Tech Re­views

Animation Magazine - - Vfx -

avail­able. Lo­cal me­dia would still have to be sent to the client, but the links are al­ready prepped and wait­ing for when the shots ar­rive on the client side.

Other bonuses for the pro version are Linux avail­abil­ity, color ad­just­ment con­trols and 3D sup­port. And nu­mer­ous clients can be in­volved in one Ci­nesync ses­sion un­der the same ses­sion key.

The stan­dard version of Ci­nesync gives you the foun­da­tion func­tion­al­ity of client in­ter­ac­tion, with saved an­no­ta­tions and such. But to really bring things to the next level — and if you have Shot­gun — there are sub­stan­tial ben­e­fits to go­ing pro. And not to worry, FTrack isn’t left out. With the FTrack API, Ci­nesync re­ceived sim­i­lar ben­e­fits. And Apsera works for au­to­matic trans­fer of shots to the client. And Joust also can use Ci­nesync tech­nol­ogy through its own in­ter­face.

In short, Ci­nesync is ver­sa­tile to nu­mer­ous pipe­lines and method­olo­gies.

It’s definitely an in­vest­ment though. Pric­ing ranges from $50 to $100 per month for the stan­dard version and $130 to $320 per month for pro for two users, de­pend­ing on how many months you pay in ad­vance. But if you frame it in the right con­text, that cost could cost less than an artist fix­ing a missed client note.

—Todd Sheri­dan Perry

is good. I did some fairly in­ten­sive sculpt­ing in Zbrush for about three and a half hours be­fore I had to plug in.

The sty­lus re­mains the best thing about any­thing Wa­com. With 2,048 lev­els of pres­sure, it is per­fect at han­dling ev­ery stroke, no mat­ter how sub­tle or in­tense.

The in­cluded alu­minum-rub­ber-plas­tic stand feels hor­ri­bly cheap but is ac­tu­ally per­fectly de­signed and in­cred­i­bly help­ful. It took me for­ever to com­mit to us­ing the stand, but, once I did, I found it in­valu­able for op­ti­mally po­si­tion­ing the C2 on my lap while sit­ting cross­legged on the couch or in a big comfy chair.

The touch fea­tures work great and are a joy to use. There’s a slew of but­tons all over the C2 and they all work as made but de­sign wise there’s some things to be de­sired here. Hav­ing three USB 3 ports is nice but ex­ces­sive; I’d rather trade in one port for an HDMI-Mini port. The Mini-Dis­play port seemed rather use­less; I did hook my C2 up to a 30inch HP mon­i­tor and it only would dis­play at 1,280 x 800 res­o­lu­tion. I did use the in­cluded USB-HDMI ca­ble to con­nect the C2 to an­other por­ta­ble ma­chine. This works to turn the C2 into a minia­ture Cin­tiq Touch for the por­ta­ble. The back-fac­ing cam­era on the C2 is nice and use­ful for it­er­a­tive paint-overs. It’s easy to snap a pic­ture of a de­sign, then tune it quickly in Pho­to­shop to com­mu­ni­cate a cri­tique.

The C2 is small and that pays off in porta­bil­ity. Work­ing with it while trav­el­ing is a great, un­ob­tru­sive and com­fort­able ex­pe­ri­ence. The big­gest prob­lem with the de­sign of the C2 is the place­ment of the Win­dows Key in the cen­ter of the rocker ring. Since it can­not be re­as­signed, its place­ment be­comes frus­trat­ing be­cause it’s very easy to ac­ci­den­tally touch the Win­dows Key, which will launch the start menu and yank you out of your cho­sen ap­pli­ca­tion. The grip sur­face of the C2 is quite well made. A por­tion of the back­ing and the trim is made from a hard rub­ber-like plas­tic that’s very tac­tile and makes the C2 easy to hold.

Wa­com Pref­er­ences, the abil­ity to map the but­tons in the rocker ring and ex­press keys per your cho­sen ap­pli­ca­tion is great. The sleep and wake func­tion makes it freak­ishly easy to ac­ci­den­tally re-awake the C2 right af­ter it’s been put to sleep as well as ac­ci­den­tally tog­gle on the cam­era. On a few oc­ca­sions, it has re-awak­ened — some­times in cam­era mode — with the fans run­ning, cook­ing it­self in­side the padded soft case.

Adding a stick-on pen loop is help­ful as it al­lows you to se­curely store the sty­lus on the C2’s body. The soft gray car­ry­ing case in­cluded with the C2 looks re­fresh­ingly not like your nor­mal com­puter bag. The soft case is tight on space and I found I had to be par­tic­u­larly choosy about how many ac­ces­sories I at­tempted to stuff in it.

Wa­com is step­ping in the right di­rec­tion with the Com­pan­ion 2. It’s an in­ter­est­ing and fun de­vice that blends the func­tion­al­ity of a full-size Cin­tiq Touch with the porta­bil­ity of a small note­book. Fully spec’d out, the Com­pan­ion 2 is a fun, pow­er­ful and a very por­ta­ble cre­ative de­vice. Todd Sheri­dan Perry is a vis­ual-ef­fects su­per­vi­sor and dig­i­tal artist who has worked on fea­tures in­clud­ing The Lord of the Rings: The Two Tow­ers, Speed Racer, 2012, Fi­nal Des­ti­na­tion 5 and Avengers: Age of Ul­tron. You can reach him at todd@tea­spoon­vfx.com. John Chal­fant creates art­work, de­signs and CG vi­su­al­iza­tions for movies, games and spe­cial-venue projects. He blogs at www.jchal­fant.com.

Davis, John C. Reilly and Vanessa Wil­liams. The DVD release in­cludes a be­hind-the-scenes with the voice cast, in­ter­na­tional trail­ers and TV spots. The two-disc Blu-ray combo ($24.99) also comes with “The Making of When Marnie Was There,” “Yo­hei Taneda Creates the Art of When Marnie Was There” and fea­ture-length sto­ry­boards. [Release date: Oct. 6] Aladdin (Glen Keane), Linda Larkin and singer Lea Sa­longa as Princess Jas­mine (Mark Henn) and Jonathan Free­man as the vil­lain Ja­far (Andreas Deja). In ad­di­tion to deleted songs and scenes, the Di­a­mond BD in­cludes “The Ge­nie Out­takes,” “Aladdin: Cre­at­ing Broad­way Magic,” “Un­box­ing Aladdin,” “Ge­nie 101” and “Ron & John: You Ain’t Never Had a Friend Like Me.” [Release date: Oct. 13]

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