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Posted Tue Jul 17, 2012 - by Joel LeLievre

Developer News

Thinkbox reveals Ember


(Updated) Thinkbox's CEO Chris Bond has further explained Ember's capabilities in a comment posted on this news item. Read on for more.
The makers of Krakatoa, Frost, and Deadline, have announced a new tool to their lineup called 'Ember'. Ember is a volumetric manipulation tool that allows you model, merge, and manipulate volumes. You can see some demo videos on the Thinkbox website, and if you want you can apply for the beta as well.


by chris bond - July 17, 2012 11:12 am

hey! just to add to this – this is more than just about volumes: it’s a tool that can sample existing particle animations, volumes, and simulations created in pretty much any simulation or particle system tool. Once sampled into Fields, you can edit it like you might edit digital video footage or with a compositing app, but of course in 3D Space and Time. That means you can filter, combine, subtract, twist/warp and modify the fields to generate new results, or enhance existing ones- or tweak to give the client the notes they want addressed without re-simulating. Additionally, you can create fields directly from textures, geometry and other methods to come to model volumes directly – or use those modeled fields to create entirely new simulations. I can keep saying ‘additionally’ but i think if you consider the paradigm of compositing and how it can affect rendered images – you get the starting point for what you can do to simulation and particle systems with Ember.

I think it’s going to be tough to get what you can do – but imagine creating hybrid simulations from different simulators that are the best components of each – or using one simulation to push/distort/warp another in time and space – or forgoing simulation at all, using the system to directly model clouds or other volume data and then simulating that…design your target simulation as a model!

I hope you can tell i love this tool and am super excited..but we havent even finished the feature set, so i think this is going to be a pretty amazing tool for artists across all disciplines.



by Steve Green - July 17, 2012 11:29 am

Hi Chris,

Is this connected to (I think it was called) Volume, with direct links to hardware like Kinect?

Or something totally different?



by joe - July 17, 2012 2:05 pm

Another amazing tool coming from Thinkbox!
The only question I have about Ember is this:

Will there be any “Presets” available for it upon launch?

by Bobo - July 17, 2012 2:47 pm

We had a prototype tool for scanning point clouds using Kinect that we demoed last Siggraph (code-named Fathom). It was able to output data in PRT format and could theoretically work with Ember, but we have not explored that route yet.

Yes, there will be presets and demo scenes. Ember uses the same Magma UI as Genome, so you will notice a > button next to the Editor button which lets you load a preset flow without even opening the Magma Editor. We have started building some libraries of typical flows, but in many cases, the flows will depend on external data like FumeFX objects or FXD file sequences, so providing the complete Max scene file might be more useful. Most of the scenes you saw in the demo videos will hopefully be included.

That being said, Ember is meant to be a LEGO-like system, so we hope users will build new things with it we haven’t thought of, esp. in conjunction with other tools.


by Steve Green - July 17, 2012 3:38 pm

Hi Bobo,

cheers – knew I got the name wrong, but couldn’t remember what it was…



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