Hong Kong-based developer Artixels has unveiled Escher, a collection of 10 lighting plugins for Nuke aimed at providing fast, production-ready workflows for complex tasks.
The ‘album’ of plugins includes tools for faking caustic underwater lighting effects – there’s a video of its output on the Artixels website – and depth-based fake skin shading.
The video above shows the generation of screen-space ambient occlusion from a depth map; the use of spherical harmonic projection on light probe and normal map data; and morphological antialiasing.
Escher is scheduled to ship this December for Nuke 6.3+ on Windows and Linux, price $399.
Updated 29 September: The beta of Escher has just been released. The Windows version is out now, with Linux to follow next week. Check out the new video or email escher [at] artixels [dot] com to sign up for the beta.
PRESS RELEASE (Excerpts)
ARTIXELS, today announced debut visual effects (VFX) software plug-in album Escher, scheduled for official release in December 2012. Escher includes 8 essential plug-ins for advanced 2.5D lighting and 2 image-generation plug-ins, the 10-track full album will be available for The Foundry Nuke while selected tracks for other image compositing platforms will be announced later.
Escher offers Spherical Harmonics (SH) processing nodes for light probe image projection and lambertian shading, up to 6 bands of SH coefficients can be embedded into metadata stream and OpenEXR files. The album also features image-space occlusion shading and fake skin shading nodes using depth map based image processing. Several utility nodes are included for 3D Normal and Depth data preprocessing and morphological anti-aliasing.
Escher also brings artists image generation plug-in which renders animated underwater style caustics with endless creative possibilities and another node for photo-realistic sky rendering. Both plug-ins are highly optimized to enable a fluid creative experience with maximum interactivity.
Escher for Nuke will be compatible with The Foundry Nuke 6.3 on 64-bit Windows and 64-bit Linux. Support of MacOS X may become available according to demand. Escher for Nuke will be priced at US$399 which includes 1-year maintenance and technical support via emails.