AWN Headline News
Cambridge Animation Systems has announced Animo 4.0, the newest version of their flagship cartoon animation system. Available this month from Cambridge and their distributor network, the new version includes a number of new features, greater performance and the ability to output work in Flash format. Animo 4.0 users now can reduce their Flash file output size and optimize their content for the low bandwidth of the Internet through special controls such as disabling filter nodes and disabling animation of any bitmap image.
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.
Mainframe Entertainment and Fleischer Studios, Inc. have formed a collaboration that will yield a new television series based on BETTY BOOP, the dazzling "Queen of Cartoons." Mainframe will also be working with Fleischer and King Features Syndicate on launching a significant licensing and merchandising campaign, with a new video series, interactive games and collectible items.
Our SOUTH PARK friends will soon join a select group of television pioneers when Cartman says the S word on the first of eight new episodes. The shows fifth season premier is scheduled to air on Comedy Central Wednesday, June 20, 2001 at 10 pm. Other upcoming episodes include Chefs meteoric rise from an unassuming cafeteria cook to international fame and fortune as a culinary expert.In another, very special episode. Cartman gets pubic hair.
Spontaneous Combustion has created the visual effects for both a 15-second and 30-second spot for Tropicana Pure Premium Grovestand. The spots feature a woman pealing an orange that bursts forth with gallons of juice. Spontaneous Combustion's director of visual effects/senior inferno* artist David A. Elkins said, "Our client wanted the footage to look wetter and juicier to convey just how tasty the product is. In keeping with Tropicana's packaging, we created a clean white background for the shots that were lensed against blue screen.
Simone Pillinger has been promoted to executive producer at Spontaneous Combustion, the digital studio specializing in design, visual effects and animation for the advertising, broadcast and film industries. Since February 2000, she has served as Spontaneous' senior producer. From 1997 to 2000, she freelanced for a number of firms including Electra Records and ATTIK. Pillinger's commercial credits include AT&T (Young & Rubicam/New York, NY), NFL (NFL Properties Advertising and Design Department/New York, NY), Tropicana (FCB/New York, NY), T.J.
Dan Lombardo has been named senior producer at Cinesite Hollywood. He will oversee daily operations of the 2D and 3D departments. He previously worked as an executive producer and vice president of production at Computer Film Company (CFC) and Manex Visual Effects. His credits include MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE 2, ROMEO MUST DIE, ARMAGEDDON, DEVIL'S ADVOCATE, THE FIFTH ELEMENT and THE ISLAND OF DR. MOREAU. He also led the team that earned an Emmy for Best Visual Effects for the pilot episode of EARTH 2.
Ring of Fire announced they have named Casey Dame as their new lead character animator. Dame started his career as a 3D animator on THE REAL ADVENTURES OF JONNY QUEST. His credits include feature films DR. DOLITTLE 2, RED PLANET, MYSTERY MEN and ARMAGEDDON. His television credits include BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER and CINDERELLA. His commercials include spots for Ritz Crackers, AT&T, 7-Up, Universal Studios, Snickers and Sony. "We have been aware of Casey Dame's work for some time and we are great admirers of his talent," said Ring of Fire executive producer/co-founder John Myers.
Manga Entertainment is set to release Japan's first fully-digitally-animated feature BLOOD: THE LAST VAMPIRE. Produced by Japan's Production IG Studios (GHOST IN THE SHELL), BLOOD will be released in select theatres this summer and on DVD/VHS on August 28, 2001. The film takes place in the fall of 1966 and sends a young assassin Saya (SNOW FALLING ON CEDARS' Youki Kodoh) into an American school within the Yokota military compound to uncover and eliminate the blood-sucking menace. The film was directed by Hiroyuki Kitakub. As part of this year's RESFEST, the film will be screened digitally.
Loop Filmworks' director, David Chartier, recently wrapped up a promotional package for Bravo Network's special screening of the GODFATHER Saga. Loop Filmworks incorporated story-board style illustrations and sound bites from Bravo's INSIDE THE ACTORS STUDIO to illustrate some of the behind-the scenes stories told by director Francis Ford Coppola and stars Robert DeNiro, James Caan and Al Pacino. The spots have a stylized rotoscope animation look and were designed to look like archived film footage from the 1970s.
Click 3x provided visual effects design and production services for a new national campaign for Dos Equis beer. Ad agency McCann-Erickson conceived the three 30-second spots where the product's familiar double "X" logo manifests itself in some rather unexpected places. "Ceiling Fan" opens on a young couple as they hustle into their beachfront cottage and flop on the bed. Soon the ceiling fan prompts the woman to run to the kitchen for beer. "Cocktail Dresses" has two guys hanging out at an event at an art museum.
TOPIX has just wrapped on two 15-second in-theater vignettes for Famous Players, Canada's top grossing and fastest growing theatrical exhibitor. "Feature Presentation" and "Coming Attractions," in both English and French, showcase the Famous Players theaters and their high-tech sound capabilities. The spots were created by agency Encore Strategic Marketing of Toronto. TOPIX designer/art director Mark Cutler describes the vignettes as a "millennium lava lamp, a visual stimuli that is non-specific but ties in with the music, maintaining the same fascination one has with the lamp.
Cambridge Animation Systems, the exclusive developer of Animo software, has signed a five-year sponsorship with the Broadcast Educators Association of Canada (BEAC) to award the best student animator and his or her college or university. The total value of the sponsorship is more than CA$100,000. Under the annual program, students will create animation clips up to 60 seconds in length using traditional or digital animation processes. A panel of experts will judge the clips.
Paramount Pictures TOMB RAIDER leaped into #1 in this weekends box office, taking in an estimated $48.2 million. Disneys ATLANTIS: THE LOST EMPIRE debuted at #2, with a respectable, if not spectacular $20.4 million. DreamWorks' CG film, SHREK, continued to post solid numbers, moving down only one notch to #3 with $12.9 million, bringing its five week cumulative to $197.2 million. Warner Bros.' SWORDFISH dropped to the #4 spot with $12.15 million, bringing its two week cumulative to $39.21.
DIC Entertainment has signed an exclusive North American home video distribution deal for its extensive library of animation with Lions Gate Home Entertainment. This move marks the first deal for DIC's Worldwide Home Entertainment division since CEO Andy Heyward, along with Bain Capital, purchased DIC back from Disney in November 2000. The first releases on VHS and DVD slated for August are SABRINA, THE ANIMATED SERIES and MUMMIES ALIVE! Other titles set for release include MADELINE, SONIC THE HEDGEHOG, CARMEN SANDIEGO, INSPECTOR GADGET and ACTION MAN.
Mainframe Entertainment, Inc. has appointed Lou Novak as chief executive officer. In his new role, Novak will provide strategic direction as well as oversee all business and operational aspects of Mainframe. Prior to joining Mainframe, Novak served as president and CEO of Videosnap, a streaming media application service provider based in New York. Novak has held senior management positions at Galoob, Mattel and Coleco. In addition, Mainframe's former CEO Ian Pearson will assume the newly created position of chief creative officer.
Bob Miller has been named creative director of Glendale-based Cornerstone Animation Inc. He is currently working with Cornerstone on the production of the animated portions of a 48 volume direct-to-video series, YOUR CHILD, for Colorado Springs-based Focus on the Family. Miller's credits include work on THE SIMPSONS, COURAGE, THE COWARDLY DOG and Hanna-Barberas upcoming direct-to-video movie, SCOOBY-DOO AND THE CYBER-CHASE. Over the last 12 years, he has worked on a wide variety of projects for studios including MGM Animation, Warner Bros. Classic Animation, Warner Bros.
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Worthington, Ohio's Big Fish Animation needs a CLEAN-UP ARTIST for afeature film. . .North Vancouver-based Capilano College is lookingfor a new INSTRUCTOR. . .Munich, Germany's Dowsing & Leonard FilmProduction Gmbh seeks a 2D/3D ANIMATOR. . .Edgar Productions, Inc. islooking for an ASSISTANT ANIMATOR & CLEAN UP as well as a COMIC STRIPARTIST. . .Toronto-based Imarion Inc. needs a VFX SUPERVISOR. ..Milano, Italy's Neo Network is seeking a 2D (FLASH) & 3D ANIMATOR. ..New York-based Stargiving is looking for a summer INTERN. . .The
If you missed the extended June 18th deadline to enter thecompetition at the World Animation Celebration you should send ane-mail to: firstname.lastname@example.org and explain how quickly you can get yourentry to Los Angeles. The pre-selection process begins on June 18and continues all week long! The final judging of the selectedentries for the World Animation Competition will take place by thegrand jury as part of the 7th World Animation Celebration event onAugust 7-11, 2001. The GRAND JURY is comprised of the following
Betty Cohen announced on June 15, 2001 that she will be stepping down from her post as president of Cartoon Network Worldwide effective July 16, 2001. Cohen, a 13-year veteran of Turner Broadcasting, will stay within the ever-expanding world of AOL Time Warner/Turner Broadcasting however, as she moves over to AOL in order to develop multi-platform programs and services for a target audience of young adults and teens. Cohen said, "I am an entrepreneurial builder, and Jamie Kellner [Chairman and CEO of TBS, Inc.] has afforded me the opportunity to pursue a dream of mine.