Side Effects Software and Sony Pictures Imageworks announced they will co-host the upcoming Los Angeles SIGGRAPH chapter meeting where Imageworks will talk about how Houdini software was used to generate the visual effects in SPIDER-MAN 2. The meeting will take place at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences on Oct.
Category: Visual Effects
UWPictures/O-Group, Ltd. and Three Kings Ent. have optioned YOUNG MERLIN, written by Robert Kahn. The coming-of-age story of Merlin, envisioned as the first chapter in a three-part franchise, is a live-action feature combined with CG. Purchase price for the film, budgeted at $25 million, was mid-six figures. The project will shoot in the U.K. at the end of the year.
Corel Corp. acquired Jasc Software Inc., the award-winning developer of the Paint Shop family of digital-photography and image-editing software. A critical milestone in Corel's ongoing growth strategy, this acquisition follows four consecutive quarters of profitability and a successfully completed turnaround since Corel was taken private in August 2003.
The inaugural UK CGI Festival announced its final speakers participating at the two shows scheduled for Nov. 9-10, 2004, in Leeds (at the Royal Amouries Museum) and Dec. 7-8 in London (at the Business Design Centre).
The focus will be on educational and practical approaches to both CGI techniques and technologies. Workshops and masterclasses will be lead by top talent. In addition, award-winning animated films developed in Europe will be showcased, and there will be an expo featuring the latest tools and techniques.
The Leeds show will include:
Independent-minded effects studio CaféFX helped design the mysterious fantasy world of Eric Small's directorial debut, THE DUST FACTORY, the indie film currently being distributed by MGM.
THE DUST FACTORY is an adventure about the love and friendship between two teenagers who help each other through a difficult time in their lives.
Rushes Postproduction Ltd. has appointed Danny Jones as senior producer. As well as fulfilling his day-to-day responsibilities as Senior Producer, Jones will help to ensure clients understand the full range of options available to them across Rushes HD, SD, inferno, flame, fire and 2K Spirit and C Reality suites.
The Hollywood Film Festival's Board of Advisors has announced the nominees for the 2004 "Hollywood Film Awards" competition. The announcement was made today in Hollywood by Carlos de Abreu, founder/exec director of the Hollywood Film Festival.
"This year's Hollywood Film Festival continues its tradition of honoring the very best talent within our community. It is a celebration of all aspects of Hollywood filmmaking and the artists who help to create its lasting legacy on our culture," festival co-chair Paula Wagner said.
George Lucas has been selected by the American Film Institute's (AFI) Board of Trustees to receive the 33rd AFI Life Achievement Award. The award will be presented to Lucas at a gala tribute in Los Angeles in June 2005.
"I've been very fortunate to have had a long career doing what I love to do, and being recognized by AFI for it is really an honor," Lucas said. "I'm proud to be counted among such an extraordinary group of people whose lives are dedicated to the art of making movies."
Now through Dec. 31, 2004, BOXX Technologies is offering special pricing on 3ds max 7 software to customers in the United States who purchase a BOXX certified 3ds max 7 workstation. Call BOXX toll free at 877-877-BOXX or 512-835-0400 for more details.
Sun Microsystems Inc. and NVIDIA Corp. have joined forces to deliver leading NVIDIA Quadro graphics solutions on Sun Java workstations running Solaris, Windows or Linux operating systems. Through this alliance, Sun has bundled NVIDIA technology with its recently announced Sun Java Workstations W1100z and W2100z, based on the AMD Opteron processor with Direct Connect Architecture.
Hot on the heels of cementing development deals with Ridley Scott and Frank Darabont, Sci Fi Channel partners with former head of development for New Line and DreamWorks Michael De Luca (MAGNOLIA, RUSH HOUR, BLADE) on his first-ever television project. An original miniseries event, DARWIN'S CHILDREN explores what happens when the next step of human evolution becomes a threat to our very existence. The project is based on the best-selling Greg Bear novels, DARWIN'S RADIO and DARWIN'S CHILDREN.
iHollywood Forum is hosting its 3rd Annual Digital Studio Summit in association with the American Film Market (AFM). Animation World Network is sponsoring the event and VFXWorlds editor Bill Desowitz will be moderating a panel on SKY CAPTAIN AND THE WORLD OF TOMORROW.
A few years ago, 3D animator Justin Leach shared his experiences in Japan at Production I.G with AWN. That was prior to his involvement on the recently released GHOST IN THE SHELL 2: INNOCENCE. Now he returns with excerpts from his personal production diary about working on the acclaimed anime, which VFXWORLD is pleased to bring its readers.
Ubisoft and Universal Studios Consumer Products Group announced plans to release an interactive game based on Universal Pictures upcoming KING KONG, directed by Peter Jackson. The game will be available worldwide on all platforms at the beginning of the holiday season in conjunction with the Dec. 14, 2005 theatrical release of the movie.
Beginning this November, Dark Horse will publish STAR WARS: OBSESSION, a five-issue limited series comic, which recounts Jedi Master Obi-Wan Kenobi 's brush with the dark side as he embarks on a mission fraught with peril.
Aided by its normal mapping feature, one of the most important advancements in 3D game development with crossover application in film and design visualization cinematics, Discreets 3ds max 7 begins shipping Oct. 13, 2004.
This major release delivers significant advancements and optimizations to its core features that will greatly enhance the workflow for 3D artists and designers in film, television, games and visualization.
Taking a page out of THE MATRIX and THE LORD OF THE RINGS, Columbia TriStar Home Ent. intends to release a SPIDER-MAN 2.5 DVD in 2005 with additional vfx and action scenes, director Sam Raimi told Website IGN.com. He indicated that it was a financial decision and not an artistic one on his part.
Pixel Magic recently took on the duty of chasing bank robber supermodels through Grand Central Station and the streets of New York for Foxs TAXI, culminating in a high-speed car duel on an elevated unfinished highway by performing more than 300 visual effects. They included greenscreen composites, CG cars, CG bridges, CG matte paintings, wire removals and assorted fixes.
Craft Animations releases its first commercial plug-in suite for 3ds max, Craft Camera Tools, which will be publicly presented at the official release of 3ds max 7, Oct. 14, in Stockholm, Sweden. Craft Camera Tools is used by animators in realtime to steer cameras with a joystick or keyboard in the 3ds max viewport. Four types of cameras and two help tools, are available:
Digital Anarchy announced the availability of CHAOS STOCK VOLUME 1, a new concept in royalty-free background design. By including the Adobe After Effects project files along with pre-rendered footage, CHAOS STOCK gives users enormous creativity and flexibility to create a wide variety of custom designed stock backgrounds.
SKY CAPTAIN AND THE WORLD OF TOMORROW director Kerry Conran has selected screenwriter Ehren Kruger (THE RING and THE RING 2) to rewrite A PRINCESS OF MARS, which has been retitled JOHN CARTER OF MARS, HOLLYWOOD REPORTER reports.
The Paramout Pictures production, based on the first installment in Edgar Rice Burroughs 11-book series, concerns a Civil War vet who is mysteriously transported to Mars, where he faces even more fantastic adventures. Alphavilles Jim Jacks and Sean Daniel are producing. Mark Protosevich turned in the previous draft.
Electric Rain Inc. announced the upcoming release of Swift 3D Xpress for Mac OS X. Swift 3D Xpress is a 3D extension accessible directly from within the Macromedia Flash MX 2004 interface. Swift 3D Xpress allows Flash MX 2004 users to select any vector object on the stage in Flash, open it into the Xpress editing interface, customize their 3D scene by extruding, rotating, lighting and animating the vector object, and then render it out to a self-contained Movie Clip in either vector or raster form.
Warner Bros. Pictures has joined DreamWorks on the production of Michael Bays THE ISLAND, reports HOLLYWOOD REPORTER. The two studios will share the cost of the $100 million film with DreamWorks distributing the film in the U.S. and Warner taking the film internationally. Caspian Tredwell-Owen wrote the original screenplay, with Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci turning other drafts. Walter Parkes, Laurie MacDonald and Ian Bryce are producing.
SGI workstations running ART VPS' accelerated ray tracing chip sets were demonstrated publicly for the first time at the SGI Technology Forum in Paris. The AR350 chips, configured in sets of eight and 16, are expected to be available in SGI workstations within the next two months.