Weekly Hardware & Software News Roundup for Content Creators October 24th - October 30th, 2020
October has been a busy month indeed, so why should the last week of October be any different? In addition to major GPU launches from AMD and Nvidia, there are more than a few updates on the software end of things for you to catch up on this week!
News This section covers news sourced from various trusted media and business outlets.
Adobe Announces GPU-Accelerated Hardware Decoding for H.264/HEVC Media in Premiere Pro
In a big boost for video professionals with AMD CPUs, Adobe updated Premiere Pro to add GPU-accelerated decoding. The feature has been available to those with Intel CPUs with iGPUs (Integrated Graphics), thanks to QuickSync. It looks like QuickSync now only has a slight edge over GPU decoding when working with H.264 media from preliminary tests. At the same time, GPU decoding has a similar advantage over QuickSync when working with HEVC media.
Autodesk Showcases Arnold 6.1 with Exciting New Features
The update brings new post-processing nodes for creating exposure, color correction, vignetting effects, and support for nestled dielectrics to render realistic overlapping surfaces such as bubbles or ice cubes in a drink. In addition to these new features, the update also introduces USD enhancements. It also improves GPU rendering speeds with improvements to on-demand texture loading and support for light linking, and more.
AMD Announces Radeon RX 6000 Series RDNA2 Graphics Cards: RX 6900XT, 6800XT, and 6800
Continuing with its stellar run of product releases, AMD revealed its high-performance graphics card lineup – the Radeon RX 6000 Series. The GPUs bring substantial improvements over the previous generation with an improved architecture on the same TSMC 7nm node. AMD’s products reportedly compete with the top-tier of Nvidia Ampere GPUs like the RTX 3090 at a lower price and power draw. However, they revealed no professional performance numbers during the event, which might not bode well for CG applications and software performance and support.
Adobe Announces Substance Alchemist Update that Brings an AI-Powered Scan Tool to Turn Photographic Data into Usable Materials
In an intriguing and very promising update to Substance Alchemist, Adobe introduced a new atlas workflow that showcases Image to Material Filter – an AI tool that generates usable materials from photos. In addition to the new tool, the update also includes more options for technical filters, warp and weathering filters, and color variation when designing materials. Adobe also confirmed RTX 30-series compatibility for the Image to Material Filter tool.
Nvidia Announces RTX 3070 Founders Edition at $500 – Out of Stock Instantly
In what’s become a meme at this point, Nvidia’s release of the RTX 3070 Founders Edition went like the internet expected it to – no stock within a few moments of the release of the graphics card. The RTX 3070 trades blows with an RTX 2080Ti while consuming less power and at half the price. However, there is no official statement on availability yet. For those on the lookout for stacking multiple cards for rendering setups, third-party blower cards should launch soon.
Houdini 18.5 Update Adds New Features for CG Professionals
SideFX revealed Houdini 18.5 with a brand-new KineFX feature – a procedural character solution designed to make motion editing and retargeting more flexible. It also introduces interactive brush tools for Vellum cloth, wires and soft bodies, a minimal solve for fast PyroFX sims, and critical enhancements to Solaris.
Rumor Roundup This section only covers rumors sourced from relatively unreliable sources. Please treat them as such.
Nvidia Reportedly Readying RTX 3080 Ti with 9984 CUDA Cores
A well-known leaker of Nvidia hardware specs posted information about a new GPU that sits somewhere between the RTX 3080 (8,704 CUDA cores) and the RTX 3090 (10,496 CUDA cores). Considering the blowback from lack of VRAM in pricey offerings like the 3080 and 3070, it’s highly likely that Nvidia would plan a cheaper 12GB or 16GB alternative to the RTX 3090. This could also be a response to AMD’s Radeon RX 6000 Series reveal event that featured 3 graphics cards with 16GB VRAM across the $580 to $999 price point.
This section keeps track of the latest versions of popular Content Creation Software. 3D
- Blender: 2.90.1
- Cinema 4D: 23.008
- 3ds Max: 2021.2
- Maya: 2020.3
- Houdini: 18.5.379
- Modo: 14.1.v2
- zBrush: 2021.1.2
- Keyshot: 9.3.14
- Redshift: 3.0.31
- Octane: 2020.1
- Vray: 5.00.05
- Arnold: 126.96.36.199
- Corona: 6
- Renderman: 23.4
- Deadline: 10.1.10.6
- Substance Painter: 2020.2.2
- Substance Designer: 2020.1.3
Motion Design, Compositing
- Premiere Pro: October 2020 (14.5)
- Davinci Resolve: 16.2.7
- Final Cut Pro X: 10.4.10
Graphic Design, Illustration, Photo Editing
- After Effects: October 2020 (17.5)
- Fusion: 16
- Nuke: 12.2
- Photoshop: October 2020 (22.0)
- Illustrator: October 2020 (25.0)
- Lightroom: October 2020 (10.0)
- Indesign: October 2020 (16.0)
- Solidworks: 2020 SP5.0 EV
- Revit: 2021.1.1
- Autocad: 2021
- Inventor: 2021.1.2
- Archicad: 24
- Sketchup: 2020.2
- Unity3D: 2020.1.11
- Unreal: 4.25