Digimation has recently started shipping Phoenix 1.5, an upgrade to their original fire simulation plug-in for 3ds max developed by the Chaos Group. Phoenix was developed for simulating real fire and it allows 3ds max objects to appear as if they are engulfed in flames. By simply choosing any object or particle system as the emitter, Phoenix has the ability to wrap it in a complete volumetric flame. Phoenix allows full control of the colors, lights, transparency and the shape of the flames. The fire results will stun in both realism as well as overall control.
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MIP TV (April 2-6, 2001, Cannes, France) is one of the premiere television conferences and markets in the world. The six-day event brings together production companies and distributors from all over the globe. The conference includes a vast array of panels and round-table discussions with some of the world's top professionals. MIP TV 2000 scored a hit with over 11,000 participants, representing 2,776 companies from 100 countries. The countries most represented in terms of stands were: France, US, UK, Canada and Germany.
CountingDown.com will roll out two animated shorts by directors Steven Spielberg and Ron Howard on Monday, February 5, 2001. Each of the two DREAM shorts will feature a personal introduction by the acclaimed directors and a shot by shot explanation of their own animated dream. PDI DreamWorks was hired to animate the shorts in Flash. The DREAMS will kick-off CountingDown.com's Theater, which will feature over 100 short films made by amateur filmmakers and USC film students, as well as parodies and spoofs.
The Brussels Animation and Cartoon Festival (February 21-March 3, 2001) has concocted an exceptional program for its 20th anniversary. 575 films were submitted for selection, a record number of entries. 113 of them have been selected, representing 19 countries. Belgium is well represented, with 24 entries. The complete list of selected films is now available on the festival Website.
Icebox president Gary Levine is shedding his coat at the struggling entertainment Website for warmer pastures at Showtime. Levine was the key player in Icebox selling its STARSHIP REGULARS series to Showtime as a live-action series. At the cable network, he will assume the role of executive VP of original programming, and therefore will oversee the production of STARSHIP from the other side. Before joining Icebox, Levine served as exec VP of creative affairs for Warner Bros. TV.
The ballots are out. Women in Animation is currently holding its elections for the new International Board of Directors...
AWN's Web Animation Guide is the place for what's new on the Net. In this week's installment beautiful non-narratives, WHIRLGIRL is back, Clinton and Kennedy scope babes in BILL & TED and much, much more!
Get your Web Animation Guide here!
Also every week AWN's associate editor Rick DeMott highlights what he thinks is the top new toon in cyberspace in "Rick's Picks!"
The M.P.S.C. Local 839 IATSE, the labor union for screen cartoonists and CGI artists and technicians in southern California, has updated their AWN page with the January 2001 edition of their newsletter, The Peg-Board...
* Monday, March 5 Friday, March 9, 2001. Sarasota, Florida, U.S.A.
Glenn Vilppu will be teaching drawing classes at Ringling School of Art and Design. He will address the topics "drawing animals" and "head drawing, expession and drapery." Vilppu is a distinguished teacher of illustration who has taught classes around the world. For more information contact the school at: 2700 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota, Florida 34234, U.S.A.; Tel.: (941) 955-8866; or E-mail: email@example.com.
Rainbow Studios, a leading digital studio, recently switched its hoard of Intergraph workstations to 3DBOXX systems from BOXX Technologies. Rainbow Studios is involved in the production of numerous high-profile projects from short commercials and complex game cinematics to all CGI episodic television shows and film production. "We chose BOXX Technologies because they know more than how to just build a fast machine," says Nicholas Napp, vice president of digital animation at Rainbow Studios.
DPS has released their stop-frame animation software DPS AniMate for use with the dpsReality Studio Digital Disk Recorder (SDDR) and dpsVelocity non-linear editing system. DPS AniMate is a software package developed by DPS to enable stop-frame animators to build up animations quickly and easily. DPS AniMate, dpsReality and dpsVelocity can be used as stop-frame video assist or direct-to-disk systems.
Dark Horse Entertainment and Slovenia-based Strip Art Features (SAF) have teamed up to create a new company, Venture, which will publish graphic novels and comic books with the intent to launch them onto film and television. The first graphic novel to be produced by the firm will be BLOOD TIES by Belgian artist Hermann and writer Yves H. The story is described as a Faustian tale that journeys into a rotten big city with a junior detective from the suburbs named Sam Leighton.
DreamWorks is backing out of GameWorks, a string of location-based entertainment centers, which it helped found five years ago. DreamWorks' spokeswoman Vivian Mayer said, "Our commitment was a creative input. We fulfilled our commitment." Steven Spielberg was one of the original initiators of the company and oversaw the design of many of the coin-operated arcade versions of his films, like JURASSIC PARK. GameWorks has reported that same store sales are up an average of 10% in the past six months and overall revenue is up US$10 million from last year.
Sega Corp. has announced that it will cease production of its next-generation gaming console Dreamcast and will focus on game creation for Sony's PlayStation 2, Microsoft's Xbox and Nintendo's Game Boy Advance and GameCube. "It's becoming harder and harder to be profitable with a hardware platform. It's the games that matter," said Peter Moore, president of Sega's U.S. operations. Very low holiday sales are attributed to this decision. As a result, the company will cut prices on the remaining consoles from US$149 to $99.95 beginning Sunday, February 4, 2001.
Plagued TV producer Cinar has filed a CA$28.6 million (US$19 million) civil suit against company founders Ronald Weinberg and Micheline Charest and former senior executive VP and CFO Hasanain Panju.
* Thursday, March 1, 2001. Los Angeles, California, U.S.A.
ASIFA-Hollywood is presenting a "Best of Ottawa Festival" screening. Ottawa Festival director Chris Robinson will present some of the highlights of the festival. For more information contact ASIFA-Hollywood at: 725 South Victory Blvd., Burbank, California 91502, U.S.A.; Tel.: (818) 842-8330; Fax: (818) 842-5645; E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; or Web: www.asifa-hollywood.org.
R!OT has provided visual effects for a new 30-second spot introducing the Escape, Ford's sporty, new SUV. The commercial opens with a simple black on white graphic reading "consumer affairs director." Several letters pull out of the graphic and reform as part of a logo on the back of a surfboard hitched to the top of an Escape driving along an animated beach.
Quiet Man has created the visual effects for the spots "Turkey" and "China," from the new four spot Fox Sports campaign via agency Cliff Freeman & Partners (NYC). "To convincingly create the effect of diving off a 50-meter cliff onto dry ground, I needed footage of a stuntman diving into an airbag, and a shot of a dummy falling onto the ground from an elevation of about 12 feet," said Johnnie Semerad, Quiet Man founder and lead visual effects artist. "With that we could then create a composite effect, using Discreet Logic Inferno, of the free-fall.
Web4's new Internet production and post-production tool for animation and digital video and film premiered at NAPTE. eReview Producer provides real-time streaming, keyframe and office document view, markup, collaboration and archiving, audio and music support, integrated real-time video conferencing and chat features all accessible from multiple global locations. "eReview is the only production/post-production software tool of its kind for use with digital based film, video and animation," said Charles Sleichter, vice president of marketing for Web4.
DigiCel, Inc. recently released FlipBook PT, their new pencil test software for Windows. The new software follows the classical approach to cel animation letting animators scan and shoot or draw their artwork directly into a traditional exposure sheet and play it back instantly. The user can then adjust the playback rate, synchronize the soundtrack and even edit the exposure sheet while the scene is playing, then see and hear those changes immediately. This is also useful for storyboarding, animatics and track reading to improve lip synch.
The British Academy of Film & Television Artists have announced the nominations for the 2001 Orange British Academy Film Awards. Visual spectacle ruled the list with GLADIATOR and CROUCHING TIGER, HIDDEN DRAGON receiving 14 nominations each. Both films garnered nominations in the outstanding film, screenplay, music and visual effects categories. Joining the Roman romp and romantic fantasy for best special effects are THE PERFECT STORM, VERTICAL LIMIT and CHICKEN RUN.