Top video game publisher and developer Codemasters has chosen NXN alienbrain Studio by NXN Software. Codemasters will equip all its game studios with more than 200 seats of NXN alienbrain Studio to manage the thousands of art assets and source code files created throughout the development of upcoming titles for PlayStation 2, Xbox and PC.
Immersion Corp., a leading developer of 3D and haptic (touch) feedback technologies, and FISHER/UNITECH, a Michigan-based engineering technologies firm, are jointly offering Immersion's MicroScribe digitizing systems to graphics designers and CAD engineers working with Maya and SolidWorks software. Effective Aug. 12, 2003, FISHER/UNITECH is an Immersion "Premier Reseller," adding the MicroScribe G2 product line to the products it resells throughout North America.
Joe Strike ventures into the Newark, New Jersey home of DPS to discover how their global animation studio philosophy has helped them become a major player in such a short period of time.
VFXWorlds Bill Desowitz found SIGGRAPH 2003 less wow inducing than other years, but he gained a wider appreciation for the future of 3D visualization than ever before.
Special effects producer Rick Baumgartner traveled to San Diego to check out the new wonders on display at SIGGRAPHs Electronic Theater, and he reports back with what he discovered.
Nevercenter Ltd. Co. announced the upcoming release of its new subdivision surfaces modeler, Silo. Expanding the subdivision surfaces paradigm to new levels, Silo combines several new modeling methods with established tools in an interface that is fully customizable. In addition, Silo features a workflow based on speed and ease of use. Silo will go on sale later in August 2003 at www.nevercenter.com.
GenArts Inc. has just released Sapphire Plug-ins for burn, Discreet's new Linux-based background rendering software. With the new version of Sapphire Plug-ins, inferno, flame and flint artists will be able to use burn to process projects faster, increasing productivity and maximizing creative time.
At SIGGRAPH 2003, SplutterFish LLC announced the release of the newest version of its rendering software Brazil Rendering System and Joe Alter's Shave and a Haircut for 3ds max. Brazil r/s v. 1.2 is an advanced, fully-integrated rendering suite for Discreet's 3ds max and Autodesk VIZ, Autodesk's visualization solution. Shave and a Haircut is an industry-standard hair-creation software program.
Maxon Computers announced the release of BodyPaint 3D Release 2, which included development aid from Sony Pictures Imageworks. The new version includes fast and easy-to-use tools for distortion free painting and Projection Painting, which allows textures to be painted onto a 3D model without UV seams appearing. Used in conjunction with RayBrush mode, users can create perfectly mapped textures and view results in realtime.
Rick DeMott talks with the remaining lead players in the Internet animation field to discover their secret to success.
Christopher Harz charts the phenomenal growth of wireless animation and reveals the most unpublicized need for 2D animation to keep up with demand.
Greg Singer takes a look at how director Robert Rodriguez pulls off the fancy fun of his latest family film, Spy Kids 3-D: Game Over.
At SIGGRAPH 2003, BOXX Technologies announced it has entered into a strategic partnership with Discreet to offer 3ds max with its XXtreme series of 3DBOXX workstations. In addition, the company announced the release of CineBOXX [review], the first component in the CineBOXX series of digital intermediate systems for real-time playback of 2K DPX and Cineon files at 24fps, as well as an upgrade to its HD editing and compositing system, HDBOXX.
At SIGGRAPH 2003, NewTek, Inc. previewed the newest version of LightWave 3D as well as released its third free texture collection. NewTek's LightWave, winner of a 2003 Primetime Emmy Engineering Award, includes enhanced dynamics, character animation, modeling workflow, animation workflow and texturing tools. The third NewTek's Texture Collection includes fifty 1,600x1,200 pixels resolution JPEG-file textures, including wood, metal, sky, nature and stone, and is now available for free download at www.newtek.com.
Turbo Squid, the exclusive publisher and worldwide distributor of the Discreet Certified 3ds max Plug-in Program, announced the release of Turbo Toolkit, a suite of eight Discreet Certified 3ds max Plug-ins. Separately the products sell for nearly $4,000, but the Turbo Toolkit will sell for $1,695 until August 31, 2003.
Sun Microsystems, Inc. has announced an agreement with OpenGL to develop Java bindings for the OpenGL application-programming interface (API). The development of these bindings will involve submissions to the Java Community Process (JCP) and the OpenGL Architecture Review Board (ARB). The JCP is an open organization of international developers and licensees whose charter is to develop and revise Java technology specifications, reference implementations and technology compatibility kits.
Discreet has announced the newest version of its 3D modeling, animation and rendering software, 3ds max 6. Many features in 3ds max 6 were created because of requests by leading film effects, design visualization and game development customers. SEGA was a major partner in the development of the new version, including providing direction on the new schematic view feature.
Alias Systems released Maya Personal Learning Edition 5, a fully functioning version of Maya Complete software for non-commercial use. Maya Personal Learning Edition was first launched in February 2002.
Animal Logic has announced it has switched its animation production pipeline software to SOFTIMAGE|XSI. The Australian-based studio is converting its pipeline from the Maya software in order to meet the demanding production requirements of HAPPY FEET, a CG animated feature film directed by George Miller (BABE) and scheduled for delivery in 2005.
Michael Ford and Alan Lehman take us through the step-by-step process of planning the setup of a 3D character. While these steps may sound time consuming the authors assure us it will pay off in the end! The second of several excerpts from the book, Inspired 3D Character Setup.
Innoventive Software, LLC has released FrameForge 3D, the first 3D storyboarding software. The program gives users an easy-to-manipulate 3D virtual film set with fully posable actors, hills, trees, snap-together walls, furniture and other elements. FrameForge 3D allows users to print the boards, including technical information required to create that shot on location. Storyboard shots can be associated with parts of an imported script, played as a slideshow, exported to standard graphics files, HTML pages or turned into a Macromedia Flash animation. Other features include:
Kaydara Inc., a leader in 3D character animation and motion capture technologies, has announced the support of Alias for the Kaydara FBX authoring file format. A free Kaydara FBX-Maya plug-in, which provides Maya software users with a seamless pathway for the acquisition and exchange of 3D data, will be bundled on the Maya CD and posted free on the Kaydara (www.kaydara.com/fbx) and Alias (www.alias.com) Websites.