With the kick off of the American Institute of Architects (AIA) Convention in Chicago (June 10-12), Discreet announced that leading architectural firms are using its design visualization offerings for a competitive advantage in winning new commissions and securing approval for high-profile design concepts, including Perkins & Will, Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP, Kohn Pederson Fox, Ellerbe Becket and Hellmuth, Obata + Kassabaum.
Pixar Animation Studios has set a Q3 release for RenderMan Pro Server Release 12 (now entering beta).
Highlights from RenderMan Pro Server Release 12:
3D Baking * The point cloud file format has been extended to support arbitrary data, and Pixar's innovative format, the brick map, supports data of arbitrary size. Together, any kind of data can be baked to disk and then retrieved with great efficiency.
Softimage Co. announced the worldwide availability of SOFTIMAGE|XSI version 4.0 -- the latest release of its industry leading nonlinear 3D production environment. Starting on June 7, 2004, Softimage customers with maintenance contracts can download version 4.0 at www.softimage.com/download, and first-time orders are scheduled to start shipping next week.
Turbo Squid, worldwide publisher for the Discreet Certified 3ds max Plug-in Program, has released the first two TURBO TOYBOX 3D content packs. Each TURBO TOYBOX contains 30 or more 3D models for gamers to use in customizing their favorite games created with Discreet's gmax. The first two products, Starter TOYBOX and Vehicles TOYBOX, are now available and sell for $9.95 each.
Given the preeminence of CG characters in movies and gaming, Vicon Motion Systems has acquired Los Angeles-based House of Moves (HOM) in an effort to expand its U.S. motion capture presence. The move formally establishes HOM, an indie motion-capture service bureau of long standing, as a new technology test-bed for Vicon.
On the eve of the industry transition to PCI Express, ATI Technologies announced a complete line-up of FireGL workstation graphics accelerators with full native support for this new bus architecture. The newly branded Visualization series will offer four new graphics accelerators: the high-end FireGL V7100, mid-range FireGL V5100 and, redefining the entry-level segment, the FireGL V3200 and the FireGL V3100.
Alias and Motion Computing agreed to include the full version of Alias SketchBook Pro on all Motion M1400 Tablet PCs configured with the Motion Pak software package sold worldwide. The bundle combines Motion Computing's cutting-edge Tablet PCs with Alias SketchBook Pro's best-in-class digital pen-based sketching and annotation software.
EI Technology Group has launched Electric Image Animation System 5.5, an update to the cross-platform professional 3D animation application. It includes dozens of new features, including caustics, a built-in scripting tool, new shaders, HRDI support, an array of new Animation capabilities, new deformation tools and GrangerFX Plug-in support. The software also features Radiosity, multi-processor support, Match Move, Material Library System, Macromedia Shockwave support, unlimited network rendering, character animation tools, global illumination and more. It runs on Mac OS 9/X.
Xfrog the number one selling organic modeling and animation tool for MAXON's CINEMA 4D from greenworks organic-software -- has been updated to version 4.1. The update includes new controls for shaping branches more naturally, enhanced modeling controls in general and faster screen updates.
Digimation Inc. has launched its Model Bank, the next-generation online marketplace dedicated exclusively to the 3D community. Model Bank brings together individuals and companies worldwide who have created 3D content (wireframe models, motion capture data, etc.) with those who need it.
Performance-capture may be the new buzzword, thanks to Sony Pictures Imageworks and its proprietary Imagemotion system developed for THE POLAR EXPRESS, which will have its first public display in SIGGRAPH 2004s prestigious Electronic Theater. The 31st annual international conference on computer graphics and interactive techniques will be held in Los Angeles Aug. 8-12, 2004.
Caligari announced the release of gameSpace Light (gSL), a special edition of the company's game graphics authoring software. gameSpace Light is designed to introduce independent game developers, students and hobbyists to 3D game content creation using Caligari's trademark first-person-perspective design interface.
Innoventive Software, LLC (http://FrameForge3D.com/) announced that its previsualization and storyboarding software FrameForge 3D Studio will be continually on display at Movie Soft's Booth 1901 in the Film Market-Palais during this year's Cannes Film Festival. Software architect and lead programmer Ken Schafer will conduct live software demonstrations daily from 9:00 am to 6:00 pm from May 12 - May 21, 2004. Movie Soft is France's specialty retailer of screenwriting and film industry related software.
ResPower Inc., the world's first and only fully self-service render farm, supports the Academy Award-winning mental ray rendering software from mental images. Now, mental ray users worldwide can outsource their rendering to the ResPower Render Farm for fast, quality results - 24/7.
Softimage Co. announced that Archimation, one of Germany's leading architectural presentation firms, used SOFTIMAGE|XSI software to create 3D renderings for two of the architectural firms designing the buildings to be constructed on the World Trade Center site in New York City.
Alias announced that the Maya Complete 6 and the Maya Unlimited 6 software are now shipping globally to all new and upgrading customers. Customers on Alias' maintenance program were first able to download the software on April 26. Debuted at NAB. Maya 6 responds to the everyday production demands of 3D artists in the film, broadcast, game development, digital publishing and visualization markets.
NVIDIA Corp. announced that its recently-released GeForce 6 series of graphics processing units (GPUs) is the first and only graphics hardware platform to take full advantage of Shader Model 3.0, an integral part of Microsoft DirectX 9.0, the advanced programming interface (API) widely used by developers to create cutting-edge gaming experiences.
Toon Boom Animation has launched Concerto, an animation software for paperless, digital, re-use or cutout animation production. Concerto offers studios increased productivity, raises animation quality and eliminates file management issues so common to the normal Flash pipeline.
Angstrom Microsystems will be deploying Titan64 SuperBlade rendering servers at Industrial Light & Magic. These blade servers are powered by AMD Opteron processors to provide maximum performance and scalability of the rendering server farm. ILM is using the Titan64 SuperBlade servers to enable a significantly more complex and faster generation of movie vfx.
Toon Boom Animation has launched Toon Boom Studio version 2.5 for Mac OS X, a program used primarily for 2D cartoon animation. Some of the releases new features include sound scrubbing in the Timeline, the ability to draw in Sceneplanning and support for scanning.
Toon Boom's client base ranges from major studios creating Hollywood blockbuster animated films to individual animators creating their first masterpieces.
The upgrade can be purchased online or from a reseller at $ 199.
The Orphanage, whose recent vfx efforts include HELLBOY and the upcoming THE DAY AFTER TOMORROW, will release a key piece of its visual effects technology to the public. Called eLin, the software consists of a suite of plug-ins and scripts for Adobe After Effects 6.5 that allow compositors to work in the expanded photographic color space of film. eLin will be free of charge for non-commercial use.
Apple has introduced Motion at NAB2004, a new application that redefines motion graphics by giving artists the creative freedom and power to deliver stunning results faster and more intuitively at a price of $299. Motion features interactive animation of text, graphics and video, with instant previewing of multiple filters and particle effects, and introduces "Behaviors" that allow artists to add natural looking movement to type and graphics, such as gravity and wind, without the use of complex keyframes.
Apple introduced Final Cut Pro HD at NAB2004, the latest version of its Emmy award-winning editing software, now with the realtime performance of high-quality native DVCPRO HD in addition to realtime support for DV and SD. Final Cut Pro HD delivers the ability to capture, edit and output broadcast-quality high definition (HD) video over a single FireWire cable, without requiring any additional hardware an industry first. Final Cut Pro HD supports native DVCPRO HD editing with no recompression or image degradation and enables HD preview monitoring on an Apple Cinema HD Display.
Bauhaus Software announced the availability of Mirage v1.2 for Mac OS X and Windows. Designed for artists, Mirage integrates realtime video paint, animation and effects functionalities into a single product, freeing visual artists to explore entirely new creative ideas and techniques. Designed for resolutions ranging from HDTV and film to Web video, Mirage is a complement to existing packages such as Final Cut Pro and Shake, and is a key part of a seamless pipeline for 2D animation film and broadcast production.