« New Charlotte's Web Trailer | Main | Super Cinefex #106 »

June 8, 2006

Toxik 2007 Demo

We had a great demo yesterday from the guys at Autodesk (formerly Discreet) on Toxik. Autodesk's effects and compositing interactive, collaborative compositing solution for feature film pipelines.
They also did a demo on Combustion 4 which was primarily geared toward showing us improvments in the roto/paint features of the package as it relates to Tippett's roto/paint department.

Toxik has some really great things going, most noteably that it's running over an relational oracle database that allows artists to work on the same shot at the same time and be notified of updates realtime once another artist publishes their work. They then can choose to start working with the latest work from another artist.
For example, if you have one artist in the paint department painting out markers on a green screen, and another artist pulling the key/matte, and another artist compositing the shot, instead of each artist rendering out the work they did, publishing, sending email and handing it off to the compositor, all 3 of them can work inside Toxik and publish their work, and the compositor can simply grab their latest workflow inside Toxik and can add it to their composite without any rendering that takes up time and storage space. A very elegant solution.

Toxik also has The Master Keyer from the Discreet Inferno/Flame suites, and watching how this keyer worked it's magic, definatley got some ooohs and awwwes, especially those of us who recently finished work on the horrible screen pulls for Pirates 2. We are constantly generating multiple mattes for portions of the image that need to be treated differently and combining these mattes for the final matte, but with the Master Keyer, it's smart, it lets you keep portions of the matte you are happy with and then isolate and pull specific portions all inside the same keyer, seemed to work fantasticly.

We definately asked the Autodesk guys if Toxik would do the things we do on a daily basis with Shake, and for the most part it was able to perform in a similar way, but some of the layout and gui navigation seemed limited compared to the simplicity of shake's windows and tabs. Rather than going to a sidebar and dragging that feature set into a window, and if you want to go back to the window before, you'd need to again go to the sidebar and drag over to the window again.

What else... well when you fileIn or load a sequence of images into Toxik, it creates tiled proxy versions of it on the fly, so the second it's into Toxik you can play the clip real time, this is awesome. Why tiled? Because depending on your level of zoom in the viewer window it loads up the appropriate proxy tiles for that image, nice.

The tracking in Toxik worked faster than realtime, because of it's slick proxy system.

It has great 3d compositing features (one huge area shake lacks) that on top of a full 3d environment based on 3dsmax, it allows for control and use of multiple streams inside .exr and .rpf formats to manipulate and control images with normals, materials, zdepth, spec, refl, etc.

Also, the entire package and everything that runs inside it is 32bit float high dynamic range imagery-friendly! Another cool thing is that the core of the program has been built, and this allows for feature sets to be added for Toxik around 4 times a year. This means no waiting for a new (usually yearly) major sofware version of Toxik, they will be continually updating customers with the latest and greatest features.

Check out more about Toxik for yourself with the links below:

Features & Specifications
Toxik Full Features List

- Autodesk Toxik Brochure
(pdf - 279 Kb)


Posted by dschnee at June 8, 2006 7:24 AM