Staff Columnist - Kurt Foster [modulok]

Autodesk Maya 2015 in Review | Autodesk, Maya, 3ds Max, 3D, Animation, MotionBuilder, Mudbox, Softimage
Autodesk Maya 2015 in Review
I'm a long-time Maya guy and this is a Maya review. You can probably guess what we'll be talking about. Autodesk Maya. It's the "go-to" tool for almost everything and the central hub of countless production companies. This year the Autodesk Maya 2015 edition has seen some major upgrades and enhancements. Chief among them we'll be taking a closer look at what I consider the top 3.
Kurt Foster [Modulok] - Staff Columnist - 1 opinion posted

3D Masterclass: The Swordmaster In 3DS Max And Zbrush | Autodesk, Book Review, 3DS Max, Zbrush, 3DTotal, 3D
3D Masterclass: The Swordmaster In 3DS Max And Zbrush
3D Masterclass: The Swordmaster in 3ds Max and ZBrush is a book by 3DTotal Publishing, the same publisher that brought us the Digital Art Masters series. Written by game industry veteran Gavin Goulden, the book is an in-depth tutorial at the creation of a richly-detailed low poly game character, The Swordmaster, to which the book owes its namesake.
Kurt Foster [Modulok] - Staff Columnist

Digital Art Masters: Volume 8 In Review | 3DTotal, Book Reviews, 2D, 3D
Digital Art Masters: Volume 8 In Review
Digital Art Masters: Volume 8 by 3DTotal Publishing is the 8th incarnation of the Digital Art Masters series. For those not familiar with it, the book is basically a picture book of some pretty awesome digital artwork, but it gets way better...
Kurt Foster [Modulok] - Staff Columnist

Q&A With ILM Junior Concept Artist, Chris Bonura | Autodesk, Maya, CG, 3D, Tutorial
Q&A With ILM Junior Concept Artist, Chris Bonura
Today we have Chris Bonura, Junior Concept Artist at Industrial Light & Magic (ILM), with us to answer a few questions on what it's like being at ILM, life as a concept artist and tools of the trade! Recently, Chris worked on Thor, Star Trek Into Darkness and Transformers: Age of Extinction. He also recently posted an in-depth tutorial series which teaches viewers tips and tricks of the trade.
Kurt Foster [Modulok] - Staff Columnist

Hydra HDRI Pro - Make a 32-bit HDRI From an 8-bit Image | Plug-ins, Photoshop, HDRI, Hydra HDRI Pro
Hydra HDRI Pro - Make a 32-bit HDRI From an 8-bit Image
Hydra Design Labs' Hydra HDRI Pro plugin claims to convert an ordinary 8-bit image such as a JPG into a usable 32-bit per pixel image, suitable for High Dynamic Range Image based rendering. I was skeptical. I had to have a closer look!
Kurt Foster [Modulok] - Staff Columnist - 1 opinion posted

Start The New Year With Lumion | 3D, Lumion
Start The New Year With Lumion
Lumion 4.0 is targeted as architectural previs, but focuses on a very direct, real-time approach without bogging the user down with a lot of irrelevant technical nuances. Lumion reminds me of using using a game editor, where you have real-time control over everything from terrain, weather, trees, people, buildings, materials, effects, pretty much everything you need and it is all immediately responsive.
Kurt Foster [Modulok] - Staff Columnist

Terragen 3 in Review | 3D, Terragen, Planetside Software
Terragen 3 in Review
I remember using Terragen classic back when it was something like version 0.9 or some other primordial number. Planetside Software's Terragen 3 has been out for a few months now. I thought I'd have a look and see what new goodies it has to offer and tell the community what I thought of them. Let's roll!
Kurt Foster [Modulok] - Staff Columnist

Maya 2014 In Review | Autodesk, Maya, 3ds Max, Softimage, MotionBuilder
Maya 2014 In Review
It's Autodesk Maya. In a high-end 3D production, it's almost as critical as having electricity. Combined with the rest of the Autodesk Entertainment Creation Suite it is the 3D production. Maya is my personal production hub and has been my favorite tool for almost 10 years - seriously. This year things only got better!
Kurt Foster [Modulok] - Staff Columnist

NVIDIA Quadro K4000 in Review | 3D, Autodesk, Maya, NVIDIA, Quadro
NVIDIA Quadro K4000 in Review
The NVIDIA Quadro K4000 is a new high performance graphics card fromNVIDIA. It retails for around $800 USD making it a freaking steal! For many real-world applications you get performance very close to its bigger brother, the NVIDIA Quadro K5000, but for less than half the price.
Kurt Foster [Modulok] - Staff Columnist

Carbon Scatter 2 - Make Billions! | E-on Software, Carbon Scatter, 3D
Carbon Scatter 2 - Make Billions!
Carbon Scatter 2 is basically an advanced instancer. If you need millions, or perhaps billions, of things positioned pseudo-randomly (with tons of controls on exactly how that positioning occurs), Carbon Scatter 2 is worth investigating. It's a very deceptive little plug in. At first you think it's this simple, anemic little tool that you probably won't use much. Oh, how wrong you are!
Kurt Foster [Modulok] - Staff Columnist

E-on Software's Vue 11 xStream in Review | E-on Software, Vue, 3D
E-on Software's Vue 11 xStream in Review
Vue 11 xStream gives you tools to make 'The Great Outdoors.' Or, at least, a digital approximation of it. If you need wide-shots of a detailed, never-ending landscape, seascape, forest, etc. - Vue 11 xStream is a viable option. It presents itself inside of your favorite 3D hub-application and transparently works closely with the native render engine.
Kurt Foster [Modulok] - Staff Columnist

NVIDIA's Quadro K5000 in Review | NVIDIA, Quadro, 3D, Autodesk, Adobe, Mudbox, Maya, Photoshop, CS6
NVIDIA's Quadro K5000 in Review
The NVIDIA Quadro K5000 is a new high-end graphics card from NVIDIA. The Quadro product lineup is targeted toward professional Workstation graphics and extremely high resolution multi-device displays. If your daily routine involves millions of polygons, gigabytes of textures - a Quadro card makes life easier. For Adobe users, including Photoshop CS6 and many other programs in the CS6 lineup, they can also benefit from the improved compute performance of the NVIDIA Quadro K5000.
Kurt Foster [Modulok] - Staff Columnist

The Foundry's Nuke 7 in Review | The Foundry, Nuke, Nukex
The Foundry's Nuke 7 in Review
Nuke is a node-based 2D and 3D digital compositor. It's the visual mixing board used to assemble, tweak and refine footage for the next blockbuster film. If you have footage of a suspension bridge, snow flakes, three actors running for their lives, a fighter jet and a zombie hungry for brains - and you need them to be in the same coherent shot - you use Nuke...
Kurt Foster [Modulok] - Staff Columnist

Massive Black's Transient in Review | Transient, Massive Black, Books, Book Review, 2D
Massive Black's Transient in Review
Transient is 212 large format full-color pages of a hallucinogenic story - in rich detail about a homeless man on a mission to save the universe. There's a lot of skill and a lot of heart put into each cell, which really helps tell a richly detailed story. If you're looking for a pretty psychedelic story to read yourself - backed up by bar-none the best painting I've seen in a long while - look no further.
Kurt Foster [Modulok] - Staff Columnist

EXPOSÉ 10 - And the Singular Flaw | 2D, 3D, art, Ballistic Publishing, Book Review, Books, Expose
EXPOSÉ 10 - And the Singular Flaw
Don't let the headline fool you. EXPOSÉ 10 is an amazing book worth every penny, be it softcover, hardcover or that nice limited edition with its faux leather and those gold embossed letters and all that nonsense. This year, Ballistic Publishing celebrates its 10th anniversary with the release of EXPOSÉ 10. I'm pleased to say that even after ten years, Ballistic has managed to keep the quality bar very high.
Kurt Foster [Modulok] - Staff Columnist

Adobe Photoshop CS6 Extended in Review | Adobe, CS6, Photoshop, Photography, Animation, 3D, Photoshop Extended
Adobe Photoshop CS6 Extended in Review
If it was a disease it would be an epidemic. Adobe Photoshop is the de facto image editing standard for professional graphics world wide. This review focuses on Photoshop CS6 Extended, as well as some of the features available in Photoshop CS6. There's a lot of new features so, unfortunately, as a reviewer I have to play roulette with the "what's new" document and pick out just a few to cover.
Kurt Foster [Modulok] - Staff Columnist

Motion Builder 2013 - A Maya Panel (pretty much) | Autodesk, Maya, 3ds Max, MotionBuilder, Softimage, Mudbox, NVIDIA
Motion Builder 2013 - A Maya Panel (pretty much)
I received MotionBuilder 2013 as part of the Autodesk Entertainment Creation Suite 2013 - Ultimate Edition. This bundle includes Maya, 3ds Max, MotionBuilder, Softimage, Mudbox, and now SketchBook Designer and Pro, as well as the usual MatchMover and Composite (formerly Toxik). This review focuses on MotionBuilder 2013. For those new to MotionBuilder, it's an industry leading animation tool. Keyframe animation, non-linear animation, dense motion capture editing, etc. MotionBuilder excels at motion editing.
Kurt Foster [modulok] - Staff Columnist

MotionBuilder 2012 - Things Just Got Awesome | Autodesk, MotionBuilder, Maya
MotionBuilder 2012 - Things Just Got Awesome
This review covers just some of the changes that have occurred in the new Autodesk MotionBuilder 2012 as well as how they relate to some of the changes in Maya 2012. There have been more features and fixes in this year's release of MotionBuilder than in the past 2 releases combined. For those unfamiliar with the product, MotionBuilder is a tool centered around character animation. It boasts a real time environment to work in, where performances playback at full speed. It also features the HumanIK solver, which is what made MotionBuilder so famous.
Kurt Foster [modulok] - Contributing Columnist - 1 opinion posted

Autodesk's MotionBuilder 2011 in ReviewPart of Autodesk's Entertainment Creation Suite 2011 | 3D, animation, Autodesk, MotionBuilder, product review
Autodesk's MotionBuilder 2011 in Review
Part of Autodesk's Entertainment Creation Suite 2011

The "Autodesk Entertainment Creation Suite," is a collection of 3D software which includes MotionBuilder and Mudbox, coupled with either 3ds Max or Maya. MotionBuilder®, the focus of our review, is a keyframe and motion-capture animation software targetted at the professional animator. It focuses on character animation and features a robust, full body IK solver and rapid character setup. It also has a very fast physics toolset for rigid body simulations. The viewport is realtime, with the 2011 version featuring GPU accelerated skin deformations and the ability to connect the physics solver to the NVIDIA® PhysX® software.
Kurt Foster [modulok] - Contributing Columnist

MotionBuilder 2010 in Review | Renderosity, 3D, animation, Autodesk, MotionBuilder, Maya, physics, Python, product reviews
MotionBuilder 2010 in Review
MotionBuilder caters primarily to high-end 3D character animation. At a suggested retail price of $3,995, or $995 for an upgrade from MotionBuilder 2009, MotionBuilder is targeted at the professional animator. There are many tools available to deal with motion captured performances with dense animation data. Performances are achieved by blending animation from various sources onto a control rig, which drives a skinned character. Traditional keyframe animation is also well supported. Most of MotionBuilder 2010's feature highlights add to the physics-based animation toolset. While there is not room in this review to cover every new feature, I tried to select a few highlights to test drive.
Kurt Foster [Modulok] - Contributing Columnist - 2 opinions posted

A Look at Autodesk's MotionBuilder 2009 | Autodesk, MotionBuilder, animation, FBX, Maya, 3DS Max, keyframe
A Look at Autodesk's MotionBuilder 2009
As the name implies, Autodesk MotionBuilder is all about animation. Character animation. MotionBuilder provides animatiors with sophistocated animation tools in an attempt to dramatically decrease the time it takes to animate a performance, whether it be a traditional keyframe animation or to modify motion capture data. MotionBuilder integrates with Maya and 3DS Max by means of importing and exporting through the FBX file format, which is now ubiquitous among Autodesk products.
Product Review by Kurt Foster [Modulok] - Contributing Columnist - 1 opinion posted

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