Industrial Light & Magic (ILM), a division of Lucas Digital Ltd. LLC, revealed its latest Intel technology deployment of 600 Pentium 4 processor-based animation workstations. "The visual effects industry has traditionally been a land of proprietary systems and software," said Cliff Plumer, ILMs Chief Technology Officer. "At ILM, were increasingly using Intel-based systems to expand our range of software choices for animation and compositing.
Leading compositing and visual effects software Shake 2.5 will be available for the first time for Mac OS X. Shake is high-performance compositing software designed for large format productions, and has been used on many high-profile feature films, including the past five winners of the Academy Award for Best Visual Effects: LORD OF THE RINGS: THE FELLOWSHIP OF THE RING, GLADIATOR, THE MATRIX, WHAT DREAMS MAY COME and TITANIC. Shake 2.5 is scheduled to be available in August for Mac OS X, Linux, IRIX and Windows.
The Intel Corporation has established the CAD (Computer Aided Design) 3D Working Group to define, develop and deploy a common format to represent 3D images on the Web. The working group is part of the Web3D Consortium, a forum for the creation of open standards for Web 3D specifications, and includes members from various segments of the 3D graphics industry, including CAD software vendors, CAD users and digital content creators.
Caligari Corporation's trueSpace6, thelatest version of its award-winning 3D modeling and animationprogram, is now available. Caligari has added more than two dozen newfeatures to trueSpace6, allowing for more powerful modeling anddesign, as well as increased functionality for game developers,professional engineers and designers. New trueSpace6 features includefull color-coded layers to make creating complex models easier; a newScene Editor that combines six trueSpace editors (objects,
Ed Catmull, president and co-founder of Pixar Animation Studios, announced at a SIGGRAPH press conference that Pixar will integrate NXN alienbrain VFX into its production process to provide media asset management for its upcoming CG film projects. NXN alienbrain VFX is the first of its kind digital asset and production management system designed specifically for high-end computer graphics projects.
SplutterFish, LLC, a 3D software solutions provider, announced at SIGGRAPH 2002 the launch of its Brazil Rendering System v1.0, a fully-integrated rendering suite for Discreet's 3ds max and Autodesk VIZ.
At SIGGRAPH 2002, Discreet announced and demonstrated for the first time its character studio 4, the latest extension to Discreet's 3ds max animation software. character studio 4 includes significant enhancements designed to provide animators an easy-to-use system. Additions such as a non-linear animation mixer, an animation analyzer and fixer and Quaternion Function Curves were implemented to help expand users' character animation techniques and capabilities.
At New York's MacWorld Expo,Alias|Wavefront announced Maya 4.5, the seventh major release of itspopular Maya 3D animation software. With this new release, Maya forMac OS X will be synchronized with Maya on other supported hardwareplatforms. Current Maya for Mac OS X users will benefit from asubstantial number of feature additions and enhancements includingnew modeling tools, integrated 3D Paint, multi-processor support forrendering and numerous UI and workflow enhancements. "Maya 4.5 for
At the SIGGRAPH 2002conference, Side Effects Software has announced Houdini Halo, astand-alone compositing and image-editing application, which will beavailable in the fourth quarter of 2002. Houdini Halo is the newestaddition to the Houdini family of 3D software products, which alsoincludes Houdini Master, Houdini Select and Houdini Escape. Halo'sfeatures include an interactive, visual way of creating customshaders, composite operators and more, without the need to write
This week at SIGGRAPH 2002, 3D animation software developer Kaydara,Inc. has announced that both Discreet and NewTek products willsupport Kaydara's FBX file format. Discreet will integrate supportfor FBX into upcoming versions of its 3D animation and visual effectssoftware, including 3ds max, inferno, flame and flint. FBX is a 3Dfile interchange format that allows for the universal interchange of3D data between every major 3D package and a number of second-tierapplications. "Discreet is excited by the numerous opportunities
NVIDIA Corporation announced from SIGGRAPH 2002 that it is open sourcing the NVIDIA CgCompiler technology under a nonrestrictive, free license. Availablein August 2002 for download from the developer.nvidia.com andwww.cgshaders.org Websites, this code will contain the parser thatreads the language and creates intermediate code for compilation, aswell as a generic back-end. Together, these components provideeverything required to create optimized Cg compilers for other
Thisweek at SIGGRAPH 2002 (Booth #8062), Discreet announced new productreleases for its visual effects and compositing systems inferno 5,flame 8 and flint 8. According to Discreet, these latest versionsinclude software architecture modifications designed to improvepost-production workflow by offering digital artists increasedfreedom, flexibility and speed. New features include support formixed resolutions, enabling artists to combine various film, video,graphics and other multimedia formats within one project at any
Scott Jenkins reviews Combustion 2 and checks in with a production in progress to see how Combustion stacks up against key competitor After Effects.
Belmont, California-based LifeMode Interactive, Inc. has released LifeStudio: Head, a complete facial animation solution for interactive game and multimedia developers. Created using LifeMode's Macro-Muscle proprietary technology, LifeStudio: Head Tools allows artists to quickly create a wide variety of characters, complete with photo-realistic textures, real-time animation and lip-syncing.
LIPSinc, a provider of voice-to-animation speech technology for talking digital characters, has launched LIPSinc Impersonator, a software tool created specifically for game developers. LIPSinc automatically creates animation data files for talking characters by using an audio file as the only input. These data files are then interpreted by the game engine at runtime and played in synch with the audio for more convincing game characters with realistic facial animation.
SplutterFish, creator of the Brazil Rendering System, has announced Joe Alter's Shave and a Haircut for 3ds Max, and representatives from SplutterFish will be giving a demonstration of both Brazil and Shave at the Discreet booth (Booth #8062) at SIGGRAPH 2002, from 3:00 pm to 4:00 pm, July 23-25, 2002. Shave and a Haircut is a hair grooming, dynamics and rendering system that creates photo-realistic hair for characters, animals and people, as well as creating leaves, grass and other organic systems. Shave and a Haircut for 3ds Max is scheduled for release in the fourth quarter of 2002.
Animation software developer face2face animation will be at SIGGRAPH to demonstrate its new streaming MPEG-4 animation player, the face2face Player. The face2face Player enables animators to output streaming facial characters over any wireless network or device, including laptops, digital cell phones and wireless PDAs. face2face has announced that its demonstration of the Player will be on a laptop with a wireless cellular modem, streaming high-quality facial animation with perfect lip sync. "This is the era of everyday animation.
Blender, the free 3D software package that had been available through Dutch company Not a Number (NaN) until March 2002, when the company declared bankruptcy, is now making a comeback, thanks to Blender creator Ton Roosendaal. Roosendaal founded NaN in June of 1998, and the company offered the Blender Creator animation software free through their Website. Since the demise of NaN, Roosendaal has been working with shareholders to come up with a possible way to make Blender available to the 3D community as an open source development project.
Venice, California-based Digital Domain, the visual effects company responsible for digital effects in recent blockbusters like THE TIME MACHINE, LORD OF THE RINGS, X-MEN and ARMAGEDDON, will announce a new software venture at SIGGRAPH 2002. According to THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER, Digital Domain will be offering a public version of its proprietary compositing tool, Nuke. Digital Domain hopes to compete with Shake, the popular compositing software owned by Apple.
Kaydara Inc. will be providing free training sessions at SIGGRAPH 2002 for their real-time animation software package Motionbuilder. The training sessions can accommodate up to 30 people at a time, and will be held every hour on the hour, from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm on Monday, July 22, 2002 at the Bonham Exchange, located at 411 Bonham Street in San Antonio. At the end of the day, Kaydara will unveil the most recent version of the software, Motionbuilder 4.0. For more information about Kaydara, including a SIGGRAPH calendar of events, visit www.kaydara.com.
Bionatics has released its plant simulation and animation plug-in natFX v1.5 for 3ds max, and will present it at SIGGRAPH 2002 (Booth #20106). natFX v1.5 now supports 3ds max's native wind features, and offers increased control and quality of textures with new Texture Manager function, adjustable level of detail of both 3D and 2D elements and greater export flexibility. natFX v1.5 for 3ds max is available with a minimum package of 10 plants and will be offered at a retail price of US$990. For more information visit www.bionatics.com.
Discreet will be unveiling 3ds max 5, the latest release of its professional 3D animation and modeling software, at SIGGRAPH 2002 (Booth #8062). Discreet has added key new features in 3ds max 5 software including enhanced global illumination methods for subtle and accurate lighting; soft and hard-body dynamics software; and new texture mapping capabilities to marry image data to mesh models accurately.
Pixologic, Inc. will be unveiling its ZBrush version 1.5 at the upcoming MacWorld Expo 2002 (July 17-19, 2002, Booth #1446) and SIGGRAPH (July 23-25, 2002, Booth #5048). ZBrush is a 2D and 3D image creation and processing application, powered by a real-time rendering engine. Based on proprietary "Pixol" rendering technology, ZBrush enables artists to paint with color, material, texture and depth as well as manipulate the canvas and sculpt and texture 3D models.
Side Effects Software is making its animation software more accessible to users with the launch of the Houdini Apprentice Program. This program includes the Houdini Apprentice Edition, a non-commercial version of the latest Houdini family of products. Apprentice users can run the complete family of products which includes Houdini Master, a full-featured animation and effects package, Houdini Select, an entry-level 3D module, and Houdini Halo, a stand-alone compositor.
3D product developer Immersion Corporation has announced its MicroScribe Connections for Maya software, a new digitizing plug-in designed to streamline workflow and increase design performance and productivity, will be available beginning July 22, 2002. MicroScribe Connections for Maya is the first in a new series of plug-ins from Immersion. According to the company, these plug-ins will allow animators, game developers and industrial designers who use both Maya and MicroScribe to digitize and render 3D models, animated characters and digital content easily.