Wednesday, April 16th, 2014 Posted by Jim Thacker

Autodesk releases Toxik and MatchMover for free

MatchMover in use in a video recorded by Autodesk’s Gary M. Davis. The company has just announced its intention to release MatchMover and compositing package Toxik for free via its Exchange Apps site.

Originally posted on 28 March. Scroll down for updates, including the download link.

Autodesk is to release Toxik and MatchMover, its legacy compositing and match-moving software, for free via the Autodesk Exchange Apps online store.

Both products – Toxik developed by Autodesk, MatchMover acquired with RealViz in 2008 – are no longer actively developed, but are bundled with 3ds Max and Maya, the former under the name Autodesk Composite.

The two will become available “in a week or two” without a EULA – and presumably, without support.

No plans to do the same for Softimage
The news was posted by Autodesk Director of Media and Entertainment Chris Vienneau on a thread on the Softimage mailing list reporting Autodesk CEO Carl Bass’s response to the recent open letter venting Softimage users’ anger at the discontinuation of the software.

Not surprisingly, the announcement led list members to call for Softimage to be made available in the same way once updates cease in April 2016.

That drew a detailed response from Vienneau, noting that Softimage, unlike Toxik or MatchMover, includes third-party libraries, including mental ray, Syflex, Shave and a Haircut, PhysX and Lagoa.

“If we wanted to do what we did with Toxik, [we] would have to remove all those features … and [since the Linux emulator is also a third-party library, there would be] no Linux [version],” he said.

As well as hobbling the software, the work required would be prohibitively expensive, said Vienneau.

“This is a massive code base requiring at least 4-5 developers plus support just to keep it running. Open source is not an option given how much code that is in Maya and 3ds Max is [also] in Softimage.

“We could not release enough of it to be worth putting a team around.”

The thread, which includes lengthy exchanges between Vienneau and Autodesk industry manager Maurice Patel and senior visual effects artists, is well worth reading in full: it starts here.

Updated 16 April: Both apps are now available to download on Autodesk Exchange, as is background rendering app Backburner. It’s officially Autodesk Composite that is available, not an earlier version of Toxik.

All three are available for Windows, Linux and Mac OS X.