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Issue Media Asset Category Title Vendor/Format OS Description
163
Xmas
2012
3D Painting
Mari (version #1.5)
Maya and Photoshop integration, real-time shadows and environment maps make this a useful update.
161
Nov
2012
3D Modeling and Sculpting
Mudbox 2013 (version #2013)
If you're an Autodesk user, Mudbox 2013 provides a total sculpting solution. If not, other apps offer more for(more) less money.

(less)
154
Apr
2012
Plugin
MentalCore (version #1)
MentalCore resolves common render workflow problems and puts mental ray integration on another, better level.
150
Xmas
2011
3D Modeling, Animation and Rendering
Maya Subscription Advantage Pack. (version #2012)
The Maya 2012 SAP is nice to have, but most of the novelties are items everyone could get without a subsciption.
143
Jun
2011
Renderer - External Plugin or Application
Thea Render
Its support for both biased and unbiased rendering is just one of this new system's many delights, says Ed Ricketts.
142
May
2011
Plugin
Ikinema for Maya
Ikinema is a quality release that will benefit animators at any level, whether utilizing the straight-up full-body(more) tools or streamlining existing pipelines.

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140
Mar
2011
Compositing and/or Rotoscoping Application
Mocha Pro (version #2.5)
Mocha Pro offers rotoscoping and compositing as well as tracking. Marc Rice finds out if it's the complete package.
138
Jan
2011
3D Modeling and Sculpting
3D-Coat (version #3.5)
With multi-res workflow and Auto-retopology, this sculpting package has taken a huge leap forward,says Scott Spencer.
137
Xmas
2010
3D Painting
Mari (version #1)
This production-tested texture-painting application is both powerful and elegant, says Weta Workshop's Scott Spencer.
137
Xmas
2010
3D Motion Tracking
PFMatchit (version #1)
Can The Pixel Farm's latest entry-level matchmoving software hold its own against the already established elite(more) of trackiing solutions, asks Mike Thompson.

(less)
133
Sept
2010
3D Modeling, Animation and Rendering
Softimage (version #2011)
Support for ICE kinematics has finally been addressed in this latest update and is bound to make huge difference(more) to how you go about rigging in the future, says Ola Madsen

(less)
133
Sept
2010
Fluid simulation
Realflow (version #5)
With the introduction of a host of new features, is Realflow 5 evolving into the tool that answers the hopes of(more) users and the aspirations of creatives? Wayne England takes a closer look.

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126
February
2010
3D Modeling, Animation and Rendering
Maya (version #2010)
With few new features, is Maya 2010 basically Maya 2009 with bundled applications? Fred Galpern investigates&(more) .

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126
February
2010
Hardware - Input
SpacePilot Pro
With a color LCD, loads of keys and slinky curves, can this 3D mouse really improve your 3D workflow? Ed Rickett's(more) finds out.

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125
Jan
2010
Renderer - Rendering and/or visualization application
Maxwell Renderer (version #2)
Next Limit's latest release introduces many new features, says Brian Looney, as well as welcome render speed improvements.
124
Xmas
2009
3D Modeling, Animation and Rendering
Softimage (version #2010)
If this sets the bar for Autodesk's future releases, Softimage users have a productive time ahead of them, says(more) Ola Madsen.

(less)
121
Oct
2009
2D Image Joining
AutoPano Giga (version #2)
Kolor's budget image-stitching program has a few new features, but Mat Broomfield discovers that it offers quality(more) over quantity.

Verdict (new purchase): 7/10
Verdict (upgrade): 7/10

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119
Aug
2009
Renderer - Rendering and/or visualization application
Turtle (version #5)
A unified user interface and baking workflow boosts the power of the Maya compatible games renderer, says Kenny(more) Lammers

Verdict (new purchase): 9/10
Verdict (upgrade): 8/10

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118
Jul
2009
3D Modeling, Animation and Rendering
Houdini 10 Master (version #10)
Guided by user feedback, Side Effects has expanded Houdini's feature list. Jacob Clark picks his way through(more) its latest tricks.

Verdict (new purchase): 9/10
Verdict (upgrade): 8/10

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112
Jan
2009
3D Modeling, Animation and Rendering
Maya 2009 (version #2009)
As Maya reaches its tenth anniversary, Autodesk delivers a well-balanced update, ranging from workflow enhancements(more) to the new nParticles system

Verdict (new purchase): 8/10
Value for money: 8/10
Range of features: 9/10

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111
Xmas
2008
3D Modeling, Animation and Rendering
Lightwave 3D (version #9.5)
The third free update to version 9 revamps Lightwave's renderer and adds character animation tools. Is this the(more) one that users have been waiting for?

Verdict (new purchase): 7/10
Value for money: 8/10
Range of features: 8/10

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109
Nov
2008
2D Image Creation, Management and/or Editing
RV (version #3.4)
Tweak Film's in-house image-viewer gets its commercial release, boasting a slick interface, basic compositing(more) tools and support for stereo playback.

Verdict (new purchase): 8/10
Value for money: 7/10
Range of features: 9/10

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109
Nov
2008
3D Modeling, Animation and Rendering
Softimage: XSI (version #7)
Its ICE Visual porgramming platform is currently the talk of the 3D community, but can the latest version of XSI(more) possibly be as cool as Softimage claims?

Verdict (new purchase): 9/10
Value for money: 10/10
Range of features: 10/10

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104
Jun
2008
Animation - Motion Capture Data
Audiomotion mocap files

(20 files)
The files emulate various human movement sequences, including walking, running, jumping, pushing, chin-ups, body-checking,(more) and aiming a gun. All mocap files are for use in personal or commercial projects

(less)
104
Jun
2008
3D Modeling, Animation and Rendering
Maya 2008 Extensions
Autodesk's latest technology updates give Maya a powerful new muscle system and new soft selection tool - provided(more) you've signed up for a subscription.

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104
Jun
2008
Video Editor and/or Compositor
Nuke (version #5)
With its revamped interface, new tools and peerless EXR workflow, the Foundry's first major release of Nuke is(more) the complete pipeline compositing tool.

Verdict (new purchase): 9/10
Value for money: 9/10
Range of features: 8/10

(less)
98
Xmas
2007
Plugin
Turtle (version #4.1)
The latest upgrade to Illuminate Labs high-end renderer adds additional functionality for next-gen games artists(more) - including powerful renderview baking.

Verdict (new purchase): 9/10
Value for money: 8/10
Range of features: 9/10

(less)
98
Xmas
2007
3D Modeling, Animation and Rendering
Maya 2008 (version #2008)
Workflow wins out over headline-grabbing new features in what is nevertheless a worthwhile upgrade to Maya, especially(more) for game artists.

Verdict (new purchase): 8/10
Value for money: 8/10
Range of features: 8/10

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97
Dec
2007
Plugin
drUtilSuite (Full version)
drUtilSuite for Fusion offers 25 plug-ins including clamp, Compress, Panoramic Warp, Set Alpha and Switch Matte.
97
Dec
2007
Plugin
drUtilSuite (Full version)
drUtilSuite for mental ray provides dozens of shaders. Each comes with PDF instructions.
97
Dec
2007
Plugin
Ozone (version #3)
Add attractive photo-realistic skies directly inside any of 5 key 3D applications.(more)

Verdict (new purchase): 7/10
Value for money: 8/10
Range of features: 8/10

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97
Dec
2007
3D Modeling, Animation and Rendering
Softimage XSI Essentials (version #6.5)
The features list is hardly worth a 0.5 upgrade but Softimage has realigned its product line so that XSI Hair(more) and Fur and Syflex Cloth have been moved from XSI Advanced to Essentials with this release.

Verdict (new purchase): 9/10
Value for money: 10/10
Range of features: 9/10

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95
Oct
2007
3D Modeling, Animation and Rendering
Blender (version #2.44) (Full version)
The latest version of your favorite open source application.
94
Sept
2007
3D Modeling and Animation
AC3D (version #6.2) (Demo version)
14 day trial plus 33% off full version.
92
Jul
2007
3D Motion Tracking
PFTrack (version #4)
The Pixel Farm's match-moving solution achieves even greater VFX pipeline usefulness, with new tools to solve(more) every day problems.

Verdict (new purchase): 9/10
Value for money: 8/10
Range of features: 9/10

(less)
90
May
2007
3D Motion Tracking
PFHoe Pro
The Pixel Farm has cultivated a professional edition of its popular entry-level match mover with some distinctive(more) new features.

Verdict (new purchase): 9/10
Value for money: 9/10
Range of features: 8/10

(less)
90
May
2007
3D Modeling, Animation and Rendering
Maya (version #8.5)
A superb and worthwhile release that should make up for what many considered to be a clean-up operation with release(more) 8.

Verdict (new purchase): 9/10
Value for money: 8/10
Range of features: 9/10

(less)
89
Apr
2007
3D Modeling, Animation and Rendering
Softimage: XSI (version #6)
Overall, a good and justified release, though several of the old "still missing features" have yet to(more) be addressed.

Verdict (new purchase): 8/10
Value for money: 8/10
Range of features: 7/10

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85
Xmas
2006
3D Motion Tracking
Boujou (version #4)
2d3
Adds geometry-based tracking to 2d3's flagship product.(more)

Verdict (new purchase): 8/10
Value for money: 7/10
Range of features: 8/10

(less)
83
Nov
2006
3D Motion Tracking
3D-Equalizer PLE (Learning E version)
Contains all the main features of the commercial version, but 2D/3D curve export, the export filters, and TCL(more) interface are disabled.

(less)
83
Nov
2006
3D Modeling
AC3D (version #6)
Though its been around for 10 years, the latest version brings it into line with current standards, featuring(more) N-gon based subdivision surfaces, speedier OpenGL performance plus workflow enhancements.

Verdict (new purchase): 6/10
Value for money: 7/10
Range of features: 6/10

(less)
83
Nov
2006
Fluid simulation
RealFlow (version #4)
Takes fluid dynamics simulation to a new level though only slight speed increase with mesh calculation (no speed(more) increase on particle calculation).

Verdict (new purchase): 9/10
Value for money: 8/10
Range of features: 9/10

(less)
83
Nov
2006
3D Modeling, Animation and Rendering
Maya (version #8)
While version 8 is a solid update, it doesn't feel like a big one (more like a half-point release) with many enhancements(more) of limited benefit to non-game artists.

Verdict (new purchase): 7/10
Value for money: 7/10
Range of features: 7/10

(less)
82
Oct
2006
3D Modeling and Animation
Blender (version #2.42) (Full version)
Full featured open-source animation and modelling package.
81
Sept
2006
3D Modeling, Animation and Rendering
Houdini (version #8.1) (Learning E version)
The Apprentice Edition contains all of Houdini Master's features, but watermarks renders and saves in its own(more) file format.

(less)
81
Sept
2006
Renderer - External Plugin or Application
Turtle (version #3)
High speed rendering engine for Maya.(more)

Verdict (new purchase): 9/10
Value for money: 8/10
Range of features: 9/10

(less)
80
Aug
2006
3D Modeling and Animation
Blender (version #2.41) (Full version)
Full featured open-source animation and modelling package.
80
Aug
2006
Renderer - Rendering and/or visualization application
Maxwell Renderer
An unbiased renderer (given enough time the render will always converge to the correct result without the introduction(more) of artifacts) whose beta took the architectural visualization community by storm.

Verdict (new purchase): 9/10
Value for money: 8/10
Range of features: 8/10

(less)
79
Jul
2006
Plugin
Shave and a Haircut (version #4)
Joe Alter's versatile hair rendering, dynamics and grooming plugin for Maya 6 or above.(more)

Verdict (new purchase): 9/10
Value for money: 9/10
Range of features: 9/10

(less)
79
Jul
2006
3D Motion Tracking
PFTrack (version #3.5)
An advanced motion tracking package.(more)

Verdict (new purchase): 9/10
Value for money: 9/10
Range of features: 9/10

(less)
79
Jul
2006
Video Editor and/or Compositor
Nuke (version #4.5)
A powerful 3D tool aimed squarely at the studio compositor.(more)

Verdict (new purchase): 8/10
Value for money: 8/10
Range of features: 8/10

(less)
77
May
2006
Plugin
Twixtor (version #4.5)
Allows you to speed up, slow down, do time warps or just change the frame rate of your image sequence.(more)

Verdict (new purchase): 8/10
Value for money: 8/10
Range of features: 9/10

(less)
77
May
2006
3D Motion Tracking
Boujou Bullet (version #2)
Quicker, slicker and more capable than its predecessor, the second edition of this mid-price tracking solution(more) may be a magic bullet for many.

Verdict (new purchase): 8/10
Value for money: 7/10
Range of features: 7/10

(less)
76
Apr
2006
3D Modeling, Animation and Rendering
Houdini (version #8)
Dynamics and an update to the Mantra renderer are added to this visual effects powerhouse.(more)

Verdict (new purchase): 9/10
Value for money: 9/10
Range of features: 9/10

(less)
74
February
2006
3D Motion Tracking
MatchMover Pro (version #4)
Verdict (new purchase): 8/10
Value for money: 7/10
Range of features: 7/10
73
Jan
2006
Plugin
SyFlex (version #3.5)
A cloth simulation plugin for Maya 6 (all platforms), Softimage XSI Essentials 4.2 (Window, Linux only) and Houdini(more) (Windows only)

Verdict (new purchase): 8/10
Value for money: 7/10
Range of features: 9/10

(less)
71
Dec
2005
Animation - Character
Massive (version #2)
Verdict (new purchase): 9/10
Value for money: 10/10
Range of features: 9/10
70
Nov
2005
Plugin
T-Splines (version #1) (Demo version)
A new modeling paradigm using a super-set of NURBS and sub-D's.
70
Nov
2005
3D Modeling, Animation and Rendering
Maya (version #7)
Verdict (new purchase): 9/10
Value for money: 9/10
Range of features: 9/10
70
Nov
2005
3D Modeling, Animation and Rendering
Softimage: XSI (version #5)
Verdict (new purchase): 9/10
Value for money: 9/10
Range of features: 8/10
45
Dec
2003
3D Modeling, Animation and Rendering
Realsoft 3D (version #4.5) (Demo version)
RealSoft 3D
17
Oct
2001
3D Modeling, Animation and Rendering
Maya for Linux (version #3)
Verdict (new purchase): 7/10