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Get Up and Running Fast with New Features for Steroid



Pretend LLC, the original developers of the visual effects software Shake, announced the Stereoid v1.1 Beta scheduled for official release summer 2013. Stereoid v1.1 includes new features that make it easy to get great stereoscopic results. The simple user interface is easy to learn, allowing the user to be up and running within the first hour.

Steroid can be used on set and near set to provide technical and artistic guidance during a stereoscopic shoot, as a key component of the dailies process to automatically produce corrected plates with the option to carry files and metadata for further use in the postproduction process, or integrated with editorial to either fix problematic stereo sequence or enhance stereo effects. It can complement tools in an existing stereoscopic pipeline or act as the main tool of a stereoscopic workflow.

With one click, global analysis performs a selective analysis to match overall color and alignment between left and right views multiple times faster than full analysis. Batch analysis of multiple shots using the command line tool saves time. Then individual shots can be tweaked without waiting.

Since the left and right views rarely match straight out of the camera, the color-match tool automatically corrects color mismatches before color-grading, eliminating time-consuming matching by hand. And because even the best rigs can be mis-aligned, color matching the left and right views often need to be aligned. Steroid automatically fixes the alignment. Manual color and alignment tools add additional control to fine-tune for optimal results.

Depth budget tools are useful in modifying depth of the stereographic effects for different screen sizes and to maintain consistency between shots. Because big jumps in depth can cause audience eye discomfort, Stereoid allows simple depth animation to help smooth those rough cuts where one shot is very deep and the next is shallow. The program analyzes shots to generate disparity maps of the differences between left and right views. Interaxial and Convergence in stereo clips can be adjusted to modify depth long after the shoot is finished by clicking on the image to quickly choose the zero-parallax point (Convergence) of a scene. The overall depth can then be modified using the Interaxial controls.

Floating windows make it easy to crop image sides to compensate for edge violations. Quality controls detect and report problems to assist with the integration with various workflows such as dailies, stereo plates preparation and rendering errors reviews.

Supported professional formats include REDCODE RAW, OpenEXR, OpenSXR, DPX, TIFF, Quicktime ProRes and native support for the Arri format, ARRIAW. Steroid ($995) is available for Mac and Linux.

Pretend also demonstrated Pseudo, the upcoming “big brother” application to Stereoid. The new product offers a EDL/XML import for creative depth grading of 3D stereoscopic productions allowing greater control of storylines. Pseudo is built on the new Pretend engine, which scales linearly on multi-core systems and is optimized for 4K+ resolutions and high frame rates.

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Vicon Introduces Mobile Mocap at SIGGRAPH

Motion capture systems developer Vicon is previewing a futuristic new “Mobile Mocap” technology at SIGGRAPH 2011 in Vancouver. Moving mocap out of the lab and into the field, Vicon's Mobile Mocap system taps several new technologies, many years in the making. At the heart of Mobile Mocap is a very small lipstick-sized camera that enables less obtrusive, more accurate facial animation data. The new cameras capture 720p (1280X720) footage at 60 frames per second. In addition, a powerful processing unit synchronizes, stores, and wirelessly transmits the data, all in a tiny wearable design.

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