The world of animation and visual effects thrives on cutting-edge tools and constantly-evolving technologies that allow artists to churn out high-quality visuals. In part one of this series of articles, we compiled a list of industry-standard tools that we teach our students to use as a part of our VFX and animation programs. It included software like Photoshop, Maya, Mudbox and After Effects – you can read the article here.
Here’s a look at some more visual effects software and animation tools used by studios and artists around the world to create stunning visuals for movies, series, commercials and other audio-visual productions.
1. Premiere Pro
A timeline-based video editing application from Adobe, Premiere Pro is the successor of Adobe Premiere. The Pro version is the industry leader when it comes to the gold standard of editing in the film and television space. To understand the level of outputs that can be achieved using Premiere Pro, just watch slick films like Deadpool and Gone Girl. This cutting-edge tool is used by a lot of Hollywood filmmakers, film editors, television producers and web series editors. It can even be used by beginners, YouTubers and videographers to edit their videos. Here’s a quick look at the USPs of this software:
- Connected and efficient workflows
- Supports hi-res video editing (up to 10,240 x 8,192)
- Automated tools powered by Adobe Sensei
- Audio sample-level editing
- VST audio plug-in support
- 1 surround sound mixing
- Supports a variety of video/audio formats and codecs
From leading film studios and game development companies to automotive designers and illustrators/artists around the world, ZBrush is one tool that you are likely to find being used for a wide range of purposes. This digital sculpting tool for the VFX and video game industry combines 3D modeling, 2.5D modeling, painting and texturing. With a proprietary pixol technology and custom brushes used for texturing, shaping and painting virtual clay, ZBrush packs a mighty punch and takes digital sculpting to the next level. Its key features include:
- Automatic retopology tool
- 3D layers system
- Non-Photorealistic Rendering (NPR)
- Spotlight texture projection system
Nuke is the standard digital compositing and post-production software for a majority of Hollywood studios and VFX companies across the globe. The software’s outstanding output quality and massive range of features make it the preferred tool for working on difficult or complex VFX shots. Nuke is widely used for compositing work on films and television or web series. Take a look at some of the key feature of this VFX software:
- Node-based workflow
- Works seamlessly with 3D models or materials
- Effective keying, blurring and tracking
- Offers greater control over post-production
Apart from the ones mentioned above, software like Silhouette and Equalizer are also commonly used for a variety of purposes in the animation and visual effects domain. As part of our professional degree and diploma courses in VFX and animation, we train our students on these industry-standard tools, enabling them to unleash the potential of new technology.