Autodesk has announced the Toxik 2009 procedural compositing software, which offers compositing and visual effects capabilities, particularly for large-format digital film and television projects.

Toxik 2009 can generate compositions based on Render Pass and Render Layer setups imported from Maya. Artists can pre-visualize their scene as it will appear when composited, allowing them to only iterate and refine required elements. Autodesk says that this accelerates the 3D-to-2D workflow, eliminating unnecessary re-renders and reducing the need for round-tripping.

Toxik 2009 offers new tools that bring a pseudo third dimension to 2D imagery. These tools facilitate the creation of virtual set extensions, and the production of stereoscopic films. Artists can import geometry via the Autodesk FBX file format from Maya or other 3D applications, and project a matte painting or rendered image onto it through the camera.

The illusion of depth or perspective can be further enhanced through a new mesh displacement feature. Render pass setups can be imported directly from Maya. Stereo output can be viewed while playing back a scene and while interacting with it.

New effects tools include a Warp 2D tool to deliver advanced, non-linear, spline-based image warping; a Lens Blur tool to change the shape of the lens in the virtual camera, to simulate real-world camera effects such as rack de-focus; and the ability to view images created in Toxik on Windows on broadcast-quality display devices.

Toxik 2009 will be available in October 2008. US pricing is $3,495 (around £1,835), or $875 (£460) as an upgrade from Toxik 2008 to Toxik 2009. We haven't received UK pricing yet.