We left it up to our readers to pick their favorite animation and vfx tools/software packages of the year. Here are the terrific 10 items that earned the most votes, inalphabetical order:
3ds Max (3D Studio Max) ’09
. Employed in many of the top Hollywood film productions, videogames and TV commercials, but also priced for the home studio, thisfull-featured 3D modeling, animation, rendering and effects solution has everything youneed to create high-quality content. The latest version, 3ds Max 9, offers new renderingcapabilities, improved interoperability with industry-standard products including Revitsoftware, lighting simulation and analysis technology, and additional time-savinganimation and mapping workflow tools. The software now comes in two distinct flavorsto better meet the specific needs of entertainment and visualization customers. Inaddition, greater OBJ translation fidelity and more import/export options allow for moreaccurate data transfers between 3ds Max and digital modeling packages, including thenew Autodesk Mudbox software. Suggested retail price is $3,495, with upgrades from3ds Max 2008 going for approximately $895.
Adobe Creative Suite 4 Master Collection
. Adobe has crammed a bunch of its popular software applications into this little box. This comprehensive, cross-media creativeenvironment offers users a wide variety of options for designing print, interactive, web,film, video and mobile content. Integrating new versions of widely used Adobe software,the suite allows artists to design freely with images, vectors, video and sound, movingeasily from page to screen. The Master Collection combines Adobe InDesign CS4,Photoshop CS4 Extended, Illustrator CS4, Acrobat 9 Pro, Flash CS4 Professional,Dreamweaver CS4, Fireworks CS4, Contribute CS4, After Effects CS4, Premiere Pro