ANIMATION WORLD MAGAZINE - ISSUE 5.11 - FEBRUARY 2001
pmG: An Artistic Answer to 3D Animation
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Only Getting Better
A year after the release of project:messiah, pmG has reached its initial goals and is reaching out for much more. What has been the premier animation plug-in for LightWave, is about to take a giant leap with the upcoming release of the standalone messiah:studio suite, consisting of messiah:animate 3.0 and messiah:render, the company's new global illumination and radiosity renderer. The products can be purchased separately or as a full suite. The big news for the industry is that messiah:animate will also support and enhance Maya, 3D Studio MAX and Softimage XSI, in addition to LightWave. In a surprise announcement, pmG has just announced that the full suite will also port to Apple OS X.
In addition to fast, high quality diffuse illumination, messiah:render will feature caustics, volumetric lights that are accurate to real world conditions, soft shadows, efficient rendering of dense polygon scenes without a proportionally linear increase in render time, and luminous objects that not only glow but actually give off light. "The renderer can be controlled through messiah's GUI, its user-programmable shader system, which gets information for rendering at levels deeper than any other system's, and also through messiah:animate's powerful and fast expressions system, which provides ultimate control by procedurally modifying rendering and surface parameters," adds Owurowa.
messiah:animate will incorporate all the features of version 1.5 with many newly-added abilities. A faster, even more customizable interface will allow users to resize windows and easily change arrangements of control blocks, buttons and sliders. The new SDK (Software Development Kit) will allow developers to create their own effects and applications that work with, and talk to, messiah. Expanding on messiah's motion blending tools, a new Non-Linear Animation Editor greatly enhances the program's MotionClip™ technology. In addition, messiah:animate will also provide support for Renderman RIB files, and will enable users to write scripts that are just as powerful as compiled plug-ins.
"We set out to enhance and expand the tools we introduced with project:messiah, and we have accomplished that," says Milton "We are still what we started out as: a company created by artists, for artists, dedicated to creating and selling great 3D software. We are now ready to take the next step in the process: to expand and diversify our product line and create new customer bases. We are dedicated not just to being different, but better."
"Studios around the world have included project:messiah into their productions since the day it was released," says Milling, "and in the highly demanding world of CGI, that's no small task for a product that is a little over a year old, having debuted in November 1999. Messiah has become the secret weapon of producers, animators and TD's around the world."
Heather Kenyon is editor-in-chief of Animation World Network. After receiving her B.F.A. with honors in Filmic Writing from USC's School of Cinema-Television, she went to work for Hanna-Barbera Cartoons. Currently, she is an International Board Member of Women In Animation and on the Board of Trustees of Trees for Life.
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