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Category: Visual Effects

Effects Headline News

Spider-Man and Harry Potter Sequels Lead VES Awards Along With Aviator

It was SPIDER-MAN 2 and THE AVIATOR running neck and neck for the most awards, taking three each, at the 3rd Annual VES Awards Wednesday night, Feb. 16, 2005, but it was HARRY POTTER AND THE PRISONER OF AZKABAN that pulled out with the top honor for Outstanding Visual Effects in a Visual Effects Driven Motion Picture at a black-tie gala at the Hollywood Palladium in Los Angeles.

Digital Headline News

SMPTE Seminar’s New Dates Announced

By Rick DeMott | Thursday, February 17, 2005 at 12:00am

SMPTE Seminar 2005, presented in cooperation with the Entertainment Technology Center at USC and USC School of Cinema-Television, has been rescheduled for March 4-5, 2005. Originally the event was to run in December 2004, but was postponed due to the logistics of the holidays.

Headline News

I, Robot Director Knows Next Supernatural Thriller

By Rick DeMott | Thursday, February 17, 2005 at 12:00am

Columbia-based Escape Artists has hired I, ROBOT director Alex Proyas to helm the supernatural thriller, KNOWING, reports HOLLYWOOD REPORTER. Originally DONNIE DARKO director Richard Kelly was attracted to direct and Proyas will film off Kellys rewrite of Ryne Pearsons original screenplay. Steve Tisch, Todd Black, Jason Blumenthal and David Alper are set to produce.

Headline News

Digital Musings From the Editor:

When the VES announced that it was bestowing its first George Méliés Pioneer Award on the late Bob Abel, Ellen Wolff, one of VFXWORLDs regular contributors, expressed an interest in writing a remembrance of this frustrated magician turned vfx pioneer. Ellen, who knew Abel quite well and wrote his speeches and SIGGRAPH presentations, wanted to let us know what Bob wouldve thought of such an honor.

Film Headline News

fmx/05 Celebrates 10th Anniversary

fmx, a key event in animation, visual effects, games and other 3D content, celebrates its 10th anniversary this year (April 27-30 in Stuttgart, Germany) by continuing to offer a holistic, cinematic and integrated approach to the booming CGI industry. You can see the changes in CGI reflected in the new design for the fmx/05 logo and trailer, based on the clip, Timeless, by Filmakademie graduate student Linus Ewers.

Time Headline News

Donnie Darko: Director’s Cut Timeshifts to DVD

DONNIE DARKO, Richard Kellys disturbing 2001 indie cult about teen angst, time tripping and a giant demonic rabbit, hit a little too close to home with its eerie 9/11 parallels. Plus its confusing, elliptical narrative polarized moviegoers. Still, this 88 treatise on urban legends starring Jake Gyllenhaal became an instant one itself, prompting further elaboration in this expanded cut. Released theatrically last year and released on DVD Feb.

Features Headline News

A Spotless DVD Collector’s Edition

ETERNAL SUNSHINE OF A SPOTLESS MIND was one of last years most intriguing movies, fashioned from the wild imaginations of screenwriter Charlie Kaufman and director Michel Gondry. Erasing a love from ones memory shook Jim Carrey and Oscar nominated Kate Winslet to the very core of their existence, and this new two-disc collectors edition DVD (Universal Home Ent., $27.98) offers more than an hours of bonus features. Vfx provided by Buzz Image Group and Custom Film Effects. However, as Gondry illustrates, he definitely prefers old fashioned, in-camera tricks to CGI.

Headline News

Mummy Director Enters Magic Kingdom

Universal Pictures has secured the rights to Terry Brooks' book series MAGIC KINGDOM FOR SALE, reports HOLLYWOOD REPORTER. THE MUMMY director Stephen Sommers will direct and produce. Lowell Ganz and Babaloo Mandel will adapt the screenplay. Sommers Universal-based Sommers Co. partner Bob will produce with Circle of Confusions David Alpert.

The first volume of the series follows a widowed attorney who leaves his old life behind when he responds to a mysterious ad and spends his fortune to purchase a magical kingdom.

Season Headline News

Sci Fi Renews Galactica for 2nd Season

Sci Fi Channel has ordered a second season of its hit series BATTLESTAR GALACTICA, with the number of episodes to be produced, timing for the new season and which cast members will return, to be announced.

BATTLESTAR GALACTICA has been a ratings winner for Sci Fi since its Jan. 14, 2005 premiere.

Million Headline News

Sony Brings Hit Flicks to PSP

Sony Pictures will release XXX, HELLBOY, RESIDENT EVIL 2 and ONCE UPON A TIME IN MEXICO for the PSP on April 19, 2005, reports VARIETY. SPIDER-MAN 2 will be bundled with the first million PSP units. Pricing on the PSP flicks will be announced later next week. Sony Pictures Home Ent. plans to release four to five catalog films each week for the PSP. Since the launched of PSP in Japan in December, more than one million universal media disc (UMD) movies have been sold.

Headline News

Digital-Tutors Announces Fundamentals of Maya Training Kit

Digital-Tutors offers the worldwide availability of FUNDAMENTALS OF MAYA: POLYGON AND SUB-D MODELING training kit, the latest release in a library of industry leading training resources for digital artists. In more than 3.5 hours and two discs of leading edge training methods, FUNDAMENTALS OF MAYA: POLYGON AND SUB-D MODELING, guides users though the fundamentals of modeling an original concept monster in Maya.

Headline News

VCL Uses Furnace on Dhoom

The Foundrys Furnace proved to be an invaluable set of tools when Mumbai-based vfx studio VCL (Visual Computing Labs, a division Tata Elxsi) recently provided the 3D elements and compositing for the forthcoming Yash Raj feature, DHOOM. Led by VCLs creative director and vfx supervisor, Pankaj Khandpur, the team consisted of around eight compositors with the remainder working in 3D who, in less than eight weeks, completed 553 vfx shots, with Furnace being used on more than100 of them, for rig and wire removal.

Software Headline News

Alias Announces Maya API Developers Conference

Alias has scheduled the second annual Maya API Developers Conference for June 6-8 in Santa Barbara, California. For three days, Alias offers a unique learning opportunity for software developers in the games and film industries to network with industry peers and gain insight into the Maya API (Application Programming Interface). In-depth seminars and hands on classes provide a rare chance to hear from Alias software developers and customers working in film and games.

Interactive Headline News

Atari Plans The Matrix: Path Of Neo Holiday Release

Atari Inc. is developing and publishing THE MATRIX: PATH OF NEO, an interactive console and PC game based on the blockbuster motion picture trilogy THE MATRIX, THE MATRIX RELOADED and THE MATRIX REVOLUTIONS from Warner Bros. Pictures for a 2005 holiday release on PS2, Xbox and PC.

Headline News

Rhythm & Hues Gets Smart with Massive

Rhythm & Hues was the first vfx studio to apply Massives new Smart Stunts capability on Foxs ELEKTRA last year. Smart Stunts simplifies the creation of large groups of CG characters or creatures in Massive, the Academy Award-winning 3D animation system for AI-driven crowd-related effects used in THE LORD OF THE RINGS trilogy, developed by Massive Software.

Motion Headline News

Vicon Acquires Peak Performance Technologies

By Rick DeMott | Thursday, February 10, 2005 at 12:00am

Vicon Motion Systems has acquired Peak Performance Technologies, Inc., enabling the combined company to expand its market reach, broaden its product range and strengthen the company's technology expertise in the motion capture field.

OMG Group chief exec Julian Morris commented: "We believe that this is an excellent acquisition for the group, bringing expansion into the sports market and video-based motion capture. Peak and Vicon, together, provide a compelling proposition across a wide market and product range."

Animation Headline News

Pixar’s Kahrs to Speak at Gnomon School on Feb. 24

Pixar animator John Kahrs, who worked on THE INCREDIBLES from model testing through completion, will discuss his work at Gnomon School of Visual Effects Feb. 24 at 7:00 pm.

Kahrs refined facial articulation for Mirage and Violet, and animated Bob and Syndrome, while working on Helen, Dash and Violet as well. He reveals the thought process he undertakes when trying to give each character life from the inside out...and the ways he brings detail and subtlety (or not) to each action.

Headline News

2d3 Ships boujou three

2d3 has begun shipping boujou three, the third-generation of its award-winning professional 3D camera matchmoving software. boujou three is designed for specialist tracking departments working on the most challenging shots, and complements boujou bullet, 2d3s easy-to-use volume tracking solution.

boujou three is built around a range of new technologies and features including:

Animation Headline News

Vanguard Taps Maya Pipeline for Valiant

Vanguard Animation has built its CG pipeline with Maya software from Alias, starting with its feature debut, the 3D VALIANT. This business model will allow them to produce more Hollywood-quality animated features faster, and for a much lower cost than is typical in the industry.

VALIANT releases in Europe on March 25, 2005, and across the U.S. on April 15.

Spot Headline News

Digital Musings From the Editor:

As VFXWORLD turns its focus in February to commercials, music videos and IDs, Tara DiLullo recently spoke with vfx artist Joe Laffey about his attention-grabbing spec spot, X-GAMES SKATEBOARD. The clever, fast-paced, MTV-style :45 spot features the tardy professional skateboarder, Caine Gayle, defying gravity, narrow alleys and city congestion to catch up to his fellow boarders on their X-Games-bound bus in Los Angeles. Laffey TV, the St.

Headline News

Emerald Nuts Super Bowl Spot Gets Syndicate VFX

Some people will go to any lengths to avoid sharing Emerald Nuts. In EXAGGERATING DAD (:30), which aired during Super Bowl XXXIX, a father finds himself confronting a unicorn, Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny compliments of visual effects from The Syndicate when he makes excuses why his young daughter shouldn't sample his Emerald Nuts.

Software Headline News

Discreet Releases combustion 4 Desktop Compositing Software

Discreet announced combustion 4 software, the highly anticipated upgrade to its visual effects desktop software solution. combustion software for Windows and Macintosh will feature a complete set of sophisticated tools for visual effects creation, including vector paint, particles, effects, animation and 3D compositing tools.