Kaydara Inc. announced the release of FiLMBOX 3.2, the latest version of the company's real-time 3D character animation solution. With an enhanced user interface and workflow, FiLMBOX 3.2 introduces new features for both keyframe and motion-capture-based character animation for game, film, TV and Web productions.
Cambridge Animation Systems has released Animo 4.0 software for the Mac OS X allowing Mac OS X users to have the same functionality as users running on the Windows operating system. The Animo software package integrates 2D and 3D animation and is used for feature films, animated television series, commercials, games and multimedia development.
After the successful launch of Maya Builder, Maya Complete and Maya Unlimited for Linux in March 2001, Alias|Wavefront has now made Maya 4 for Linux available. Senior Maya product manager Chris Ford said, "Interest in Linux continues to grow, especially among customers with large Maya installations, and this much requested new version comes in response to a huge number of inquiries.
Anzovin Studio's beta of The Setup Machine, a software tool devoted exclusively to rigging a 3D character is now available for Windows and Macintosh. The Setup Machine is a 3D animation application that installs a high-quality animation rig -- the skeleton that allows control of a 3D character -- into any humanoid model created in Hash Inc.'s Animation:Master software. "A well-rigged character with efficient and accurate skeletal control systems is essential for successful 3D animation," said Steve Anzovin, co-founder of Anzovin Studio.
Black Belt Systems announced the release of WinImages R6 - a major new upgrade to their effects and image-processing suite. The new release boasts a complete overhaul of the "layering" system often found in image editing packages such as PhotoShop. Black Belt have added a broad range of new layer tools including a new "warp layer mode," which allows users to incorporate image distortions (such as ripples) in separate "warp layers" so that the actual pixel data in the layered image is never changed. This means that distortions can be stacked and slid around with instant results.
3D software provider Alias|Wavefront plans to assemble 3D artists from the film, video, game development, Web design, visualization and industrial design sectors in seven separate host cities around the world on December 3, 2001. The 3December event is an annual celebration designed to build a community amongst computer graphics professionals and those with an interest in learning from the industry's top talent and seeing the latest technological advancements. This year the free of charge event will take place in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Detroit, London, Tokyo and Seoul.
Pepper's Ghost Productions (PGP) has inked an agreement with Cambridge Animation Systems whereby Cambridge will be the exclusive worldwide distributor for PGP's production management software tool, PG Studio. PG Studio was developed by PGP to manage all facets of production for its 3D CGI properties. The software was an integral part of the award-winning television series, TINY PLANETS, which was co-produced with Sesame Workshop, and is already on air in Australia, sold to territories throughout the world, and with a U.K. version to be seen on CiTV in the spring of 2002.
Exluna is currently beta testing Entropy 3.1, the first major upgrade for Exluna's groundbreaking new rendering system. The release, available in January 2002, will include a number of improvements such as a plug-in that integrates Entropy directly with Discreet's 3ds max and 3D Studio VIZ software, allowing advanced programmable shading and lighting, in addition to 3ds max network rendering.
Digital content creator BOXX Technologies has announced the release of Juggler, a powerful, easy to use network render management solution supporting Alias|Wavefront's Maya on Windows 2000 or Linux. To help promote Juggler to animators and creative professionals, BOXX is offering a free, fully functional two-node evaluation version for download from the BOXX Website at www.boxxtech.com. Juggler is optimized to high performance and ideally suited for RenderBOXX, BOXX's suite of rendering systems, which utilize the newest AMD and Intel processors.
Toon Boom Technologies has released the LightTable module upgrade, which is compatible with USAnimation V5 and runs on Windows 2000. The LightTable module allows animators to work remotely and send their drawings electronically to their partner studio anywhere in the world. With the LightTable module, animators can hand-draw animation with a pressure-sensitive pen and graphic tablet based on the classical light table approach and use these vector drawings with all of the other USAnimation modules.
Sony Computer Entertainment Europe's Team Soho has been hard at work creating THE GETAWAY, a highly anticipated game for Sony's Playstation 2 console. In THE GETAWAY the player takes on the role of Mark Hammond, a retired bank robber who is forced back into the world he left to save his son from an evil mobster. To animate the games characters, Team Soho used five motion-capture performers at once, in real-time. Each motion-capture performer wore an Ascension CyberSuit outfitted with 11 sensors and had a separate backpack and receiving base station.
The Gnomon Workshop has released six new training videos on inverse kinematics and dynamics in Alias|Wavefront's Maya. This series, which includes two tapes on Inverse Kinematics and four more tapes on Maya's Dynamics engine, marks the fourth round of video releases and brings the total number of titles available from The Gnomon Workshop to 24. Each tape has 110 minutes of instruction. The objective of the tapes is to explain the tools with a focus on workflow, using a wide range of example effects.
Alias|Wavefront announced that its recently unveiled mental ray for Maya technology will be available as an optional plug-in renderer for Maya before the end of the year 2001. mental ray for Maya, currently in beta testing, is an optional and fully integrated plug-in renderer for Maya that offers all the features and tools available in mental images' mental ray renderer version 3.0. It will be available to customers in either node locked or floating license configurations. Alias|Wavefront will make mental ray for Maya and the mental ray Stand Alone renderer available in December 2001.
Macromedia, Inc. is offering a series of online tutorials designed to allow new and existing Macromedia Director 8.5 users to learn how to use the product more quickly and master the creation and deployment of interactive 3D content for the Web. The tutorials include lessons on 3D for current Director users as well as tutorials for 3D artists and Macromedia Flash developers who are new to Director. The video tutorials take users step by step through building a rich media Web experience that incorporates sound, video and 3D assets.
Toon Boom Technologies Inc., has released Toon Boom Studio for Mac OS X Version 10.1. Toon Boom has optimized the performance of its software to fit to Apple's OS X upgrade. The free beta update installer, available for download at www.toonboomstudio.com, provides users with Toon Boom Studio's complete desktop application for Web productions. Based on feedback from participants, the beta update for Mac OS X Version 10.1 will be released in November and will be free for licensees of Toon Boom Studio.
BOXX Technologies, provider of digital content creation systems for the entertainment and digital film industries, has included the new AMD Athlon MP processor in their 3DBOXX R1 series of high-performance workstations and the RenderBOXX R1 series of rendering systems. The new AMD Athlon MP processor features QuantiSpeed architecture and Smart MP technology and is designed to provide the optimal performance needed for computation-intensive applications while providing IT managers with the highest standard in platform stability and reliability.
NVIDIA Corporation and Evans & Sutherland Computer Corporation (E&S) have agreed to a broad strategic alliance under which NVIDIA will license its Shader Technology to E&S while acquiring key 3D graphics patents from the company. Additionally, the companies agreed to a broad cross-license of technology. The NVIDIA Shader Technology is a collection of patented 3D technologies enabling the creation of interactive, cinematic-quality realism through the use of highly programmable processing elements.
Viewpoint Corporation, a provider of digital marketing technologies, has launched the newest version of the Viewpoint Media Player. This latest version showcases Viewpoint's HyperView feature, which enables viewers to expand rich media content beyond the browser window and utilize the entire desktop as real estate for the content. The Viewpoint Media Player allows for the integration and interaction of rich media formats such as Flash, 3D, animation, text, audio and zoomable 2D graphics.
Software designer Ashlar-Vellum Inc. is offering a free beta test-drive of Neon, the company's 3D publishing tool. From now until November 15, 2001, users can download and use the $495 value software free of charge. In addition to its easy-to-use rendering features, Neon enables the publication of any engineering-grade 3D file in the most popular Web and print publishing formats including Macromedia ShockWave 3D, Viewpoint VET, Apple QuickTime, Adobe Illustrator, VRML and more.
Epic Games, best known for creating the hit games UNREAL and UNREAL TOURNAMENT, has installed a 12-Camera Vicon 8i Real-Time motion-capture system at their development studio in Raleigh, North Carolina. The Vicon 8i optical motion-capture system allows actors to move freely, unrestricted by wires, awkward suits or large body markers. The system can capture multiple actors simultaneously, and with Vicon's million-pixel resolution MCam, motion data is recorded at near perfect accuracy.
Caligari Corporations aniPak, a collection of 11 third-party animation plug-ins and libraries for Caligari trueSpace5 users is now available. aniPak includes three new plug-ins, DreaMotion PoseMixer, IK-Anchor 1.0 and SkeleTool 1.0. DreaMotion PoseMixer allows users to combine individual poses of characters into a seamless animation. The movements of all affected joints can be influenced simultaneously, without adjusting each element separately. IK-Anchor 1.0 keeps the constrained side or edge of the bounding box locked in position.
Activeworlds Corp, provider of three-dimensional technology on the Internet, has released Active Worlds' version 3.2, the most sophisticated addition to its 3D software. Version 3.2 will offer users many significant improvements including OpenGL support, software-rendering support, simplified modes for new users, skyboxes, cell grids, increased visibility ranges and additional firewall support. The new version is available for consumers to download free at http://www.activeworlds.com.
3D and multimedia software company Electric Rain, Inc. has released Swift 3D version 2.0, a stand alone application allowing users to design and render 3D scenes to the Macromedia Flash (SWF) file format, as well as Adobe Illustrator EPS and the latest XML-based SVG. Swift 3D V2 includes many new modeling tools that empower designers of all levels of 3D experience to quickly build and animate complex 3D scenes.
Ascension Technology Corporation, manufacturer of motion tracking devices, has introduced winBIRD, a versatile program that allows users to experiment with Ascensions products in a standard Windows environment. For use with single and multi-sensor or multi-transmitter configurations, winBIRD lets users change all major device and system options while monitoring how the changes affect returned data.
Plazmic, creator of the Mobile Media Platform, which enables the creation and distribution of rich mobile media to wireless devices worldwide has partnered with Walt Disney Internet Group Japan to launch an enhanced rich mobile media entertainment service on NTT DoCoMo's i-mode network. Disney-i customers can access a graphically enhanced, interactive and animated version of the entertainment service Magical Fortune using the Plazmic Media Engine, an interactive wireless media player based on Java technology.