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3D Recap December 2012 - The Month's Top CG Artwork and Industry News

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Happy New Year! We've reached the end of the month, and the end of the year, so we've got some special year-end lists coming momentarily. But for now, here's our CG industry recap from December 2012:

1. News / Releases

  1. ZBrush 4R5 is Out - They're back! Pixologic managed to sneak in an 11th hour update to close out a groundbreaking year for their flagship software app. Click through for a rundown of the new features, or head over to YouTube for a little bit of instruction from Ryan Kingslien. 2012 saw the introduction of Dynamesh, Fibermesh, Micromesh, Noisemaker, and the Insert-Multimesh tools—what will next year bring?

  2. CGHub is now on Android and IOS - Just a friendly reminder, CGHub has finally finished pushing out their mobile application for both Android and IOS. Download for free and enjoy a more streamlined browsing experience (because let's face it, unless you have a Galaxy Note, CGHub's main page has never translated very well to mobile.)

  3. Substance Designer 3 Non-Commercial Edition - Allegorithmic recently released a $99 non-commercial edition of their Substance Designer 3 texturing tool. Efficient texturing has always been a real bottleneck for me, and I've been interested in trying Substance Designer for awhile now, so knowing that there is an affordable version of the software waiting on the other side of the 30 day free trial is just added incentive.

2. Visuals


For the first time in quite awhile, there were no CGChoice awards given out this month. No matter, plenty of other material to go around:

  1. Cartier Wintertale - Bruno Jiminez/Unit Image - Just a few days ago this image from Bruno Jiminez was featured as an editor's choice at CGHub, but the excellent render is actually just a character still from an even better commercial that Unit Image did for Cartier Winterdale in Paris. Click through to the two minute short and marvel at how flawlessly Unit has handled every element of the scene, from the panthers' fur to the crystalline snowflakes.

  2. Lord Pendelton - Adam Fisher - This image received editor's choice status on both CGHub and ZbrushCentral, and rightfully so. It's quite rare to see a portrait sculpt that so successfully, and expressively integrates realism and stylization into a wildly appealing 3D image that almost looks like a painting. It's really hard to pin down exactly what it is that makes this image stand out. Is it the subtle asymmetry? The slightly (elegantly) exaggerated color scheme? Whatever it is, this image has it.

  3. Fafal - Mohsen Fallah - This post over at CGTalk is notable because it tackles a very difficult subject with astounding success. If you've ever seen Pixar's short film, Tin Toy from the studio's early days, you know that successfully rendering children and babies is no easy task. Mohsen pulls it off amazingly well here. Simply great.

  4. Will Be Next - Jan Jinda - Here's another one from CGTalk (for a month without any CGChoice awards, there sure was a lot of good work over there). "Will Be Next?" by Jan Jinda is an ode to anyone who dares to dream—in this case, the dream is to go to outer space. Let's face it, this is a really easy image to relate to, and it's executed oh so well.

  5. Marion Cotillar - Nicholas Gaul - And to finish it off, here's your super realistic celebrity portrait for the month. I'm not usually into celebrity renders, but this one hits the mark. Plus, to loosely quote Owen Wilson's character in Midnight in Paris, "she pretty much has the best face ever."

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