CartoonNetwork.com has announced that the second quarter 2001 was its busiest quarter ever. Time spent on the site increased by almost ten minutes, peaking at a record 44 minutes 42 seconds in June. Cartoon Network attributed this rise to Cartoon Orbit, the Website's online trading community for kids; its Web Premiere Toons; and Toonami: Reactor, a 12-week broadband test, which featured on-demand anime content. The Website set a monthly record in June, attracting 3,102,000 unique users, a 100% increase from the previous year.
The June Acrobat issue of Animation World Magazine is now on-line! June focuses on independent animation. Martin "Dr. Toon" Goodman interviews Mo Willems, the creator/director of "Sheep In The Big City" about his career, his inspirations and a small sheep in a big city. Chris Robinson profiles Don Hertzfeldt, Ülo Pikkov, Andreas Hykade and Priit Tender, four of the brightest new stars in independent animation.
Get an inside peek! Tom Sito visits the construction site of what is sure to become a destination for animation fans worldwide - the Ghibli Museum, honoring none other than Hayao Miyazaki, one of animation's foremost legends.
On July 12 in New York, the International Flash Film Festival handed out this year's honors. Thirteen winners from the U.S. and around the world received the "arrow" award. The festival is the highlight of the Flashforward2001 conference and expo. The work of all 60 finalists, selected from over sixteen hundred nominations, was screened for the 200 attendees. The winners can be seen at: www.flashforward2001.com. Finalists and winners were selected by two panels of judges from the Flash community.
Spontaneous Combustion conceptualized, designed and conformed a 1 minute 20 second summer image promo, entitled "Max Blockbuster Summer," for HBO/Cinemax. Spontaneous design director Dana Yee said, "Our original intent was to incorporate a mosaic wall which would come to life and showcase a number of films. But during our brainstorming sessions, the focus shifted to graphics with more motion. We studied [fish schools] synchronized movements, how they seem to glitter and leave ripples in their underwater path and applied these characteristics to our test animations.
New Yorks Click 3x recently designed and produced a 2-minute video opening for One Show Interactive, a leading awards competition for interactive media design. The video, which kicked off the awards ceremony held recently in New York, features a journey inside the events prized Gold Pencil Award to reveal the creativity within. Conceived by Click 3x creative directors Christine Lin, Eve Lim and Michael Wiehart, the piece opens with a field of animated graphics representing software code and a gold-toned loading bar.
Each week, Animation World Magazine offers new articles, special features and theme-based coverage of the art, craft and industry of animation. New this week:
- New from Japan: Anime Film Reviews by Fred Patten
Fred Patten reviews the latest anime releases, including: "The Big O," "Urusei Yatsura," "Iria: Zeiram the Animation," "Key, the Metal Idol" and "Ruin Explorers: Quest for the Ultimate Power!"
The May Acrobat issue of Animation World Magazine is now on-line! As we have recently changed to a weekly format with the magazine many of you have noticed that this has also changed our publishing schedule for the downloadable, monthly PDF version. Never fear! We are going to keep publishing the Acrobat version. Each 15th of the month we will publish the previous month's articles.
Alias|Wavefront has begun shipping Maya 4, the latest release of the companys industry leading 3D animation and visual effects software suite. The new release boasts numerous enhancements and optimizations designed to improve the programs overall ease-of-use and efficiency, with particular focus on rendering, character animation, brush and paint tools and games related functionality. The new release includes enhanced functionality and usability in several key areas. Focused improvements have been made throughout Maya to upgrade the UI and streamline the production workflow.
Phoenix Tools, an Italy-based computer graphics software developer, announced the release of Origami 2.0, a high-end set of modules and utilities for Softimage|3D, and a new Maya Shader plug-in. Origami 2.0 allows users to extract or reconstruct the lost 3D information from a set of photographs or a motion sequence. The new package is faster and easier, with greater reliability, giving the user a complete set of tools for all the steps that constitute the complex process of camera tracking and 3D reconstruction.
In association with the International Critic's Week at the Cannes Film Festival, monsieurcinema.com awarded the first award for Best Web Film at Cannes 2001. The seven films in competition were: CUB by Steve Whitehouse, Canada; GOTCHAAA! by Eric Gosselet and Fabien Brandily, France; IN A GROVE by Hiroyuki Watanabe, Japan; LE SECRET MINCEUR by Stéphane Ricard, France; MARCELLE (episode Les Plaisirs De La Route) by Guillaume Joire, France; THE BIRTH OF STAINBOY by Tim Burton, USA; and THE SVUOTCHER by Flavio Della Rocca and Mattia Pasquini, Italy.
The Ring of Fire creative team has designed and produced a promo package for FOX Sports Net's "Regional Sports Report" that began airing on March 22, 2001. The package was customized for broadcast in 16 different regions. Targeted promos were created for the four main markets -- Southern California, Seattle, the South and Southwest -- which included footage of various athletes from those important regions. Ring of Fire also created a generic version of the promo, which contained generic footage and graphical elements that could easily be changed to identify specific regional teams.
Sideshow Post announced that award-winning computer graphics artist Jonathan Herbert has joined the company's Sideshow Motion Design division as creative director. Herbert comes on board after seven years at the helm of Zero Degrees Kelvin, his well-known New York City production boutique that specialized in 3D animation for TV commercials, product and science demos. Herbert has seventeen years experience in directing and managing 3D and special effects projects.
Softimage Co., a subsidiary of Avid Technology, Inc., has formed a strategic development relationship with Microsoft Corporation to provide professional 3D art tools for modeling and animation for the Xbox video game system. Through this agreement, SOFTIMAGE|XSI animation software and SOFTIMAGE|RTK character middleware will support the creation of Xbox-specific content. "The stunning graphics performance of Xbox is powered by the NVIDIA graphics processing unit (Xbox GPU).
Attracted by his passion for film and food, and a design aesthetic beyond his years, Black Logic has signed Alessandro Swainston as a designer/director, announced vice president and executive producer Karen Stewart. Black Logic is a comprehensive, creative collaboration company offering full-service visual effects, graphic design, high-end compositing, 2D and 3D animation, and complete live-action production.
The English-language version of the anime thriller JIN-ROH: THE WOLF BRIGADE will have its theatrical release at New York's Cinema Village on June 22, 2001, at the Varsity Theater in Seattle on June 29, 2001 and nationally throughout the summer. A collaboration between two generations of filmmakers, JIN-ROH marries a hard-hearted script by Momoru Oshii, the internationally acclaimed maker of GHOST IN THE SHELL with the vérité direction of Hiroyuki Okiura, assistant to Oshii on GHOST. JIN-ROH's setting is Tokyo - not the Tokyo of the future, but of an alternate past.
Animation World Magazine begins the month of May with a brand new look and a brand new publishing schedule: we're now publishing every week! No longer monthly, Animation World Magazine will now be updated each and every week with the same thoughtful and comprehensive coverage of the animation industry you've come to expect on the first of every month. We'll be spreading our special features and theme-based articles across the entire month. This month we will be focusing on RECRUITING AND JOBS.
Fox Kids Latin America, the pan-regional children's channel, will be airing a series of special animation viewer packages in June, 2001, including "Insomnio," a late-night block of both animation and live-action classic television series, as well as "Digithon," a special marathon screening of every episode of the hit "Digimon" anime series. "Insomnio," which debuts on June 11, will showcase everything from the best of Marvel animation series to classic WOODY WOODPECKER cartoons.
Digital studio Spontaneous Combustion has created the title design and end logo animation for a pool of 30-second spots, with 15-second lifts, for T.J. MAXXs Maxximum Stories campaign, which rolled out nationwide on March 18, 2001. The ads, tagged You should go, show women talking about why they love T.J. MAXX. According to design director Dana Yee, "Because the tag is You should go, we wanted to parlay a sense of motion with the typography.
The anime classic AKIRA, fresh from a $1 million restoration, has been released on the big screen in a few select theatres in Los Angeles, San Francisco and New York City. With digital projection, this is the cleanest, crispest print ever seen to date. AWN was invited to a special pre-release screening and was very impressed by the quality of the print and restoration. First released theatrically in Japan in 1988, AKIRA has garnered legions of fans around the world and is still considered a masterpiece of cel animation.
Creating what is arguably both the biggest project and greatest success in its eight years of operation, New York's The Diecks Group recently delivered a complete redesign of Discovery Kids Network, a three-hour block of programming aired on weekends on the Discovery Channel. Creative director Brian Diecks and The Diecks Group team were the exclusive creators of 122 on-air design elements, including block opens, next-ons, bumpers, interstitials and promo elements. The project required extensive live-action, 3D animation, effects compositing and 2D graphics.
Computer graphics house Island Fever Productions has completed two new commercials for Orkin's "fake-out" campaign. In this year's campaign, which like last years shows a pesky cockroach interrupting the viewing of two fake commercials, Island Fever Productions created the animation of the cockroach, all the additional animation and the final compositing for both commercials. The first faux commercial is for "Timmy Townsend P.I." in which Gary Coleman stars as a bumbling private eye. Island Fever created the CG logo treatment of flying streaking letters.
Venice, California's Digital Domain is looking for a VFX SUPERVISORto work in the company's commercial division. . . Winter Park, Florida'sFull Sail Real World Education is looking for an ASSOCIATE COURSEDIRECTOR OF COMPUTER SPECIAL EFFECTS in the Computer Animation DegreeProgram. . . Stony Brook, New York's Inky Dinky Animation Studios islooking for 2D, 3D and STOP-MOTION ANIMATORS for their new studio. . .London, UK's ITS is looking for a 3D ANIMATOR to design graphics for