UK-based The Foundry announced low-cost, limited versions of Modo and Mari. Both are available in permanent license and rental licensing options. A feature comparison between the indie and full versions can be found on the related FAQ, more information is available on the press release at The Foundry's website.
Marek Denko and Peter Sanitra have generously released 150 free spherical HDRs through their NoEmotion studio. The images are in 15000x7500 resolution and have been used by the artists in their own projects. Peter Sanitra also describes the process of how the HDR images were created. More on NoEmotion studio.
Megascans is an online library of thousands of physically based material and object scans. Materials are seamlessly tiled, 2x2 meters, 4-16K, HDR and calibrated for all common BRDFs. Every asset is tiered for VFX as well as real-time use. (more...)
A number of video recordings from presentations given at this year's Autodesk University are now available on AU Online (registration required). (Note: a few of the classes are publicly available on Autodesk's Area)
The NVidia PhysX team has made available a video showing new developments in their real-time unified dynamics framework, including interaction between rigid bodies, cloth and particle-based smoke. More on NVidia's website.
French VFX artist Julien Leterrier has posted a great making of video showing how he created a full CG animated shot inspired by the recent Star Wars VII teaser. The shot was created in just 4 days using 3DS Max, Mudbox and AE. Mental Ray was used for rendering. Watch the video and making of on Vimeo.