Toolkit: January 2024
Posted on Feb 12, 2024 by Samara Husbands
The latest in tools, apps and studios for production
A universal animation studio, lens flare testing tool and rolling light kit are just a taste of the best new gear launched lately
Procreate Dreams – an animation studio available on the iPad – is now globally accessible via the App Store. The software costs a one-time fee of $19.99.
From the developers of Procreate, a digital illustration application, Procreate Dreams brings 2D animation to the masses, allowing users to hand-draw graphics and add effects such as audio and motion. The app includes a range of textured paint brushes, pencils and other artistic tools.
Aaron Blaise, animator on Disney’s Beauty and the Beast and The Lion King, argues that Procreate Dreams has ‘changed the game for 2D animation’ and may inspire a ‘renaissance’ and ‘resurgence’ of 2D films. The app is supported on iPadOS 16.3 and later.
FilmLight Baselight 6.0
FilmLight recently launched Baselight 6.0, the latest version of its flagship software. After years in R&D, and for the first time ever, Baselight has incorporated machine-learning (ML) technology into its upgrade.
Baselight 6.0 includes several features, such as Face Track: an ML-based tool which can identify faces and apply enhancements across multiple scenes. The mechanism, which was developed in-house, will improve the’ efficiency of colourists by reducing the time spent on actors’ appearances – so a single correction can be applied to every character look. Other features include FilmLight’s Chromogen look development tool, a reworked Curve Grade and a new look for the Timeline.
Though Face Track is the highlight of version 6.0, Baselight is now configured to support future ML-based functionality.
Roe Visual calculator app
ROE Visual has announced the release of its Calculator App, an upgrade of its previous ballast calculator, for use in LED engineering and installation. The app features additional options for technical calculations, such as pixel and resolution, as well as a power requirement analysis.
The ROE Calculator App offers a comprehensive solution to LED professionals, assisting with both the preparation and on-site aspects of production. The app promises to streamline workflows and save technicians valuable time on projects. It’s available now via the App Store and Google Play – as well as for the web on calculator.roevisual.com.
Chaos V-Ray 6 for 3ds Max, update 2
Chaos has launched its V-Ray 6 for 3ds Max, update 2. The new version of this VFX solution adds support for file standards, including MaterialX, allowing users to complete their universal screen description (USD) pipeline.
V-Ray 6 enables more efficient workflows with one-click submit via Chaos Cloud and 20x faster exports. It also improves rendering, scattering and buffering, with additional settings for chromatic aberration, background colour and more.
V-Ray 6 for 3ds Max, update 2 is now available for 3ds Max versions 2019-2024, though V-Ray subscriptions work for all supported host applications, such as Houdini, Maya and Unreal.
Still in its beta version, Cineflares is an online, interactive lens flare testing tool. Visitors can compare hundreds of cine lenses – from vintage to modern, wide open to stopped down – via high-resolution shots from award-winning German cinematographer Markus Förderer ASC, BVK.
The website is meant as a resource for all types of visual creatives – and Cineflares can help artists discover how different lenses respond to light. Each lens in Cineflares’ vast library has been combined with a large format camera under controlled conditions to capture the distinctive look of a given model.
Cineflares are able to “serve as a collaborative companion all the way from pre-production through to post-production,” according to Förderer. Cinematographers like Erik Messerschmidt ASC and Seamus McGarvey ASC, BSC are among those already touting the service for its simplicity and value.
Cineflares’ complete library will be available in 2024.
Matthews Mini Boom Rolling Kit
Matthews Studio Equipment has released the Mini Boom Rolling Kit, a lighting package which combines Matthews’ Runway Base, 40in C+ Riser, Mini Matthboom and 4.5kg/10lb Boa Bag. The impressive system promises to make for quicker, easier repositioning of the key light during a shoot.
The Matthews kit includes pins, brakes and locks to ensure a steady mount and strong three-point contact, as well as threaded collars, shot bag wraps and a rear-mounted hook on the boom. It also supports straight tracking, multi-direction locking and non-marking Tente casters.
Components are all interchangeable and removable, usable individually or as a complete set.
First published in the January 2023 issue of Definition.