Viewers around the world watching the animated simulations of the Mars rovers mission are watching the work of a young, lone animator, using LightWave, to make the mission come to life when communications and cameras arent cooperating. He is Dan Maas, operating out of his own studio, Mass Digital in Ithaca, New York, far from NASA in Texas, JPL in Pasadena and Mars, where the two rover explorers are now carrying out their missions.
NVIDIA announced that NASA is using its Quadro Graphics technology to reconstruct Martian terrain from transmitted rover data in photorealistic virtual reality, allowing scientists to explore Mars in 3D as if they were actually moving freely on the planet's surface.
Discreet announced that Ultimate (Ultimate Video Int.), The Netherlands, has installed high-performance digital color correction and digital intermediate (DI) capabilities based on lustre, Discreet's award-winning, realtime color grading system.
Digital Anarchy announced the availability of Primatte Chromakeyer 2.0, a chromakey compositing plug-in for Photoshop and Photoshop Elements. Primatte allows users to use blue and greenscreen masking technology with Photoshop and digital still images to create complex layered effects.
Vicon announced Vicon iQ 1.5, a new release of the companys intelligence-based motion data processing application. Now shipping, the new software encompasses a number of production-critical capabilities to enable automated handling of motion data from capture through to animation.
Final Draft, Inc., publisher of Final Draft, the top-selling scriptwriting software, and Entertainment Partners, publisher of the Movie Magic production software product line, will be previewing new software at Booth 1174 at the NATPE show from Jan. 18-20, 2004.
Final Draft will be previewing Tagger, which enables a user to break down a Final Draft script into its various elements (components). The tagged script can then be exported into Entertainment Partners' Movie Magic and EP Scheduling software. Final Draft and Final Draft AV software will also be demonstrated.
Media 100 Inc., a leading provider of advanced media systems, will release the "Visual Effects" release--new version 3.0 software for 844/X in January 2004. The largest software expansion of 844/X since its inception in 2002, Version 3.0 advances 844/X with many new realtime, multi-stream capabilities:
- Advanced keying- 3D digital video effects (DVEs)- Shadow and glow effects- XML-based metadata interchange- New performance optimizations for editing longer-form, layer-intensive projects
nPower Software launches v. 2.0 of Power Solids and Power Translators for 3ds Max/ Viz. Power Solids 2.0 supports 3ds max 6 in an effort to enhance 3D modeling. Power Solids introduces a state of the art precise CAD geometric modeling kernel into 3ds max. It performs dynamic tessellation at render time to generate the most precise and efficient representation. Power Solids and Power Translators data is very well suited for export back to CAD systems through nPower's STEP, IGES, SAT, Rhino data translation.
Digital Anarchy has launched Text Anarchy 2.1 for After Effects and Final Cut Pro. Text Anarchy 2.1 is the newest version of Digital Anarchy's best selling plug-in, and includes many product optimizations, the most significant of which is improved font support. Other key improvements in Text Anarchy 2.1 include:
* OpenType support: In addition to TrueType and Postscript type 1 fonts, all the Text Anarchy filters now support OpenType fonts.
combustion 3 for Apple Macintosh, the latest version of Discreet's award-winning visual effects and 3D compositing desktop software, was announced on Jan. 5, 2004 in conjunction with MacWorld in San Francisco. combustion 3 for the Mac will deliver industry-leading features benefiting customers who produce Web content and professional video motion graphics, repurpose video content for the Web and create effects for independent feature films and HDTV content.
Turbo Squid announced the release of Service Pack 2 (SP2) for cebas' finalRender Stage-1, a Discreet certified 3ds max plug-in. SP2 is a free download and provides the following to finalRender Stage-1 users:
*All-New Anti-Aliasing Core Engine Technologies The latest advanced adaptive anti-aliasing sampling algorithms have been implemented within SP2 and provided as a new engine along with significant speed enhancements to the existing engines.
Toon Boom Technologies designed and installed a new pipeline at Mercury Filmworks, one of Canada's large scale studios producing Flash style series, to increase productivity, raise the level of quality and do away with the issues common to a traditional Flash pipeline.
Christopher Harz takes a look at new innovations taking place in burgeoning 3D industries beyond entertainment.
Alias' Maya software played a central role in the development of Gollum, Shelob, the Battle of Pelennor Fields and the Witch King's death in THE LORD OF THE RINGS: THE RETURN OF THE KING. In fact, Maya has been the core 3D animation software used in all three RINGS films created by Weta Digital and distributed by New Line Cinema.
Turbo Squid, the world's largest collection of royalty-free 3D assets for sale, has formed a custom 3D modeling service, allowing clients to draw from a global pool of more than 6,300 digital artists when a job is needed. The service is designed to give Turbo Squid clients another avenue for content if they cannot fulfill their needs through the Turbo Squid library of more than 80,000 3D models, meshes, textures, audio files and mo-cap data available for download.
Softimage has launched SOFTIMAGE|BEHAVIORv.1.5 - the latest version of its cutting edge crowd effects software. This third release includes an array of customer-driven improvements as well as new and innovative features that enable users to build sophisticated behavioral simulations quickly and creatively.
Discreet announced it has significantly increased its share in the 3D animation tools market this year with expansion in core and emerging markets. Having exceeded 200,000 license sales of its 3ds max software, Discreet has forged ahead with 3ds max 6, the most recent release of its acclaimed 3D modeling, animation and rendering software.
"As a strategic partner with Discreet, SplutterFish is committed to ensuring that Brazil r/s meets the demanding standards of quality and compatibility for this latest version of 3ds max that the renderer is already known for," said SplutterFish ceo Scott Kirvan.
GenArts Inc., a leading provider of digital visual effects plug-ins for the film, broadcast and video industry, will be showcasing its upcoming release of Sapphire Plug-ins in the plug-in pavilion, booth # 617, at DV Expo West 2003, Los Angeles Convention Center, Dec. 10-12, 2003.
Visitors to the GenArts booth will be able to experience hands-on demos of the widely anticipated Sapphire Plug-ins for After Effects and compatible products, including Apple's Final Cut Pro, Discreet's combustion, and Eyeon Software's Digital Fusion, among others.
AJA Video Systems will introduce Io LD and Io LA to the U.S. at GV Expo in Washington, D.C. on Dec. 3, 2003 The two newest members of AJA's Io family, Io LD and Io LA support the highest quality 10-bit uncompressed video available - on both the digital and analog inputs and outputs. These smaller and lower cost relatives of Io are application specific: Io LD is designed to work with SDI digital systems, and Io LA is for analog component or composite systems. AJA will be located in Apple's booth # 412 at GV Expo. Io LD and Io LA will begin shipping in January 2004.
Nevercenter Ltd. Co. has released its new modeler Silo, version 1.16, which now includes support for linking to RenderMan-compliant renderers and POV-ray for direct rendering from Silo. Options include the ability to add header and footer files to the render file, and the ability to optionally include or exclude light, camera and material information. In addition, version 1.16s improvements include a more advanced universal manipulator and manipulator options, as well as some tool enhancements and workflow improvements.
Additional 1.16 updates include: