Tuesday, January 30th, 2018 Posted by Jim Thacker

Science.D.Visions ships 3DEqualizer 4 Release 5

Science.D.Visions has shipped 3DEqualizer4 Release 5, the latest update to its high-end matchmoving app, adding a new GPU-based tracking engine, an LSF survey solver, and extending its 360-degree tracking tools.

The release marks the end of a lengthy development cycle: work on Release 5 first began in 2015, and the first public beta came out the following year.

Used by leading VFX facilities worldwide
One of the earliest matchmoving tools, 3DEqualizer received a technical Academy Award in 2002.

Since then, the software has been used at many of the world’s leading VFX houses, including Double Negative, Framestore, MPC, Weta Digital, Animal Logic and The Mill.

Science.D.Visions claims that it has been used as the primary tracking tool on 12 of the last 18 movies to win the Oscar for best visual effects, including Inception, Gravity and Interstellar.

New GPU-based 2D tracking engine and automated tracking
Features added in Release 5 include a new GPU-based engine for tracking 2D features in reference frames.

The engine, which can be see from 38:10 in the video above, enables users to identify a tracking feature in one reference frame and have 3DEqualizer4 automatically locate it in all the remaining frames.

There is also a new autotracking system, which completely automates the process, with the software identifying a user-specified number of tracking features on its own.

New LSF survey solver helps users fine-tune solves
There is also a new LSF (Least Squares Fit) survey solver, which enables users to lock individual position or rotation channels of object point groups to fine-tune or fix a solve.

Possible use cases can be seen in the video above, recorded by former Double Negative matchmove supervisor Michael Karp.

According to Science.D.Visions, the LSF survey solver is complementary to 3DEqualizer4’s existing solver, making it possible to switch back and forth between the two at any time.

More tools for creating and handling 3D meshes
3DEqualizer4’s toolsets for creating and orienting 3D models have also been extended, including new functions for refinining 3D models based on 3D cameras and creating UV texture maps out of 3D cameras.

There is also a new skinning function for generating 3D meshes from given point clouds.

The combined workflow can be seen in the video above, which explores the use of 3DEqualizer4 to generate a textured 3D model of a set from reference frames.

Updates to 360-degree tracking for VR projects, new workflow tools
Other changes include “a huge update” to 360-degree tracking – not least, the ability to display sequences of 360-degree images, rather than individual stills – seen at 19:20 in the video at the top of the story.

The software’s user interface has also been streamlined, and there are number of new workflow tools, including a handy lasso tool for selecting groups of reconstructed tracking points.

You can see the full changelog via the link at the foot of the story: in total, Science.D.Visions calculates that the update cycle has added over 100 new Python commands to the software.

Pricing and availability
3DEqualizer4 Release 5 is available now for 64-bit Windows, Linux and Mac OS X.

Pricing is up significantly since the previous release: a permanent floating licence now costs €6,999. Rental is now available on a weekly, monthly, three-monthly or annual basis starting at €179/month.

Read more about the new features in 3DEqualizer4 Release 5 on Science.D.Visions’ dev blog