Press Release from Sony Online Entertainment
LOS ANGELES, Calif. November 16, 2009 – Sony Online Entertainment (SOE) and Mass Animation today announced the DC Universe Online (DCUO) Animation Contest. The DCUO Animation Contest is version 2.0 of the acclaimed Mass Animation Facebook application and will give DC Comics fans, gamers and animators a chance to animate heroes and villains from the DC Universe Online game currently in development by Sony Online Entertainment, and to collaborate in creating a CGI trailer and in-game character animations. The DCUO/Mass Animation contest is scheduled to launch on December 7, 2009.
“The DCUO/Mass Animation contest takes a part of the game out of the development studio and puts it in the hands of fans, an empowering opportunity for our community,” said John Smedley, president of SOE. “Players will have a chance through qualified contest submissions to be involved with the game’s development at a deeper level than ever before by animating actions for in-game heroes and villains.”
All the tools that animators will need to collaborate on this project, including a special edition of Autodesk Maya 3D Animation software, storyboards, designs and fully-rigged 3-D models will be provided to contest entrants and accessed through the Mass Animation application on the DCUO Facebook fan page. Participating animators will upload their contest submissions back to the application for viewing, voting and sharing with their friends. New to the contest this year will be the Mass Animation iPhone app, which gives people a new way to view and vote on submissions. Qualified contest winners will receive cash or other prizes. Each week, voters and a panel of judges will help determine what shots qualify as the “best” and will be eligible for voter prizes.
”This new project really gives us the opportunity to expand Mass Animation into the online game sector, where gamers have already been creating in-game customized assets for some time,” said Yair Landau, founder of Mass Animation. “In 2.0, we are opening the animation process to traditional animators as well as gamers and inviting artists to animate some of the coolest most classic characters on the planet such as Superman, Batman, The Joker and Wonder Woman. By opening up the contest to gamers and involving them in asset creation, there will be a real sense of connection to the game before it even launches.”
Mass Animation’s first collaborative animation project, Live Music, is scheduled for theatrical release on November 20th with “Planet 51.” Inspired by Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet” and early CGI films, the story follows Riff, a rock ‘n’ roll guitar, falls in love to the wrong song but ends up with Vanessa, the classical violin of his dreams. A global story told through the universal language of music, the instruments are brought to life through original compositions and familiar rock tunes played principally by legendary guitarist Steve Vai as Riff and acclaimed violinist Ann Marie Calhoun as Vanessa. 51 animators from 17 different countries collaborated in the making of this unique and wonderful film which introduced Mass Animation to the world.
About Sony Online Entertainment
Sony Online Entertainment LLC (SOE) is a recognized worldwide leader in massively multiplayer online games which have entertained millions of players around the globe. SOE creates and delivers compelling entertainment for the personal computer, online, game console and wireless markets. Known for its blockbuster franchise EverQuest, its successful online trading card game Legends of Norrath®, as well as the recent kids’ phenomenon Free Realms™, SOE continues to raise the bar for online gaming and players worldwide. Headquartered in San Diego, with additional studios in Austin, Seattle, Denver, Tucson, and Taiwan, SOE has a slate of engaging, high-quality games currently in development across new genres for all platforms and audiences.
About Mass Animation
Founded in August 2008 by former Sony Pictures Vice Chairman Yair Landau, Mass Animation began with the creation of a virtual studio on Facebook and an open invitation to artists around the world to collaborate in the making of entertainment content thru an innovative new Facebook application. With over 58,000 participants from 101 countries, the company’s first project, Live Music, attracted artists from Kazakhstan to Colombia to collaborate in this completely unique production. When artists arrived at Mass Animation’s virtual studio, they were given the essential tools and animation software necessary to participate, including individual storyboards and 3D models bundled for download along with guidelines on animation and the Autodesk Maya software necessary to actually animate. Thru the social networking features of the application, animated shots could then be viewed, voted on and shared with friends. Mass Animation is currently developing the next generation of stories and applications for worldwide collaborative creativity. To learn more, go to www.massanimation.com
About DC Comics
DC Comics, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company, is the largest English-language publisher of comics in the world and home to such iconic characters as Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman and the Sandman. These DC Super Heroes and others have starred in comic books, movies, television series (both animated and live-action) and cyberspace, thrilling audiences of all ages for generations. DC Comics’ Web site is located at www.dccomics.com.