The future is Foundry
Foundry discuss what’s next for their pioneering software
Foundry, the leading developer of creative software for the entertainment and digital design industries, made a splash recently with a raft of announcements at the summer edition of Foundry Live – their biggest online event of the year, which took place between 16-23 July 2020.
After the event 3D World spoke to Christy Anzelmo, Foundry’s director of product – compositing and finishing; Jordan Thistlewood, director of product – preproduction, lookdev and lighting; and Rory Woodford, Mari product manager to get a roundup of why you should be excited for what’s to come from the developer.
Among the big announcements was the reveal of Nuke Indie, an accessible version of Nuke Studio for eligible solo artists. “Nuke Indie includes the industry-leading nodebased compositing toolset of Nukex and the conform, editorial and review capabilities of Nuke Studio with a few functional limitations, making it the ultimate tool for solo artists wanting to create high-quality visual effects, at an accessible price of $499, £399, or $449 per year, ” says Anzelmo.
“Our goal with Nuke Indie is to strengthen Nuke’s user base and uplift artist skills across the VFX industry,” she continues. “We understand the need to make Nuke more accessible for solo artists looking to use the industry-leading compositing toolset on professional projects.” Nuke Indie launches within the latest release of the Nuke family, Nuke 12.2, and is available for purchase as an annual subscription.
The latest release for Nuke builds on the themes of the prior Nuke 12 releases, with an emphasis on streamlining data flow into comp and extending review workflows in Nuke Studio and Hiero. “Nuke 12.2 facilitates flexibility and collaboration for teams working remotely and expands data types supported in Nuke, while offering a robust and streamlined experience when working with Quicktime,” adds Anzelmo.
“Some highlights of Nuke 12.2 include: support for reading in geometry from USD data using Nuke’s Readgeo node; Syncreview which allows multiple users to run collaborative review sessions in Nuke Studio, Hiero or Hieroplayer; and the introduction of RLM licence roaming to allow users to ‘check out’ floating licences for use offline for up to 30 days.”
The culmination of four years’ hard work, Katana 4.0 arrives with a host of updates and improvements for Foundry’s lighting and look development toolset. Not only will there be support for all rendering plugins, but several viewer improvements, including the ability for users to interact directly with the scene through rendered images.
Katana 4.0’s new artist-friendly lighting mode will present users with workflows that are modelled on traditional cinematography processes. “Due to be released in October, Katana 4.0 is a game-changer in lighting and look development,” explains Thistlewood. “We are delivering a future that will allow
“KATANA 4.0 IS A GAME-CHANGER IN LIGHTING AND LOOK DEVELOPMENT” Jordan Thistlewood, director of product – pre-production, lookdev and lighting
artists to think like cinematographers, with a UI that allows an artist to light the way they think. Gone are the days that an artist works with awkward 3D handles to manipulate lights through a process of trial and error. New features like a cuttingedge Lighting Mode, new Katana Foresight workflows (multiple simultaneous renders along with interactive network rendering) and updated USD technology contribute to a turbo-charged artist workflow.”
Foundry Live also saw the announcement of updates to 3D texture painting software, Mari. “The next versions of Mari, 4.7 & 5.0 (supporting VFX Reference Platform 2020 including Python 3), are due to be released in December,” explains Woodford. “Both will offer a redesigned shelf for managing artists’ library of materials, brushes, images and custom procedurals.”
He continues: “The new custom procedurals will allow artists to create their own procedural layers and masks that package all reference images into a single file for easy sharing across teams. They can also leverage Geo-channel data to make masks conform to an object’s shape and form to bring more realism when layering materials. Beyond 2020, our future goals are to empower Mari artists working in a USD pipeline and enable faster workflows via USD between Mari and Katana.”