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!

Storm FX School Loyalty Program


Register your School, Uni, TAFE or College to be a part of the Storm FX Education Loyalty Program for a chance to win your choice of:

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Storm FX & Southpaw Webinar Invite

Register now for this webinar before places fill up!

Whether you work in visual effects, games development, aerospace or advertising, keeping track of digital assets as they are created can be a highly complex, time-consuming process. Files get lost. People work on the wrong files or tasks. Projects don't match file updates. And the list goes on...

If all this sounds familiar, then join Southpaw Technology's leading experts on asset management, Dan Kitchen and Bryan Milne,  as they walk you through the common questions and the benefits of the TACTIC project asset management system.

TACTIC is the only solution that combines digital asset management with detailed project management and collaboration features in one web based system to simplify, secure and speed the complex process of creating digital content.

Not only does TACTIC manage assets in a secure database, it moves them through their entire life cycle with workflow automation tools, and automatically tracks their progress in real-time so that a project’s status is never in doubt.  Add to that an open API and a completely configurable Web-based interface, and TACTIC becomes the central pipeline through which all assets flow.

Whether a project is spread between departments or around the globe, employs 10 artists or 1000, TACTIC enables companies of all types to more efficiently and cost-effectively manage and track the creation of digital content from concept to final delivery.

In this webinar, you will learn about:

  • Asset Management
  • Project/ Workflow Management & Reporting
  • How Asset Management Systems can help facilitate collaboration
  • Financial features - including costing, budgeting and timelines to help understand real costs of content generation, streamline ongoing production and facilitate more accurate quoting on future work.

What: Storm FX & Southpaw Technology Webinar - Asset Management
When: Thursday 8 September, 10:00am - 11:00am (AEST)
Who: Anyone in film or post production, teachers and students.
Cost: FREE
How: To register, click here

Unveiled! ZBrush 4R2 at SIGGRAPH 2011

Pixologic, Inc., makers of the award-winning ZBrush software attended SIGGRAPH 2011 in Vancouver over August 9th-11th where they unveiled their latest version - ZBrush 4 Release 2 - to packed audiences.

ZBrush 4R2 introduces many significant new features, as well as major enhancements throughout ZBrush.

New features can be seen in two ‘sneak preview’ movies for ZBrush 4R2 at ZBrushCentral

Sneak Peek #1

Sneak Peek #2

Pixologic hosted hourly demonstrations at SIGGRAPH, where attendees, users and newcomers saw the latest features, presented live by industry renowned artists from top film and games studios including Sony, EA, Digital Domain, Image Engine and Framestore.

ZBrush 4R2 will be released on both Windows and Macintosh platforms for the public for purchase and download on Sept 20th 2011.

ZBrush 4R2 will also be a free upgrade for all current registered ZBrush users. Those who purchase between now and the release of ZBrush 4R2, will receive the new version as a free upgrade.

Additional information regarding ZBrush 4R2 new features and full descriptions will be available at a later date.

Adobe Webinar Invite - CS5.5 Premier Pro

Why are so many artists making the switch from FCP and Avid to Adobe Premier Pro CS5.5? Find out for yourself at the Storm FX and Adobe webinar "Making the Switch".

Join Karl Soule as he walks you through the common questions that users of other editing applications have when first movin to Adobe Premier Pro. Karl will discuss project setup, working natively, integration with After Effects and Photoshop and output using the Adobe Media Encoder.

What: Storm FX & Adobe Webinar - Making the Switch

When: Thursday 25 August, 10:00am - 11:00am (AEST)

Who: Anyone in film or post production, teachers and students.

Cost: FREE

How: To register, click here

About The Guest Speaker: Karl Soule

Evangelist and Business Development Manager for the Pro Video tools, Karl was formerly a Worldwide Evangelist, speaking to Premiere Pro and After Effects users on  5 continents. Karl recently relocated to Singapore to take on the job of growing the video business in this region.

About Adobe® Premiere® Pro CS5.5

Adobe® Premiere® Pro CS5.5 software lets you edit faster with true native format support. Get breakthrough performance on workstations and laptops; streamline collaboration; and boost productivity with an efficient, robust, cross-platform editing workflow.

  • Flexible, precise, and reliable editing tools - Edit the way you want with widely accepted, customizable NLE shortcuts and powerful, intuitive trimming and editing tools that give you more precision and control. Boost productivity with dual-system sound support and enhanced project exchange with Final Cut Pro and Avid software.
  • Enhanced Mercury Playback Engine - Get amazing performance from the Adobe Mercury Playback Engine on both desktops and laptops (Windows® and Mac OS). Natively 64 bit and optimized for modern CPUs, Mercury delivers astounding performance with or without GPU acceleration.
  • Fast, reliable multiscreen delivery - Output your work for computers, smartphones, tablets, and television with Adobe Media Encoder CS5.5. Use intuitive presets and contextual menus to set up sequences once for multiple formats, and batch encode while you keep editing.
  • Roundtrip workflows with Adobe Audition - Get a fast, flexible roundtrip audio workflow with Adobe Audition® CS5.5 software. Pass individual audio clips and multitrack mixes or complete video sequences between Adobe Premiere Pro CS5.5 and Adobe Audition for editing and sweetening.
  • Direct integration with Adobe Story - Accelerate your editing workflow by directly importing Adobe Story scripts, complete with metadata, into Adobe Premiere Pro CS5.5. Eliminate hours of routine work using Speech Search and other metadata to quickly find footage.

And much more!

Autodesk Smoke On Mac Webinar

Free Live Webinar – Getting Started with Autodesk® Smoke for Mac OS® X

Friday 19 August 2011 1:00pm - 2:00pm AEST

An invitation to learn how to use the all-in-one tools needed for complex visual effects and editorial finishing.

Is jumping between editing platforms and finishing software slowing down your creative workflow? Have you ever needed to outsource your creative finishing because you didn't have the right tools in house?

Award-winning Autodesk® Smoke® for Mac OS® X offers you the complete set of creative and technical tools for high-end editorial finishing. And because Smoke now runs on your Mac, you can integrate its proven and reliable finishing tools into your existing media workflows using industry-standard formats that you rely on day to day.

No more unfinished business. With today's smaller budgets and tighter timelines, setting yourself apart from other finishing houses is no longer just an option – it's essential to your success.

The webinar will cover:

  1. Starting Smoke – setting up a project
  2. Introduction to the user interface – The Editing Desk
  3. Importing and Exporting – The Libraries
  4. Back to the Editing Desk – Creating a sequence
  5. Finishing the Sequence – graphics & effects
  6. An introduction to how our customers use Smoke

Rob O'Neill,
Application Specialist, Media & Entertainment
Autodesk Australia & New Zealand

To register, click here.

Saatchi & Saatchi Streamlines workflow with Tactic

Leading ad agency leverages TACTIC’s flexibility to create digital “garage” of files and to streamline internal and external workflows.

Toronto, Canada – Aug 10, 2011 – Southpaw Technology, a leading developer of production asset management (PAM) technology for digital content creation (DCC) companies, announced today that its production asset management system TACTIC has been deployed by the Los Angeles arm of one of the world’s leading advertising agencies, Saatchi & Saatchi, in order to manage and track thousands of digital files, as well as to simplify production workflow.

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Renderman for Maya 5.0 Announcement At Siggraph

Announcing RenderMan for Maya 5.0, free Certified Courseware, and a new Student Package

EMERYVILLE, CA – (August 8th, 2011) Pixar Animation Studios today announced RenderMan for Maya 5.0, featuring the very latest technologies pioneered in RenderMan Pro Server 16.0, and scheduled for release in the fall of 2011. RenderMan for Maya 5.0 showcases fundamental advancements in RenderMan's ray tracing technology, including a new ray tracing hider, a radiosity cache, and physically plausible shading. In combination these new features allow artists to take full advantage of today's high performance multi-core architectures and create photorealistic images with minimal setup, all within the artist-friendly user interface of RenderMan for Maya.

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Autodesk Sustainability Workshop For Students

Sustainability Workshop

Future designers and engineers will play a big part in solving 21st century problems with clean technology and sustainable design. At this site, you’ll learn to apply sustainability practices to real-world design and engineering problems.  Learn basic principles of sustainable design, see tutorials on putting these concepts into practice with Digital Prototyping, and gain access to software and online resources.

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Congratulations to the 2011 AEAF Finalists!

The team at Storm FX would like to congratulate the 2011 AEAF Awards finalists, with winners to be announced on 16 August at the Dendy Cinema Opera Quays. Congratulations to our following friends:

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Toonbox Gets Nutty with Tactic

Southpaw’s TACTIC simplifies asset and project management on The Nut Job, one of the largest animated productions in Canada

Southpaw Technology, a leading developer of production asset management (PAM) technology for digital content creation companies, announced today that Toonbox Entertainment (Toonbox) is deploying 100 seats of TACTIC to manage all of the assets and data for its first feature-length production, The Nut Job. The growing studio just completed the movie’s trailer, and is now rolling out TACTIC for the production of the stereoscopic 3D film, which is one of the largest productions happening in Canada at the moment.

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