d3 Technologies released version R11 of its popular media server d3 today. R11 includes some noticeable upgrades to the powerful d3 platform, not only in performance but in the user interface, as well.
The first feature that d3 Technologies highlights is its revamped projection mapping calibration tool. When using a 3D model in d3, the software can determine where a projector falls in space by having the user select vertices that are visible to the projector. The user then drags the points on the projector’s output to where the output falls on the physical object in the real world. Once enough of these points have been placed, the software can then determine where the projector is in space. If you have multiple projectors hitting the same object, it can then blend them together, creating one seamless image. This feature, which is already ahead of the curve, gets even better in R11.
The process of picking and placing vertices becomes streamlined in R11 and can be performed much quicker. R11 also makes it possible to do this alignment with multiple users in realtime. Multi-user support is new to R11. You can have several users modifying projector alignment at the same time on the same show file. This support extends to d3 Designer. d3 Designer is the offline version of d3, which can be loaded onto any PC and is licensed through the use of a license dongle. Because you can use a laptop, you don't need any additional hardware to take advantage of this feature.
d3 estimates that a projection alignment job with four projectors that would take half an hour in R10 can be done in minutes using R11. This is huge for large shows and one-offs that have a very limited amount of load-in time. However, this multi-user environment is only supported for projector alignment calibration and cannot be used in programming at this time.
R11 also brings many improvements under the hood, increasing its playback capability to 12 full HD pieces of content (DXV codec depending on bitrate and alpha). This is up 200% from R10.
Live capture will also see performance boosts. R11 supports two full HD-SDI inputs along with six full HD DXVs. The latency on the live input is estimated to be two frames per second, which is down from three in R10.
Show files can transfer between the two latest versions fairly easily. You can pack up an R10 file for use on an R11 system. Checkpointing, d3’s method of saving a project within the features of an exact build, is still supported between the two versions.
R11 doesn’t bring many new visible features other than the power calibration changes, but it does bring some significant performance boosts through software that doesn’t require any hardware modifications.