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.
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.
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.
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:
Discreet and NXN Software, a leading supplier of asset management solutions for the digital entertainment and computer graphics industries, have announced a technology and bundling partnership that will promote tighter integration between their applications: Discreets 3ds max and NXNs alienbrain Studio.
Academy Award-winning claypainting animator Joan Gratz ventured into strange territory when she took a Combustion course at Oregon3D. Find out how she handled the change from clay to computers.
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.
BOXX Technologies, a leading developer of XXTreme award-winning digital content creation systems for the design, entertainment and digital film industries, now offers the new NVIDIA Quadro FX 3000 series of professional graphics solutions in its 3DBOXX workstations. These new professional graphics solutions make advanced high-resolution visualization accessible to more professionals in the video postproduction and broadcast markets.
NVIDIA Quadro FX 3000 Features
Turbo Squid has announced the certification and release of cgCharacters Absolute Character Tools (ACT) 1.6 Pro as a Discreet Certified 3ds max Plug-in. ACT is a fast and stable production platform that offers a wide array of character modeling and animation features. In addition to cgMuscle objects, ACT also includes tools and objects (cgTubes) to create skinned proxy characters that deform and animate in realtime.
SPEC's Graphics Performance Characterization (SPEC/GPC) group has launched a new program that gives non-members of the organization access to its benchmarking review and publication processes. SPEC/GPC's SPECviewperf and SPECapc application-based benchmarks are considered worldwide standards for objective performance measurement. SPECviewperf offers direct performance comparisons of graphics hardware running datasets from popular CAD/CAM, digital content creation and visualization applications.
VFXWorlds Bill Desowitz journeys into Sinbad, which represents a culmination of DreamWorks' fascination with water, building on techniques used in most of its previous animated features.