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Headline News DreamWorks to Render Sharkslayer in Mental Ray

In a further coup for German software giant Mental Images, DreamWorks will utilize its Academy Award-winning mental ray rendering program on the upcoming underwater gangster comedy SHARKSLAYER, due in theaters in 2004.

A direct competitor to Pixar's heralded RenderMan, mental ray now becomes a significant part of DreamWorks' rendering pipeline for SHARKSLAYER, the first computer-animated feature produced entirely at DreamWorks Animation facility in Glendale, Calif. DreamWorks began utilizing mental ray as part of its production process following rigorous tests in 2002.

Headline News Houdini Conjures Up Tornadoes and BAMFs for X2

Rhythm & Hues and Cinesite Hollywood used Side Effects Software's Houdini to create effects in the summer blockbuster X2: X-MEN UNITED. For example, Rhythm & Hues used Houdini and Houdini Mantra to animate and render chunks of snow and tree debris flying around the X-Jet in a scene where the plane flies through the woods. In addition, Rhythm & Hues artists were able to control water sources and turbulent current effects as well as the falling shards of shattered glass. For the X-Jet, they added engine thrusts, heat distortion and dust.

Headline News Top 5 Game Firms Using Bionatics' natFX

A look at the recent E3 conference shows that Bionatics' natFX software is being used with 3ds max or Maya by five of the top gaming firms: Ubisoft, Lucas Arts, Eidos, Electronic Arts and Atari. The one-year-old plant modeler has been used on such games as RAVENSHIELD, RAINBOWSIX 3, DEUS EX II, MEDAL OF HONOR: RISING SUN AND RTX: REDROCK 2. Bionatics announced that 22 more games will utilize the software within the next year.

Headline News Digital Video to Unveil New Paperless Software at MIFA

As a companion to its popular 2D animation software, Toonz, utilized on the Oscar-winning SPIRITED AWAY, Digital Video premieres its new paperless software, TAB, at MIFA 2003. More suited to animation than graphic design, TAB is intended to streamline computer-based cartoon production with speed and power.

Headline News Anark Announces Anark Studio 2

Anark Corp. unveils Anark Studio 2, the newest version of the company's multimedia authoring software. Anark Studio 2 features several product enhancements, including an upgraded timeline includes scalability, filters and a redesigned inspector palette. With the addition of Anark Player 2 and Anark Client 2, users can create Macintosh OSX files, allowing them delivery to both the Mac and PC. The update also features a screensaver export option for the creation of standalone, interactive 3D screensavers. In addition, the projector export allows for the production of standalone CD-ROM/DVD-ROMs.

Headline News Wildform Releases WILD FX 3.0

Wildform, creators of video and animation software, have released Wild fx 3.0, a major upgrade to its Flash text animation software, previously sold under the name SWfX. The new version has more than 100 new effects, including 45 that are infinitely customizable. These custom effects can also be used as templates to create new effects, which can be saved and added to the Wild fx library. All the effects can be moved, deleted and organized in a drag and drop folder tree.

Headline News Particleillusion Gets Upgrade

Particle effects software producer wondertouch has announced the release of particleillusion 3.0, a major upgrade and expansion of the company's cornerstone 2D, sprite-based application. Animators who haven't used particleillusion yet have certainly seen the results it's facilitated, in many features such as BEHIND ENEMY LINES, DREAMCATCHER, HART'S WAR, GHOST SHIP, THE CORE AND SWORDFISH, as well as in TV shows including STAR TREK VOYAGER and THAT 70'S SHOW, and in numerous commercials.

Headline News Discreet Offers Particle Flow Tool for 3ds max Subscribers

Discreet has made available a new Particle Flow Extension software for 3ds max customers registered under the Discreet Subscription Program, a component of the Autodesk Subscription Program. Discreet subscribers can use the new tool integrated into 3ds max software to create realistic fountains, fog, snow, splashes, contrails, explosions and other environmental effects. Along with standard maintenance downloads, subscriber program members receive valuable software "extensions," online learning tools, and specialized educational material.

Headline News Discreet Talks Convergence Of Mobile Games And Hollywood At E3

Discreet, a division of Autodesk, Inc. will be at the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) in Los Angeles May 1416, 2003 to showcase its 3D animation, modeling, character design, rendering and game modification software and integrated partner software demonstrations. Discreet will also share educational "how to" sessions in its private suite, regarding rapid game development for PC, PlayStation, Xbox, GameCube, and mobile games, the focus of the convention this year. The mobile games burgeoning market is predicted to reach more than $2 billion by 2004 and $7 billion by 2008 (Strategy Analytics, Inc. 2003 report). Discreet will also illustrate how its software is an effective bridge between Hollywood visual effects for motion pictures and the video game market, with market share in both industries.

Headline News HP To Ship Itanium 2-based Workstations Running 64-Bit Microsoft Windows XP

HP has announced the availability of its Itanium 2-based workstations running with the new Microsoft Windows XP 64-bit Edition Version 2003. This is expected to lead to the development of a large number of 64-bit applications for areas such as 3D animation, CAD/CAM and imagery analysis.

Headline News Houdini 6 Features Digital Assets Management

Side Effects Software has released Houdini 6, the latest version of the procedural modeling and animation software that garnered a Scientific and Engineering Award from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences this year. Houdini Apprentice users can also download a free non-commercial version of Houdini 6, including all-new training materials at www.sidefx.com.

Headline News Sony Pictures Digital Buys Sonic Foundry Assets For $18 Million

Sony Pictures Digital has purchased all of the desktop software products and related assets of Sonic Foundry, Inc. for $18 million cash and assumption of certain trade payables, accrued liabilities and capital leases associated with the desktop software business.

Headline News GenArts Offers Discount on Sapphire Plug-ins for Avid Xpress DV

GenArts, Inc., a leading provider of digital visual effects plug-ins, is offering a $1,000 discount for Sapphire Plug-ins on Avid Xpress DV. Throughout the month of May 2003, the price tag for the entire package of Sapphire Plug-ins for Avid Xpress DV has been reduced to $1,800 when ordered by May 31, 2003. To find out more about this special offer, please visit the GenArts Website at web.genarts.com.

Headline News Alias|Wavefront Expands Third Party Developer Program

Alias|Wavefront, an SGI company, has started a third party developer program the Conductors Program - offering three levels of participation, to help what the company sees is a strong surge in developers seeking to create plug-ins and other complementary add-ons for Maya and StudioTools software.

Headline News RE:Vision Effects, Inc. Releases RE:Fill

San Francisco-based RE:Vision Effects recently released RE:Fill, a plug-in set that mends holes in image sequences by intelligently filling user-specified regions. RE:Fill was designed to replace missing pixels automatically in numerous ways such as by selecting the nearest "good" pixel and mirroring pixels about a hole's edge, or cloning from another "good" region. The good region can even come from other times in the production or from another sequence altogether.

RE:Fill addresses many different production problems:

Headline News Spiral Graphics Holds Seamless Texture Beta Test

Spiral Graphics has begun beta testing its upcoming seamless textures application, Genetica (formerly known as Organica). The software company claims Genetica is the world's first seamless textures generator to be built around a node-based engine to automate seamless texture creation, promising to expedite the workflow of game artists, 3D designers and others using tiling textures or repeating backgrounds.

Headline News BOXX Technologies Supports AMD Opteron Processing Power

BOXX Technologies, a leading developer of XXTreme award-winning digital content creation systems for the design, entertainment and digital film industries, has announced support for AMD Opteron processors in its 3DBOXX workstations, RenderBOXX rendering nodes and ServerBOXX servers.

Headline News Maya 5 Now Available

Alias|Wavefront has announced its new Maya 5 can be downloaded immediately by customers on full annual maintenance and registered for eSupport via www.aliaswavefront.com/maya/support, a week before its due to ship, May 1, 2003, for new and upgrading customers. Maya 5 offers enhancements especially helpful for character animation, dynamics and polygonal modeling, and has become more applicable to 2D artists, Web developers and technical illustrators.

Headline News NVIDIA Extends NForce3 Into Pro Workstation Market

NVIDIA recently introduced its NForce3 Pro, a motherboard chipset that is compatible with the new Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) Opteron 64-bit processor. The Opteron processor is significant for AMD because it challenges existing 64-bit CPUs such as the Intel Itanium, especially for the lucrative server market.

Headline News Wildcat Adds Drive To Sun Accelerators

3Dlabs' Wildcat technology is pushing the power of the Sun XVR-1200 graphics accelerator, which is available for Sun Blade 2000 workstations and Sun Fire 6800 servers from Sun Microsystems, Inc. Dr. Jon Peddie, president of Jon Peddie Research, a leading market research firm in graphics, said this combination "exemplifies the most outstanding technological innovation we've seen from this dynamic duo to date, which is in a segment we are forecasting to be worth $500 million in 2003 and growing to $700 million by 2005."

Headline News HP Introduces Affordable, Entry-Level Workstation

Hewlett-Packard Co. is rolling out an entry-level workstation based on Intel Corp.'s new 3GHz Pentium 4 microprocessor and accompanying 875P chip set for an industry standard low retail price of $799. The HP Workstation xw4100 enhanced system offers performance acceleration, due to reduced memory access latencies, and hyperthreading technology to efficiently run multiple applications simultaneously and to speed processor-intensive tasks.

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