Different companies propriety software.

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  01 January 2013
Different companies propriety software.

I was watching the ILM Reel on their amazing work on The Avengers, and in the comments one of the replies mentioned that their modeling tool is called ZENO.

I know that Pixar uses (used to use?) Marionette for their animation, and Rhythm and Hues use something called Voodoo, and Icy (for animation, and composting respectively).

Are there any other propriety pieces of software out there that you guys have used?
What are the differences between these, and the commercial software out there?

Just more of a 'for interests sake' question more than anything else.

-c
 
  01 January 2013
i do think this question might fall into "company secret" line and might get little answer, except what shown in "the making of", usually, only their name in the title bar. and the basic use.

i don't think people can say much without breaking NDA's. IMHO.
 
  01 January 2013
It's so close to the heart of companies that if it wasn't an outright breakage of NDA, it would at least be broaching subjects they normally want handled by their media departments.
Anybody who's been around the block enough has, at some point, bumped into some of these, or other companies, and/or has heard first hand by drunken good friends plenty about them, but you don't betray drunken trust by then going to CGTalk and sharing. What goes on in the pub/Siggraph bar stays there I'm afraid.

Many softwares out there today though come from those origins.
Nuke, Katana, MudBox, 3Delight, Arnold etc. are all ex propietary softwares, or have been through a closed loop, company sponsored phase in their dev life. Some though you are unlikely to ever see.

Some, in fact, you will hear talked about but will never see, because a fair few of these fabled propietary pieces of tech are such horrible, jambled, undocumented and unrefined messes developed by a couple code warriors in a basement that the reality of seeing them work would never stand up to the hype that the person uninitiated to large shop work has heard about some such things
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  01 January 2013
I assumed there would be some fairly strong NDA's in place. ;D

Without being specific, perhaps the people that have worked with this software could say if they are easier than the more commercially available stuff? Or has the 'this is made for THIS company, so this is the way we do things' created bloat?

Obviously, having a program that's a jack of all trades must be quite different to using a program specifically tailored to a specific modeling pipeline.

I know what you mean about the "horrible, jambled, undocumented and unrefined messes developed by a couple code warriors in a basement". We have a custom written office and job management program, that I shudder to think what would happen if we ever had to re-install it, or update our main server.
 
  01 January 2013
Every hear of Xdugef.. it's awesome!
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  01 January 2013
As Raffaele said, you won't hear to much because the NDA's hold them to it. Every week when I train newhires on our software, our explanation on what the softwares are and do is that we aren't secretive of their names and what applications they are like but that is about it. Voodoo as you mentioned in our animation software much like animating in maya, Icy is a nodal compositor like nuke, we render with our own renderer called Wren. There's dozen's more but they get hard to refer to when they don't have a direct counterpart.

They are a dream to work with for some functions and horrible in other ways. Most questions from compositors I get is how can I do X like nuke? Sometimes the answer is check out this node that is far superior, sometimes its a no sorry we have nothing like that. You'll find anyone whose worked at a studio with proprietary software will have a few things that they miss because they were so simple or just worked at another studio, but while working at that studio they are typically more focused on what the software doesn't do well.

Can't speak for other studios but Rhythm has a pretty solid pipeline, and their software being proprietary is what has helped them achieve that pipeline as they aren't having to work around how app X and app Y like to store data. The few commercial softwares we use are typically the poorest integrated softwares as well. Getting a fixed build for an issue the same day or next day is a nice luxury, but also knowing that the needs of a production on crunch can stop any development for a new feature can be frustrating too.

Its not a matter of which is better or worse, its about learning to be flexible and adaptable. The new hires that struggle the most in my training are the ones that can't get past the fact that it isn't nuke they are using.
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  01 January 2013
Originally Posted by LucentDreams: They are a dream to work with for some functions and horrible in other ways.


Heh, so in at least one way, they are just like the commercial 3D apps.

Cheers,
Brian
 
  01 January 2013
According to a comment by ILM at their Youtube account, they have proprietary software for lens flares...called "Mr. Flare". I bet the logo of the program is a caricature of J.J. Abrams
 
  01 January 2013
Originally Posted by Pyke: I was watching the ILM Reel on their amazing work on The Avengers, and in the comments one of the replies mentioned that their modeling tool is called ZENO.

ZENO? I see that they moved on from using Cari which started out as a CG sculpture tool. Then they added morphing features that allowed them to use it for character animation. That's all I remember about Cari from a SIGGRAPH presentation (on SW I: The Phantom Menace). Now that makes me curious about how Cari stacks up against ZBrush 4r5...

Originally Posted by Pyke: I know that Pixar uses (used to use?) Marionette for their animation, and Rhythm and Hues use something called Voodoo, and Icy (for animation, and composting respectively).

All the behind the scenes articles on Brave mention that Pixar is currently using Presto because Marionette is 25 years old and showing signs of its age.
 
  01 January 2013
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