Autodesk has announced the 2009 releases of the Inferno, Flame and Flint software for visual effects systems, and the Autodesk Smoke software finishing system. The company also announced Extension 1 for Autodesk Toxik 2008 software for digital compositing. The releases will be showcased at the NAB 2008 conference in Las Vegas, which is running currently.

Autodesk's visual effects and finishing systems have been used to create numerous blockbuster films, including all three Oscar-nominated movies for Best Visual Effects - The Golden Compass, Transformers and Pirates of the Caribbean 3. Autodesk solutions have also been used to create Emmy-award winning television programs such as Prison Break, Grey's Anatomy, Pushing Daisies, and many of this year's Super Bowl commercials such as Coca-Cola's It's Mine, Budweiser's Clydesdale Team and Federal Express' Carrier Pigeons.

"Viewers are demanding increasing visual sophistication," said Stig Gruman, Digital Entertainment Group vice president, Autodesk Media & Entertainment. "In order to meet this demand, our customers rely on Autodesk solutions to differentiate themselves by delivering high-value content and extreme productivity. With our 2009 releases, we are introducing additional creative capabilities and new visual effects workflows, as well as expanded compressed media support at price points that make our solutions more accessible to mid-range post-production facilities and broadcasters."

New features in Inferno 2009, Flame 2009 and Flint 2009 include creative tools such as high-quality blur and glow tools, enhancements to the 3D tracking toolset for faster match moving, and auto-stabilization capabilities. It debuts expanded format support, including the ability to input Panasonic P2 MXF files and common professional Quicktime codecs.

Timeline enhancements include support for the Smoke SoftFX in a multi-layer timeline, and there are enhancements to the OpenEXR workflow, allowing artists to perform compositing operations using high dynamic range files from applications such as Maya and Toxkik.

New productivity and troubleshooting tools include WiretapCentral, which allows users to browse the Autodesk systems' clip libraries and encode media using a network-connected web browser

Smoke 2K 2009 gains a new tree-based compositing workflow, called Batch FX, which is designed to provide increased visual effects capabilities by marrying the Smoke system's editorial timeline with the powerful 3D compositing environment. All versions of Smoke 2009 gain expanded format support, including the ability to input Panasonic P2 MXF files and common professional Quicktime codecs - plus productivity and troubleshooting tools, such as WiretapCentral.

Autodesk Toxik 2008 Extension 1 adds a Warp Image tool, which delivers advanced, nonlinear warping of an image with precise user-control over transformations. Pixel Expression Language (PXL) is a new programming language that allows compositors to quickly create and customize many of the most commonly applied effects, such as warping, blur, transitions, and more support for video previewing, which streamlines the compositing workflow by enabling artists to make informed colour decisions.

Autodesk expects that the 2009 releases of Inferno, Flame, Flint and Smoke will be available in April 2008. Autodesk Toxik Subscription will be available in Spring 2008 and Autodesk Toxik 2008 Extension 1 will be available to members of Autodesk Subscription for Toxik with a valid subscription contract.