da Vincis 2K Plus, the leading color enhancement system and the most widely used system in digital intermediate (DI) applications, has recently been upgraded with the release of version 4.0, which includes the introduction of the ColorTrace and Toolbox2 options. Major enhancements in the new release include fingertip access to many powerful Toolbox2 features such as enhanced PowerVectors, enhanced Defocus, and realtime vfx.
3Dlabs Inc. Ltd. announced the Wildcat Realizm 500 professional graphics accelerator. The new Wildcat Realizm 500 offers high-end graphics performance to Computer-aided Design (CAD) and Digital Content and Creation (DCC) professionals for an MSRP of only $899.99.
Fred Galpern explores the latest in digital art wonders from Ballistic Publishing with his overview.
NaturalMotion announced the forthcoming release of endorphin 2.5, the newest version of the companys award-winning 3D character animation software. endorphin 2.5s powerful new transitioning, blending and behavior features, combined with enhancements to asset repurposing tools and improved FBX support, allow animators to create realistic, fully interactive 3D character animation faster and easier than traditional keyframe or motion capture techniques.
Alias SketchBook Pro software will be bundled with the recently released Lenovo x41ThinkPad Tablet PC. A full-feature trial software version of Alias digital pen-based sketching and annotation software, Alias SketchBook Pro, will be included on all ThinkPad X41 Tablet units. As part of Lenovos offering, customers will have the ability to download, install and use Alias SketchBook Pro without restriction for a 15-day trial period, with a limited-feature version after the trial expires.
NVIDIA Corp. introduced the immediate availability of the new NVIDIA GeForce 7800 GT graphics processing unit (GPU). Based on the award-winning GeForce 7800 GTX architecture, this new GPU brings support for next-gen gaming technologies to lower price points.
SplutterFish announced that Frantic Films has placed a large order for Brazil r/s, SplutterFishs award-winning 3D rendering suite, to be the primary rendering backbone in its new large-scale production pipeline. Early Brazil r/s adopter Frantic Films will increase its reliance on Brazil r/s based on its own in-house benchmark testing.
Pixologic, makers of ZBrush 2, the award-winning modeling, texturing and painting application, announced that Industrial Light and & Magic has integrated ZBrush's sub-division modeling and texturing toolsets into its production pipeline. Industrial Light & Magic selected ZBrush for its unparalleled ability to handle large datasets, its Pixol technology and production tested displacement-mapping abilities.
NPower Software, a division of Integrityware Inc, announced that PowerNURBS 1.0 will officially release on Sept. 15, and is now available for sale.
eyeon Software announced at SIGGRAPH 2005 that Santa Monica-based R!OT confirmed its decision to introduce Fusion 5 into its workflow.
R!ot is a vfx studio specializing in digital imagery, commercial, feature, music video, HD and television productions.
We are excited to add Fusion to our compositing pipeline, said R!OT vfx artist Andrew Wilkoff. The speed and functionality of Fusion 5, coupled with eyeons stellar support, will make it easy for us to deliver world class visual effects shots.
The graphic novel craze is taking over the world. Christopher Panzner investigates the European scene to see what the hottest properties are.
NVIDIA Corp. announced that the new Dell XPS 600 desktop PC features NVIDIA nForce4 SLI X16 Intel Edition technology and award-winning GeForce 7800 GTX graphics processing units (GPUs). This marks the first time that Dell has used a chipset enabling dual graphics in their product offerings.
Marisa Materna looks into the design work of Imaginary Forces, which has been a go to place lately when turning comicbook properties into feature films.
Alias has lots to demonstrate and talk about at its SIGGRAPH 2005 booth #1312 at the Los Angeles Convention Center with the release of its Maya 7 and MotionBuilder 7 software packages.
Maya 7 builds upon the architecture and performance enhancements in Maya 6.5 with new and improved tools for fast, realistic character animation, streamlined modeling and texturing, stunning visual effects and increased productivity. It also incorporates Pixar's patented technology.
NewTek (SIGGRAPH 2005 booth #1529) has released a free upgrade to its VT  integrated production suite. VT  version 4.5, which can be downloaded at www.newtek.com, includes new features, production-ready content and maintenance and workflow improvements. Among the many enhancements are technologies for projector output with scaling and software scan converting, which allow input users to capture screen data from remote computers. The product is optimized for a range of Intel processors for better performance.
Turbo Squid (SIGGRAPH 2005 booth #1051) has introduced Hairtrix, a 3ds Max plug-in for creating hair and fur.
In an unusual collaboration, Turbo Squid, the publisher and worldwide distributor for the Autodesk Certified Animation Plug-In Program, worked with Dimension dESIGN Animation Group and EPHERE to create an integrated product that combines the features of Dimensions hairfx and EPHEREs Ornatrix packages. Hairtrix offers superior rendering times compared to other 3ds Max hair solutions. Hairtrix offers users:
Luxology took the opportunity at SIGGRAPH 2005 to announce the new version of its flagship modeling product, modo 201, as well as outline its future development plans.
modo 201, which is designed for games, films, TV, print, architecture and Web productions, integrates modeling, painting and rendering and allows artists to focus on more on creating and less on process, said company executives. The new version features advanced modeling technology, integrated painting tools, accelerated rendering technology and workflow boosts.
MAXON has introduced a new MAXON Production Bundle for studio visual effects, along with upgrades to CINEMA 4D (Release 9.5) and BodyPaint 3D (Release 2.5) during SIGGRAPH 2005 at its, booth 913.
REALVIZ (SIGGRAPH 2005 booth #1161) is introducing a new range of tracking products employing the companys Scalable Matching Architecture for Tracking (SMART). All will be identified as being Powered by SMART.
What do BATMAN BEGINS, LAND OF THE DEAD and CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY have in common? All three summer films employed high-resolution scanning services from Eyetronics to create digital effects in less time.
Eyetronics offers lightweight 3D scanning equipment that can produce a full body scan in 90 seconds, versus the 20 to 30 minutes normally required.
Avid Technology is showcasing its new facial animation technology, Softimage|Face Robot, for the first time publicly this week at SIGGRAPH, where attendees can preview the system at the Avid Computer Graphics booth #1401. Blur Studios, which is using Face Robot, will be at the show exhibiting some of the work it created with the software.
wondertouch has released a Mac OS X version of its particle effects creation tool, particleIllusion 3.0. The new version offers the same features as the Windows version of particleIllusion 3.0, including super emitters, forces to improve integration into existing production environments, new color options and rendering engine improvements.
Illuminate Labs introduced Turtle 2, the next-generation version of its core renderer, at SIGGRAPH 2005. The technology focuses on the needs of gaming studios and others using Maya it is fully integrated in the Maya GUI and uses native Maya shading networks and allows users to quickly open and render large scenes with advanced lighting effects. Turtle 2 begins shipping worldwide this month.
Avid Technology Inc. launched version 5.0 of the companys flagship SOFTIMAGE|XSI 3D animation software. This latest version includes new tools that set industry benchmarks for performance and creative flexibility. As a key component of Avid's integrated computer graphics solutions, SOFTIMAGE|XSI v.5.0 introduces 3D teams to new features, such as Ultimapper, a map generation tool for producing cinema-quality maps in a few clicks; and GATOR, a unique property transfer system for merging fully textured and animated 3D models.
Massive Software announced Massive Jet, a new autonomous agent 3D animation application that enables the creation of large-scale, believable digital crowd shots "out of the box" with high quality and a low learning curve. A full-functioning package priced under $6,000, Massive Jet leverages the company's Academy Award-winning artificial life-based technology, pre-built Ready-to-Run Agent library and GPU-accelerated rendering support to allow animators and artists at any facility to quickly and easily produce highly realistic Massive scenes.