Exocortex Technologies, in collaboration with CG Artists Chris Covelli and Eric Thivierge, is pleased to introduce Exocortex Species. Exocortex Species simplifies the process of human character creation from designing your character’s unique attributes, integrating sculpting results, to rig creation, even animation. With Species, you will create higher quality animated characters faster and at a lower cost, while avoiding the generic look that often come when purchasing off-the-shelf models.
Exocortex Species supports both Autodesk Softimage 2010, 2011 and 2012 on both Windows and Linux. Floating and node locked licenses are available starting at $299. For full licensing details, please refer to the Species Purchase Options.
The brain child of Chris Covelli, Exocortex Species has been designed to meet the needs of production animators and TDs while simplifying the process of character creation. Chris realized that the types of characters required in production can be viewed as variations of the fundamental human form. Thus Chris designed a system that starts with a high quality human proportional rig, either male or female, which is then customized via a simple but powerful morphology blender to the unique character proportions required for your production. Eric Thivierge joined the project to apply his Softimage plugin experience to make the best product possible. The resulting unique character form can then be converted, at the push of a button, to a high quality production rig that your animators will love working with.
Exocortex Species is primarily designed as a time saver. Species will save studios and artists days if not weeks of time developing character assets.
In a matter of minutes you can create multiple characters from the same proportional rig and line them up for quick reviews by your designers. Once approved you simply generate the animation rig which takes less than a minute and you’re off and running into layout and shot production.
No longer are your artists required to spend days building a mesh from scratch and the same if not more to build the rig to go along with it.
Less time spent in character development means more time for creativity in animation and thus bears a higher quality product.
To avoid both the generic cookie cutter look that often comes with using pre-build, off the shelf models and to better meet the needs of your art direction, Species has integrated an innovative body type blending system. Chris and Eric have created more than a dozen classic body types for both the male and female proportional rigs each with its own unique twist including:
If one of our classic body types doesn’t meet your needs, it is possible in Species to blend these classic body types together to create the unique mix your production requires.
These presets are accessible in the custom synoptic (GUI Picker) for the Proportional Rig.
Species includes two high quality human models, one female and one male. These models have been designed by the creators to meet the needs of production. The meshes have been modeled to ensure the topology allows for the best deformations and come complete with quality mapped UVs. For the large majority of projects, these models should be sufficient for modelling humanoids.
But if these meshes don’t meet your needs, Species supports a number of convenient work flows for achieving more:
To accelerate work flow, Species utilizes the primary synoptic view below (featured in the animation rig section) for navigating the proportional rig controllers. This synoptic is also automatically attached to any custom meshes upon import.
Eric Thivierge, a professional character TD / RnD developer at Hybride Technologies, has created in Species a fast and fully automated conversion system that converts your proportional rig and mesh into an animation rig. Eric’s data driven approach allows for a vast range of different rig configurations to be built on the fly.
The animation rig includes:
Like the proportional rig, the animation rig comes with a multi-page synoptic allowing your animators to select controls and animate with ease!
The animation rig has been designed with a mixed pipeline in mind. The deformations of the meshes are driven by null (locator) objects and thus allows users to export the mesh along with the deformers to other packages such as Maya or any others that support FBX.
The characters generated through the Species system are portable and do not require additional plug-ins to operate normally. The synoptic can be localized to the current project and can then be packaged with the model file for inter studio transfer or for sending to artists off site.
If the users so chooses, they may generate an armature with no controls from the proportional rig and then add a control system themselves.
Species is only two months old, but already it has found a welcome home in leading Softimage-based studios around the world:
"We're currently using Species on a couple of projects and we have a big job coming up for which we'll be using it extensively. Even now, it's already allowed our artists to jump right in and push their work along. It's a great product and makes me wish I had more characters to model!"
Tim Crowson - Magnetic Dream
"I will definitely be using it in production at Busty Kelp."
Paul Smith - Busty Kelp
"I had already started using Species on a live work project during beta, and I'm finding it a simple and productive system to get up and running fast."
Gavin Marais - Derivco
"I just wanted to give a thumbs up to the creators of Species. The plug-in is now an important tool in my regular pipeline. Literally saving me days on each character.""
Robert Dowling - Pixelpickle Games
Exocortex Species has been created by an experienced pair of CG Artists with complimentary strengths:
Eric Thivierge is a Character TD / RnD developer at Hybride Technologies. Eric’s background includes stints at Animal Logic, The Mill, Psyop, Superfad, and SpeakeasyFX. Eric has a long history of creating plug-ins for the Softimage community including the popular ET_AnimStore, and ET_PassManager plugins.
Chris Covelli is a freelance 3D generalist in New York. Chris began his career as lead creature modeler and animator for The Last Winter, an indie horror film. Chris' recent client’s include Quietman, SpeakeasyFX, Superfad, and Janimation. Exocortex Species evolved from the GrowRig plug-in, Chris’s first foray into plug-in development.
We'd also like to give credit to all of our awesome beta testers for the great feedback which helped us make an amazing plug-in. A special thanks goes out to Mitch Lotierzo for creating the custom Species synoptics.
In addition to providing a detailed user manual, we have developed a series of video tutorials, designed and narrated by Chris Covelli and Eric Thivierge, that guide you through various tools within Species:
To stay up to date with new releases, learn tricks and tips for getting the most of out Species and chat with fellow users as well Species's creators Chris Covelli and Eric Thivierge join us in the Species Support and Discussion mailing list:
In order to see if Exocortex Species matches your needs, we have created a demo version for you to try out.
Individual node-locked license
Available for only $299!
RLM-based floating license
Available for only $299!
Available for only $999!
Educational pricing is also available to individuals with proof of academic enrollment. For educational discounts, please contact email@example.com with your order details and supporting documentation.