AREA Blogs Feed is an Autodesk online community for 2D and 3D artists -- with free tutorials and downloads, movie and image galleries, professional industry artist interviews and job posting boards. AREA members also have access to Product-specific discussion forums, and blogs by Autodesk Media & Entertainment Software Product Developers.Mon, 01 Sep 2014 21:05:54 UTCMaya Monday - XGen - Spine output as curvedobert<p><iframe width="640" height="360" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe></p>Wed, 27 Aug 2014 13:38:28 UTC to return lost Maya windows to your desktopCory Mogk<p>I change my monitor configuration a lot when working on my laptop - sometimes solo, sometimes one monitor, sometimes two. Sometimes the monitors are stacked vertically and other times aligned horizontally. This means I lose windows from time to time because they're expecting to appear on another screen. Here's a quick way to fix it with a little MEL:</p> <p class="code" style="padding-left: 30px;">//list windows in the scene to get the proper name of the missing one</p> <p class="code" style="padding-left: 30px;">//you can also echo the commands to see the proper name - it's usually called or indicated from the script/command</p> <p class="code" style="padding-left: 30px;">//e.g. OptionBoxWindow is both the command and window title</p> <p class="code" style="padding-left: 30px;">lsUI -wnd;</p> <p class="code" style="padding-left: 30px;">//move the window somewhere you can see it - using OptionBoxWindow since it's a common one</p> <p class="code" style="padding-left: 30px;">//-tlc is the top left corner</p> <p class="code" style="padding-left: 30px;">window -edit - tlc 200 200 OptionBoxWindow;</p>Thu, 21 Aug 2014 14:36:11 UTC Monday - XGen - extension1 improvmentsdobert<p><iframe width="640" height="360" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe></p> <p></p> <p></p> <p></p> <p>My NFV for color managmanet:&nbsp;<a href=""></a></p>Tue, 19 Aug 2014 03:08:04 UTC the 1968 Earthrise with MayaCory Mogk<p>I managed to see Ernie Wright from NASA talk about how he recreated the famous 1968 Earthrise photo with Maya. The video below talks a little bit about the process and has excerpts from the created movie in the middle. It's pretty cool to hear the astronauts talking and looking for colour film to get a good photo of the Earth.</p> <p>Ernie is part of the <a href="">Scientific Visualization Studio</a> (SVS) at NASA which has created more than 5,500 visualizations. For this project he used data from the <a href="">Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter</a> (LRO) to recreate the path of the Apollo 8 and the position of the moon and the Earth. Ernie used <a href="">Visible Earth</a> data to texture the Earth and found the cloud coverage to match the photo - that cloud coverage also helped with the alignment of the Earth, moon and Apollo 8. With all of this, he was able to determine the time of day and which portal the picture was taken from.<span style="line-height: 1.5em;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p><iframe width="560" height="315" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe></p> <p><a href="">Earthrise: The 45th Anniversary</a> has lots more information about the project.</p>Mon, 18 Aug 2014 14:17:54 UTC for 3ds Max 2015 and 3ds Max Design 2015 are availableMaxStation<p><span style="line-height: 1.5em; font-size: 14px;">Now available on the Autodesk Application Manager (if you don't see it just do a 'check now') or download them here:</span></p> <ul> <li><a href="">Autodesk 3ds Max 2015 Service Pack 2</a></li> <li><a href="">Autodesk 3ds Max Design 2015 Service Pack 2</a></li> </ul> <p>From <a href="">the readme file</a>, the following issues were addressed:</p> <ul> <li><span style="font-size: 14px; line-height: 1.5em;">MAXX-18050&nbsp;</span><span style="font-size: 14px; line-height: 1.5em;">The PhysX plug-in would cause a program error.</span></li> <li><span style="font-size: 14px; line-height: 1.5em;">MAXX-17998&nbsp;</span><span style="font-size: 14px; line-height: 1.5em;">The MAXScript interface to the Skin modifier's Envelope feature was incorrect.</span></li> <li><span style="font-size: 14px; line-height: 1.5em;">MAXX-17968&nbsp;</span><span style="font-size: 14px; line-height: 1.5em;">Backburner: Split Scan Lines did not work when rendering a Camera view.</span></li> <li><span style="font-size: 14px; line-height: 1.5em;">MAXX-17895&nbsp;</span><span style="font-size: 14px; line-height: 1.5em;">Save File As: The + button was hidden in the Japanese interface.</span></li> <li><span style="font-size: 14px; line-height: 1.5em;">MAXX-17866&nbsp;</span><span style="font-size: 14px; line-height: 1.5em;">Frozen objects could be selected in viewports.</span></li> <li><span style="font-size: 14px; line-height: 1.5em;">MAXX-17727&nbsp;</span><span style="font-size: 14px; line-height: 1.5em;">ShaderFX materials weren't transferred properly when using the FBX format.</span></li> <li><span style="font-size: 14px; line-height: 1.5em;">MAXX-17725&nbsp;</span><span style="font-size: 14px; line-height: 1.5em;">OpenSSL has been upgraded to correct a security issue.</span></li> <li><span style="font-size: 14px; line-height: 1.5em;">MAXX-17680&nbsp;</span><span style="font-size: 14px; line-height: 1.5em;">Wrong decimal separators have been fixed.</span></li> <li><span style="font-size: 14px; line-height: 1.5em;">MAXX-17669&nbsp;</span><span style="font-size: 14px; line-height: 1.5em;">FBX for 3ds Max plug-in presets were missing.</span></li> <li><span style="font-size: 14px; line-height: 1.5em;">MAXX-17631&nbsp;</span><span style="font-size: 14px; line-height: 1.5em;">The file crashMax.dlu was built into the wrong folder.</span></li> <li><span style="font-size: 14px; line-height: 1.5em;">MAXX-17550&nbsp;</span><span style="font-size: 14px; line-height: 1.5em;">ShaderFX nodes needed to be copied to user settings.</span></li> <li><span style="font-size: 14px; line-height: 1.5em;">MAXX-17434&nbsp;</span><span style="font-size: 14px; line-height: 1.5em;">Base State material was resetting.</span></li> <li><span style="font-size: 14px; line-height: 1.5em;">MAXX-17431&nbsp;</span><span style="font-size: 14px; line-height: 1.5em;">The mental ray renderer would hang when rendering an empty scene in an orthographic view.</span></li> <li><span style="font-size: 14px; line-height: 1.5em;">MAXX-17342&nbsp;</span><span style="font-size: 14px; line-height: 1.5em;">It was impossible to rename a layer from the Layer Toolbar.</span></li> <li><span style="font-size: 14px; line-height: 1.5em;">MAXX-17282&nbsp;</span><span style="font-size: 14px; line-height: 1.5em;">Opening the Layer Manager was slow when many objects were on a layer.</span></li> <li><span style="font-size: 14px; line-height: 1.5em;">MAXX-17263&nbsp;</span><span style="font-size: 14px; line-height: 1.5em;">ActiveShade would cause a buffer overflow.</span></li> <li><span style="font-size: 14px; line-height: 1.5em;">MAXX-17236&nbsp;</span><span style="font-size: 14px; line-height: 1.5em;">Customer Error Report: An issue with ChamferedFaces has been fixed.</span></li> <li><span style="font-size: 14px; line-height: 1.5em;">MAXX-17235&nbsp;</span><span style="font-size: 14px; line-height: 1.5em;">Customer Error Report: A core issue with object display has been fixed.</span></li> <li><span style="font-size: 14px; line-height: 1.5em;">MAXX-17210&nbsp;</span><span style="font-size: 14px; line-height: 1.5em;">The Crossing option for Window/Crossing selection was not working.</span></li> <li><span style="font-size: 14px; line-height: 1.5em;">MAXX-17172&nbsp;</span><span style="font-size: 14px; line-height: 1.5em;">The Cloth and Garment Maker modifiers were not localized.</span></li> <li><span style="font-size: 14px; line-height: 1.5em;">MAXX-17152&nbsp;</span><span style="font-size: 14px; line-height: 1.5em;">Scripting a Dummy object was not working.</span></li> <li><span style="font-size: 14px; line-height: 1.5em;">MAXX-17101&nbsp;</span><span style="font-size: 14px; line-height: 1.5em;">Viewport focal-point sampling was not working.</span></li> <li><span style="font-size: 14px; line-height: 1.5em;">MAXX-17097&nbsp;</span><span style="font-size: 14px; line-height: 1.5em;">Rendering with the mental ray renderer would cause a program error.</span></li> <li><span style="font-size: 14px; line-height: 1.5em;">MAXX-17036&nbsp;</span><span style="font-size: 14px; line-height: 1.5em;">Backburner 2015 running as a service would cause an "adapter error."</span></li> <li><span style="font-size: 14px; line-height: 1.5em;">MAXX-17024&nbsp;</span><span style="font-size: 14px; line-height: 1.5em;">Rendering an area would not appear in the Rendered Frame window.</span></li> <li><span style="font-size: 14px; line-height: 1.5em;">MAXX-16957&nbsp;</span><span style="font-size: 14px; line-height: 1.5em;">A change to Vertex Crease on the Ribbon would not update on the Editable Poly control panel.</span></li> <li><span style="font-size: 14px; line-height: 1.5em;">MAXX-16813&nbsp;</span><span style="font-size: 14px; line-height: 1.5em;">Composite map: Tile offset was not working in Nitrous viewports.</span></li> <li><span style="font-size: 14px; line-height: 1.5em;">MAXX-16798&nbsp;</span><span style="font-size: 14px; line-height: 1.5em;">The movie list on the Welcome Screen contained a nonsense string.</span></li> <li><span style="font-size: 14px; line-height: 1.5em;">MAXX-16796&nbsp;</span><span style="font-size: 14px; line-height: 1.5em;">Nitrous viewports have been upgraded to support up to eight Composite map layers.</span></li> <li><span style="font-size: 14px; line-height: 1.5em;">MAXX-16767&nbsp;</span><span style="font-size: 14px; line-height: 1.5em;">Opening Layer Explorer with 1,000 layers was slow.</span></li> <li><span style="font-size: 14px; line-height: 1.5em;">MAXX-16766&nbsp;</span><span style="font-size: 14px; line-height: 1.5em;">FBX import: Normals on skinned meshes were being ignored.</span></li> <li><span style="font-size: 14px; line-height: 1.5em;">MAXX-16678&nbsp;</span><span style="font-size: 14px; line-height: 1.5em;">The installer for the plug-ins to exchange data with Adobe After Effects did not install the right files.</span></li> <li><span style="font-size: 14px; line-height: 1.5em;">MAXX-16468&nbsp;</span><span style="font-size: 14px; line-height: 1.5em;">The animated Tours on the Welcome Screen were not localized.</span></li> <li><span style="font-size: 14px; line-height: 1.5em;">MAXX-16407&nbsp;</span><span style="font-size: 14px; line-height: 1.5em;">Display By Layer was not correctly displaying layer properties.</span></li> <li><span style="font-size: 14px; line-height: 1.5em;">MAXX-16387&nbsp;</span><span style="font-size: 14px; line-height: 1.5em;">Customer Error Report: Error opening certain files. This has been fixed.</span></li> <li><span style="font-size: 14px; line-height: 1.5em;">MAXX-16241&nbsp;</span><span style="font-size: 14px; line-height: 1.5em;">Scene Explorer would generate a MAXScript error exception when Esc was pressed.</span></li> <li><span style="font-size: 14px; line-height: 1.5em;">MAXX-16140&nbsp;</span><span style="font-size: 14px; line-height: 1.5em;">Scene Explorer: The object list would not resort when a file was renamed.</span></li> <li><span style="font-size: 14px; line-height: 1.5em;">MAXX-15964&nbsp;</span><span style="font-size: 14px; line-height: 1.5em;">Workspaces wouldn't load mnux.cfg files.</span></li> <li><span style="font-size: 14px; line-height: 1.5em;">MAXX-11987&nbsp;</span><span style="font-size: 14px; line-height: 1.5em;">Customer Error Report: An error in Skin has been fixed.</span></li> <li><span style="font-size: 14px; line-height: 1.5em;">MAXX-11011&nbsp;</span><span style="font-size: 14px; line-height: 1.5em;">CAT: A rig arm would not stretch with IK.</span></li> </ul>Tue, 12 Aug 2014 14:09:53 UTC Max 2015 Extension 1eperlberg<p>It all starts at SIGGRAPH 2014 - 3ds Max 2015 Extension 1 is here!</p> <p>By now, I hope you have watched Mitch Gates from FuseFx and Darren Cranford from Keyframe Digital in this video.&nbsp;</p> <p></p> <p>Well, like the video says, it all started today, at SIGGRAPH 2014 in Vancouver, were we just announced Extension 1 for 3ds Max 2015.&nbsp;</p> <p>Here's the <a href="/3dsmax2015-extension1">official site</a>.</p> <p>So what does Extension 1 bring? Support for OpenSubdiv libraries - the top feature request on <a href="">User Voice</a> - offers new crease workflows and better in-viewport performance for high-resolution models, so that you can model and animate with greater efficiency. In addition, support for Alembic helps you more easily move complex data through pipelines. And, with enhancements to ShaderFX, 3ds Max offers expanded shading options together with better shader interoperability.</p> <p>Here are the new features in a bit more detail:</p> <p><strong>OpenSubdiv Support</strong></p> <p>Efficiently represent subdivision surfaces using OpenSubdiv libraries, open-sourced by Pixar and incorporating technology from Microsoft Research.</p> <ul> <li><span style="line-height: 1.5em;">Visualize your model interactively without the need to render for a better WYSIWYG experience, greater productivity, and more accurate realization of creative intent.</span></li> <li><span style="line-height: 1.5em;">Get faster in-viewport performance for meshes with high subdivision levels by taking advantage of both parallel CPU and GPU architectures.&nbsp;</span></li> <li><span style="line-height: 1.5em;">Reduce the guesswork when animating models and help shorten production times, with efficient smooth surface representation.</span></li> <li><span style="line-height: 1.5em;">Create complex topology in less time, by taking advantage of efficient crease modeling workflows with CreaseSet modifier and Crease Explorer.</span></li> <li><span style="line-height: 1.5em;">Easily transfer your models to and from certain other packages that support OpenSubdiv using Autodesk&reg; FBX&reg; asset exchange technology and achieve a consistent appearance.</span></li> </ul> <p></p> <p>Coincidentally, the number one request UserVoice was created in part by another top uservoice <a href="/blogs/max/experience-matters---tom-hudson">request</a>.&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Alembic Support</strong>&nbsp;</p> <ul> <li><span style="line-height: 1.5em;">View massive datasets in the Nitrous Viewport, and transfer them more easily through your production pipeline with new Alembic support.&nbsp;</span></li> <li><span style="line-height: 1.5em;">Work with production-proven technology, co-developed by Sony Pictures Imageworks Inc. and Lucasfilm Ltd.&nbsp;</span></li> <li><span style="line-height: 1.5em;">Move complex data through a pipeline in a manageable form: complex animated and simulated data is distilled into a non-procedural, application-independent set of baked geometric results.&nbsp;</span></li> <li><span style="line-height: 1.5em;">Get more from your workstation, with highly efficient use of memory and disk space.&nbsp;</span></li> <li><span style="line-height: 1.5em;">Enjoy faster data transfer and load times, with the ability to export and load only selected geometry.&nbsp;</span></li> </ul> <p><img src="/userdata/blogs/max/3ds-Max-2015-Extension1-Alembic-Support.jpg" alt="Alembic" width="600" height="362" /></p> <p><strong>Enhanced ShaderFX</strong>&nbsp;</p> <p>Get more shading options and better shader interoperability between 3ds Max, Autodesk&reg; Maya&reg; software, and Autodesk&reg; Maya LT TM software.&nbsp;</p> <ul> <li><span style="line-height: 1.5em;">Create a wider range of procedural materials with new node patterns&mdash;wavelines, voronoi, simplex noise, and brick.&nbsp;</span></li> <li><span style="line-height: 1.5em;">Create normal maps from 2D grayscale images with a new bump utility node.</span></li> <li><span style="line-height: 1.5em;">Get faster access to the shaders you need, with a searchable node browser.</span></li> </ul> <p><img src="/userdata/blogs/max/3ds-Max-2015-Enhanced-ShaderFX.jpg" alt="ShaderFX" width="600" height="361" /></p> <p>3ds Max product expert Chris Murray will be demoing the new features today at 10am PST and tomorrow &nbsp;at 11am PST at SIGGRAPH, so if you&rsquo;re at the show, make sure to head over to room 121-122 to see him unveil Extension 1. If you&rsquo;re not at SIGGRAPH you can watch the recordings on <a href="/siggraph2014">AREA</a> starting August 13th.</p> <p>If you&rsquo;re new to OpenSubdiv or want to learn more about the powerful OpenSubdiv modeling workflows in 3ds Max, check out this two-part tutorial by Neil Blevins, TD at Pixar:</p> <p>Neil Blevins Part 1</p> <p></p> <p>Neil Blevins Part2</p> <p></p> <p>What amazes me every day is the incredible work our customers are creating with 3ds Max: whether it is big effects like flying cars, digital doubles, water, fire &nbsp;or &ldquo;invisible effects&rdquo; &nbsp;that are so perfect that they often go unnoticed. A lot of these studios have built their pipeline around 3ds Max and see it as one of their secret tools to getting work done quickly.</p> <p>FuseFX and Keyframe are no exception. Check out the videos below to see how they are using 3ds Max to create stunning visual effects for episodic TV and film. &nbsp;</p> <p></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span color="#000000" style="color: #000000;"></span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="line-height: 1.5em;">Over the past year I&rsquo;ve had the pleasure to meet many customers around the world. We had some great discussions around 3ds Max and its future and I understand how incredibly passionate the 3ds Max community is. The 3ds Max team is excited to be working on these things for you and this is just the beginning.&nbsp;</span></p>Tue, 12 Aug 2014 00:06:56 UTC 2014eperlberg<p><span style="line-height: 1.5em;">Day 1</span></p> <p>The first day of SIGGRAPH actually started yesterday with <a href="">Ephere</a>'s unofficial 3ds Max Users Gathering. Thanks to Michael and the gang for putting that together and thanks to Chris Murray for putting together a great maxchat. It&rsquo;s always great to connecting at events like this. It really is what they are all about.&nbsp;</p> <p>For today, the team has been putting on the final polish for Tuesday&rsquo;s kickoff events. &nbsp;The doors will open on the exhibit floor where 3ds Max will be demoed at a number of our partner pods throughout conference hall. We also have the Press conferences and the <a href="/siggraph2014#register">Autodesk Speaker Series</a> were I&rsquo;ll be co-presenting &ldquo;Gamification of Design Data&rdquo; with my colleague Joel Pennington.&nbsp;</p> <p>I think you'll like the news we are announcing at the press conference. It&rsquo;s been a while in the making and I have been bursting to tell you about it. More about that in Day 2&rsquo;s report.</p> <p>Day 2</p> <p>Day 2 was filled with excitement as the 3ds Max team announced and released Extension 1 for Subscription customers. This was the first time in recent memory that the extension was available immediately after its functionality was revealed. Minutes after the revealing the contents of the Extension, Chris Murray was showing it as part of the Autodesk Speaker Series. There was little time for celebration as I had to put the polish on a presentation of my own scheduled for later that day.&nbsp;</p> <p>I also had a chance to sit down with Shawn Hendriks and give some insights as well.</p> <p>From the convention center it was over to the NVidia Limelight event where both Dell Computers and NVidia were showing off new hardware and a number of partners were demoing their latest as well.</p> <p>Day 3</p> <p>Lather Rinse Repeat.</p> <p>I also had a few free minutes to walk the exhibition hall and check out Autodesk&rsquo;s Gary Davis, Jose Elizardo and more Chris Murray showing off 3ds Max at partner booths Intel, Chaos and AMD. There was time to stop by the Digital Tutors booth to chat about long term development goals and meet up with Kim Lee at the United Scenic Artist Local 829 booth.</p> <p>Day 4&nbsp;</p> <p>This was a day of customer visits. Since customers are here at the event, it just makes sense to take a few minutes to meet up and talk 3ds Max. Often Autodesk sets up a room away from the buzz of the event. The response to some of the forward looking stuff was pretty positive. It also gave them a chance for much appreciated feedback.</p> <p>As we were reminiscing this evening, we identified the most priceless of all is the opportunity to meet up with friends and catch up.</p> <p>From here, it&rsquo;s back to the office to work on the next phase of 3ds Max. We&rsquo;ll keep you updated along the way.&nbsp;</p>Mon, 11 Aug 2014 19:17:36 UTC Adventures in Autodesk ResearchCory Mogk<p>I moved over to <a href="">Autodesk Research</a> a few months ago and thought it was worth sharing with the Area community. As one of the old-time bloggers here on the Area - more than 350 posts (I don't know exactly how many as it seems a bunch of the early ones are MIA) - I'm going to keep this blog rolling, likely with more tutorial style posts. I'll&nbsp;<span style="line-height: 1.5em;">also share some interesting updates from the Autodesk Research team from time to time. If you want to know more about what's happening in Autodesk Research, I have started an <a href="">Autodesk Research blog</a> with all the details.</span></p> <h3><span style="line-height: 1.5em;">Innovation at Autodesk Research&nbsp;</span></h3> <p><span style="line-height: 1.5em;">Since starting at Alias|wavefront so many years ago, I've always been excited about the cool things that the Research team was doing. Things like Marking Menus and the Hotbox from the <a href="">User Interface Research Group</a> were very innovative ways to operate software.</span></p> <p><span style="line-height: 1.5em;">A few years ago I was fortunate enough to be involved in a research project that went beyond film, games and design/viz, the typical things one thinks about with 3D software, and spend a bunch of time looking at medical science. We used to joke that we were just having fun with our work and not doing anything serious like <a href="/blogs/cory/using_maya_to_cure_cancer">curing cancer with Maya</a>. Projects like&nbsp;<a href="">Molecular Maya</a> and <a href="">caDNAno</a> were taking the tools we had created for entertainment and helping people at a deeper level. From exploring that space, came the <a href="">Bio/Nano/Programmable Matter Group</a>&nbsp;within Autodesk Research.&nbsp;</span></p> <p><span style="line-height: 1.5em;">More recently, I had been exploring what the cloud and mobile computing means to 3D software with some of the work from the&nbsp;<a href="">Design Research Group</a>:</span></p> <ul> <li><a href="">Running Autodesk Software on Amazon with Otoy</a></li> <li><a href="">Running Autodesk Software in a Web Browser with Amazon and Otoy</a></li> <li><a href="">Autodesk Remote: Running Desktop Software on an iPad</a></li> </ul> <div>So, after all these things I jumped at the chance to get to work more closely with the team.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <h3><span style="line-height: 1.5em;">Who's Going to SIGGRAPH 2014 in Vancouver?</span></h3> <p><span style="line-height: 1.5em;">M&amp;E has a bunch of things going on at <a href="/siggraph2014">SIGGRAPH with Maya and 3ds Max</a>. I'll be there with the Autodesk Research team who have <a href="">presentations on hair, cloth, airplanes and 3D printing</a>. As an extra special bonus, we'll be showing <a href="">Project Draco in the SIGGRAPH 2014 Studio</a> and you can get yours hands on it to try it out!</span></p> <p><iframe width="560" height="315" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe></p> <p>If you're at SIGGRAPH, please stop by and say hi!</p>Fri, 08 Aug 2014 15:29:40 UTC Road to SIGGRAPH 2014eperlberg<p></p>Wed, 06 Aug 2014 20:49:12 UTC Mondays - Maya subscription optionsdobert<p><iframe width="640" height="360" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe></p> <p></p>Mon, 04 Aug 2014 15:00:36 UTC Beam Assaults Indie Game Market | Autodesk Customer StoryCon_Nicholas<p><img src="/userdata/blogs/con/Screen_Shot_2014-07-24_at_1.54.00_PM.png" style="line-height: 1.5em;" /></p> <h2><span style="line-height: 1.5em;">Witch Beam Assaults Indie Game Market&nbsp;</span></h2> <h4><em><span style="line-height: 1.5em;">Desktop Subscription paves the way for PC Game Development</span></em></h4> <p><strong>Customer:&nbsp;</strong><span style="line-height: 1.5em;">Witch <strong>B</strong>eam</span><strong>&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp;</strong><strong style="line-height: 1.5em;">Location:&nbsp;</strong><span style="line-height: 1.5em;">Brisbane, Australia &nbsp; &nbsp;&nbsp;</span></p> <p><span style="line-height: 1.5em;"></span><strong style="line-height: 1.5em;"><span lang="EN-US">Software Used:&nbsp;</span></strong><span lang="EN-US">Autodesk&reg; 3ds Max&reg;&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-bottom: .0001pt;"><a href=""><span lang="EN-US"></span></a><span lang="EN-US">&nbsp;|&nbsp;</span><span lang="EN-US"><a href=""></a></span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-bottom: .0001pt;"><span lang="EN-US" style="mso-ansi-language: EN-US;"><strong>Witch Beam was founded in 2013 as a three-person independent games team based in Brisbane, Australia.</strong> Tim Dawson, Sanatana Mishra and Jeff Van Dyck first worked together at Sega Studios Australia and later banded together with a dream to build polished arcade-style experiences and games they themselves want to play.</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-bottom: .0001pt;"><span lang="EN-US" style="mso-ansi-language: EN-US;">The team&rsquo;s first project, Assault Android Cactus, is a twin stick arena shooter game originally designed for PC. Players take the role of Cactus, an enthusiastic police android, who responds to a stranded space freighter only to discover it under siege by its malfunctioning robot workers. Cut off from the outside and in over her head, Cactus and the androids she recruits along the way battle through the crippled Genki Star to reach the brain of the ship and put things right before it's too late.</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-bottom: .0001pt;"><span lang="EN-US" style="mso-ansi-language: EN-US;">Assault Android Cactus is due for release in 2014 for PC, Mac and Linux operating systems as well as Playstation 4, Playstation Vita and Nintendo WiiU consoles. Its release is highly-anticipated with thousands having already pre-purchased the PC version through Steam Early Access and receiving glowing previews from the press.</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-bottom: .0001pt;"><span lang="EN-US" style="mso-ansi-language: EN-US;"><br /></span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-bottom: .0001pt;"><span lang="EN-US" style="mso-ansi-language: EN-US;"><em style="line-height: 1.5em;"><span style="line-height: 1.5em;"><img src="/userdata/blogs/con/Witchbeam_pull2.jpg" width="255" height="302" /></span></em></span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-bottom: .0001pt;"><span lang="EN-US" style="mso-ansi-language: EN-US;"><em style="line-height: 1.5em;"><span style="line-height: 1.5em;"><br /></span></em></span></p> <h5 class="MsoNormal" style="margin-bottom: .0001pt;"><b style="mso-bidi-font-weight: normal;"><span lang="EN-US" style="mso-ansi-language: EN-US;">The Challenge<o:p></o:p></span></b></h5> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-bottom: .0001pt;"><span lang="EN-US" style="mso-ansi-language: EN-US;">As a startup working on its first project, the Witch Beam team had limited resources to kick off the game&rsquo;s development. Designer and Developer Tim Dawson said the team needed robust software to further develop ideas for the project in its early stages.</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-bottom: .0001pt;"><span lang="EN-US" style="mso-ansi-language: EN-US;">&ldquo;We really needed to play around with our ideas and ultimately demonstrate the direction of the game to secure funding and support,&rdquo; said Tim. &ldquo;At the very beginning, we had the idea for the game but were very tentative &ndash; we weren&rsquo;t sure it was the direction we really wanted to go. What we needed was robust software, which could provide a g</span><span style="line-height: 1.5em;">reat visual result in a short space of time.</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-bottom: .0001pt;"><span lang="EN-US" style="mso-ansi-language: EN-US;">&ldquo;As an artist, I&rsquo;ve primarily used Autodesk 3ds Max for projects and I feel most capable using it. &ldquo;My biggest priority was to use tools I already knew how to use. The most expensive resource was my time, so I needed access to software I knew was going to deliver what we needed. Unfortunately, with limited budget, we weren&rsquo;t ready to commit to a full license.&rdquo;</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-bottom: .0001pt;"><span lang="EN-US" style="mso-ansi-language: EN-US;"><br /></span></p> <h5 class="MsoNormal" style="margin-bottom: .0001pt;"><b style="mso-bidi-font-weight: normal;"><span lang="EN-US" style="mso-ansi-language: EN-US;">The Solution<o:p></o:p></span></b></h5> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-bottom: .0001pt;"><span lang="EN-US" style="mso-ansi-language: EN-US;">Autodesk&rsquo;s short-term license offer, Desktop Subscription, allowed the Witch Beam team to get started with 3ds Max software for a short period of time, at a smaller upfront cost to develop the basic structure of the game.</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-bottom: .0001pt;"><span lang="EN-US" style="mso-ansi-language: EN-US;">&ldquo;Desktop Subscription was perfect for us,&rdquo; said Tim. &ldquo;We purchased a three-month license allowing us to use familiar, robust software for a short-term period to build assets straight for the game before we had to come to a decision about our ongoing direction. Requiring a smaller investment, we committed ourselves to a three-month &lsquo;play&rsquo; period to work through the structure, design and characters of the game. As we progressed, what started as a simple twinstick prototype with fun characters and lots of effects was refined and tightened until it became an intense skill-based game requiring aggressive strategies and fast reaction times. After three months, we were extremely happy with the result and keen to take a demo to market.&rdquo;</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-bottom: .0001pt;"><span lang="EN-US" style="mso-ansi-language: EN-US;"><br /></span></p> <h5 class="MsoNormal" style="margin-bottom: .0001pt;"><b style="mso-bidi-font-weight: normal;"><span lang="EN-US" style="mso-ansi-language: EN-US;"><img src="/userdata/blogs/con/Screen_Shot_2014-07-24_cactus.png" style="color: #707070; font-family: 'Lucida Grande', Lucida, Verdana, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 1.5em;" /></span></b></h5> <h5 class="MsoNormal" style="margin-bottom: .0001pt;"><b style="mso-bidi-font-weight: normal;"><span lang="EN-US" style="mso-ansi-language: EN-US;"><br /></span></b></h5> <h5 class="MsoNormal" style="margin-bottom: .0001pt;"><b style="mso-bidi-font-weight: normal;"><span lang="EN-US" style="mso-ansi-language: EN-US;">The Re</span></b><b style="mso-bidi-font-weight: normal;"><span lang="EN-US">sults</span></b></h5> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-bottom: .0001pt;"><span lang="EN-US" style="mso-ansi-language: EN-US;">By the end of the three-month license, Assault Android Cactus was awarded &ldquo;Best Action Game&rdquo; in the 2013 Intel Level Up demo competition and secured a Screen Australia games development grant, projecting the game and its development team towards final delivery.</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-bottom: .0001pt;"><span lang="EN-US" style="mso-ansi-language: EN-US;">&ldquo;Working with our preferred software over a three month period meant we quickly progressed to a great place,&rdquo; said Tim. &ldquo;We developed a high quality demo that could be used to gather support for delivery of the game. Our win at the Intel &lsquo;Level Up demo&rsquo; competition not only provided extra funding, but also raised our profile and secured recognition for the game. It was critical in gaining access to Steam, which would become our publishing platform for the early access version and final delivery.&rdquo;</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-bottom: .0001pt;"><span lang="EN-US" style="mso-ansi-language: EN-US;">The Witch Beam team is now confident about Assault Android Cactus&rsquo; popularity and future success. &ldquo;After the initial three months, we knew the game was a winner and we were excited to continue its development,&rdquo; said Tim. &ldquo;We purchased a perpetual license for 3ds Max and committed to delivering the game by the end of 2014. We continued to refine the game and delivered an early access version on Steam in early 2014. As outstanding feedback rolls in, we&rsquo;ve moved to development for other platforms and consoles, which has been a smooth transition with Autodesk&rsquo;s software. We&rsquo;re thrilled about where Autodesk 3ds Max has taken us and can&rsquo;t wait to make more mind-blowing games.&rdquo;</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-bottom: .0001pt;"><span lang="EN-US" style="mso-ansi-language: EN-US;"><br /></span></p> <p><img src="/userdata/blogs/con/Witchbeam_pull1.jpg" width="261" height="282" style="line-height: 1.5em;" /></p> <p></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-bottom: .0001pt;">Learn more about <a href="">Witchbeam</a> and <a href="">Assault Android Cactus</a></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-bottom: .0001pt;">Get the PDF verson of this story <a href="">here</a></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-bottom: .0001pt;"><span lang="EN-US" style="mso-ansi-language: EN-US;"><span lang="EN-US">_______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________</span></span></p> <h5 class="MsoNormal" style="margin-bottom: .0001pt;"><a href="" target="_blank"><span lang="EN-US" style="mso-ansi-language: EN-US;"><span lang="EN-US">Start Smart Desktop Subscription</span></span></a></h5> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-bottom: .0001pt;"><span lang="EN-US" style="mso-ansi-language: EN-US;"><span lang="EN-US">Learn more about starting a Start Smart Desktop Subscription with 3ds Max &amp; Maya&nbsp;<a href="">here</a>.</span></span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-bottom: .0001pt;"><a href="" target="_blank"><span lang="EN-US" style="mso-ansi-language: EN-US;"><img src="/userdata/blogs/con/2_3D_Heroes_728x90.jpg" /></span></a></p> <p></p> <p><span lang="EN-US">To learn more about Autodesk 3ds Max visit&nbsp;</span><a href=""><span lang="EN-US"></span></a><span lang="EN-US">.</span></p>Wed, 30 Jul 2014 02:21:11 UTC million hitsMaxStation<p><span style="font-size: 14px; line-height: 1.5em;">2 million hits, wow!&nbsp;</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 14px; line-height: 1.5em;"></span>Thanks everybody for reading this blog, for those adding comments: an even bigger thank you!</p> <p></p> <p><img src="/userdata/blogs/maxstation/nicolas/maxstation-2m-render.jpg" width="800" height="480" /></p> <p>Also thanks to the two bipeds (not that you can see them well in the render: one drives and the other pushes the cab and the trailer :) )</p>Tue, 29 Jul 2014 07:37:18 UTC Mondays - Ocean Shaders is Maya 2015dobert<iframe width="640" height="360" src="//" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>Mon, 28 Jul 2014 21:39:46 UTC a cab with a trailer along a pathMaxStation<p>The focus is on simple: the trailer is going to follow the cab but it's rear wheels are stuck to the path, so it's one of those modern ones with a steering rear axle :)</p> <p>As this started out as a simple proof of concept the cab and trailer are simply extruded lines:</p> <p><img src="/userdata/blogs/maxstation/nicolas/cab-trailer1.png" width="400" height="300" /></p> <p>Change the pivot point for the trailer to the point where it rotates behind the cab. And make sure the pivot is at z=0 otherwise we'll get problems when we use the lookat controller later on.</p> <p><img src="/userdata/blogs/maxstation/nicolas/cab-trailer2.png" width="400" height="300" /></p> <p>Parent the trailer to the cab</p> <p>Use a path controller to make the cab follow the path (in the Motion panel select the position and use the assign controller button to select the path controller, then add the path)</p> <p><img src="/userdata/blogs/maxstation/nicolas/cab-trailer3.png" width="400" height="300" /></p> <p>When you now play the animation the cab follows the path with the trailer rigidly attached. Not really what we want!</p> <p>To make the trailer follow the path we use a dummy that's slightly behind on the path and use a lookat controller on the trailer that points at this dummy. You can tweak how the trailer follows the path by adjusting how far the dummy is behind the cab.</p> <p><img src="/userdata/blogs/maxstation/nicolas/cab-trailer4.png" width="400" height="300" /></p> <p>And <a href="/userdata/blogs/maxstation/nicolas/">here is the file</a> if you want to play with it yourself</p>Fri, 25 Jul 2014 14:23:01 UTC Happenings..Fianna<p>Hey there - it&rsquo;s been busy here the last little while&hellip;I was redesigning and putting together our <a target="_blank" href=";id=820db99b47&amp;e=[UNIQID]">new AREA newsletter</a>, talking to <a target="_blank" href="/inhouse/bts/nick_gaul_hairiest_of_details">Nick Gaul at Weta</a>, and most recently, the cool guys over at Warhorse Studios. If you haven&rsquo;t heard of them, they are a <span style="text-decoration: line-through;">smallish (but quickly growing)</span> game studio in the Czech Republic who are working on their own IP, a single-player RPG titled &ldquo;Kingdom Come: Deliverance&rdquo;.&nbsp; Back in February, they launched their Kickstarter campaign for &ldquo;Kingdom Come: Deliverance&rdquo;, hoping to get &pound;300,000 in game development funding. <strong><br />THEY GOT OVER $1.8 million USD</strong> (it is close to <a target="_blank" href="">$1,933,463 USD</a> now)<strong>!</strong> <br />Check out their KS launch video below to get an idea of Warhorse Studios and their game:</p> <p><iframe src="" allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="360" width="640"></iframe></p> <p>If you want to know more about Warhorse Studios, check out their <a target="_blank" href="/inhouse/bts/prague_game_devs_warhorse_studios">recent interview</a> where I chatted with co-founder Dan V&aacute;vra, 3D Art Lead Roman Zawada and Lead Character Artist Jiř&iacute; Bartoněk. In the meantime, here are some bonus images of one of their ingame models of a hand glove from their clothing system, created in 3ds Max and then 3D printed+painted.</p> <p><img src="/userdata/blogs/pointsnap/warhorse/gauntlet_shade.jpg" height="353" width="640" /><br /><br /><img src="/userdata/blogs/pointsnap/warhorse/rukavice_1.jpg" height="480" width="640" /><br /><br /><img src="/userdata/blogs/pointsnap/warhorse/rukavice_2.jpg" height="480" width="640" /><br /><br /><img src="/userdata/blogs/pointsnap/warhorse/rukavice_6.jpg" height="857" width="640" /><br /><br />Big thanks to Dan V&aacute;vra, Roman Zawada, Jiř&iacute; Bartoněk and Jiř&iacute; R&yacute;dl at Warhorse for the opportunity to interview them. I hope to chat again with them when Act I of their game comes out next year!</p>Thu, 17 Jul 2014 22:19:46 UTC wins big at 2014 Develop Awards!WarpZone_Team<p><img src="/userdata/blogs/warpzone/Top-Banner-Develp-and-Maya-LT.jpg" width="681" height="113" /></p> <p>The games industry honored Maya LT as the best Design &amp; Creativity tool for indie game makers at the 2014 Develop Awards on July 9th in Brighton, UK. Maya LT beat out 5 other strong contenders to capture the category! You can see the full list of Develop 2014 winners <a href="" title="here" target="_blank">here</a>.</p> <p><img src="/userdata/blogs/warpzone/Markus_Accepts_Award_at_Develop.png" alt="Autodesk's Markus Schwaiger accepts Develop Award in Brighton" width="500" height="325" /></p> <address><sup>Autodesk's Markus Schwaiger accepts Develop Award in Brighton</sup></address> <p><strong><br /></strong></p> <p><strong>Seen Maya LT lately?</strong></p> <p>We're really happy with the award, since our team has been working hard to add great new features and enhancements since it first launched last year. You might be surprised at just how many tools it offers to help you make your next game:&nbsp;</p> <p><strong><br /></strong></p> <p><strong>Maya LT 2015</strong></p> <p style="padding-left: 30px;">&bull;<span class="Apple-tab-span" style="white-space: pre;"> </span>3D animation and modeling</p> <p style="padding-left: 30px;">&bull;<span class="Apple-tab-span" style="white-space: pre;"> </span>Lighting and texture baking</p> <p style="padding-left: 30px;">&bull;<span class="Apple-tab-span" style="white-space: pre;"> </span>UV unwrapping tools</p> <p style="padding-left: 30px;">&bull;<span class="Apple-tab-span" style="white-space: pre;"> </span>Cloud-enabled collaboration</p> <p style="padding-left: 30px;">&bull;<span class="Apple-tab-span" style="white-space: pre;"> </span>No poly cap when using Send to Unity&nbsp;</p> <p style="padding-left: 30px;">&bull;<span class="Apple-tab-span" style="white-space: pre;"> </span>MEL scripting</p> <p style="padding-left: 30px;">&bull;<span class="Apple-tab-span" style="white-space: pre;"> </span>Game Exporter tool</p> <p style="padding-left: 30px;">&bull;<span class="Apple-tab-span" style="white-space: pre;"> </span>Rigging utility nodes</p> <p style="padding-left: 30px;">&bull;<span class="Apple-tab-span" style="white-space: pre;"> </span>Set Driven Key</p> <p>We&rsquo;ve also made Maya LT more affordable than ever with low-cost monthly, quarterly, and annual subscription plans. You can find out more about Maya LT and rental plans by visiting <a href="/" title="" target="_blank"></a></p> <p><a href="" target="_blank"><img src="/userdata/blogs/warpzone/Bottom-Banner-Heart-Indies.jpg" width="900" height="192" /></a></p>Wed, 16 Jul 2014 14:37:09 UTC Digital-Tutors webinar~WarpZone_Team<p>Autodesk is hosting a free Master Class webinar presented by Justin Marshall from Digital Tutors. The session will cover how to create a 3D game character using Maya LT, our new 3D tool for indie game makers. He&rsquo;s also going to go over some stuff like making sure the model is efficient enough that it doesn&rsquo;t ruin the framerate of your game.</p> <p>&nbsp;If you want to sign up for the webinar, go <a href=";siteID=452932&amp;mktvar004=481316" title="here" target="_blank">here</a>.</p> <p><img src="/userdata/blogs/warpzone/digital_tutors_2.jpg" width="1280" height="720" /></p> <p></p> <p>MORE FREE STUFF!</p> <p>And, if you missed it, Digital Tutors have made a LOT of really great learning content for people interested in learning how to make games. And they've made a significant portion of the videos <a href="" title="FREE" target="_blank">FREE</a> when you sign up for an account. Their series is really comprehensive and covers everything from concept art and prototyping, all the way through creating game-ready 3D assets and gameplay in the engine. The series covers all these tools: Photoshop, Maya LT, ZBrush, Mudbox, and Unity. So you&rsquo;re really going to cover everything you need.</p> <p><span style="font-size: 14px; line-height: 1.5em;"><iframe width="560" height="315" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe></span></p>Tue, 15 Jul 2014 14:05:52 UTC Mondays - IBL improvement in Maya 2015dobert<p><iframe width="640" height="360" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe></p> <p>MEL command to make rayswitch node: <strong>createNode mip_rayswitch</strong></p> <p>MEL command to turn on all the mip_shaders<em>(you have to restart maya to see them)</em>:&nbsp;<strong>optionVar -intValue MIP_SHD_EXPOSE 1;</strong></p>Mon, 14 Jul 2014 19:24:09 UTC Now - Flame Award 2014!Caitlin Troughton<p><img style="vertical-align: top;" src="/userdata/blogs/flame/Flame_Awardd_2014/Flame-Award-Twitter-1024x512.jpg" width="1024" height="512" /></p> <p>We are very excited to unveil the impressive list of nominees for this year's Flame Award! &nbsp;</p> <p>To vote, simply go to the <a href="/flameaward" target="_blank">Flame Award site</a>, log-in to AREA, and vote! You can vote for as many Flame artists as you like, but you can only cast a vote for each artist once. And, you can share your favorites on facebook simply by liking the artist.</p> <p>If you don't yet have an AREA login, you can quickly make one by clicking on the log in or register link at the top right of the page.</p> <p>Voting will remain open until August 4, 2014. &nbsp;Following this community vote, the Flame Award committee will review the nominees and make their recommendations.&nbsp;</p> <p>Who will win this year's Flame Award? &nbsp;Cast your vote now!</p> <p></p>Thu, 10 Jul 2014 16:02:43 UTC lots of custom attributes in one go with MaxScript - part 2MaxStation<p>Yesterday's script would remove all custom attributes, looking at a sample file i got hold of many of the customer attributes didn't have a definition (and could therefore be safely removed), but some did hold definitions (and most likely you'd like to keep those). So here is a script that does just that: instead of repeating the code we define a function that will remove the custom attributes. First we loop forwards through the custom attributes to figure out how many there are and then we go backwards and delete those that have no definition.&nbsp;</p> <p></p> <p class="code">fn clean_ca x =</p> <p class="code"><span style="line-height: 1em; font-size: 14px;">(</span></p> <p class="code">&nbsp;-- first we count up and display</p> <p class="code">&nbsp;z=1</p> <p class="code">&nbsp;c=1 &nbsp;</p> <p class="code">&nbsp;while z !=undefined do</p> <p class="code">&nbsp;(</p> <p class="code">&nbsp; z = custattributes.getdef x c</p> <p class="code">&nbsp; if z != undefined then</p> <p class="code">&nbsp; (</p> <p class="code">&nbsp; &nbsp;format "% %\n" (custattributes.getdefdata z)</p> <p class="code"><span style="line-height: 1em; font-size: 14px;">&nbsp; &nbsp;c=c+1</span></p> <p class="code">&nbsp; )</p> <p class="code">&nbsp;)</p> <p class="code">&nbsp;-- then we count down and delete the ones that are undefined&nbsp;</p> <p class="code">&nbsp;while (c!=0) do</p> <p class="code">&nbsp;(</p> <p class="code">&nbsp; z = custattributes.getdef x c</p> <p class="code">&nbsp; if z != undefined then</p> <p class="code">&nbsp; (</p> <p class="code">&nbsp; &nbsp;if &nbsp;(custattributes.getdefdata z)==undefined then</p> <p class="code">&nbsp; &nbsp;(</p> <p class="code">&nbsp; &nbsp; custAttributes.delete x z</p> <p class="code">&nbsp; &nbsp;)</p> <p class="code">&nbsp; )</p> <p class="code">&nbsp; c=c-1</p> <p class="code">&nbsp;)</p> <p class="code">)</p> <p class="code"></p> <p class="code">clean_ca(rootscene)</p> <p class="code">clean_ca(meditmaterials)</p> <p class="code">clean_ca(rootscene.Anim_Layer_Control_Manager)</p> <p class="code"></p> <p class="code">You can <a href="/userdata/blogs/maxstation/nicolas/">download the file here</a>.</p> <p><strong>To be safe: please always keep a backup copy of the file.</strong></p>Thu, 10 Jul 2014 12:02:35 UTC