Stop Motion Pro recently announced that version two of their popular stop-motion software is now available. Stop Motion Pro 2 is a program designed to make creating stop-motion animation easier, while giving animators the power to do things that they may previously not have been able to accomplish. The new version now features a frame looping with capture tool, onion skinning and rotoscoping with onion skinning. The real-time preview, frame toggle and frame editor tools from version 1 have also been overhauled, creating a versatile and powerful package for any stop-motion animator.
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At the end of the year 2000, IBM announced the world's fastest UNIX-based workstation, offering nearly two times the performance of similarly configured new UltraSparc-III-based servers from Sun Microsystems. This IBM Model 170 workstation features the most powerful UNIX 3D graphics capability on the market and is shipping right now. It features copper-fueled microprocessors and the latest GXT6000P 3D graphics accelerator from IBM to provide unprecedented levels of performance for companies designing products such as airplanes and automobiles.
The U.S. Recording Academy's premiere recording awards, the Grammys, have put out their list of nominees and several nods have gone to tunes from cartoons. Competing in the Best Musical Album For Children category are "More Songs From Pooh Corner" by Kenny Loggins and "Woody's Roundup Featuring Riders In The Sky" by Riders In The Sky. The FANTASIA/2000 soundtrack received a nod for Outstanding Compilation Soundtrack Album For A Motion Picture, Television Or Other Visual Media.
Upon the success of CHICKEN RUN, Aardman Animations has reported spies lurking in the halls of the cartoon factory. Reported on in the LONDON INDEPENDENT, people, rumored to be American, have snuck into the company's complex to hunt out tidbits about upcoming Aardman productions. Richard Goleszowskoi, producer and director of Aardman's next feature THE TORTOISE AND THE HARE, said, "It's crazy.
Alias|Wavefront announced recently that they would be previewing Maya 3 for Apples OS X at Macworld in San Francisco, January 8 12, 2001. Scheduled for shipping some time this year, Maya is the only high-end 3D modeling and animation product slated for release on the Mac. "We are very excited to be able to offer the Mac community their first glimpse of Maya on the Mac," said Alias|Wavefront director of Maya Technologies, Richard Kerris. "Macworld attendees will have an opportunity to stop by our booth and get an up-close look at how successful the port has been to date.
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Continuing its rapid growth, Chennai-based Pentamedia Graphics has acquired three additional India-based companies, including entertainment production house Media Dreams. Pentamedia purchased all three firms in a share swapping deal. Media Dreams produces television, theatre and Internet content and has recently expanded into post-production. The company boasts deals with Indian sci-fi writer Sujatha Rangaraja. In addition, Pentamedia has bought sports entertainment company, Krish Srikkanth Sports & Entertainment Pvt.
Continuing its lucrative path through the international box office, DINOSAUR is still roaring with POKEMON 2000 making strong debuts, including a first place finish in Germany. In Japan, DINOSAUR took the top spot with a gross of US$1.15 million, increasing its cume to $3.62 million. In third, VERTICAL LIMIT collected another $980,996 to raise it Japanese cume to $3.05 million. THE 6TH DAY claimed the fifth slot with a gross of $870,359, advancing its Japanese cume to $1.54 million. In sixth, WHAT LIES BENEATH floated $665,857 more, pushing its Japanese cume to $1.97 million.
Thomas G. Yohe, co-creator of the classic interstitials "Schoolhouse Rock," passed away on Thursday, December 21, 2000. Yohe had pancreatic cancer and was 63 years old. Yohe and partner George Newall produced 40 editions of "Schoolhouse Rock" from 1973-1985. The three-minute musical lessons aired between cartoons on ABC's Saturday Morning line-up. A revival of the series came in the early 1990s when new episodes where commissioned and current alternative bands covered the series' songs for a tribute album.
What a year it has been for Internet content. In January, it was like someone had found and removed the flaming sword, opening the gates of Eden to the masses. Now at year-end, Web entertainment providers look more like confused, panic-struck animals scurrying around Noah's place looking to hitch a ride. Let's take a look at what we've learned in 2000 about Internet entertainment. You can't pay big salaries to lure in big executives in the case of the first major dotcom disaster at DEN.com.
The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has launched an informal inquiry into stock trades at Stan Lee Media, which may have attributed to the company's stock plunging from $12 to $0.12. The SEC is looking into large trades made by executives and investment partners. In addition, the government agency is investigating possible misuse of company funds by former employees. The alleged misuse was uncovered during a recent internal investigation. Stan Lee Media has terminated executive VP operations Stephen Gordon and its consulting pact with Paraversal Inc.
Without one Y2K fear we are slipping into 2001 already. This issue we are taking on the big questions that are facing the animation industry on the brink of the new year. For instance, Eric Oldrin discusses everyone's favorite topic, the Internet, and its current identity crisis. Michael Hurwicz is ponders whether or not the Internet is actually helping independent animators. Are there increased distribution outlets in this new age or are our fearless independents still in an unfunded jam? Finally, we take a long hard look at the U.S.
New York's Curious Pictures, a commercial animation and effects studio, is looking for a LEAD AFTEREFFECTS COMPOSITOR for miniseries. . . Kirkland, Washington's KnowWonder, a digital media works company specializing in the production of computer games and "edutainment" for children and young adults, is looking for a CHARACTER ANIMATOR/MODELER. . . Den Haag, The Netherlands' LetsLook, a company providing services for 3D visualization of real estate, is looking for a MODELER/ANIMATOR. . . Rome, Italy's Mamut is looking for a 2D ANIMATOR and a LAYOUT ARTIST for a television series. . .
* Monday, February 19 Wednesday, February 21, 2001. London, U.K.
Interactive TV & Mobile Games Conference is set up to look at the potential of games on interactive TV and digital TV. In addition, the event will address how advertisers will capitalize on this new market. For more information contact Hannah at: Tel.: ++44(0) 207 840 2700; E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; or Web: www.access-conf.com/TB114.
To celebrate the world premiere of his new feature, "Mutant Aliens," at the prestigious Sundance Film Festival, wacky animator Bill Plympton is offering you a sneak preview of the film with a 3-minute sinewy trailer...
ASIFA-Canada is proud to announce the commercial release of "100% Independent," a video compilation of seventeen Canadian independent animated shorts, available for $19.95...
The Brussels Animation and Cartoon Festival has concocted an exceptional program for its 20th anniversary (February 28 - March 3, 2001). 575 films were submitted for selection, a record number of entries. To date, 113 of them have been selected. The complete list of selected films will be available in January. The feature film program includes: "The Emperor's New Groove" by Mark Dindall (USA); "Heavy Metal 2000" by Michaël Coldewey and Michel Lemire (Canada/Germany); "My Neighbours The Yamadas" by Isao Takahata (Japan) (TBC); and "Otesanek" by Jan Svankmajer (Czech Republic).
Plympton's new series of comics is extracted from the comic book "Polls Apart - How To Tell A Democrat From A Republican," by Kathy Paton & Bill Plympton...
This past week animated shows saw primetime animation in a New Year's mood. In a three way tie at #54, THE SIMPSONS New Year's special was the top toon, drawing a 5.5 rating/11 share. The KING OF THE HILL New Year's special came right behind at #57 with a 5.4 rating/10 share. A CHARLIE BROWN CHRISTMAS aired for the last time on CBS on Christmas Day December 25, 2000. The holiday special finished 64th with a 5.0 rating/11 share. The classic cartoon had scored an impressive 10.8 rating/16 share when it aired on Monday, December 11, 2000.
The Havana Film Festival, Festival Internacional del Nuevo Cine Latinoamericano, is traditionally the major cinema event in Latin America, and is still one of the major events in the region in spite of the growing problems to organize it. The number of films, audience members and guests is very impressive. The latest 22nd edition was held from December 5 - 15, 2000. The ten-day event focused on feature films, but also included a separate competition for Latin American animation. The selection is comprehensive, but not too big, however the films are not always new.