to pay monthly, so once Fusion is purchased it will keep working until customers choose to upgrade in the future.
“Fusion is an incredibly rich and powerful tool that Hollywood’s top visual effects and motion graphics artists have been using for years,” said Grant Petty, Blackmagic Design CEO. “Fusion 9 adds the new features and tools customers have been asking for, supports more formats and newer workflows than ever before, has even more GPU and OpenCL acceleration, and a new dramatically lower price! This makes Fusion even more accessible than ever before. Plus, the new collaboration tools and free unlimited network rendering will change the way large studios work!”

Blackmagic acquired eyeon Software, Inc., back in 2014. Among eyeon’s high-end product was Fusion. The latest iteration, Fusion 9, marks the first version which Blackmagic has put its full imprint on since buying eyeon some three years ago.

As part of its shift to a largely subscription-based business, Autodesk is rolling out an updated Media & Entertainment Collection. The full Collection becomes available on Sept. 7, with Cloud Rights becoming a new subscription benefit for 3ds Max and Maya, while adding Sketchbook for Enterprise, a drawing application that can be used for illustration, concept art, storyboarding, and more. An Arnold 5-pack annual subscription promo is also being offered for the Collection. The Media & Entertainment Collection provides games and film/TV customers with more value, flexibility and versatility. With access to a wide selection of essential 3D software including 3ds Max and Maya, as well as reality capture and 3D scanning software, the Media & Entertainment Collection keeps much needed tools at users’ fingertips--all with Autodesk subscription benefits including access to previous software versions and direct access to Autodesk support representatives. The power of Arnold rendering software gives the Collection a truly end-to-end creative workflow.

Leading up to SIGGRAPH 2017, Autodesk updated its media and entertainment tools. “The continued growth of AR and VR and steady flow of new productions from Netflix, Amazon and others, mean animation and VFX houses are in more demand than ever. We’re focused on helping our customers create, connect and compute faster and more efficiently so they can balance their increasing project loads with tighter schedules and budgets,” shared Chris Bradshaw, sr. VP, Media & Entertainment, Autodesk. “Everything we’re showing at SIGGRAPH streamlines production and equips artists with the tools to handle nearly any creative scenario.”

Maya 2018 offers additional character creation, motion graphics, and rendering functionality. Improvements have made character creation easier, faster, and fun. The motion graphics toolset now includes dynamics and new instancing capabilities. Maya 2018 is available with the latest version of Arnold, including new features and core architecture improvements. These Maya 2018 updates empower artists to create content and to tell compelling stories through lifelike characters and environments and dynamic motion graphics. 

Continuing the commitment of making media collaboration easier, faster, and more secure for studios of all sizes, Autodesk’s Shotgun has introduced features to simplify workflows, make it easier to integrate creation tools with Shotgun, and strengthen security. Shotgun 7.2 introduced plug-and-play integrations to accelerate artist workflows; updates to RV; and new single sign-on. The latest updates in Shotgun 7.3 continue to build on Shotgun’s secure and reliable foundation for studios by adding improvements that make it easier for site administrators to run and manage Shotgun. Shotgun 7.3 features include smart data retention for improved site performance and community-driven enhancements including improved action menu items (AMIs) and the ability to restart your own site.

Arnold 5.0.1 builds on the strengths of the recent 5.0 release, and includes new functionality like AOV shaders for cryptomatte workflows, thin film for standard surface shader and additional updates and optimizations. Arnold 5.0.1 is available with the latest versions of Maya and 3ds Max or as a plugin for additional DCC applications. Arnold is now available for free to educational institutions through the Autodesk Education Portal .

The newest update to 3ds Max adds VR authoring tools for design visualization artists and generalists; 3ds Max interactive, a VR engine that simplifies the creation of immersive and interactive architectural visualizations; and additional UX and UV unwrap improvements.

Flame Family 2018.2 introduces new creative tools that enhance artist productivity and expand pipeline integration possibilities. Some new features in Flame 2018.2 are Pybox, a python scriptable software handler for processing images via external renderers; projector functionality, map inputs and a contextual menu in action; smart merge for the connected conform workflow; and the ability to drive the batch environment via scriptable commands.

Conductor cloud rendering platform launched
Conductor Technologies showcased its Conductor cloud rendering platform. Highly scalable and secure, Conductor can cut rendering costs up to half by allowing studios to only pay for render resources as needed. Fine-tuned through an extensive beta development cycle, Conductor has already enabled productions to scale to more than 36K simultaneous cores and render over 30 million core hours for major studio feature films including Deadpool, Star Trek Beyond, Transformers: The Last Knight, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales and The Walk

“Local infrastructure is expensive and inflexible, which is a major drain for most studios. When they aren’t maxing out their render farms, they’re paying for resources they aren’t using. When they’re maxing things out, it’s a drain in other ways since artists end up waiting for a long time to get results back,” said Kevin Baillie, CEO of Conductor Technologies. “With Conductor, studios have the ability to scale at a moment’s notice to hit deadlines, and automatically take the farm down to literally zero when it isn’t needed. There’s no reason to turn away lucrative jobs due to render farm capacity, stress about how to render millions of core hours in the final weeks before delivery or pay for idle nodes.”

“The prospect of cloud rendering has always been attractive because it enables people to scale rapidly, and while it’s become much cheaper, it wasn’t a financially viable solution for us until Conductor came along,” said Magnopus CTO Lap van Luu. 

The first enterprise-grade rendering service of its kind, Conductor is able to offload regular workloads and burst renders in whatever configuration works best for a particular pipeline or project. It has been used to render complex visuals for studios including Vrtul, Riot Games, Atomic Fiction and Magnopus. To ensure maximum data security, Conductor adheres to MPAA guidelines, and receives routine third-party audits and verification through ISE.

Conductor can be deployed studio-wide very quickly, while providing instant progress and budget snapshots through easily accessible data analytics. Conductor is built as a cloud-agnostic platform, initially backed by Google Cloud Platform. Support for Microsoft Azure, with its cutting-edge GPU offerings, is in private preview and will be released to the public later this year. “We’ve designed Conductor as a platform, rather than simply a tool. We’re really excited about offering access to any number of cloud providers through the same interface and API, totally avoiding the danger of provider lock-in,” said Baillie. For studios that prefer to customize applications, Conductor’s flexible API allows for tailored integrations, whether controlling jobs; creating custom integrations, tools and reports; or hooking into existing render queue or project management tools.

Conductor currently supports Autodesk Maya and Arnold, Foundry’s NUKE, Cara VR, KATANA and Ocula, Chaos Group’s V-Ray, Golaem, Ephere’s Ornatrix, and Miarmy. New partnerships with Isotropix for Clarisse and Pixar for Renderman are being announced at SIGGRAPH, with support for additional software and plug-ins planned. 

“The prevailing sentiment in the entertainment industry is that the cloud is the future of infrastructure,” said Baillie. “Some of the biggest companies in VFX and animation are already shifting their infrastructure budgets from CapEx to OpEx, so the shift isn’t only inevitable, it’s already happening! Conductor is here to help people make the shift quickly, and make sure nobody misses the boat.”

Conductor originated as an in-house tool at effects studio Atomic Fiction, which Baillie formerly presided over as CEO. He has since shifted his focus to Conductor though he continues to serve as a VFX supervisor via Atomic Fiction, which is now a Conductor customer. Honed over eight months at Atomic Fiction, Conductor’s cloud rendering platform then went into two full years of development once it was decided that the technology should go out wide. 

OptiTrack advances VR tracking
Continuing its commitment to make motion tracking for immersive VR experiences as plug-and-play as possible, OptiTrack showcased two key advancements in its wide-area VR tracking at SIGGRAPH 2017. These advancements mark a massive leap forward in both the quality of the experiences and also the usability for single and multi-site deployments of out-of-home VR. Features include:

  • Full-Body Motion Tracking – Designed to deliver accurately moving avatars for each of the participants in a multiplayer VR game, the latest release from OptiTrack delivers a low latency, real-time stream of every player’s position, orientation and skeletal pose in the entire playing area. Now participants will see other players through their VR HMDs, significantly enhancing multi-user experiences. OptiTrack Active “pucks” are attached to the hands and feet of each participant, delivering real time animation for each player present in the experience. The pucks are small (3.75” x 3.75”) and lightweight (3 ounces), powered with a rechargeable battery and are designed for the rigors of VR Arcades.
  • Self Calibrating Tracking Systems – Significantly reducing the day to day operational complexity, as well as the staffing expertise required to run even the largest VR arcades, OptiTrack’s continuous calibration removes the need for the “wand wave” that has been a daily component of motion capture and tracking systems for over 30 years. No calibration maintenance is required following initial installation, and there is no longer a deterioration of the calibration over time. 

“Full-body motion tracking and self calibrating OptiTrack systems have been at the very top of the list for all of our VR arcade customers,” said Brian Nilles, OptiTrack’s chief strategy officer. “The lack of a full-body tracking solution has been a glaring problem for consumers, who with today’s VR experiences often see no avatar at all, or at best, a crude animation of others’ activity in the play area. This market needed a high quality human tracking solution – with very little additional hardware on each participant, which makes OptiTrack Active the world’s first all-in-one tracking solution for out-of-home VR.”

“The introduction of self calibrating OptiTrack systems is a huge benefit for all of our customers, but is vitally important to location-based VR because it dramatically reduces the time and steps to prepare the experience each day, and of course, can now be operated by arcade staff rather than experienced technicians.”

NVIDIA powers HP VR backpack
At SIGGRAPH, HP announced the HP Z VR Backpack, the first to be powered by the new NVIDIA Quadro P5200 GPU. The HP Z VR Backpack is a lightweight, 10 pound, wearable PC that allows professionals to move around unencumbered in any VR environment. Combined with NVIDIA Quadro P5200, designers, engineers and renderers now have a high-end workstation on their back, advancing mobile VR and on-the-go immersive experience.

“With the NVIDIA Quadro P5200 powering the HP ZVR Backpack, the wearable VR workstation is realized,” said Josh Peterson, vice president of product management for workstations, HP Inc. “Now our customers can smoothly interact with high-end workloads and complex simulations with optimal performance and the ultimate user experience.”

The new NVIDIA Quadro P5200 GPU, powered by our NVIDIA Pascal GPU technology, has a 16GB memory capacity, making it the most powerful mobile workstation GPU on the market today. The P5200 lets pros work with complex designs in life-like immersive VR or across expansive 4K desktop displays wherever they may be.

MAXON Cinema 4D 
MAXON showcased Cinema 4D Release 19 (R19) at SIGGRAPH. This next generation of MAXON’s professional 3D application delivers both tools and enhancements artists can put to use immediately and provides a peek into the foundations for the future. Powerful developments have been made to viewport performance, a new Sound Effector and additional features for Voronoi Fracturing have been added to the MoGraph toolset, a new Spherical Camera introduced, the integration of AMD’s ProRender technology and more. Designed to serve individual artists as well as large studio environments, Release 19 offers a fast, easy, stable and streamlined workflow to meet today’s challenges in the content creation markets; especially general design, motion graphics, VFX, VR/AR and all types of visualization. 

With Cinema 4D Release 19, MAXON also introduces a number of re-engineered foundational technologies, which the company will continue to develop and bring to maturity in future versions. These include core software modernization efforts, a new modeling core, deeply-integrated GPU Rendering for Windows and Mac, and OpenGL capabilities in BodyPaint 3D, MAXON’s professional paint and texturing toolset.

“For more than two decades MAXON has been dedicated to delivering 3D graphics solutions with rock-solid stability, outstanding ease-of-use, a fast workflow, and cross platform capability,“ says Harald Egel, managing partner at MAXON Computer GmbH. “Cinema 4D Release 19 expands on those core values with outstanding new features and a first look at foundations for the future.”

The new highlights in Cinema 4D Release 19 include:

  • Viewport Improvements – provide artists with added support for screen-space reflections and OpenGL depth-of-field in addition to the screen-space ambient occlusion and tessellation features (added in R18). Results are so close to final render that client previews can be output using the new native MP4 video support.
  • MoGraph Enhancements – expand on Cinema 4D’s state of the art toolset for motion graphics with faster results and added workflow capabilities in Voronoi Fracturing – break objects progressively, add displaced noise details for improved realism or glue multiple fracture pieces together more quickly for complex shape creation. An all-new Sound Effector in R19 allows artists to create audio-reactive animations based on multiple frequencies from a single sound file.
  • New Spherical Camera – allows artists to render stereoscopic 360° virtual reality videos and dome projections. Artists can specify a latitude and longitude range, and render in equirectangular, cubic string, cubic cross or 3x2 cubic format. The new spherical camera also includes stereo rendering with pole smoothing to minimize distortion.
  • New Polygon Reduction – works as a generator, so it’s easy to reduce entire hierarchies. The reduction is pre-calculated, so adjusting the reduction strength or desired vertex count is extremely fast. The new Polygon Reduction preserves vertex maps, selection tags and UV coordinates, ensuring textures continue to map properly and providing control over areas where polygon detail is preserved.
  • Level of Detail (LOD) Object – features a new interface element that lets customers define and manage settings to maximize viewport and render speed, create new types of animations or prepare optimized assets for game workflows. Level of Detail data exports via the FBX 3D file exchange format for use in popular game engines.
  • AMD’s Radeon ProRender – technology is now seamlessly integrated into R19 providing artists a cross-platform GPU rendering solution. Though just the first phase of integration, it provides a useful glimpse into the power ProRender will eventually provide as more features and deeper Cinema 4D integration is added in future releases.
  • Modernization Efforts – in R19 reflect MAXON’s rich development legacy and offer the first glimpse into the company’s planned ‘under-the-hood’ future efforts to modernize the software, as follows:
  • Revamped Media Core – delivers Cinema 4D R19 users with a completely rewritten software core to increase speed and memory efficiency for image, video and audio formats; native support for MP4 video without QuickTime delivers advantages to preview renders, incorporate video as textures or motion track footage for a more robust workflow. Export for production formats, such as OpenEXR and DDS, has also been improved.
  • Robust Modeling – a new modeling core with improved support for edges and N-gons can be seen in the Align and Reverse Normals commands. More modeling tools and generators will directly use this new core in future versions.
  • BodyPaint 3D – now uses an OpenGL painting engine giving R19 artists painting color and adding surface details in film, game design and other workflows, a real-time display of reflections, alpha, bump or normal, and even displacement, for improved visual feedback and texture painting. Redevelopment efforts to improve the UV editing toolset in Cinema 4D continue with the first-fruits of this work available in R19 for faster and more efficient options to convert point and polygon selections, grow and shrink UV point selects, and more.

Pipeline Awards bestowed
At SIGGRAPH, Shotgun Software announced the winners of its fourth annual Pipeline Awards recognizing outstanding achievement in pipeline tool development. This year's Pipeline Award winners showed innovation in overcoming common challenges faced by VFX and animation studios, efficiency in scaling to meet the demands of large-scale projects, and generosity in making their tools open source to be leveraged by the wider community.

This year's winners are:

  • DreamWorks Animation for the DWATV Credits Tool: Originally designed to streamline credits by tracking and spell checking the names and titles of thousands of people who work across DreamWorks Animation, this tool grew to also track approvals and revision history, and connects to Shotgun. It's now one of the studio's most widely-used tools, bridging communication across the studio with simplicity in mind.
  • Visual Concepts for the NBA 2K17 Facial Animation Pipeline: Visual Concepts’ facial animation pipeline saves time by automating previously manual tasks including tracking video, solving data, converting data to the proper format for the game, generating review material, and notifying supervisors for review and approval. The new automated pipeline handles thousands of tasks each day, saving time for artists and allowing them to complete the vast majority of facial animation in-house, giving them greater control over the final product.
  • Psyop for Cryptomatte: Cryptomatte automatically creates ID mattes using information already available at render time including names, object namespaces, and material names. It also supports motion blur, transparency, and depth of field. Recently Psyop's Cryptomatte Committee expanded the tool to the wider community by making an open standard Cryptomatte that integrates with Nuke, and AIShaders for Arnold.

"Honoring these great innovations in pipeline tool development is one of our favorite things to do each year--it's amazing to see what technologists and tool builders are coming up with to make pipelines more manageable for studios of all sizes," said Don Parker, co-founder of Shotgun and VP, production platform at Autodesk. "We're always looking for new ways to make pipelines more efficient, and these creative solutions inspire us every day."