redmotion: 2011

29 December 2011


I like adventure games. And I like Science Research facilities (that should at least be obvious :) ). Especially, if they either go hideously wrong (Half Life/Black Mesa), or become abandoned (Aliens). It gets even better if, I get the opportunity to awake inside one, alone, in the grim darkness... wondering what the hell went wrong...

The number of games and movies that play off this premise easily stretches into double figures by now (Alien, System Shock, Bioshock, Half Life...) but I don't care, its a timeless setup.

Anyway, this post is up to introduce anyone who hasn't heard of and would like to hear about a new adventure game called STASIS. It's done completely (as far as I can tell) by Christopher Bischoff, using the Visionaire Studio game engine. It's unfunded (last time I looked) and as a result all the more impressive. I think it's starting to look very promising in spite of it wearing its inspirations on its sleeve. They are good inspirations to have after all.

Also, take a look at the WIP thread at CGTalk over here, it's pretty interesting to watch this project develop and get an opportunity to speak to the developer.

24 December 2011

Random Control's LIVE Softimage plugin for Arion Render

A completely new line of plugins is coming: The RandomControl LIVE plugins.

RandomControl LIVE is a line of products that fully integrate our technology in the modeling package.

The first modeling package that we are proud to support is Autodesk Softimage. Our plugin supports Render Region, native rendering of animations, native Softimage frame buffer as well as a cool RandomControl LIVE viewport with realtime feedback.

We also have fully integrated our material system into Softimage interface, with nodal support for BSDF layers, bitmaps etc. Everything is Softimage-like and straightforward to use!

Pricing and licensing policies will be presented when the LIVE plugins are released. Owners of an Arion or fryrender license, will be offered the LIVE plugin of their choice for free.

More info about Arion Render can be found here and in their latest news letter.

04 October 2011

ndo2 public beta

The awesome normal map generating Photoshop plugin has just entered public beta for version 2.

Quixel's website is here.

Thread a CGTalk with a direct download link to the beta can be found here.

02 October 2011

The Ürban PAD ShareIt! Special ends tonight!

Gamr7 are currently doing an Ürban PAD ShareIt! Special. For two weeks, they are offering their Ürban PAD modeling suite for just $29 (normally $700). Unlocking this offer depends on enough people buying enough copies at the discounted rate to send the counter to the end before October 3rd, a similar scheme to that recently done by the makers of Messiah. If they reach their goal, everyone will receive a copy of Ürban PAD at this special one-time price.

Ürban PAD is a smart modeler for creating 3D buildings and cities. Ürban PAD has been used to build cities in next-generation game production pipelines, game prototypes , industrial simulations, and architectural visualization.

With Ürban PAD, you can:
  • Create lots of buildings fast and sell them online.
  • Make them look great with the top-notch texturing system or enhance them with Allegorithmic’s Substances (10 free Substances included).
  • Fire up the city generator and build entire city scapes
  • Export your buildings or city to your favorite game engine (UDK/Unity 3D) or 3D software (Autodesk Suite).
Today is the last day this offer is running and there are a barely more than a few pixels width of sales remaining to be made on their promotion counter.

So please, help make this a bargain purchase!

28 September 2011

V-Ray for Softimage

Yep. You read right. Chaosgroup announces Vray for Softimage beta. You can sign up for the beta here.

Audi R8 Spec Commercial from LemonGood on Vimeo.

The V-Ray for Softimage Public Beta Program will run for a period of approximately 2 months, starting on September 28th.

Softimage supported features
  • ICE support support - render geometry produced by the award-winning Softimage ICE system, including particles, strands, hair, ICE-managed color arithmetic, all fully animated.
  • Animated parameters - V-Ray will efficiently render Softimage objects with animated parameters and an arbitrary number of keyframes. All geometry modifications and many color-oriented animatable parameters are supported.
  • Strong render tree support - V-Ray supports dozens of the procedural shader node types for the Softimage render tree, and new ones are added on a regular basis and made available through service packs.
  • Weightmaps - apply transformations to geometry or color attributes of a scene on a per-vertex basis with full support for Softimage weightmaps.
  • V-Ray Sun and Sky - create realistic outdoor scenes with physically accurate lighting and atmosphere effects, while maintaining control over rendering times.
V-Ray supported features

  • Support for efficient material layering.
  • VRayCarPaintMtl.
  • Support for PTex textures.
  • V-RayToon shader.
  • Support for dispersion in refractions for VRayMtl.
  • Physically accurate lights.
  • Efficient illumination from HDR environments.
  • Lens distortion through Nuke displacement maps.
  • Option to turn off camera motion blur.
  • Shutter efficiency for motion blur.
Render output
  • Support for additional render elements.
  • Output of multi-channel scanline OpenEXR files with data-window.
  • Depth of field with bokeh effects.
  • Accurate motion blur.
Scene translator
  • Support for .vrscene output for rendering with V-Ray Standalone.
Supported platforms

Softimage 7.0
Softimage 7.5
Softimage 2010
Softimage 2011
Softimage 2011 ASP
Softimage 2012
(64-bit supported on all platforms)

20 September 2011

Exocortex Momentum 3.0 Trailer

Exocortex Momentum 3.0 Release Trailer from helge mathee on Vimeo.

Momentum is finally maturing into something really special now.
Exocortex Technologies and Helge Mathee are pleased to announce that Exocortex Momentum 3, the latest iteration of the high speed multiphysics simulator, is now immediately available for Autodesk Softimage 2010, 2011 and 2012 for both Windows and Linux.
Building upon the Bullet -based broad feature set of Momentum 2, Momentum 3 adds massive new features in the area of fracturing , simulation control , quality rendering and workflow.

Flexible Fracturing
Exocortex Momentum 3 introduces fracturing to its already extensive multiphysics engine. The fracture engine, developed from the ground up by Helge Mathee, is designed around providing Softimage artists and TD's with full control over where and when objects will fracture. Thus, the fracturing engine supports dynamic collision-based fracturing, static user-specified pre-fracturing, real-time shatter filtering as well as self-shattering. The process of fracturing as well as its results is both controlled and queryable via ICE nodes, thus providing a familiar and powerful interface for the deep customizations often demanded during production.
Simulation Control
Momentum 3 provides four new means of controlling your simulations, providing Momentum 3 users even better control over their multiphysics solutions. All of these features come out of user feedback.
  1. ICE Controls for all Simulation Elements. It is now possible to provide ICE-based per element live control via ICE trees over all Momentum 3 simulations elements, thus letting artists most easily realize their creative potential.
  2. "Force Sculpting." Developed by Fabricio Chamon, force sculpting is an easy and intuitive way to direct explosions through ICE. The key concept is that forces can be sculpted via the specification of a deformed mesh whose dimensions represents the various forces in each direction. One can simply modify the mesh’s deformation the area you want to change the explosion’s forces in that direction.
  3. "Copy Motion." The copy motion modifier allows for one to copy the motion of one object, usually an explicitly animated object, onto portions of a simulated object. This allows artists and TDs to quickly and easily drive portions of a simulation when needed.
  4. Time Warping. It is now possible to rapidly editing the playback timeline for a plotting simulation simplifying the creation of slow motion “Bullet Time”-like effects, or even allowing for time to run backwards.

Quality UVs, Normals and Motion Blur
Having great fracture simulations is nothing if it is a pain to render them. Momentum 3 has been designed so that its simulation results, even the fracturing results with changing topologies, are easily rendered. This is achieved first via robust support for flexible UV generation on newly created interior faces during fracturing. Secondly, Momentum 3 provides quality user normals that accurately capture the original object's surface, while crisply transitioning to the interior face normals. Lastly, Momentum 3 provides 3D and 2D motion blur even in situations of changing topology.
Revamped Plotting
One of the most oft-used features of Momentum 2 was its ability to plot out simulation results for later use. Momentum 3's plotting engine has been completely revamped to be more robust and to support plotting to file. Having the ability to plot to files means that even if you have complex changing topology or tens of thousands of objects, you will only be limited by the disk space you have on your servers. Plotting to files also is very useful in large VFX studios where simulation is done in a separately separate division from rendering.
 Get more info here.

19 September 2011

Music Track 1

Memories of Something Good by jasonio

Something I made over the last few days. Delicate but melancolic, I hope.

Made with Reaktor and

Shiva <> Kinect Plugin Test

Quite a cool plugin for Shiva being developed by luizpestana on the Shiva Forums.

Discuss the plugin here:

Source code available here:

18 September 2011

Softimage 2012.5

It's September time again which means Softimage is getting its point 5 update. In fact it's probably out already. Essentially, it looks like the modelling toolset is being brought up to date now that ICE encompasses all the main fields in general 3d.

New features list below:

  • Quick Loop – double-click or shift+double-click on an edge, point, or polygon to define a loop or range.
  • Double-click on a polygon to select the polygon island
  • Polygon Selection to Outline - converts the selection to edges surrounding the polygons
  • Loops from Selection – creates loops (not rings) from existing selection
  • Loop from Selection (around corners) - this can be used to easily select Border Edges for example
  • Grow Loops
  • Shrink Loops
  • Island from Selection – selects all the components in the island
  • Selection Preferences now exposed in the MCP>Selection menu
  • Apply Thickness
    • With bevel options
  • Cap Hole
  • Extrude Along Normal
  • Add Smooth Edge Loop Tool (uses the tool SDK)
    • This interactive tool adds edges while continuing the contoured shape of the object
    • Move edges while adding
    • Use MMB for 50% insertion
  • Spin Edges
  • Apply Slice Between Two Vertices
  • Zoom on cursor (Prefs>Tools>Camera)
    • For all 3D and 2D views
    • Includes Scroll Wheel preference
  • Bullet Physics
    • New “Simulate Bullet Rigid Bodies” node (now the default in the ICE module)
    • Same options as Simulate Rigid Bodies Node with added option to collide using exact shape of obstacle.
    • Support for “cone” native shape
    • Instance Shape node now support Convex Hull (Bullet only)
  • Rigid Bodies
    • Supports sub-frame sampling (PhysX and Bullet)
    • Faster simulation when using constant reference shapes
  • PPG logic
    • RMB>Compound Properties>PPG Logic
    • OnInit and value changes can be trapped inside compounds with PPG logic script
    • Only available for non-private compounds
  • Add Group section
    • Inside compound - RMB on exposed input port name>properties. You can specify a group name instead of adding in XML file
  • Compounds
    • Create Extrusion Along Strands.2.0
    • Deform Strand Extrsuion (together these can make for fast simulated hairs)
    • Cap Hole
    • Apply Thickness
    • Apply Slice Between Two Vertices
Model Meshes
  • Human male, car, T. rex, bull, fish, lizard, horse
    • These come we predefined UVs
ICE Modeling Sample Scenes
  • Modeling Building Grids
  • Modeling Cylinder
  • Modeling Materials
  • Modeling Simple Copy Merge
  • Modeling Texture Projection
  • Viewport Autokey Border
    • When turning on Autokey there is now more visible feedback. The active viewport shows a color – which can be changed in
    • Prefs>Animation to turn on/off or change color
  • Ability to include animation layers when creating mixer clips
  • New option for non-normalized weight painting
Scene Management
  • Annotation objects
    • Get>Annotation creates a null like object which shows a speech bubble in the viewport
  • Get/Set memo cams access in the SDK
  • RTS - Added support for automatic RTS shader updates
  • Prefs>Tools>Snapping - New preference to control display of snap targets
  • Integrated new drop of FBX SDK
  • Selection:
    • Rectangle raycast respects XRay settings etc.
    • Raycast backfacing enabled by default (fixed issues with accidentally selecting backfaces on silhouette edges)
  • ICE:
    • Default value for GetTopology changed to "No Transform"
Feature videos can be found here:

Damn I wish I still had subscription!

19 June 2011


KINEMOCAP from gianlu73 on Vimeo.

Using ICE and a XBOX360 Kinect, you can use Kinemocap to record body-based motion capture directly inside Softimage. The video above shows the process. Currently priced at 99 euros.

25 May 2011

Modern Alchemists release In-App Purchase & Open Feint plugins for Shiva3d

Modern Alchemists (of Aeon Racer fame) have just made two new ShiVa3d plugins available. Modern Alchemists ShiVa Libs are a bundle of custom written addons which are designed to work with ShiVa 1.9 and UAT 1.2 beta 7. 

Currently featured libs:-

MASS: In-App-Purchase for iOS and Android
MAOF: OpenFeint for iOS and Android

You can get all the files/code either from the download section or via SVN here:

Next up: Mortar, automated AdMob for Android integration.

All code is under LGPL License.

Thread at the Stonetrip forums can be found here.

emPolygoniser 3

emPolygonizer3 3.00 - Walk Through the New Features from Eric Mootz on Vimeo.

emPolygonizer 3: A few of the main new features:

# multithreaded meshing.
# multithreaded octree.
# liquid filaments.
# motion plotting.
# support of Lagoa topology.
# advanced mesh smoothing.
# support of RealFlow .bin file format.
# enhanced workflow for large setups.
# handles millions of input points and creates polygon meshes with millions of polygons without problems.
# support of multiple custom properties per input object.
# capability of meshing a single point cloud with several emPolygonizer3 operators.
# direct memory-to-memory meshing of the internal emFluid4 3D grids.

07 May 2011

Samsung Galaxy S II (S2) Review

It came out in the UK on Monday (2nd May 2011).

I was going to wait for all the remaining dual core phones to arrive in June/July but after seeing some benchmarks I decided to make the bold (rash) assumption that it would be the fastest Android phone on the market this year. (Plus 200,000 korean's can't be wrong!)

Looks gorgeous, however, like most phones it's going to get scratched and worn without protection. Something the designers of smartphones have yet to resolve. I don't think it would fair too well from a drop onto a hard surface either.

SDcard slot is under the battery which isn't the best place to have it. And playing demanding games (like PES2011) on it will noticeably heat the back and screen. Like to a level that makes you worry about playing much longer.)

It's a belter of a phone. I did sunspider java test and got a final score of 3417.1 ( +/- 1.5%). This is significant because when you compare it to all the initial benchmarks released by Anandtech for most of the new dual core phones it comes out on top. Anandtech's results still show the original scores for the 1ghz version of the Exynos and you can see how much of a difference the CPU's 0.2 ghz extra (and upgrade to Android 2.3.3) has made: a 25% increase in performance. Although the heat issue makes me wonder if they haven't just over-clocked the original chip.

Quadrant came in at 3174 today. Anandtech also benchmarked a Qualcomm 1.5ghz development phone (MDP) and it came in at 2851. So I tentatively suggest that the Exynos 1.2ghz may be faster than the Qualcomm dual 1.5ghz which doesn't bode to well for the HTC Sensation, which is approaching its release date in the UK.(May 16th). Also you can compare further results here.

Rightware BrowserMark came in at 53938, just passing the Atrix in Browser performance. Ipad2 scored 69,032 here.

Touchwiz 4 is an excellent UI. It is fast, responsive and very customisable. Only thing I found so far needing work is the widget selector. It's better on stock android where the list is categorised. If you don't like it for whatever reason, LauncherPro will work perfectly well in its place.

A decent, fully featured power control widget is missing so getting something like Extended Controls can really help with extending the battery life as this isn't amazing. But what do you expect? The screen is 4.3 inches.

I never had a Galaxy S, so much of the software that puts a big wide grin on my face may not be breaking news.

What I disliked about the HTC Hero was the lack of office suite. Polaris Office comes with the S2. It's fast, very well featured and saves MS Word compatible files, reads PDFs. I've yet to delve in very deeply, but it looks like my game design docs could be fully created on my mobile.

iPlayer runs very well too (over Wifi at least), a tiny bit jumpy but otherwise excellent. Also, as far as I could tell, you don't get access to everything available on the desktop version.

The S2 to has several built in apps that are pretty much impossible to live without on any android phone:
Task Manager (task killer), My Files (explorer-type app), Swype (alternative keyboard), various voice based applications, Video and Photo editors, decent music player that'll happily play away lag-free while you play a game or surf the web.

A downside that some people will find off-putting is that many 3d games available now either don't run at all or have major problems graphically which render them unplayable. Several threads on forums have popped up listing which games work and which don't.

I can confirm PES 2011 does work; very well. But I'm not sure of the quality of game itself just yet (although the pad and one-touch passing is the least frustrating, but why they couldn't have copied the directional passing from the Wii version of PES is beyond me it would have worked well with the touchscreen). And a word of advice (at the time of writing this), don't waste your time downloading the 650mb behemoth that is Dungeon Defenders, you won't be able to play it because the menus are missing.

Run's my own game (developing with ShiVa3d) pretty well too.

AutoCAD WS, Autodesk Sketchbook and the Caustic music sequencer demo (best music making app on the market right now?) all run very smoothly.

Wifi access to internet is lightning fast. Apps less than 10mb will download and install in seconds and the more you download the more pages appear in the Apps tray ready to be filled up into the sizeable RAM. I've yet to try the plethora of other wireless connection options and will update this as and when I do.

Summary of Cons
- The home button should double as a slider for moving text cursor back and forth
- Apps screen can't be resorted into alphabetical order
- microSD card location
- not easy to hold without a cover (very little grip)
- many games do not work at time of writing this
- battery life is poor but is slowly being improved by regular system updates
- need to install Samsung Kies (for drivers) to install compiled apps directly to phone with ShiVa 3D Authoring Tool.

Only scratched the surface but so far.. me like ..a lot.

17 March 2011

Reverb Air previews AR plugin for ShiVa 3d

reverbAR from Reverb'air on Vimeo.

The tool includes the following features:-
- Ability to track multiple markers.
- Analysis of markers with precision, which can not be confused.
- The black outline of the marker may be relatively thin.
- Multi-platform (PC, iPhone, and soon for Mac).

Coming Soon. (Hopefully, the ShiVa plugin store will be open shortly!)

More info, plus a demo can be found here.

08 March 2011

Excortex presents Momentum 2.0

Momentum 2.0 Release Trailer from helge mathee on Vimeo.

Momentum goes commercial with version 2. Find more info about Exocortex and this product here.

Momentum 2.0 Example Scenes Overview from Exocortex on Vimeo.

At first it seems like just another physics plugin for Softimage, until you look at the feature comparison table:-

"Exocortex Momentum 2.0 is the most versatile multi-physics solver available for Softimage as demonstrated by the table below. But we know that this is often not enough, thus we have designed Momentum to integrate well with both Syflex as well as Lagoa."

Physics Solver Feature Comparison Table
 Momentum  PhysX  Lagoa  Syflex 
Rigid Bodies
Soft Bodies
Soft - Rigid Interaction
RBD Constraints
Softbody Constraints
Deforming RBDs
Build-In plotting
Collision Filtering
RBD Clustering

And all for $149 (individual license). I think that's very good value, especially when you consider that it even supports Softimage 2010 (which is something the original opensource Momentum from studioNest did not). If you're considering upgrading to 2012 mainly for the simulation features you just gained another option!

Well done and thanks to Helge Mathee and Exocortex!