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Category: Technology

Production Headline News

Pixar Gains Alienbrain

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.

Brazil Headline News

SIGGRAPH News: Splutterfish Unveils Brazil Rendering System Version 1.0

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.

Animation Headline News

SIGGRAPH News: Discreet Announces Character Studio 4; Begins Shipping 3ds Max 5

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.

Headline News

Alias|Wavefront Launches Maya 4.5

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

Effects Headline News

SIGGRAPH NEWS: Side Effects Software Debuts Houdini Halo

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

Animation Headline News

SIGGRAPH News: Kaydara Integrates FBX Format Into Discreet And Newtek Products

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

Headline News

SIGGRAPH News: Nvidia Open Sources Cg Compiler Technology

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 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

Visual Headline News

SIGGRAPH News: Discreet Launches New Versions Of Inferno, Flame And Flint

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

Interactive Headline News

LifeMode Interactive Introduces LifeStudio: Head

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.

Game Headline News

LIPSinc Launches LIPSinc Impersonator

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.

Animation Headline News

face2face Animation Unveils Wireless MPEG-4 Animation Player At Siggraph

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.

Headline News

Splutterfish At Siggraph For Shave And A Haircut

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.

Free Headline News

Blender In The Mix At Siggraph

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.

Digital Headline News

Digital Domain Brings On The Nukes

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.

Headline News

Kaydara Announces Motionbuilder Training At Siggraph 2002

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

Headline News

Bionatics Releases Natfx For 3ds Max

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

Animation Headline News

Discreet Announces 3ds Max 5

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.

Software Headline News

Learn Houdini Magic With Apprentice Program

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.

Version Headline News

Pixologic Brushes Up With ZBrush

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.

Software Headline News

Microscribe Connects With Maya

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.

Animation Headline News

Messiah:Animate Now Available

pmG Worldwide LLC has spent the last two years refining and redesigning its LightWave plug-in project: messiah 1.5 into messiah:animate, its new stand alone animation software. This new version has the ability to run alone or connect to 3D Studio Max, Maya and LightWave. messiah: animate has added new technologies and enhancements including messiah:compose, pmG's non-linear animation editor.

Headline News

Phoenix And Areté Announce Psyclone

Phoenix Tools and AretéEntertainment recently released Psunami 1.0, a plug-in forSoftimage|XSI v. 2.X that allows photo-realistic animation of wavesurfaces including all the tools for simulating and visualizing avariety of water surfaces. The company is currently in an advanceddevelopment phase of its volumetric cloud/smoke effect Psyclone forSoftimage|XSI. By adding Psyclone to Softimage|XSI, the user cancreate evolving cloud/smoke simulations, including fly-through and

Series Headline News

Boxx Technologies And Rendering Systems Feature Latest AMD Processor

Digital content creation systems provider BOXXTechnologies is now featuring the AMD Athlon MP processor 2100+ withQuantiSpeed architecture and Smart MP technology in its 3DBOXX R1series of workstations and the RenderBOXX R series of renderingsystems. Available in dual processor configurations running MicrosoftWindows 2000 or Linux, the 3DBOXX R series includes enhanced systemarchitecture and accelerated graphics capabilities, and utilizes thenew NVIDIA Quadro4 XGL graphics adapters with NVIEW multidisplay

Effects Headline News

Side Effects Software Hosts Houdini Annual Meeting At Siggraph 2002

A Web-slinging superhero, fire-breathing dragons and bite-sized chocolate with a hard candy shell.What do these things have in common? They were all created usingHoudini 3D animation software. Side Effects Software, developer ofthe Houdini family of software, will be presenting visual effectsartists from Sony Pictures Imageworks (SPIDER-MAN), Walt DisneyFeature Animation (REIGN OF FIRE) and Rhinoceros Visual Effects(commercials for M&M's) at its annual Houdini meeting in San Antonio,