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An interview from the 2017 National Association of Broadcasters Convention in Las Vegas with Kirsten Cameron of Autodesk. Autodesk helps people imagine, design and create a better world. Everyone—from design professionals, engineers and architects to digital artists, students and hobbyists—uses Autodesk software to unlock their creativity and solve important challenges. In this interview Kirsten talks with us about the latest update to the Autodesk Flame Family 2018 update 1 for VFX; the Arnold 5.0 renderer; Maya 2017 update 3 for 3D animation; performance updates for Shotgun production tracking and review software; and 3ds Max 2018 software for 3D modeling.

Autodesk’s Flame 2018 Update 1 includes a new scene detection algorithm, 16-bit floating point depth support, Batch Paint improvements to edits and a conform workflow connecting artists to editorial.

New conform tools include the advanced criteria option giving more control over working from timelines provided by editorial. Users can now specify a character length that Flame will use when matching to the search criteria. Even very difficult timelines can be conformed quickly.

The new scene detect algorithm was developed as a fast way to divide up a sequence into individual shots. The threshold for the scene detection is keyframeable at any point, which makes a neat, controllable way to clean up the false positives – that is, false motion detection events - that sometimes occur with extreme lighting changes.

Batch Paint can use tokens to name segments and versions of shots to save time and create groups, and now comes with a custom index token for more flexibility when naming a series of shots or clips. Artists can offset not only the start number but also specify a custom interval number. Users can adjust strokes in the Paint node via a multiple function edit box, animate them, or limit them with user-definable frame ranges. The ability to edit paint strokes in Batch Paint also gains precision from the new 16-bit floating-point depth support.

Autodesk Maya 2017 update 3 includes enhancements to character creation tools such as interactive grooming with XGen, an all-new UV workflow, and updates to the motion graphics toolset that includes a live link with Adobe After Effects and more.

Arnold 5.0 delivers several significant updates, including better sampling, new standard surface, standard hair and standard volume shaders, Open Shading Language (OSL) support, light path expressions, refactored shading API and a VR camera.

Autodesk 3ds Max 2018 offers Arnold 5.0 rendering via a new MAXtoA 1.0 plug-in, customizable workspaces, smart asset creation tools, Bézier motion path animation, and a cloud-based large model viewer (LMV) that integrates with Autodesk Forge.

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