By August 3, 2013 Read More →

Ambitious Thinkbox expands its range

At Siggraph Thinkbox introduced a new add-on for Maya and new particle capabilities.  

Thinkbox has a wide range of prod­ucts, and in spite of its name, the last thing the com­pany does is fit easily into a box. We sort of imagine the company’s busi­ness meetings going something like this: What if we could … someone else says, cool, and off they go to make it. More likely, the company’s clients come to them and say, we were just thinking, what if we could … and you know the rest.

The company’s original area of ex­pertise is in particle systems. Its flagship is Krakatoa for particle effects within 3ds Max and Maya. The company has also created Stoke MX, which the com­pany describes as a particle reflow tool­kit for 3ds Max, and the company has expanded its product line for Maya.

Density meets velocity: Stoke MX is Thinkbox’s tool for 3ds Max that enables dense particle simulations to be driven by velocity fields. The interface provides a low-density simulation which can drive the high-density simulation giving artists a tool to control the simulation quickly. (Source: Thinkbox)

Density meets velocity: Stoke MX is Thinkbox’s tool for 3ds Max that enables dense particle simulations to be driven by velocity fields. The interface provides a low-density simulation which can drive the high-density simulation giving artists a tool to control the simulation quickly. (Source: Thinkbox)

At Siggraph, Thinkbox announced Stoke MX 2.0 will include Ember, Thinkbox’s volumetric field manipula­tion tool. Ember was announced last year at Siggraph as a standalone tool, but it’s been incorporated into Stoke. It gives users the ability to capture elements from existing particle systems, fluid simulations, and volumetrics and recom­bine them in different ways.

Thinkbox was primarily developed for 3ds Max, but the company is ex­panding its lineup for Maya. At Sig­graph this year, Thinkbox announced Maya versions of its Frost and XMesh tools, originally built for Max. Frost can be used to create a single mesh from particles, vertex clouds, object positions, point data files, or a combination of all those types of data using iso-surface or geometry cloning techniques.

Thinkbox introduced Krakatoa MY, a Maya version of Krakatoa, earlier this year. It provides added control and capa­bilities to Maya’s own particle systems.

One of the trends noted at this year’s Siggraph festivities, aside from the obvious absence of an Autodesk booth, was an emphasis on Maya for creative movie and film work instead of 3ds Max. It looks like Thinkbox has seen the way the wind is blowing as well.

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Posted in: DCC, Featured, Siggraph

About the Author:

Kathleen is the editor-in-chief of GraphicSpeak and a senior analyst at Jon Peddie Research. She has been writing about movies, music, art, and technology for almost all of her working life.

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