The Comedy Central test of showing via a series of interstitial spots pulled from the HOUSE ARREST pilot worked as the cablenet has given the show a greenlight for 13 half-hours to premiere in 2004. The new animated show, from comic Denis Leary and Jim Serpico's Apostle studio, started airing as spots at 9:58 pm on May 1, 2003.
Wildform, creators of video and animation software, have released Wild fx 3.0, a major upgrade to its Flash text animation software, previously sold under the name SWfX. The new version has more than 100 new effects, including 45 that are infinitely customizable. These custom effects can also be used as templates to create new effects, which can be saved and added to the Wild fx library. All the effects can be moved, deleted and organized in a drag and drop folder tree.
New York City-based Animation Collective, Inc., has appointed Aundrea DeFur to the newly created position of head of production. She will oversee the studio's production slate and manage client relationships.
The 4th Bitfilm Festival for Digital Film and New Media is looking for entries for the event that will take place in Hamburg, Germany on September 19-26, 2003. Prize money totaling 45,000 Euros will be awarded in five categories: Digital FeaturesFilms that run 90 minutes, which use 3D animation and digital effects as an artistic means.Bit ShortsShort films, music videos and ads which use 3D animation and digital effects as an artistic means. FlashLinear films and interactive works made with Macromedia Flash.Machinima
COO Joan Vogelesang has been appointed president of Toon Boom Technologies Inc., replacing Jacques Bilodeau who has left the company. She now takes complete charge of the company's direction and will continue to spearhead sales, marketing and operations, according to Hubert Manseau, chairman of board. Regarding Bilodeu's departure, Manseau said, "The Board of Directors would like to thank Mr. Bilodeau for his past contributions at Toon Boom Technologies and wish him the best of luck in his future endeavors."
Chel White, Ray Di Carlo and David Daniels have combined strengths to form an artist-driven studio Bent Image Lab, in Portland, Oregon. "Our mission is to generate the future in 'mixed media/animation/live-action'," said partner/executive producer Di Carlo. "We are artists doing business, not businessmen trying to make art." Di Carlo however, has a successful business background and will operate Bent under a highly unique business model.
Expression Center for New Media has named one of its state-of-the-art digital media labs in honor of late animation legend Chuck Jones. The Chuck Jones Lab in Emeryville, California will be used by Expression Digital Visual Media students to create 3D animation and modeling using Maya, After Effects, Flash, Vicon Workstation and Kaydara FiLMBOX software, plus Dell precision workstations with 2.2GHz processors and Trinitron monitors.
Nominees for the 1st Annual International 3D Awards have been announced and Jason Schleifer, animation lead at Weta Digital (LORD OF THE RINGS), will host the Short Films category at the ceremony to be held in the evening, May 9, 2003 at the 3D Festival 2003 in Copenhagen, Denmark. Schleifer also chaired and oversaw the judging process for the Short Films category with an international panel of jury members from the 3D industry. The short film nominees are: - SHOW & TELL, Kapow Pictures, Australia- THE CHUBBCHUBBS, Sony Pictures Imageworks, USA
Alias|Wavefront has announced its new Maya 5 can be downloaded immediately by customers on full annual maintenance and registered for eSupport via www.aliaswavefront.com/maya/support, a week before its due to ship, May 1, 2003, for new and upgrading customers. Maya 5 offers enhancements especially helpful for character animation, dynamics and polygonal modeling, and has become more applicable to 2D artists, Web developers and technical illustrators.
International toy and game company University Games has formed an alliance with Warner Bros. Consumer Products to create a number of JUSTICE LEAGUE products, based on the popular DC Comics comic book series and Cartoon Networks hit animated show that includes the worlds most powerful superheroes: BATMAN, SUPERMAN, WONDER WOMAN, GREEN LANTERN, MARTIAN MANHUNTER, HAWKGIRL and THE FLASH.
Hong Kong-based animation studio STVDIO Media has produced an animated spot for Coca-Colas Slurpee "Brainfreeze" product in Singapore and its agency M&C Saatchi. DR. BRAINFREEZE'S LABORATORY features the creator of the ice-cold Slurpee drink, Dr. Brainfreeze, who loves his drink even though he has to go to great lengths to thaw out his head after each sip. He employs various gadgets such as hairdryer and a blowtorch-wielding robot to thaw out. The animators used a DEXTER'S LABORATORY inspired style for the mad doctor.
When Spanish newcomer Zinkia Entertainment attended MIPCOM, the Madrid-based company received more interest in its older-skewed series, SHURIKEN SCHOOL (6-10-years-old). But at the conclusion of MIP-TV, Maria Doolan, director of int'l co-productions at Zinkia, reports a mood change with buyers showing interest in her pre-school show POCOYÓ. "The pre-school market appeared to be more buoyant again," said Doolan. Zinkia is close to signing int'l pre-sales on both series. POCOYÓ is a 52-part, 3D animated series starring Pocoyó, an inquisitive toddler who wants to reach out and touch everything, as well as a plastic yellow duck, a magic clown, an athletic elephant and a friendly narrator. The series is created in short stimulating blocks for infant learning and development, using vibrant sound, music, movement and images. Zinkia has developed its own technology to give a clay-like quality to the characters. The comedy action series SHURIKEN SCHOOL (52x13), aimed at kids 6-10, features a manga style student, Eizan Kaburagi, attending the oldest and most respected ninja academy in the world, a weird and wild place where anything can and does happen. Produced entirely in Flash animation, the series is due to start production in spring 2003. Both series, which have been developed and created in English, have been created as multimedia concepts and are fully compatible with all kinds of multi-platform applications. Zinkia Entertainment (www.zinkia.com), is a multi-platform production company, creating quality entertainment, animation, commercials, IDs, graphics and music.
Toon Boom released its latest version of USAnimation with improved features and a new name to distinguish one of the most widely used 2D animation softwares in the world. USAnimation OPUS features a new user interface for users to configure layouts to suit their own workflow preferences. Camera, Xsheet, Paint and Scene Planning functions have been merged into one Universal Stage Module. "Our next generation of vector technology allows more functionality and increases quality of the work," said Joan Vogelesang, Toom Boon Technologies' COO.
Vancouver-based Atomic Cartoons is showcasing four new properties at MIP-TV 2003. The creators of ATOMIC BETTY (recently picked up by TELETOON Canada, Teletoon France and Cartoon Network Europe), are presenting animated trailers of DENNIS, DYSFUNCTION JUNCTION, DIRTY LIL BASTER and THE CARNEYS at the spring television market in France. DYSFUNCTION JUNCTION (26x22) is an irreverent primetime social commentary for adults about a well-to-do family that goes bankrupt and is forced to move into a trailer park.
Maxon has released Cinema 4D R8.1, an update of its modeling, rendering and animation software, which is free to download for all owners of Cinema 4D R8. New features include HDRI and new particle effects. Full support for HDRI (High Dynamic Range Imagery) is an eagerly awaited improvement to the Advanced Render module, according to Paul Babb, Maxon CEO. This new feature enables users to take full advantage of special 96-bit HDRI photographs, which represent the complete brightness range of the environment they were taken in.
Jan Nagel joined the jadooWorks marketing team as a consultant it was announced by CEO Rajiv Marwah. Along with Elizabeth Koshy, North American marketing director of jadooWorks, Nagel will provide business development and marketing services in Southern California. Since 1991, Nagel has done marketing and business development for production studios including Dream Quest Images, Calico Entertainment and VirtualMagic Animation. She also is president of Women In Animation.
The hot buzz at the Training Conference and Expo February 22-27, 2003 in Atlantas Georgia World Congress Center (www.trainingconference.com) was about graphics and animation, especially Flash (Macromedia had a monster presence at the show, as did Adobe). The huge show, which serves the nations $100-billion-plus training industry, featured seminars on using animation, gaming and simulation to train corporate executives, managers and sales forces more effectively than by traditional boring text-based training generated with tools such as Microsoft Word PowerPoint.
Disney director Steve Trenbirth joins Mad Cow Pictures founder Steve Sagovac as co-owner of the Australian animation company. Before directing JUNGLE BOOK 2, Trenbirth was animation director on Disneys Annie Award nominated LADY & THE TRAMP 2 and Annie Award winning LION KING 2. Mad Cow offers Flash and traditional animation services, specializing in character design/development, storyboards, Leica reels and is developing its own projects including OOSTEVEN: PLAYGROUND PRIVATE EYE and LEEROY & LOU-ANNE.
Richard Bazley, a lead animator on the animated features HERCULES, POCOHONTAS, OSMOSIS JONES and IRON GIANT, among others, has come on board as director of BA20's 78 x 7-minute Flash animation series RIP, THE ANGRIEST PIG IN THE WORLD. Created by cyberpunk author Steve Aylett, and produced by BA20 Entertainment, the series is described as "Tex Avery doing Beavis & Butthead." Bazley's company Bazley Films will produce the show in the U.K.
John Halfpenny has just posted MONOPOLIS, his new flash animation depicting a world with questionable values. Also, check out Gogues recently completed work in the conceptual art gallery on the official Terminator 3 website. New in the Showcase, the flash animation work of Barry Munden bringing a little old-fashioned Sci-Fi to the web.
Click here to visit the Showcase.
Toronto-based independent animation house Cuppa Coffee recently completed a commercial for Nissan Almera. "A car commercial is always a unique challenge," said executive producer Adam Shaheen. "You really need to demonstrate difference from the other cars out there, and our goal was to show that difference through the class and style in the illustration reference, and building a relationship between the style, the characters and the product." Working with Mexicos OMNI Producciones with a brief from agency C. C.
Heading into NATPE 2003, Canada's Studio B has announced new shows and deals, and is aiming to attract some international co-production deals during the upcoming trade show. Currently the studio is in development on SIMON STIMPLE (26 x 22-minutes) for TELETOON.
Content developer ScreamDesign.com has launched its original Web tool Flash Blaster II, which helps users create high-end Flash animations without software or training. According to ScreamDesign, even novice users can create custom, professional-quality Flash animations in a matter of minutes. FlashBlaster gives users access to a creative library of Flash animation templates, which can be modified easily to create personal messages with unique graphics, music and sound.
VH1 and Mondo Media will debut their new special ROCKSTROLOGY on January 2, 2003 on VH1. The show features humorous animated interpretations of psychic predictions for the year 2003. ROCKSTROLOGY answers all those burning questions about today's hottest musicians and celebrities. Get the latest on Jennifer Lopezs romance, find out whats in store for Marilyn Manson and take a peek into the future career of Jack Osbourne.