MotionBuilder 2012 preview
Seamless workflows and the importance of previz are high on the agenda as Autodesk previews MotionBuilder 2012 to 3D World
unified interface and solver for HumanIK character animation middleware should mean more consistent workflows and improved interoperability between the products
In a preview session titled ‘Virtual Moviemaking’, senior industry marketing manager of Autodesk Media & Entertainment Maurice Patel, and product designer Dilip Singh dipped into the forthcoming update of character animation software MotionBuilder and described the roadmap that led to the addition of the latest features.
As with the announcements of Maya, 3ds Max and Softimage, the key focus has been on interoperability. MotionBuilder is another product that appears in the Autodesk Entertainment Creation Suites packages.
Despite a seemingly short feature list, the update addresses key issues that affect the filmmaking process and the changes in the way content is made.
Specifically, the addition of stereo support in MotionBuilder 2012 acknowledges the increasing presence of stereoscopic 3D in entertainment and its affect on the importance of previz.
“Stereo 3D has led some changes,” says Maurice Patel. “It’s expensive to alter shots afterwards, so planning is needed to have shots sorted before shooting.”
New features in MotionBuilder 2012:
- Stereo support ― Author and view stereoscopic content, a new in-viewport stereoscopic display and camera rig means camera data can be exchanged with Maya, Flame 2012 and Smoke 2012 software via Autodesk FBX 2012 asset exchange technology
- HumanIK unification ― A unified interface and solver for HumanIK character animation middleware should mean more consistent workflows and improved interoperability between products, and updated Character Controls and Characterization tools
Stereo support is in response to the expense of stereo 3D and the importance of previz
According to Patel, the updates essentially respond to a series of key points: pre-viz saves time and money, filmmakers want more creative control, and the new art to virtual filmmaking in which motion capture devices can represent a ‘virtual set’, allowing directors to see results in real-time on a the monitor.
The standardisation of certain parts of the UI with the likes of Maya should make some headway in addressing the issue of time and money. “It’s about optimising specific workflows for the user,” adds Dilip Singh.
Patel also notes last year’s acquisition of Illuminate Labs. “Lighting is an important part of this update,” he says.
Autodesk will be showcasing its new products at this year’s GDC event.
Though a release hasn’t yet been confirmed, it would be expected to appear around the same time as Maya, 3ds Max and Softimage, which should be available from Autodesk from April 2011.
For more information visit the MotionBuilder product page on the Autodesk website.
on Tuesday, March 1st, 2011 at 1:36 pm under News, Products.
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Tags: Autodesk, autodesk 2012, character animation, MotionBuilder, MotionBuilder 2012, previz