Massive Software founder and product manager Stephen Regelous has been nominated for a World Technology Network Award in the entertainment category. Determined by a vote of industry peers, the awards are presented by the World Technology Network (WTN) to recognize work that has a high level of innovation and lasting significance in such fields as biotechnology, space, energy, ethics, design and entertainment. Winners will be named Oct. 8 at the World Technology Awards in San Francisco.
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Discreet 3ds max 7 will utilize ATI shader technology to provide impressive realtime hardware accelerated rendering in the 3ds max viewport. Created for game developers, 3D visual effects artists and artists creating 3D cinematics, the co-developed technology by Discreet and ATI will make a realtime 3D image rendered in the 3ds max viewport appear close in appearance to the final offline rendered 3D image or animation.
Daniel S. Rosen, vp, engineering, Warner Bros. Advanced Media Services Inc., has been elected chairman of the Hollywood section of the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers (SMPTE).
Walt Disney has promoted Bob Lambert to svp for worldwide media technology and development, reports VARIETY. In his new expanded role, he will oversee several new digital media projects, Disney's relationships with technology companies, regulatory matters and piracy protection. He will continue overseeing the New Technology and New Media group and providing corporate guidance for the Walt Disney Imagineering Research and Development unit.
COMDEX Las Vegas 2004 has been postponed in order to reshape the event with the cooperation of information technology (IT) industry leaders, it was announced by organizer MediaLive International Inc. COMDEX 2004 had been scheduled to open November 14, 2004, in Las Vegas. The company has established a COMDEX Advisory Board representing the IT industry's foremost companies to determine how COMDEX can reboot itself to best meet the future needs of the industry.
NVIDIA Corp. unveiled a new technology that enables multiple NVIDIA GeForce 6 Series or NVIDIA Quadro graphics cards to operate in a single PC or workstation for a stunning increase in graphics horsepower. Appearing later this year in PCI Express-based PCs and workstations from top manufacturers, the new NVIDIA SLI technology takes full advantage of the additional bandwidth and features of this new high-bandwidth bus architecture.
HP announced a new line of personal workstations- the xw4200, xw6200 and xw8200 -- that are engineered to offer customers increased power, reliability and support, which is good news for 3D animation and vfx.
HP has announced an expanded relationship with DreamWorks and a new deal with Warner Bros. to clean up the image quality of Technicolor films in Warner Bros. library.
HP and DreamWorks will team on new technologies for off-site animation rendering and remote collaboration. Built on a technology partnership that began in 2001, the collaboration provides DreamWorks Animation with state-of-the-art technology solutions from HP, which will be used on SHREK 2, SHARK TALE, MADAGASCAR and the NBC computer-animated TV series, FATHER OF THE PRIDE.
In her debut Pixel Priestess column, Jill Smolin ponders the tension between art and technology in vfx and where we go from here.
Sega has announced its development of new software for future use in games that will allow for more realistic mouth movements with character voices. Magical VEngine form these movements by comparing vowels and consonants sounds against each other then use the data to create more natural facial movements in realtime. In addition, the software will analyze voice actors' speech automatically choosing the proper facial animations, thus expressing more accurate moods. Sega will unveil the technology at the Tokyo Institute of Technology at the end of the month.
BigWorld Pty. Ltd., the developer of the award-winning BigWorld Technology, has licensed the world's most advanced Massively Multiplayer Online Game (MMOG) development package to Chinese Internet Technology company, NetEase.com.
BigWorld Technology is a customizable MMOG middleware created by Australia's Micro Fort⁄ Pty Ltd., and has been described by Microsoft as "the most advanced and comprehensive solution that has ever been offered for massively multiplayer game development".
The 6th annual Big Chip Awards, the digital awards for North-West England, were handed out on Jan. 22, 2004 at the New Century Hall New Century House in Manchester. Cosgrove Hall took home the prize for Best Digital Animation for DOCTOR WHO: The Scream of the Shalka commissioned by and produced for BBCi. The 85-minute series is available to watch on the BBCi Website (www.bbc.co.uk/cult) and was produced to coincide with the Doctors 40th Anniversary.
Other winners included:
Federal Communications Commission (FCC) chairman Michael Powell will address top public policy issues facing the consumer technology industry during a "One-on-One" discussion with Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) president and ceo Gary Shapiro at the 2004 International CES. The session will take place on Jan. 9 at 7:30 am in the Las Vegas Convention Center Room N257. The 2004 International CES runs Jan. 8 11, 2004.
Andrew Maltz, former president/ceo of Avica Technology Corp., has been named director of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences' new Science and Technology Council.
Universal Pictures has promoted John Swallow to evp of production technology. He will continue to report to presidents of production Mary Parent and Scott Stuber. Swallow was named svp of production technology for Universal in January 1998, having first joined the studio in Nov. 1996 as vp of production technology. Over the years, he has been responsible for supervising the production technology for such films as THE GRINCH, THE MUMMY, THE MUMMY RETURNS, THE LOST WORLD: JURASSIC PARK, THE FAST AND THE FURIOUS and OCTOBER SKY.
Newly formed Alligator Planet, based in San Francisco, has formed a joint venture with tv-animation, the Copenhagen creator of animated and interactive characters. Alligator AP will market to North America programs made with tv-animation's revolutionary Cartoon Broadcast System (CBS) technology and develop new products to utilize this real-time animation broadcast tool. Ralph Guggenheim, AP's exec. producer (former Pixar VP and producer of TOY STORY), told AWN he encountered the tv-animation people at MIPCOM in October 2002. Guggenheim formed his own company in January 2003 with former Colossal Pictures execs and creatives Eli Noyes, Tim Boxell and Alan Buder. "We've been talking with TV cabler channels and the like. We constantly hear, 'How can you do it cheap?' The CBS system is a great opportunity to produce content fairly cheaply and still be fun and compelling." The technology is used now on the NELLY NUT show airing on the BBC, as well as shows airing on many other European channels, including a two-hour talk show. Guggenheim said he's seen how other types of shows, popular in Europe are making their way to the U.S., and sees this is a good opportunity. Guggenheim firmly believes this technology is the new scale of animated TV to come.The Danish firm will market any shows AP comes up with to the European market. Guggenheim said they named the new enterprise Alligator Planet (www.alliagtorplanet.com) because the founding partners like alligators and it's helpful to have a company name near the top of the alphabet while the planet in its name signifies AP's global approach to entertainment and business. The goal of AP is tap into the creative and production capacities of emerging animation studios around the world to produce and distribute stories and characters across a variety of media and ancillary markets.
4Kids Entertainment subsidiary, 4Kids Technology, Inc., has entered into a three-year agreement with Toys "R" Us to develop toys and games jointly for sale exclusively at Toys "R" Us retail locations throughout the world. Under the terms of the agreement, 4Kids Technology, Inc., will invent, create and engineer "Tech Toys" that use existing and novel technology. Toys "R" Us will be responsible for the final development, manufacture and sale of the products. "Tech Toys" include electronic features that enhance play patterns, making them particularly appealing to kids.
Ed Leonard, head of technology at DreamWorks Animation, has been promoted to a position where he will oversee technology for all DreamWorks animation facilities. His responsibilities now encompass both traditional and computer-animated film productions at DreamWorks Glendale facility, as well as the PDI/DreamWorks location in Northern California. Leonard will also play a key role in setting up a new CG production pipeline in Glendale. Due to launch in the next year, the new production arm will be a state-of-the-art computer animation studio.
NVIDIA Corporation and Evans & Sutherland Computer Corporation (E&S) have agreed to a broad strategic alliance under which NVIDIA will license its Shader Technology to E&S while acquiring key 3D graphics patents from the company. Additionally, the companies agreed to a broad cross-license of technology. The NVIDIA Shader Technology is a collection of patented 3D technologies enabling the creation of interactive, cinematic-quality realism through the use of highly programmable processing elements.
UGO Networks, an online entertainment community company, announced that it closed a new round of funding worth US$23 million. Lead investors were GRP and Missouri-based Gryphon Holdings II, LLP Inc. and their investment partners.