3DEqualizer4 Release 4 - Software Upgrade
Permanent licenses of 3DE4 Release 1 “Foundation Edition” or 3DE4 Release 2 “Advanced Edition” – purchased in 2014 or later – can be upgraded to the latest version 3DE4 Release 4.
This upgrade includes 12 months online support as well as free software updates
3DEqualizer4 is by no doubt the world's leading 3D tracking solution, for merging live action footage with digital visual effects. Since its introduction in 2009, it has taken the vfx community by storm. Up to now, four of the ten world leading post-production houses decided to acquire a facility-wide site license, making 3DEqualizer4 their major matchmove system: Double Negative, Cinesite, Weta Digital and MPC.
But this is just the tip of the iceberg. In fact, 3DEqualizer4 is widely being used throughout the entire industry, which means if you go to the box office today to watch the latest visual effects driven blockbuster movie, you will most likely be entertained by the help of our work!
3DEqualizer is not just software!
The best product is nothing worth without reliable support - this is even more important for professional users. To make sure we provide the best possible, professional service, every support request is handled directly by those developer who is responsible for that specific part of 3DEqualizer. In addition, support requests are worked on with the highest priority, which means we usually respond within just a few hours. As a side effect, our developers immediately learn first hand about any existing problems and furthermore are constantly in touch with our users, discussing new feature requests and how to improve 3DEqualizer in general. On top of that, some of our developers go out from time to time and visit a client for a couple of weeks, in order to work on large-scale productions. The things we learn, while using 3DEqualizer under real production conditions, makes us understand our client's demands much better, which usually ends up in the development of entirely new features. Good examples of this cooperation - thanks to Weta Digital - has been our work on "Return of The King", "King Kong", "The Hobbit" and "Man of Steel"!
The most important cornerstone of our development philosophy is to do our own research. Almost every piece of technology that leaves our lab, represents a unique, proprietary solution which cannot be found in any other product. These proprietary pieces of technology are ranging from 3D calculation cores, over 2D tracking engines to realtime image decompression/manipulation routines - to name just a few. Doing our own research is time consuming and expensive, but it let's us fully understand the technology we build, and thus we are able to provide our clients with highest quality tool sets!
3DEqualizer4 Release 4
3DEqualizer4 Release 4 represents the latest of Science-D-Visions' matchmove products. As all former versions, it is targeted at the enterprise visual effects market. The goal of this release has been to further improve productivity by introducing ground breaking new features such as network calculation for up to 100 times faster parameter optimization or a complex new dynamic distortion mode which allows to drive distortion in relation to focal length and focus distance at the same time. In addition, multiple camera and point constraints have been added for enabling the user to squeeze the last possible bit of information even out of low-parallax shots. Finally, Release 4's "custom" scripting parameters make it possible to introduce all kind of new, "artificial" adjustment parameters for the optimization of more or less every project attribute - the possibilities are endless and push 3DEqualizer's flexibility to a whole new level!
Subscription Purchase Options And Permanent Licenses
With the introduction of our new subscription purchase options, 3DEqualizer4 Release 4 is now available for all. From hobbyist-/student-beginners up to the largest possible VFX companies - everyone is invited to work with the latest and best 3D tracking software money can buy. Hands-on expert support included! This will open up whole new possibilities for training and learning how to use 3DEqualizer - a win-win situation for companies and employees or those who wish to become employed. Starting a career in the VFX business has never been easier!
In addition, we continue to sell new permanent licenses and support already existing ones. This ensures maximum flexibility for companies: the core workforce can be equipped with a number of permanent licenses and in addition bottlenecks can be ironed out through price sensitive, timely limited subscriptions.
In comparison to its predecessor, 3D-Equalizer V3, 3DE4 essentially is all new - 90% of its source code has been developed from scratch. Some already existing technologies, for instance like our proprietary 2D tracking engine, have been improved. Other components, like 3DE4's novel 3D calculation core, have been entirely re-designed from the ground up using completely new methods. In addition, there are a lot of features which never have been available before, such as 3DE4's all new Distortion Edit- and Lineup-Controls. Finally, 3DE4 has been equipped with a new user interface concept. It has been our goal to simplify its usage, get rid of obsolete functions, unify similar windows, and reduce the number of necessary mouse clicks to achieve certain results!
A novel 3D calculation core
The heart of every matchmove software is its 3D calculation core. 3DE4's one has been developed entirely from scratch. It computes super-fast - about 50-100 times faster than its ancestor, which means the user gets much better response times. This is especially useful in situations where a (complex) project is problematic and has to be tweaked by trial-and-error.
During its regular calculation process, 3DE4's new calculation core applies a unique technique which automatically computes individual weighting curves for each point on a frame-by-frame basis. It allows to identify and get rid of so-called outliers on-the-fly (points of inconsistent or totally wrong 2D tracking). This new technology and a few other, up to now unseen, methods cause 3DE4's calculation core to be very robust and extraordinary precise!
3DE4's new calculation core has been designed from the ground up to support native stereoscopic shots. All of its regular features such as survey handling, lens distortion, constraints, object/mocap point groups and postfiltering are fully integrated when calculating a pair of stereo sequences, to guarantee best possible results!
Dynamic lens distortion
Distortion of camera lenses has been a curse for visual effects, ever since. In order to create high quality matchmoves it is indispensable to determine and compensate for lens distortion. The situation gets even worse for zoom- or focus pull shots, because then lens distortion no longer remains static. 3DE4's dynamic lens distortion feature provides the technology to create virtual lens objects, which contain complex lens distortion animation curves. These animation curves essentially describe how a specific focal length or focus distance has to be mapped to individual lens distortion values. When applied to zoom/focus shots, it results in much more precise reconstructions, which is mandatory for complex applications like set extensions or stereoscopic matchmoves.
3DE4 comes with a broad variety of different distortion models, each one designed to handle the specific characteristics of a certain lens class. The support ranges from regular radial symmetric lenses, over all kinds of anamorphic lenses, up to fisheye lenses. Even those distortion artifacts introduced by beam-splitters (mirrors) of stereo camera rigs can be compensated.
Matrix tool - capturing lens distortion and focal length
In a semi-automatic procedure, 3DE4's "Matrix Tool" provides user friendly functionality for extracting lens distortion and focal length information out of grid shots/grid charts. In limited situations it is even possible to extract those data out of regular sequence frames. This procedure usually takes only a few seconds, which is much faster, deterministic and robust than the manual tools provided by previous versions.
Working with survey data
3DE4 offers a broad variety of tool sets to handle survey data. It provides easy to use functions for creating line geometry out of reconstructed 3D point clouds (usually reference frames projects). These line geometries can be exported as .obj files, which is the regular way to exchange survey data among different tools. Essentially, 3DE4 can be used to generate high-quality, comfortable survey data!
External (line geometry) survey data is imported through .obj files, as well. The new Lineup Controls allows it to extract survey coordinates and assign them directly to point objects, thus converting them into exactly surveyed points. In addition, 3DE4's Lineup Controls provide functions for aligning a camera manually to survey line geometry in 3D space. This process is guided by several automatic (rotational, positional and/or focal length) consistency functions, which streamlines this alignment process a lot!
Improved 2D tracking engines
High quality 2D tracks are mandatory for reconstructing high quality camera- and object-motion in 3D space. 3DE4's manual 2D tracking engine has been rewritten from scratch. Internally, it uses four times larger image resolutions for its computations which generates more precise tracks as in previous versions. In addition, we developed new code to handle situations with rapid brightness/contrast changes (explosions, etc.). Finally, tracking boxes can be rotated by the user, which is useful in situations where a pattern is very close to other distracting elements.
3DE4's automatic tracking engine has been rewritten from the ground up. It tracks a sequence using two different passes. Pass 1 creates and tracks new features - forward or backward. Pass 2 extends those tracks, created by pass 1, into the opposite direction. All in all, this generates much longer and better distributed tracks, which results in 3D solves of higher quality.
A new user interface concept
There are an enormous amount of changes in 3DE4's user interface compared to previous versions. We used the opportunity and developed an entirely new user interface concept. It enabled us to get rid of some obsolete GUI structures, which where used extensively in previous versions of 3D-Equalizer. This let's us provide a fast and robust, native Windows version for the first time in 3DEqualizer's history!
A powerful new concept is the ability to open multiple Main Windows. Each Main Window can show a different camera, using one of six different major Controls: Overview, Manual Tracking, Distortion Edit, Autotracking, Lineup and 3D Orientation. In addition, an unlimited number of sub-editors can be embedded into each Main Window, using different, user definable "environments". There are four types of sub-editors: Object Browser, Deviation Browser, Timeline Editor and Curve Editor. Each sub-editor can be configured to show different objects an/or data of a project.
Finally, there are a few stand alone windows. The Attribute Editor allows to access and modify the attributes of every object in a project using non-modal, very little user interaction. The Parameter Adjustment Window provides the tools to optimize a broad range of project parameters simultaneously, essentially finetuning a project's deviation. It is fully multithreaded for maximum speed. 3DE4's Image Controls Window allows to apply some basic image manipulation techniques in real time, mainly to aid the tracking process. It is fully multithreaded, as well.
For every menu entry and button found in 3DE4's Main Window, the user can define a custom shortcut. This sounds like a minor feature, but in fact it isn't. There is no complex "sing and dance" necessary to add a custom shortcut - it is very direct and intuitive, takes only 3 clicks. When used consequently, it streamlines the entire work flow tremendously.
Python scripting interface
The new Python scripting interface allows it to customize 3DE4 in every thinkable way, so that it can be easily integrated into every existing production pipeline. It provides comprehensive access to 3DE4's internal data structures. Even 3DE4's "official" export filters to other 3D- and compositing packages are realized through Python scripts. These scripts are open source, so every user can furnish them to his/her personal needs.
Finally, Python scripts can be used to extend the functionality of 3DE4's user interface. Entirely new custom dialog windows can be scripted using multiple, different user interface elements, which allows it to configure the behavior of a script interactively. New custom menu structures can be added into every menu, found in 3DE4. Python scripts can be started by selecting a custom menu entry. In addition, even shortcuts can be assigned, so that a python script can be started by simply pressing a key on the keyboard, which provides even more flexibility!
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