In promoting post-production on the MAC platform, Apple recently bundled a number of 3D and 2D tools with its Final Cut Pro system. MAXON, Terran Interactive, and Puffin Designs have announced that their software will be bundled in with Final Cut Pro at no extra cost. MAXON's Cinema 4D GO -- their entry level 3D package (in short, a cut down version of their very popular Cinema 4D XL package) -- will be included in the Final Cut Pro package as a full working version, allowing users to create 'flying logos' and other simple 3D imagery for use in their productions.
MetaCreations, a renowned provider of graphics software, recently announced
that the Board of Directors has made the baffling decision of effectively
dropping their range of graphics products to concentrate purely on their
MetaStream technology. This decision comes shortly before the release of
Carrara, MC's "next-generation 3D software for print, video and the Web."
On the third line of their Carrara announcement, MetaCreations stated that
it would continue to support their existing graphics products. However,
Template Graphics Software (TGS) recently announced that its modeling and
animation software Amapi, was receiving an upgrade. The new release will be
'officially' announced at the Mac World Expo in January, however, the new
version is available now. It features Dynamic Geometry, which allows users
to edit an object dynamically by changing its outline, profile or basic
structure, through the software's ability to remember the construction
history of the object. The upgrade also has a new Decimation tool, which
Discreet recently released a maintenance update to 3D Studio MAX 3 which,
in the coming weeks, will be distributed free of charge to all registered
users of the software. The announcement comes shortly after the company
declared success at clearing well over 100,000 copies, and are reinforcing
their commitment to users by bringing them new features so soon after the
initial release of the software. The update includes data containers for
LIPSinc., the producer of Ventriloquist for 3D Studio MAX, recentlyannounced that they had launched a new lip-synching program called Echo.Whereas Ventriloquist is a plug-in for 3D Studio MAX, Echo is a standaloneprogram which outputs in flipbook, dope sheet and function curve animationdata for animation platforms, interactive 3D game engines, and multimediaapplications. Timeline Studios, a company founded by best-selling authorMichael Crichton, is using Echo in the company's first title, slated for
ICE, the developers of ICE Tools for After Effects and Media Cleaner, haverecently announced shipment of BlueICE SDI Video, an add-on daughter cardto ICE's BlueICE hardware for real-time, uncompressed, frame-accurate videocapture, playback and print to tape. BlueICE SDI Video allows Adobe AfterEffects users, to digitize, preview and layoff to tape in real time - allwhile remaining in the same After Effects environment in which theycomposite and create visual effects. BlueICE is available in both PAL and
LIPSinc. recently announced that they have released a version ofVentriloquist, their lip-synchronization plug-in, for 3D Studio MAX version3. Ventriloquist is a voice-recognition lip-synching system which drivesthe animation based on the input of audio files. Timing and keyframe datawithin Ventriloquist for MAX are linked together automatically, providingeasy access and manipulation for animators who feel the need to 'tweak'Ventriloquist's work. The voice recognition system is based on LIPSinc.'s
Digital Video SLR recently announced the release of Toonz Linetest, apencil test tool that is designed to preserve the animator's originalconcept. Linetest, which relies heavily on the Toonz exposure sheettechnology, offers a wide range of editing tools to manipulate frames,levels and sequences. One can insert new drawings, change the step of theanimation, and replace already grabbed images. One can also enlarge, reduceand rotate images, or create complex movements with ease thanks to the
SOFTIMAGE|Avid's Sumatra, which is set to redefine computer animation, hasrecently been used in a UK production for the BBC called "Everyman." Theanimation system, which is currently in beta, was used by Aldis Animationto create the 20 second title sequence of the show. Kim Aldis, the founderof Aldis Animation said that Sumatra increased the company's productivity,while at the same time giving them "more flexibility to experimentcreatively." Sumatra is due to be released at the end of the first quarter,
With Avid's recent announcement that they are effectively 'dropping' theircontinued development and support of Media Illusion and Matador,Interactive Effects has stepped in to offer customers using those productsa new solution. Interactive Effects is already an established provider ofdigital tools for visual effects artists, filmmakers and broadcasters.Their flagship product, the Piranha HD Visual Effects System, is in use bymany top studios all over the world (Pixar, Industrial Light + Magic, and
Famous Technologies has announced that version 1.5 of its stand-alone facialanimation system FAMOUSfaces is now shipping. The program, which is aimed atfilm, broadcast, games and location-based entertainment developers now boastssome amazing new features. The software allows character animators to createrealistic facial animation using one of, or a combination of any of thefollowing input devices: motion-capture, video, puppetry devices, voicerecognition or cluster targetting. New in version 1.5, animators can use the
The popular Knoll Light Factory plug-in from Puffin Designs was recentlyreleased for Avid Xpress, Media Composer, and Symphony -- the trimmedversion ofKnoll Lens Flare Pro is titled Knoll Lens Flare AVX. The software allows usersto create lens flares with an unprecedented level of precision and control.Based on the Lens Primitives in Knoll Lens Flare Pro, the plug-in consistsof anumber of filters which include elements modeled on professional camera lenses
Discreet's 3D Studio MAX 3 is currently being used by more than 116,000artistsworld-wide, a number signifying the major upgrades rising to an industrystandard package in film, broadcast, games, multimedia, and design industries.The new upgrade boasts many new features, but the ones that have brought theproduct into this popular position so soon after its release are mostdefinatelythe new 'world-class' renderer, and the infinitely extensible productionenvironment. Many of these 100,000+ customers are taking advantage of 3D
Crater Software recently made an agreement with Chromacolour Internationalwhich will see Chromacolour's industry leading colour palettes incorporatedinto Crater Software's popular CTP animation system. CTP is alreadyproviding animation studios with a cost effective solution to 2D celanimation and cartoon production, however, the software will benefit evenfurther from having such a well known and widely used colour paletteavailable for artists and animators to utilize. For more information on CTPand Crater Software visit www.cratersfotware.com.
Metacreations, the developers of cult 3D package Bryce and popular 2D paintprogram Painter, recently announced that a new version of its famous KPTplug-in for Photoshop was now available. The new version is made up of 8filters -- Materializer, Equalizer, Gel, LensFlare, Turbulence, Reaction,Projector and Goo -- plus, there are two bonus filters: SceneBuilder andSkyEffects. The plug-in does, as in previous versions, share the consistenteasy to use interface across all of the filters. It also shows previews of
Customers who choose LightWave between now and the release of version 6will receive free upgrades from the current version (version 5.6).LightWave 6-- which is due for release later this year -- is said to be themost significant upgrade to the popular program in its long history as oneof the leading tools for visual effects and digital image creation.LightWave  is also the only 3D software system to run on MAC, WindowsNT, Alpha and Silicon Graphics systems. Version 5.6 is available now at a
Newtek has once again reinforced itscommitment to the Macintosh platform by announcing that Lightwave 3D 5.6,and the recently announced Lightwave 6 is compatible with Apple's new MACOS 9. The new OS 9 platform brings features such as QUICKTIME 4.0 support,floating windows, and faster real-time manipulation to MAC-based Lightwaveusers for the first time. Apple will be releasing OS 9 this month, andLightwave 6 will be available before the end of the year. For moreinformation visit www.apple.com or www.newtek.com.
Alias|Wavefront, producers ofaccredited character animation and visual effects tool Maya, have announceda significant upgrade to the product; an upgrade which brings important newtools to 3D animators and effects artists. Version 2.5 comes complete withMaya Paint Effects: a revolutionary new tool which allows artists to createand animate stunning organic and painterly effects almost instantly. PaintEffects features an extensive library of 2D and 3D preset brushes, which
mental images recently announced that its high-end Mental Ray renderingsoftware was the first workstation application to run on Intel's firstengineering samples of the IA-64 Itanium-based platform. mental images andIntel have been working hand-in-hand to create a version of Mental Ray thatwas ported and optimized for the Itanium processor. The new platform wasdemonstrated to attendees of the Intel Developer Forum in Palm Springs byIntel CEO Craig Barrett on an early version of Microsoft's 64-bit version
Puffin Designs, the award winning company behind Commotion LE and theCommotion Player, recently announced that a new image editing and effectsprogram for MAC and PC users - Commotion DV - is now shipping. The newsoftware is designed to make the nitty-gritty work of making visual effectsbelievable a piece of cake. For example, Commotion DV features a SuperClonebrush which makes wire and rig removal, crowd scene generation/editing,shot clean-up and much more easier. This new release also features Puffin's
A new upgrade to Ulead's popular video editing software MediaStudio wasrecently announced, with an interesting list of new features. The newversion will feature an integrated editing, painting, audio, and titlingtool in the one package. Ulead are also expanding MediaStudio'scompatibility and output features by announcing support for DV, MPEG-2, VFWand WDM capture drivers, and IEEE-1394 support. More drag and drop effects,filters and transitions will be present in the new version, along with new
British born Cambridge Animation Systems has announced a new plug-in forAlias|Wavefront's Maya which allows users to turn their 3D work intotraditional looking 2D animations. Animo Inkworks lets Maya animatorsexport their 3D data into Animo where it can be composited into a 2D sceneusing Animo's Scene III plug-in. This new release brings high-qualitytoon-shading to Maya users, and allows them to integrate their 3D and 2Dwork more tightly with a high degree of customisation.
ILM Visual Effects Supervisor Scott Squires' company Puffin Designs has begunshipping a Windows version of the already available MAC software 'CompositeWizard.' The Adobe After Effects plug-in is a smart little program whichgives artists the power to clean up After Effects composites quickly andeasily, fixing common compositing problems such as ragged edges, poor matteextractions, and improper focal depth cues. The package features over 20filters which can be used to clean up mattes, along with 'EZ' versions of
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences' Scientific and TechnicalAwards Committee has announced nineteen scientific or technicalachievements to be considered for 1999 Academy Awards. The Sci/Techcommittee selected the achievements for their outstanding impact on themotion picture industry, and although this is just an initial list (the 19products/developments will undergo vigorous investigation by the committeebefore being short-listed for nomination), it is exciting news for many in