Tara DiLullo talks with Academy Award nominated ILM visual effects supervisor Pablo Helman about winning the invisible visual effects war with their work on Jarhead.
At the Digital Media Festival in Sydney, Australia, Autodesk Inc. launched its Toxik visual effects software running on the Linux operating system. Toxik software enables teams of digital artists to collaboratively realize feature film visual effects ideas, and is already available on the Windows operating system. With the introduction of Toxik software running on Linux, film studios and post-production facilities have more options for the back-end infrastructure and administration of their digital film pipelines.
Anzovin Studio Inc. has introduced The Setup Machine 2 for Maya, an all-new version of its automated character rigging plug-in for Autodesks Maya. The Setup Machine 2 for Maya is priced at $99 (single license). Store links, sample rigs, and demo movies are available at: www.anzovin.com/TSM2Maya.
The Setup Machine 2 for Maya enables Maya users to easily and quickly rig a wide variety of CG characters for film, television and game animation. It installs a high-quality control rig and applies accurate skin weighting to human, animal and creature models.
eyeon Software Inc. is now shipping version 5 of its digital video compositor, DFX+, a prominent compositing tool for effects, motion graphics and animation pipelines.
DFX+ is based on the image engine and award-winning architecture of eyeons lead film compositing solution, Fusion. Principal features of DFX+ 5 include 3D compositions with lights, cameras and primitives, OpenGL acceleration with display views and an essential change to ASCII files. Compositions created in DFX+ 5 can easily be opened in Fusion, to help move any project forward.
RE:Vision Effects Inc. announced 64-bit support of its Irix Discreet systems (Sparks) versions of Twixtor, its popular retiming solution, and ReelSmart Motion Blur, which adds and removes motion blur based on per-pixel calculated motion. The new releases also work within the Linux versions of Smoke and Flint and are available for Burn render farms.
Innoventive Software, Llc. announced that its previsualization and storyboarding software, FrameForge 3D Studio, is now available for Windows fully localized in French with a French Installation and Getting Started Manual included.
Polhemus has released the PATRIOT, a 6 Degree-of-Freedom (6DOF) tracking product, which been verified to meet the requirements of Class B digital device standards.
The PATRIOT is now available in both Class A and Class B emissions standards. The new Class B version of the PATRIOT meets the more stringent emissions requirements specified by the FCC and CE standards. The Class B PATRIOT also has a new look and is easily identified by the white plastic chassis. PATRIOT B can now be used in more rigorous residential and industrial laboratory environments.
Autodesk Inc. has released a new configuration of its Academy Award-winning Discreet Inferno visual effects system for the Japanese market. The system is designed to meet the specific platform performance and branding requirements of many Japanese post-production facilities.
NaturalMotion Ltd. announced the immediate availability of the companys free endorphin 2.5 Learning Edition (eLE). Based on endorphin, NaturalMotions award-winning character animation software, the new eLE includes all relevant product documentation and a comprehensive support network via the companys active endorphin forum. The software has no time restrictions and is fully functional; however, it is motion file export disabled and is not to be used for commercial production.
London based vfx house, MPC (The Moving Picture Co.) has licensed FlowLine, a fluid simulation system developed by Munich-based vfx house Scanline, which simulates and renders photoreal fire and water. MPC and Scanline are working together on integrating FlowLine into MPCs large-scale production pipeline.
MPC has elected to work with Scanline to continue ongoing internal R&D focus on the development of its sophisticated in-house character/creature pipeline.
Toon Boom Animation has released Opus II Service Pack 1 and Harmony Service Pack 1. As Harmony incorporates all Opus capabilities, all added features and enhancements apply to both products. Service pack highights include:
* Support of news scanners, namely Fujitsu fi-5750c and Epson GT 15000
* New shortcuts, optimized memory management and workflow enhancements in the Scanning module
* Optimization of templates management
* Batch rendering improvements
* Several other bug fixes
In this months Digital Eye column, Kim Davidson of Side Effects Software explores refining pipelines to improve production quality, reduce costs and remain competitive.
IMAGICA Corp. has added 15 seats of Autodesk Toxik software to its post-production pipeline, along with training from Autodesk Consulting. Autodesk has also released the first feature extension to the Toxik collaborative visual effects and compositing software. This extension, called Blend and Comp, contains tools that make frequent digital compositing tasks easier.
Avid Technology Inc., announced the worldwide availability of its leading asset management system for digital content production, Avid Alienbrain Studio 7.5. Designed to meet the needs of art teams working on next-generation game development and industrial design projects, Alienbrain Studio 7.5 comes in two new configurations with new pricing: Alienbrain Essentials (starting at $495) and Alienbrain Advanced ($1,495).
Autodesk Inc. launched its Academy Award-winning Discreet Flame visual effects system on dual-core workstations running the Linux operating system. The Discreet Flame system is already available on workstations running the IRIX operating system. As a result, film studios, broadcasters and post-production facilities will have more flexibility and choice in shaping their digital content creation pipelines.
NVIDIA Corp. announced the availability of the new NVIDIA GeForce 7800 GTX 512 graphics processing unit (GPU). The companys award-winning GeForce 7800 GTX graphics chip already powers what many experts consider to be the fastest graphics cards around. With the new GeForce 7800 GTX 512, NVIDIA has released a new, supercharged version of the GPU that delivers tremendous performance in todays PC games.
Tokyo-based Imagica will be using monet from Imagineer Systems in its commercial post-production division, which relies heavily on 2D tracking. Imagica needed a way to speed up the tracking process and improve quality, and cited monet as the only accurate 2D tracking system available that would allow them to achieve this.
Rendercore Inc. now has complete integration and support for MAXON CINEMA 4D 9.5 on Rendercores state-of-the-art render farm, based in downtown Los Angeles.
Pixar Animation Studios has released RenderMan for Maya, the studios next-generation 3D rendering plug-in. Now all Maya artists can enhance their productions with the functionality and prestige of Pixars Academy Award-winning RenderMan.
With its seamless integration into Mayas workflow, Pixars RenderMan for Maya is designed for intuitive ease of use while providing digital artists with the competitive advantages of RenderMans reknown quality and performance.
GenArts Inc., a leading provider of digital visual effects plug-ins for the film, broadcast and video industry, announced a special price promotion on their Sapphire Plug-ins for Avid AVX products.
Throughout the month of November, the price tag for the full package of Sapphire Plug-ins for Avid is being reduced by 15%. Savings range from $270 on Avid Xpress Pro HD to $720 on Avid DS Nitris. Contact an authorized Avid reseller or visit www.genarts.com for more specific pricing information. To benefit from the promotion, orders must be received by Nov. 30.
AJA Video, a leading manufacturer of professional video interface and conversion solutions, has begun shipping KONA LHe, the first PCI Express HD capable device for the new Power Mac PCI Express G5s. AJA is now shipping a total of four products that support the PCIe G5 systems: the award-winning Io family of video converters, Io, IoLA, IoLD along with KONA LHe. Underscoring its commitment to future-safe products, the AJA Io product line has been compatible with the last three generations of Mac G4, G5 and PowerBooks systems.
Pixologic Inc., makers of the award-winning modeling, texturing and painting application, ZBrush, announced the release of two new plug-ins: Displacement Exporter and Multi-Displacement 2.
The cyber worlds dark side, distorted figures and high frequency waves are only a few of the CG backgrounds featured in Artbeats' new Code Rush and Code Storm royalty-free stock footage collections. Code Rush is a grunge-filled title that traverses virtual wastelands, moves through cities ravaged by mysterious debris and travels through time warps riddled with fantastic geometric shapes. Code Storm is a bizarre collection of frenzied display screens and digital chaos that is sure to evoke creativity.
MatchMover Pro 4.0 is currently shipping and offers a powerful new central automatic tracking engine, based on the power of SMART. In addition to providing radical new performance levels, MatchMover Pro 4.0 boasts a brand new look, with redesigned icons, colors and a slick, minimalist feel. A complete re-writing of export formats allows a perfectly smooth import of results, as well as additional features such as direct non-linear distortion management within Maya, 3ds Max, XSI and LightWave 3D.