Is Pikachu anti-Semitic? The answer is no, even after questions to thecontrary circled when parents complained of a swastika-like symbolappearing on the Japanese language cards for Pokemon's Golbat and Ditto.These two cards, not yet released in the U.S. card collection, include aJapanese symbol called a "manji," which is a mirror image of a swastika.The symbol, however, is a centuries-old, Japanese symbol for good fortune.Not wanting to create any bad financial karma, Nintendo has announced thatit will discontinue the questionable cards.
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Vivid Animation, a new high-end CGI animation studio specializing insophisticated digital characters and animated effects for commercials andinteractive media, has been formed by Jeff Lotman, CEO. "Vivid Animationopens its doors with a trio of world-class digital animators as itscreative nucleus," said Lotman, CEO. This nucleus, all of whom come fromsenior positions at Digital Domain, includes Animation Supervisor, StephaneCouture, Digital Effects Supervisor, Gonzalo Garramuno and Vivid
SOFTIMAGE|Avid's Sumatra, which is set to redefine computer animation, hasrecently been used in a UK production for the BBC called "Everyman." Theanimation system, which is currently in beta, was used by Aldis Animationto create the 20 second title sequence of the show. Kim Aldis, the founderof Aldis Animation said that Sumatra increased the company's productivity,while at the same time giving them "more flexibility to experimentcreatively." Sumatra is due to be released at the end of the first quarter,
With Avid's recent announcement that they are effectively 'dropping' theircontinued development and support of Media Illusion and Matador,Interactive Effects has stepped in to offer customers using those productsa new solution. Interactive Effects is already an established provider ofdigital tools for visual effects artists, filmmakers and broadcasters.Their flagship product, the Piranha HD Visual Effects System, is in use bymany top studios all over the world (Pixar, Industrial Light + Magic, and
Shockwave.com has announced that they have signed Trey Parker and MattStone, the creators of SOUTH PARK, to concoct 39 new works. The new showswill first air on shockwave.com beginning in March. Stone and Parker's newdisfunctional toons will range from 2 to 5 minutes and could be one-offshorts or pieces of an on-going series. In the L.A. Times on December 8,1999, Stone was quoted as saying that "the real allure of [the deal] isthat we get to create another TV series but on a much smaller scale. We
* Saturday, December 11, 1999 - Sunday, April 2, 2000. Valence, France.
Folimage, the creators of the 1995 Cartoon D'Or winner LE MOINE ET LEPOISSON (THE MONK AND THE FISH), will feature an exhibition of theirworld-famous work. The event will take place from 2 pm - 6 pm every Monday,Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. An additional screening at 9 am - 12 pm willbe held on Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays. For more information contact4, Place des Ormeaux, 26000 Valence, France; or Tel.: ++ 33 4 75 79 20 80.
* Friday, December 12, 1999. London, England.
The Surrey Institute of Art & Design, University College will behighlighting the unique graduate work done in their film, video, andanimation department since 1995. One can share in the rare chance of seeingthe cream of the crop from the school's library of productions. Thereception starts at 6pm to be followed by themed screenings at 6:30 pm,7:30 pm, 8:30 pm and 9:30 pm. Due to limited seating the college requests a
* Sunday, December 19 - Monday, December 20, 1999. Turin, Italy.
ASIFA Italia, with the help of the Ministry of Cultural Affairs, theRegione Piemonte and the Comune di Torino, together with the support ofYoung Artists Circle and the British Council and Pro-Helvetia, isorganizing a meeting with a series of films on the subject of "Art &Animation". The meeting aims to heighten awareness of animation as an artform with a particular stress on independent short films of research,
* Monday, January 10, 2000 - Saturday 29, 2000. New York, New York, USA.
After the crimson dust clears from the apocolyptic Armegedeon of Y2K, goenjoy some animation at the School of Visual Arts' "Animation Dreams:Millenium Nightmares" exhibit. Films presented at the screening centeraround the theme of the students' most horrific nightmares. The exhibitionwill also feature 3D character models, storyboards, animation cels,background drawings, murals, video tests of films, and a reel of
LIPSinc. recently announced that they have released a version ofVentriloquist, their lip-synchronization plug-in, for 3D Studio MAX version3. Ventriloquist is a voice-recognition lip-synching system which drivesthe animation based on the input of audio files. Timing and keyframe datawithin Ventriloquist for MAX are linked together automatically, providingeasy access and manipulation for animators who feel the need to 'tweak'Ventriloquist's work. The voice recognition system is based on LIPSinc.'s
Digital Video SLR recently announced the release of Toonz Linetest, apencil test tool that is designed to preserve the animator's originalconcept. Linetest, which relies heavily on the Toonz exposure sheettechnology, offers a wide range of editing tools to manipulate frames,levels and sequences. One can insert new drawings, change the step of theanimation, and replace already grabbed images. One can also enlarge, reduceand rotate images, or create complex movements with ease thanks to the
As we reported previously [AF 11/16], U.S. District Court Judge Terry J.Hatter Jr. had ordered Disney to stop using its Go Network logo until aftera trial on the matter next year, agreeing with the plaintiff GoTo.com thatDisney's logo was confusingly similar to its own. Now however, it looks asif the green and yellow traffic light logo of Disney's Go.com has gotten astay of sentence at least until December 19, 1999. Soon after the initialruling, a three-judge panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the
TOY STORY 2 has repeated its performance in the top spot at the U.S. boxoffice. The film took in approximately US$28.3 million over the weekend tobring its two week total to $117.3 million. The remaining three films inthe top four also stayed the same from Thanksgiving with: THE WORLD IS NOTENOUGH, with primary visual effects by Digital Film, Cinesite London, andMagic Camera, coming in second with a gross of $10.6 million and a cume of$90.4 million; END OF DAYS, with primary visual-effects by Rhythm & Hues,
The Harvey Entertainment Company has announced an agreement with Canada'sMainframe Entertainment, Inc. to produce the first all-CGI direct-to-videofilm based on Harvey's Casper, the Friendly Ghost franchise. Production,which has already started, will be funded by Harvey Entertainment, with arelease to the home video market scheduled for Christmas 2000. A previouslive-action/CGI Casper direct-to-video feature, CASPER, A SPIRITEDBEGINNING, sold over 3 million copies worldwide. Alisha Serold, Executive
The war between TOY STORY and POKEMON over kids' piggy bank change hasmoved to a new battle field -- the local burger joint! McDonald's Corp.,the U.S.-based, world-wide burger chain, has released TOY STORY 2 toys inconnection with the recently released film. The McDonald's promotion,featuring a collection of 20 different characters from the TOY STORY 2movie, will be distributed with each Happy Meal purchase. The chain willalso offer six TOY STORY 2-themed candy dispensers for $1.99 each with the
In continued coverage of the war to empty the pockets of the POKEMONpeople, Bandai America Incorporated, the company responsible for the PowerRangers and Tamogotchi virtual pets, unveiled a new line of toys based onthe POKEMON-like DIGIMON: DIGITAL MONSTERS, at an event held at FAO Schwarzin New York. Since the debut of the TV series in August on Fox Kids,DIGIMON has become the #1 ranked show in its time period among allcompetition with Boys 6-11. Kids can also visit the DIGIMON Web site which
TROLLBACK & CO., a newly formed visual effects and design studio, finisheda new spot for ROWECOM, a start-up internet service company. The commercialfeatures a fast-paced mix of books, maps and other layered images in conjunction withlive action footage by director Elena Colombo. The spot was produced for thecreative team at Boston-based McKay Communications. The spot started airing October18 on CNBC North America and Europe (including the United Kingdom).
To introduce KELLOGG's new Cereal & Milk Bars for Leo BurnettInternational-London, England, TOPIX/MAD DOG completed the 3D animatedproduct demo and box sequences, and integrated them within 2D animation fora vibrant :30 spot. The commercial began its global run in the UK, France,and Ireland in October. The spot will make its debut in Germany, Mexico,Iceland, Belgium, and possibly Canada in the new year.
INDUSTRIAL LIGHT & MAGIC just finished up the new Will Smith video WILL2K forColumbia Records and Sony Pictures. Robert Caruso directed the vid that sendsmega-star Will Smith on a Millenium eve time traveling spree. The futuristiceffects were created with ILM's newest motion capture software.
Read Heather Kenyon's interview with ILM's Seth Rosenthal in AnimationWorld Magazine.
Sega Dreamcast, the most advanced videogame system to date, has gone platinum.Sega of America, Inc. announced that the 128-bit, Internet-ready videogamesystem has sold one million units in North America since its launch onSeptember9, 1999. This milestone came six weeks ahead of corporate predictions andbeforethe after-Thanksgiving holiday shopping frenzy. The platinum mark forDreamcast has broken sales records by other high-profile consumer andelectronic products.
The Reed Midem Organization, organizers of Milia 2000, have entered into afar-reaching agreement with the Interactive Software Federation of Europe(ISFE)-- who include members from interactive industry organizations like AISI inItaly, ELSPA in the UK, NVPI in the Netherlands, SELL in France and VUD inGermany -- to co-produce the Interactive Entertainment and Online Gamesconference for the THINK.TANK Summit. THINK.TANK will be a new two-dayconference and networking event for the interactive content industry held in
BLUE SKY STUDIOS adds DR. MICHAEL REED as a new member to its research anddevelopment team. He comes to Blue Sky after receiving his Ph.D. inComputer Science from Columbia University and positions at the laboratoriesof IBM, Philips, and Bell Atlantic Corporations. Reed will continue hiswork with geometric surface construction techniques to create new solutionsin rendering and geometry for Blue Sky.
BARRY SCHULER, President of America Online, Inc.'s Interactive Services Group,has joined the Board of Directors of OXYGEN MEDIA. At AOL, Schuler oversees thecompany's online services unit that includes the flagship AOL service,CompuServe, Netscape and AOL Devices. Schuler joins Oxygen's CEO GeraldineLaybourne, Oprah Winfrey, Marcy Carsey, and others on the board of theprivately-held company.
MARVEL ENTERPRISES INC. announced two new Directors have been appointed to the Board. PETER CUNEO, President and CEO, Marvel Enterprises, Inc., andproducer SID GANIS, former Vice Chairman of Columbia Pictures and Presidentof Worldwide Marketing for Columbia/TriStar Motion Pictures Companies, wereeach appointed to the Board of Directors.