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Combustion 3 Begins Rollout

New version ships for Windows; Mac OS X upgrade expected in early 2004 By Dave Nagel
Discreet has started shipping Combustion 3, a major update to the company's desktop compositing and motion graphics suite, but for Windows only for the time being. The new version, which adds editing functionality and scripting, as well as performance enhancements, is shipping now for Windows, with the Mac OS X version set to follow in early 2004.

Discreet had said earlier that the Mac version of Combustion would ship in 2004 and that the Windows version would ship in fall 2003, though all previous versions of Combustion were released simultaneously for Macintosh and Windows systems. (Discreet has also staggered development of its Cleaner encoding software, releasing the Mac version of Cleaner 6 first, then releasing Cleaner XL for Windows only.) In the meantime, those purchasing Combustion 2.1 still qualify for a free upgrade to Combustion 3 when it is released on the Mac next year.

As previously reported, Combustion 3 brings several feature enhancements, as well as completely new functionality, to the compositing suite. This includes a new Edit Operator, which allows for editing (such as assembling clips with transitions) directly within Combustion. It also adds JavaScript-based expressions for creating complex animations, Flash output, customized brushes and DV capture within the application through FireWire. The new version also includes an integrated version of RE:Vision Effects' RE:Flex plugin, which includes warping and morphing capabilities. Other features include:

  • Performance optimizations in rendering, OpenGL acceleration, multi-processor support, extensive caching and multiple viewports;
  • Advanced keying, color correction, tracking, grain management and masking tools adopted from Discreet Flame;
  • Fully integrated particle system with real-time preview and OpenGL acceleration;
  • Character generator for animated text;
  • Advanced rotoscoping;
  • Streamlined design environment;
  • Fully editable and automated schematic view;
  • Resolution-independent with 8-, 10-, 12-, 16- and 32-bit (float) per component image processing;
  • Integration with Flash, Photoshop, Illustrator, 3ds max and Maya;
  • Network rendering and central job management across multiple systems.

Combustion 3 is available now for Windows. The Mac OS X version is expected to ship early in 2004. The full version runs $995, with upgrades from Combustion 2 costing $199. Those who purchased Combustion 2 Aug. 9 or later qualify for a free upgrade. For more information, visit

Contact the author: Dave Nagel is the producer of Creative Mac and Digital Media Designer; host of several World Wide User Groups, including Synthetik Studio Artist, Adobe Photoshop, Mac OS, Adobe InDesign, Adobe LiveMotion, Creative Mac and Digital Media Designer; and executive producer of the Digital Media Net family of publications. You can reach him at

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