Storm FX Blog

News, Tools & Downloads

Stay on top of what happening in your field. We’ve created a single point for regularly updated articles, resources, industry news and other stuff we find interesting. If there is a topic you would like to see an article on or a general question you would like answered, please let us know and we’ll see what we can do. Otherwise, enjoy!

Southpaw and DataFrameworks Partnership

Southpaw Technology and DataFrameworks Partner to Increase Digital Workflow Efficiencies

New TACTIC-ClarityNow! integration minimizes wasted storage and speeds access to digital files

Southpaw Technology, a leading developer of production asset management (PAM) technology for digital entertainment and enterprise companies, and DataFrameworks, the developers of the file-based workflow solution ClarityNow!, announced that they have integrated their technologies – TACTIC and ClarityNow! respectively – to help companies that produce massive amounts of digital content solve one of their most challenging and costly problems: the inefficient management and storage of digital data.

With today's file-based workflows, digital assets and file system storage are an integral part of the production line. As productions grow in size, so too do the number of files to be managed, sometimes into the 100's of thousands. This growing number of files shrinks the amount of available online storage. Often, when productions near completion, storage capacity is at its lowest point because files have not been moved off line, which in turn jeopardizes the entire production. The TACTIC/ClarityNow! integration will alleviate these problems.

As the only solution combining digital asset management with production management, TACTIC enables vast teams of digital artists and animators to efficiently store, track, find and move digital assets through the creation process. With its powerful versioning features, TACTIC can automatically inform ClarityNow! of the latest versions of a file, and then tag older versions of files that need to be moved to near-line or off-line storage, simplifying the task of data managers whose job it is to identify unused files. What's more, ClarityNow! will organize the files kept in on-, near- and off-line storage to maximize disk space. This not only makes files easier to find; it saves digital productions millions of dollars in manual processes and unnecessary storage costs.

"Most digital productions use manual processes to couple file systems to asset management systems, which is completely inefficient," said Paul Honrud, CEO and founder of DataFrameworks. "By integrating TACTIC and ClarityNow!, both of which have been used in many large-scale productions, we can automate the manual process used by data managers to free up storage."

"I can't tell you how many productions I've seen or been involved in that come to a grinding halt at crunch time because we've run out of storage," said Gary Mundell, CEO of Southpaw Technology. "With this integration, those fire drills are over. Companies can automate the movement of files and keep storage clear without using valuable time and resources to do so."

The integration of TACTIC and ClarityNow! is currently in development and expected by mid year 2011.

Register Now – 2012 Autodesk Presentation

You're Invited to Attend an Exclusive Presentation of the New Autodesk® 2012 Software Releases

Discover the latest Digital Entertainment Creation software and new Entertainment Creation Suites from Autodesk® at a live launch event near you.

Sign up to attend and see for yourself how the new Digital Entertainment Creation solutions will open up new opportunities for creativity and help you transform your most exciting ideas into reality.

At these events, you'll see how the power of Suites enhances the workflow process through live product demonstrations.

The first will be Motion Capture, where data is captured and streamed live into Autodesk® MotionBuilder® for editing, and then sent to Autodesk® Maya® for further refinement. You will also see how the data captured from Microsoft Kinect can be used to assist in digital sculpting in Autodesk® Mudbox™.

Read more ...

Pixologic Releases GoZ Update 1 for ZBrush 4

Pixologic, Inc., maker of the Award-Winning ZBrush is pleased to announce the latest release of GoZ Update 1 for ZBrush 4.

ZBrush is the leading 2D/3D digital sculpting application, integrating and expanding all processes of artistic imagination and digital creation without the usual technological restraints. ZBrush's instant feedback and real-time response makes working within ZBrush feel like real-world sculpting and painting, allowing the artist complete freedom of expression. This is exemplified by a plethora of groundbreaking creations and images in blockbuster movies, games and many other industries.

ZBrush and Go!

With GoZ, artists can seamlessly connect ZBrush projects with other applications, sending assets to and from ZBrush with the click of a button. This makes it exceptionally simple to use other programs for CADstyle modeling and animation while also staying inside ZBrush's customizable user interface to conceptualize, create, complete and render high quality artwork quickly and efficiently. Use each program for its strengths and move smoothly between the two!

GoZ Update 1 for ZBrush 4 now brings Photoshop support.

As part of its commitment to expanding the capabilities of GoZ, Pixologic has added Photoshop support as part of GoZ Update 1 in addition to expanding support for new versions of its previously supported applications. For those that have the Extended version of Photoshop CS4 or CS5, GoZ now makes it possible to paint directly on to the model's texture rather than using PolyPaint. As a result, texture painting can be completely independent of the model's resolution.

Paul Gaboury, 3D Applications Engineer at Pixologic explains: "By simply clicking the GoZ button you can send the model and its texture to Photoshop. There, paint whatever you like in full 3D. You can even flatten the map and paint in 2D - with or without a visible wire frame! When done, you can send your model back to ZBrush via GoZ and the texture will automaticallyupdate so that you'll be ready to continue working."

With GoZ there is no need to invest time in setting up shading networks for normal, displacement and texture maps. With a single click of a button, GoZ will transfer the mesh to a GoZ-enabled application of choice and instantly set up all the appropriate shading networks. Upon sending the mesh back to ZBrush, GoZ will automatically remap the existing high-resolution details to the incoming mesh. GoZ will take care of simple operations such as correcting points & polygons order as well as more advanced operations that require complete remapping. The updated mesh is immediately ready for further detailing, map extractions and transferring to any other GoZ-enabled application.

Software supported by GoZ

  • Maya 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012
  • 3DSMax 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012
  • modo 401 SP4-5, 501 SP1-SP2
  • Cinema4D R11, R12
  • Photoshop CS4 Extended, CS5 Extended

*Note: Mac users need to use the 32-bit version of Photoshop.

About ZBrush

ZBrush is an integrated modeling, texturing, and illustration environment. ZBrush's innovative set of realtime, sculpting, texturing, and deformation tools is used in major film studios and game companies worldwide. It is also used extensively in concept design, comic illustration, toy and collectible industries, rapid prototyping as well as scientific illustration. ZBrush's instant feedback and real-time response makes it the most natural feeling digital sculpting tool available today. As a stand-alone application, ZBrush offers tremendous flexibility and appeals to a wide audience.

For more information or to order your copy today, contact Storm FX on 1300 061 007 or email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

V-Ray 2.0 for Maya Now Public

V-Ray 2.0 for Maya now with interactive rendering on CPU and GPU!

Hailed by many as the preeminent rendering engine for Maya, V-Ray for Maya is about to see a significant increase in power! On March 30th, the V-Ray for Maya 2.0 upgrade will begin its much anticipated Beta testing, with a tentative release at the end of April 2011.

Join the V-Ray 2.0 for Maya Beta Program and be among the first to test this advanced rendering technology for all Maya users. It's your help and feedback that will make this product even better.

Eligibility, download and installation

The V-Ray 2.0 for Maya Beta

Read more ...

New Black Magic Products Released At NAB

Black Magic have recently announced the release of some exciting new products including:

DaVinci Resolve 8 Update

Now includes multi layer timeline support with editing, XML import and export with Apple Final Cut Pro™, OpenCL processing to allow use on latest Apple iMac and MacBook Pro computers, real time noise reduction, new curve grading, advanced multi point stabilization, automatic stereoscopic 3D image alignment and much more! DaVinci Resolve 8 also supports the Avid™ Artist Color™ control panel.

DaVinci Resolve Lite

UltraStudio 3D

This product features a portable design

Read more ...

Southpaw Launches TACTIC 3.5

TACTIC 3.5 enhances user experience and productivity with faster performance, a more intuitive interface and visual workflow tools.

Toronto, Canada – April 8, 2011 – Southpaw Technology, a leading developer of production asset management (PAM) technology for digital entertainment and enterprise companies, announced the immediate availability of TACTIC 3.5.

The new version delivers a range of features designed to enhance the user experience and speed the production process, including a more customizable interface, out-of-the-box user templates, new visual workflow editors, and more powerful project automation tools. Southpaw Technology will be showing off TACTIC 3.5 and all of its latest features at NAB 2011.

TACTIC is the only solution to combine powerful asset management and production management functionality into one highly customizable, Web-based system. Battled-tested in some of the most demanding creative environments, TACTIC enables vast teams of digital artists and animators to efficiently store, track, find and move digital assets through the creation process. With its focus on productivity and the user experience, TACTIC 3.5 makes it even easier for teams to get up and running, and to automate the process of moving assets from one step in a production to the next.

“Securing your digital files and making them easier to find in immense databases is only one way in which a production asset management system like TACTIC can speed digital productions,” said Gary Mundell, CEO of Southpaw Technology. ”Companies must also be able to efficiently move digital assets from one individual and one step, to the next. With TACTIC 3.5, we put a lot of effort into features that do just that without forcing companies into a rigid workflow.”

TACTIC 3.5 features:

  • Upgraded User Interface - The UI can now contain multiple views in the same TACTIC session, which enables users to do far more without having to refresh their screen. The interface can also be customized to match a company’s brand.
  • New User Work Area - A new user work area provides a central, intuitive sandbox where notes can be added to files, task information can be updated and most importantly, files can be checked in and out.
  • New Visual Project Schema Editor – TACTIC 3.5’s new Project Schema editor allows users to quickly define the core elements of a project that will ultimately factor into the workflow.
  • Enhanced Project Workflow Editor – The new Project Workflow Editor allows users to visually create more automated workflows complete with event triggers and notifications.
  • Project Automation Interfaces – TACTIC’s new Project Automation Interfaces provide a simple screen for setting up automated triggers, notifications, file naming and more.
  • New Project Templates– Out-of-the-box project templates from many different business verticals help users get up and running faster.
    • Enhanced Tasks and Notes – Enhanced task and notes widgets make it even easier to access pertinent production and file information.
  • Upgraded Performance – Optimizations to TACTIC’s server side and client side have significantly improved its overall performance and the performance of API interactions.

TACTIC 3.5 is available immediately for licensing. Please call us on 1300 061 007 or contact us to find out more.