Flashback! Some tools that we cannot do without

There are just two days remaining for 2017 to wind up, we thought it’s a good time to look back at some of the top tech tools of the year.

While some of them are new, and some have evolved or pivoted into something newer and more exciting, some of them are simply becoming more embraced in the industry so that their importance to what we do every day has increased:

Atom View This effect tool takes point data and drives it through game or VR systems to provide real-time and high-fidelity feedback for 3D models.



Allegorithmic Substance Designer/Painter Has been around for a few years, but with its PBR (physically-based rendering) shaders and display, lookdev and texturework has never been so fun or fast. More and more visual effects companies have embraced the workflow.

Substance Designer

X-Rite TAC7 Ecosystem This useful scanner captures and stores color, texture, gloss and other surface appearance characteristics of physical material samples and helps out in the entertainment business as well.


Substance Painter

GPU Rendering Clarisse and RedShift just keep getting more and more involved in speeding up the rendering process. Throwing rendering to the graphics cards is a thing now especially when the tools are becoming platform agnostic.


Universal Scene Description Developed by Pixar and adopted by other smart people everywhere, USD is a system of assembling assets (models, lights, cameras, etc.) into a scene and then allowing that scene to be read by multiple applications. It is also flexible enough to generate master scenes that can then be adjusted per shot with overrides.


MaterialX This one was developed by the smart people at ILM and then shared with everyone as a way to have transferrable shaders between platforms. It’s good to see this sharing trend.

Material X