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Software Review – Autodesk Entertainment Creation Suites 2013 Ultimate: Autodesk Mudbox and Softimage

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Autodesk has released the 2013 editions of their Entertainment Creation Suites. This offers artists and production facilities access to a powerful range of creative toolsets. There are three editions that have been released – Standard, Premium, and Ultimate. With the Standard edition you get either Autodesk Maya or Autodesk 3ds Max as well as Autodesk MotionBuilder, Autodesk SketchBook Designer, and Autodesk Mudbox. The Premium edition additionally contains Autodesk Softimage. With the Ultimate edition you get all six of the products. I will cover all six products and will break this down into three reviews. The first will cover 3ds Max, and MotionBuilder, the second will cover Mudbox and Softimage, and the third will cover Maya, and SketchBook Designer.

Autodesk Mudbox 2013


Mudbox 2013

Mudbox is a brush based 3D sculpting and painting application built to address the needs of digital sculpters and texture artists. Mudbox was first used to help in the 2005 Peter Jackson remake of King Kong and was created to accelerate the design and sculpting efforts. It’s primary use is for high resolution digital sculpting, texture painting, and displacement and normal map creation. It can also be used as a design tool.

Mudbox gives digital modelers the ability to manipulate digital surfaces in an organic manner either imported from existing files or generated using one of the basic sculpt templates provided with Mudbox. Completed models can be exported from Mudbox to be lit and rendered in other 3D applications.

It is through the use of a simplified interface that allows for more an intuitive experience in your modeling that Mudbox, gives you the ability to create and render complex details much easier with less of a learning curve. Designed by professional artists from the game, film, television and design industry, the goal of Mudbox is to create production grade 3D artwork.

So what is new with Mudbox 2013?

• Customizable Mudbox layout – is now available through dragging, resizing, and close or open the tools and windows in Mudbox. In this way you can create a custom layout based on the way that you work. You can lock your layout so that stays the way you want or you can import and export layouts with friends or other artists.

Autodesk Mudbox 2013

• Gigatexel engine – now lets you create a lot more detail – in numbers in the billions of texels – which let you produce texture complexity required by today‘s high-resolution formats and increasingly demanding consumers. The amount of detail possible is limited only by the artist‘s hardware configuration. Even when working with multiple layers for multiple textures on a lower-end graphics card, the Gigatexel engine works automatically and transparently to help artists efficiently handle exponentially more pixels.

• ViewCube – is an on-screen 3D navigation tool that should be familiar to the users of other Autodesk 3D applications. It provides feedback about the camera view with relation to the 3D scene. The ViewCube also lets you switch between scene views quickly and easily and lets you focus on your painting and sculpting. Through the use of the ViewCube menu, you can change the size, behavior, and appearance of the ViewCube.

• 3D connexion Devices – are now supported for navigation and re-orienting your way through a view. These kinds of devices can boost your productivity in Mudbox by allowing for a two-handed work style. You can use your 3Dconnexion device with one hand to precisely position and visualize your model, while you use a stylus with the other hand to select, paint, and sculpt.

• New Selection Tools – in the Select/Move tray include Borders and UV Shell tools letting you easily select all faces on a boundary edge (such as the edge of a hole), or all faces included in a single UV shell.

About T. Michael Testi

Photographer, writer, software engineer, educator, and maker of fine images.