2017: A Year in Review | VFX, Video, 3D, and VR Software
2017 was not all that much of an eventful year for software, unless you’re talking about 360° VR software. Here’s a look back at some major releases and trends in our microcosm.
All of the well known hosts had major updates this year and 2017 seemed to be the year that many hosts have reached maturity. Major releases of established softwares didn't wow us with new features but instead seemed to target speed and reliablility, which is always welcome to users. The one feature that seemed to be added to almost everything is VR. VR Tools popped up everywhere in 2017.
Autodesk Maya and 3ds Max 2018
Autodesk Maya 2018
In July 2017 Autodesk Maya 2018, and it's faster and more efficient. There's a new UV editor, new MASH Dynamics a new clumping modifer, and a new Shaderfx Game hair shader. There were major updates to the Viewport and improvements to Bifrost and Animation.Autodesk also includes Arnold Render in both 3ds Max and Maya.
3ds Max 2018
There have been 4 updates since the release of Max 2018, which came out in April, and new features are being added all of the time. The 3ds Max 2018 offers smart asset packaging, data channel modifier, an improved UI with customizable workspaces, and of course, Arnold 5 for 3ds Max, replacing Mental Ray. 3ds Max also allows users to create virtual reality (VR).
Arnold Render 5.0
This major update came out in May 2017 and included improved performance and new shaders, bundled with 3ds Max 2018. Arnold is now a standalone renderer as well as a plug-in for Maya, 3ds Max, Cinema4D, and Katana.
Maxon Cinema 4D R19
At the end July 2017, Maxon Cinema 4D R19 was released with MoGraph enhancements, a new Spherical Camera, new Polygon Reduction and more.
Blackmagic Design DaVinci Resolve Studio 14
This release came out at NAB in April 2017, superstitiously skipping v13, brings the integration of Fairlight audio technology to give Resolve full, post-production audio mixing capabilities. The price also drastically dropped for this release.
Blackmagic Design Fusion Studio 9
Fusion 9 was announced at Siggraph in Autust this year. “Fusion 9 has been designed to support the latest workflows and features new VR tools, entirely new keyer technology, planar tracking, camera tracking, multi user collaboration tools and more.” They really focused on VR in this release with a full 360º true 3D workspace, along with a new panoramic viewer and support for Oculus Rift, HTC Vive and other VR headsets.
Adobe Creative Cloud 2018
The new Adobe Creative Cloud 2018 was released in October 2017.
- New: Adobe Creative Cloud 2018 (Fall 2017 Release) Now Available
- News: Adobe Acquires Mettle Skybox VR Tools
- Speedgrade – News: Adobe SpeedGrade EOL, Replaced by Lumetri Panel
Adobe Effects CC 2018
Adobe Effects CC 2018 brought data driven tools to animate graphics, immersive 360 VR tools, Expression access to mask and shape points, and GPU accelleration for layer transforms and motion blur. They added some UI enhancements for workflow as well, including keyboard shortcut mapping.
Adobe Premiere Pro CC 2018
Adobe Premiere Pro CC 2018 is about collaboration allowing editors in the same facility to work on the shared projects at the same time. Edit between multiple projects at the same time. Premiere Pro CC 2018 also includes the new VR tools and support of new formats.
FXHome HitFilm Pro 6 and Ignite 2
FXHome has released major upgrades to both HitFilm Pro and Ignite in November 2017. The latest release of HitFilm Pro comes with with a professional editor, compositor, 800+ VFX and presets, and new built-in animation tools. Ignite Pro 2.0 gives you over 180 plugins for your NLE of choice, including 360° filters. You didn't think there wouldn't be 360° video tools here, did you?
Final Cut Pro X 10.4
Final Cut Pro X 10.4 came out just a few days ago. New features include 360°VR editing, redesigned color grading tools, tools for HDR media, and support of 8K media. Of course, there are major VR workflow tools included in this release, which likely has a lot to do with Tim Dashwood joining Apple earlier this year.
- Review: Final Cut Pro X 10.4 First Look – Larry Jordan
- Apple hires 3D, 360VR Toolbox developer Tim Dashwood to Final Cut Pro X team
Magix Vegas Pro 15
Vegas Pro 15 came out in the Siggraph rush and includes workflow and UI enhancements, hardware accelleration, new color workflows, and tools to speed up productivity.
Next Limit RealFlow | Cinema 4D 2.0
RealFlow | Cinema 4D gives you amazing fluid simulation directly in Cinema 4D and this release includes a new Multiphysics solver and faster and easier workflow.
Pixologic ZBrush 4R8
Pixologic™ ZBrush® 4R8 came out in August and includes LiveBooleans, brush enhjancements, and a 3D Print Hub.
Plug-ins for VR and more!
VR Tools popped up everywhere in 2018 and not just in the hosts mentioned above (Adobe, Fusion, Final Cut Pro X, etc.). Mocha VR came out in February 2017 and is based on Imagineer’s Academy Award-winning planar tracking algorithm. It includes a native 360 optimized workflow for familiar 360° video post-production workflows.
- New: Mocha VR Brings High-End Visual Effects and Post-Production Workflows to 360°/VR Filmmaking
- News: Mocha VR Wins Post Pick Award
The new release of Continuum came out in October 2017 and dropped the word “Complete” from the name. The latest update features Primatte Studio, a VR Unit, Title Studio Templates, new filters, and more! Boris Continuum really is the Swiss Army Knife of plug-ins!
- New: Boris Continuum 11 for Avid AVX and Adobe Released
- News/Inspiration: What’s New Continuum 11? LOTS!
The biggest advancement is the integration of Mocha for tracking and masking into this already stellar package.
- New: Sapphire 11 is Now Available – With Integrated Mocha Tracking and Masking
- News/Inspiration: Look at what Sapphire 11 Can Do!
Other Updates for plug-in packages
- New: Red Giant Trapcode Suite 14 is Now Available – Trapcode Suite 14 came out August 1, 2017 with updates to Form and Particular.
- New: FxFactory Pro 7, Includes Premiere Pro Improvements and More – This came out earlier this month!
Posted by Michele Yamazaki