This is the second in our three part Detail series on Autodesk’s Macworld Expo announcements. Earlier we took a more detailed look at Autodesk Mudbox 2009 for the Mac and included several screen shots.
Rob Hoffmann, Senior Product Marketing Manager for 3D in Autodesk’s Media & Entertainment division was visually excited to show us Toxik 2009 on the Mac. Toxik 2009 is designed to work in tandem with Autodesk Maya. It shares the same hot-keys as Maya so artists familiar with Maya can easily learn and run with Toxik.
Rob Hoffmann said Autodesk Toxik 2009 can import and work with Autodesk Maya 2009 layers. Toxik 2009 can generate compositions based on Render Pass and Render Layer setups imported from Maya. Artists are able to pre-visualize their scene as it will appear when composited, allowing them to only iterate and refine required elements.
Autodesk Toxik 2009 for Mac works seamlessly with many of the tools that 3D artists and film production studios already incorporate. The user interface is more related to film-editing and special effects tools than general 3D suites. The dark grey interface allows artists to work accurately with color.
In our view above and below you can see Autodesk Toxik 2009 on running on an eight-core Mac Pro. The application runs quickly and efficiently on Apple’s powerful Mac Pro workstations, and compliments the creative studio pipelines that in the film and special effects industry are seeing more and more Macs.
If you asked me four years ago about the Mac I would have said they were a rare sight within the production studios, but now they are a common sight,” says Rob Hoffmann, Senior Product Marketing Manager for 3D at Autodesk. “The Mac is just like any other platform within entertainment sharing the same roles as Windows and Linux.”
And when it comes to knowing what visual effects and film production studios are like and what they are asking for Rob Hoffmann would know. Hoffmann has spent over 14 years in the digital media software market industry and very few individuals have developed such a strong understanding of the digital content creation space.
Prior to Autodesk he worked at NewTek and Intergraph Corporation in senior business development or product management roles. In 2002 he joined Alias as a Product Marketing Manager. When Alias was acquired by Autodesk in 2006 Rob Hoffmann came with the company. He now oversees nearly all product marketing activities for Autodesk’s Media & Entertainment division, including Maya, Toxik, MotionBuilder, mental ray, FBX and more.
Autodesk Toxik 2009 features new FBX file format import. You can import FBX geometry directly from Maya or other 3D applications. You can also project a matte painting or rendered image onto it through the camera.
The illusion of depth and perspective can be further enhanced through a new mesh displacement feature. Stereo output can be viewed while playing back and interacting with a scene. New visual effects tools include a new Warp 2D tool, a non-linear, spline-based image warping tool. There is also a new Lens Blur tool to help simulate real-world camera effects such as rack de-focus.
Toxik 2009 also features a new file-based data model, facilitating collaborative workflows without adding complexity for those who prefer to work standalone.
Fernando Zorilla, visual effects executive producer at Bling Imaging, said, “We’re already working with Autodesk Maya and Autodesk Flame, so Toxik was a natural choice for our pipeline. It gives us the power of a node-based compositor — necessary for professional, high-end post production work, along with the look and feel that’s completely comfortable.”