The search terms appearing on my dashboard questions are cute, I give you that. No sooner do I drop hints about the pending announcements for Cinema 4D on SIGGRAPH, people start probing. I wish I could tell you, but Maxon never loved me that much to invite me to their Beta and of course I’ve dropped out of my MSA. Still, there’s nothing wrong with having a bit of fun with speculation, so let’s take a stab at what they could potentially show by powers of deduction. First a few things I don’t think will come.
- There will be no significant changes or improvements to modelling and UV texturing. There’s a reason why 3D Kiwi moved over to modo and that position for a developer with UV experience is still open.
- Similar points can be made for Hair and Sketch & Toon, also already mentioned in yesterday’s post.
- Particles could perhaps get a performance boost with better threading, but I don’t think they re-invented Thinking Particles from the ground up. Everyone who needs it already has X-Particles as a substitute and Maxon simply do not have the research resources.
And now the “positive” list of things that may be there.
- GPU acceleration for the renderer. Yepp, almost inevitably I think that they will have a preview renderer with this stuff. Why? It’s the simplest way to get them out of this catch 22 situation where they don’t have the resources to optimize their algorithms beyond a certain point and have to rely on published research while at the same time still needing to offer a boost using brute force. This already became a bit apparent when they implemented intel‘s Embree kernels to squeeze out a tad more from their Physical renderer and last year’s reflectance stuff being kind of a plug-on architecture might give them a chance to do just that.
- Speaking of which, we should see more physical based rendering (PBR) stuff. Perhaps they even can manage to actually get subsurface scattering right one of these days?
- Hitting the same chord, I think they will have some sort of advanced viewport. With modo now having one, games and even plug-ins like Element 3D making some software renderers look like old cheese it’s nearly inevitable.
- All of the aforementioned points might look good with Cineware, too, and mimic the old Raytrace 3D workflow a bit better.
- As usual, there will be all sorts of weird small fixes/ enhancements/ WTF changes, but I don’t expect miracles.
In the never-ending story surrounding the botched CC 2015 release there’s now a little hope – if you want to call it that – by ways of the 2015.1 update for After Effects. That is, if you actually care to use that version, because regardless of fixed bugs other issues still abound and using it may turn out to be a waste of time just as of course a month of development time was “wasted” on fixing something that they should have gotten right in the first place.
Elsewhere people are getting equally nervous about the impending release of this year’s Cinema 4D release with predictions of doom. Those many pages long discussions on CGTalk offer some interesting insights into the hive mind of the user base and saying that many of them are concerned would be an understatement. Of course the new version will be great for some people, but it seems they are getting fewer and farther inbetween since even many people that have been using the program for more than a decade seem pretty fed up. On the bright side, Maxon finally seem to have recognized their failings and are hiring a bunch of developers. Makes me wonder, though, where they expect them to come from. If there were someone out there versed in the Cinema SDK developing a new hair tool we probably would have heard about it by now… Either way, SIGGRAPH is in two weeks and we will know more then, won’t we?
There are actors that you just remember in an odd way, even if they ever only played in one episode of your favorite series, and you never quite know why. So in this case I’m not sure if it was the fake Russian accent or the bearded face that was so memorable about Rabbi Koslov in Babylon 5. The actor, Theodore Bickel, now has passed away at 91. Reading the article, I had no idea that he was such a big shot, but I guess I was too young to notice most of his career (in addition to being shut off from such stuff behind the Iron Curtain back then). The only other appearance I remember is of course playing Worf‘s adoptive parents in Star Trek – The Next Generation…
Following up on the first season, just yesterday I finished the second one of Orange is the new Black and I’m loving it!
Some of my points still stick – that whole Piper and Larry and their family clans thing is just *yuck* and whenever they cut to those going-ons, you feel like you’re wasting another minute of your life. Thankfully with the changed relationship status this kinda resolved itself and we may have less of those awkward moments.
Of course the big things in this season is Vee and her manipulative powers coaxing everyone into doing her bidding without making it ever look like something bad is going on. Those are the best kind of evil guys. This adds a nice touch of overall tension to the proceedings, though at times I found the random outbursts of violence a bit too much. I was really shocked what turn Crazy Eyes and Janae took! In the end she gets her due, though it felt constructed all the same.
The Vee thread/ threat also nicely serves to bring out more details about some other girls’ background and makes them more real. I’m not sure if letting American actors speak German without proper training is a good idea, though. It still sounds funny and those scenes with Poussey were kinda creepy to me, but then again getting the grasp of all those slang terms and (fake) accents used elsewhere is equally hard for me and at times just weird.
The overall tone of this season is pretty mixed and while I have to say that at times I had a few good laughs, I didn’t really dig some of the darker moments. This always feels like “We need to reinforce that they are in prison” after everyone was having too much fun. That excursion to Chicago in the first two episodes was just downright depressing.
Figueroa going down and Caputo taking advantage of her at every turn is just hilarious. Fig‘s husband having an affair with the smart cutie was immediately obvious, BTW. How could she not see that? And then being ultimately humiliated by giving head to her successor… *lol* Red became even more endearing, showing her soft and weak side as the mother-hen and fitting in with the other elderly women. It also was nice to get some insights into Moralez and the other Hispanic girls since beyond Daya‘s pregnancy they seemed like pretty decoration mostly.
Overall it’s a nice series and I already regret that I’ll probably have to wait half a year or even longer before the third season will be released on DVD in Germany after it just finished in the US. The still have to chew it through the German Netflix, you know. Dang “exclusive” productions and everyone trying to lure in subscribers. Makes you miss good old times with normal licensing deals and syndication…
The cuties at The Foundry have come up with a competition to make your summer lull a little less boring. I wouldn’t normally post such stuff, but the prices they give away are reasonably good, so it may be worth a shot. The subject of creating some fake UI porn on the below imagery is not necessarily original, but there are enough technical challenges in there that make for a good exercise. If I get around to it, I may actually try my hand at one of the shots or even the whole sequence. For now the download of the source footage on my slow connection is killing me…
…unfortunately not in a good way. Yepp, my shabby little home town/ village is making the rounds after some shooting at a refugee home. Makes me sad.
I don’t follow Red Giant kingdom that much anymore since aside from the ump-teenth repackaging of their products and a handful of cheesy glows and canned looks with every Universe update they seem to be all about making money these days instead of real innovation, but it of course so happens that they also gobbled up Trapcode a few years ago and at least on some level that’s still relevant. I still don’t really “get” MIR since it seems hugely redundant with other tools, but now there’s a new toy coming to down that at least looks a bit more like I would use it (if ever necessary). The weirdly named Tao (path; must be fashionable to use exotic names since even the plug-in industry has gone brand-awareness crazy) seems like what we would have loved to have at hand when we were mucking around with 3D Stroke a decade ago, namely geometry-based sharp edges. The checkerboarding in the sample images has me worried, though, and anyone who had ever to deal with the Spline Wrap deformer in Cinema 4D (or modo, or any 3D program for that matter) will of course be aware of other painful issues like banking and up-vector alignment. There’s still a ways to go…