TOOLS OF THE TRADES
Digic pictures gives us a lowdown of the software and plugins used in-house
It might not surprise you to learn that everything the modellers create ends up in Maya, but admittedly the artists do have complete freedom to create in whatever software they want, and with whichever plugins they desire. “We have a very long history with Zbrush as well,” says Tamás Varga, “And so they do have to use Zbrush, because that’s where we have a pipeline.” There is a mix of additional tools, however. The likes of Headus UV and Unfold3D are the two key choices for artists, while it’s Body Paint for 3D texture painting with some Mari use for the higher-definition models.
Again, the animation department also requires everything to end up in Maya to help with the pipeline flow and in fact most of the company’s tools as a whole is built to work with Maya. Gábor Lendvai doesn’t believe there’s anything that Digic uses for animation that isn’t standard across the industry. When it comes to plugins, however, many of these are created in-house by programmers. “Most of the plugins that we found useable since I’ve been here were our own,” say Lendvai, “so there are no outside plugins that we force our animators to use, most of our animators have used [them already] for years before they came.” He does add that those that aren’t created by Digic are mostly basic additions that most animators will be using, such as Tween Machine or Studio Library.
“We are using three different programs,” says Balázs Horváth. The primary one is Maya, where the lighting process is developed. When it comes to rendering, Digic equips Maya with Arnold. “Well, actually we are using an in-house developed version of Arnold,” adds Horváth, “So we are not using base Arnold shaders.” Digic has its own dev team for creating plugins and adapting tools to fit specific requirements. Lastly, there’s compositing software Nuke, which includes a DOF add-on to improve the base Nuke option.