Thinkbox Software Releases Frost

News

Blazingly fast particle mesher to debut at the NAB show

Last Updated: April 6, 2011 6:14 pm GMT
(Winnipeg Manitoba, Canada--April 6, 2011) Thinkbox Software, developers of Deadline and Krakatoa, announces the release of Frost, a fast and flexible particle mesher that allows artists to convert point clouds to geometry several times faster than other leading industry standard tools.

Frost will be unveiled at the National Association of Broadcasters Conference (NAB) April 11-14 in Las Vegas, NV. To book a Frost training session or demo at NAB, visit http://www.thinkboxsoftware.com/sales .

Frost is a particle mesher plug-in for Autodesk 3ds Max which can generate a single mesh from particles, vertex clouds, object positions and point data files using various iso-surface or geometry cloning techniques. Frost takes full advantage of modern multi-core hardware and can produce multi-million polygon meshes from millions of points in a matter of seconds without excessive processing memory usage.

"We're releasing Frost after many months of beta testing in which our customers have put Frost through its paces on several real-world productions," said Chris Bond, president of Thinkbox Software. "It's always exciting to see the amazing things our customers do with the tools. They have not only pushed Frost way beyond what we imagined the tool could do, but the resounding feedback from beta testers is that Frost has enabled these artists to create images that are incredibly unique and that are done amazingly fast!"

Frost integrates tightly with Krakatoa, Thinkbox Software's production-proven volumetric particle rendering and management toolkit. The combination of the two products introduces a new, highly effective particle post-processing pipeline. This new workflow increases the artist's productivity by decoupling the particle simulation from the meshing process, leading to faster iterations of both in the following ways:
  • Frost and Krakatoa remove the need to handle geometry processing during the particle simulation, while speeding up the tweaking of the final mesh thanks to the history-independent nature of the Krakatoa particle data streams.
  • The Krakatoa MagmaFlow editor exposes advanced controls over Frost's meshing parameters like particle size, geometry instancing, animation timing, material assignment and more.
  • Frost provides a new approach to increasing the particle counts of existing simulations from thousands to millions while preserving vital data like velocities and mapping coordinates, once again speeding up the simulation process while supplying Krakatoa with the high-density clouds it handles so well.
  • Frost extends the Krakatoa pipeline into the realm of traditional geometry rendering using all renderers available for 3ds Max.

"As a computer graphics artist working in the engineering and design visualization field, I find Frost nothing short of amazing. Creating a usable mesh from point cloud data has always been a challenge," said Dwayne Ellis of Dwayne Ellis | Digital Effects and Animation. "Thinkbox has surpassed that challenge with Frost. The strength of the software is in its ability to not only do what it was intended, but to accomplish diverse and unexpected tasks as well. Frost has taken hours off our production process with its amazing speed, allowing us to generate meshes from massive amounts of 3d points. We used to have to let computers process away for hours to get a mesh that was inferior to Frost in both quality and speed. Our mesh generation has gone from hours to minutes...literally."

Shared VFX Artist Mark Theriault, who worked with Prime Focus at the time, "For 'Sucker Punch,' I was tasked with creating a rain-covered car and the title logo made from raindrops that would appear on the vehicle window. The shot was extremely long, going from really far away to a few inches from the camera, so the rig had to hold up at all levels. I'd been beta-testing Frost and knew it could deliver the resolution I needed, so choosing a mesher in 3ds Max for that kind of task was a no-brainer. No other mesher could have handled the small scale of the drops and the large scale of the surface like Frost, and seamless communication between Krakatoa and Frost added a ton of features not available in any other meshing plug-in. By the time the latest Beta version of Frost came out, I was able to completely mesh the whole rig at around five minutes a frame, which, with a 3000 frame shot, is mind-blowing!"

Check out Frost at NAB
During NAB, Thinkbox Software will host Frost, Krakatoa and Deadline training sessions and demos in the Country Club Classic Suite #2987/89 in the Las Vegas Hilton, minutes from the NAB tradeshow floor. To book a Krakatoa/Frost MasterClass with Borislav 'Bobo' Petrov (Tues/Wed 11:00 - 12:30), call 1-866-419-0283 or visit http://www.thinkboxsoftware.com/sales .

Frost version 1.0, available today, supports the 32 and 64-bit builds of 3ds Max 9, 3ds Max 2008, 3ds Max 2009, 3ds Max 2010 and 3ds Max 2011. 3ds Max 2012 will be supported by a point update in April. To purchase a Frost license or request a full-featured five-day Evaluation license, please visit http://www.thinkboxsoftware.com/sales .

About Thinkbox Software
Thinkbox Software provides creative solutions for visual artists in entertainment, engineering and design. Developers of high-volume particle renderer Krakatoa and render farm management software Deadline, Thinkbox Software solves difficult production problems with intuitive, well-designed solutions and remarkable support. As an artist-driven company, we create tools that help artists manage their jobs and empower them to create worlds and imagine new realities. Thinkbox was founded in 2010 by Chris Bond, founder of Frantic Films. http://www.thinkboxsoftware.com

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