The leading creative media and entertainment software company Foundry has released Katana 4.0, its software for developing and lighting looks.
Building on several developments that focused on UX, performance, and overall architecture in the Katana 3 series, Katana 4.0 provides key features that enable artists to accomplish complex, high-quality work on shorter schedules and tighter budgets.
Jordan Thistlewood, Director of Product – Pre-Production, Look Development & Lighting, Foundry, explains, “This version 4.0 is the most significant for Katana in the last decade. It is the culmination of many years of planning and work to realize the foundry vision of an artist-centric tool for creating and lighting looks that is the most intuitive and powerful that has ever existed. The new lighting mode complies with more than 20 years of UX standards for creating, placing and manipulating lights in a CG workflow. Working with lights is now tactile as artists can work via gestures while interacting with the image itself. The Katana Foresight workflows enable look developers and light artists to work with incredibly new levels of efficiency. These powerful workflows turn Katana into a command center that allows artists to develop an asset or make multiple recordings at once. Never before have artists had so much power and it's just the tip of the iceberg for us. "
State-of-the-art UX lighting, updated USD technology and pioneering foresight rendering workflows with two new functions, Multiple Simultaneous Renders and Networked Interactive Rendering, offer artists a fast, scalable feedback process and give them the additional confidence in their creative decisions .
The new Artist Focused Lighting Mode enables artists to mimic the creative decisions and thought processes of live action cameramen. This mode is a combination of several new workflows and supports creating and manipulating lights directly over the rendered image in Katanas Viewer with gestures, which makes the work very intuitive and tactile.
Katana 4.0 introduces the Foresight rendering workflows, which allow artists to work simultaneously with renderings from multiple shots, frames, assets, asset variations, and other tasks in a Katana project file. You can leverage the extra power of networked machines for fast and scalable rendering feedback when your local machine has reached its limits. This means that an interactive katana session can be scaled at least linearly by the number of machines a studio makes available to an artist to control its rendering.
USD improvements include an updated Katana Hydra bridge, robust support for the USD Preview Surface, and USD Material Export, which provide better fidelity and performance in the Katra Hydra Viewer. This makes Katana the best place to do look development for a Hydra Viewer or final rendering for all other departments.
The full list of Katana 4.0 features can be found here Here.