Autodesk (www.autodesk.com) announced Flame 2020, the latest release of the Flame family of integrated visual effects (VFX), color grading, look development and finishing system for artists, during the 2019 NAB Show in a demo suite at the Renaissance Hotel. A new machine learning-powered feature set along with a host of new capabilities bring Flame artists significant creative flexibility and performance boosts.
Advancements in computer vision, photogrammetry and machine learning have made it possible to extract motion vectors, Z depth and 3D normals based on software analysis of digital stills or image sequences. The Flame 2020 release adds built-in machine learning analysis algorithms to isolate and modify common objects in moving footage, dramatically accelerating VFX and compositing workflows.
“Machine learning has enormous potential for content creators, particularly in the areas of compositing and image manipulation where AI can be used to track and isolate objects in a scene to pull rough mattes quickly,” says Steve McNeill, director Flame family products, Autodesk, media and entertainment. “Flame has a reputation as the de facto finishing system of choice in the deadline driven world of professional production, and this latest 2020 release significantly extends creative flexibility and performance for our artists.”
Flame 2020 features include a host of creative tools, such as the Z Depth Map Generator, which enables Z depth map extraction analysis using machine learning for live action scene depth reclamation. This allows artists doing color grading or look development to quickly analyze a shot and apply effects accurately based on distance from camera.
There’s a Human Face Normal Map Generator, which recognizes that all human faces have common recognizable features (relative distance between eyes, nose, location of mouth). Machine learning algorithms can be trained to find these patterns. This tool can be used to simplify accurate color adjustment, relighting and digital cosmetic/beauty retouching.
With the Refraction feature, a 3D object can now refract, distorting background objects based on its surface material characteristics. To achieve convincing transparency through glass, ice, windshields and more, the index of refraction can be set to an accurate approximation of real-world material light refraction.
Flame 2020 also focuses on productivty. For instance, with the Automatic Background Reactor mode, triggered immediately after modifying a shot, sends jobs to process. Accelerated, automated background rendering allows Flame artists to keep projects moving using GPU and system capacity to its fullest. This feature is available on Linux only, and can function on a single GPU.
There’s also licensing support with Flame 2020. With Single User License Ofering, Linux customers can now opt for monthly, yearly and three-year single user licensing options. Customers with an existing Mac-only single user license can transfer their license to run Flame on Linux.
Flame, Flare, Flame Assist and Lustre 2020 were available on April 16, at no additional cost to customers with a current Flame Family 2019 subscription. For details and pricing, visit the Autodesk Website.