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August 2014
Issue: March 1, 2011

Editor's Letter: Sharing NAB product details

By: Randi Altman

NAB isn’t until next month, but I am already tired. It seems as though companies are trying to get the word out on their new offerings even earlier than usual. 

While some product makers want their info out there immediately, others like Harmonic Omneon’s Geoff Steadman feel that it’s hard to be heard over the clutter of news being introduced at the show. 

Steadman and Harmonic will be releasing details of their new product, which will be geared directly at the post world, shortly after we go to press on this issue. We’ll get that up on www.postmagazine.com as soon as we hear!

The official pre-NAB press event season kicked off with Grass Valley in January, even though they are one of the few who are holding their news close to the vest until the start of NAB. Panasonic hosted an event in New York City in February, and you can see their news on page 9 of this issue.

Autodesk hosted their Backstage Pass event at company headquarters in Montreal in mid February, giving the press a sneak peek at the new 2012 digital entertainment creation tools, including Flame and Smoke, Maya, 3DS Max and Softimage. They also updated middleware software such as Kynapse, Beast and HumanIK. And speaking of middleware, just before the event kicked off, Autodesk announced its intention to buy Scaleform, a provider of UI tools and middleware for the games industry.

There are too many details for this space, but I’ll give you some highlights. The Autodesk Entertainment Creation Suites, Premium, now includes Softimage, whose ICE (Interactive Creative Environment) platform is growing in popularity. Maya, has some cool updates for version 2012, including Viewport 2.0 enhancements such as full-screen effects, motion blur, depth of field and ambient occlusion. There is also now node-based render passes that allow the ability to create and edit node-based representations of render passes and render the composited output directly using Mental Ray.

During the event, Marc Petit, Autodesk’s senior VP, media & entertainment, emphasized that “solutions out of the box are important” and pointed to the Flame Premium package.

This is just the tip of the iceberg.