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.
Category: Visual Effects
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.
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.
20th Century Fox, which had been planning a Fourth of July-themed launch for FANTASTIC FOUR, has rescheduled the Marvel superhero actioner from July 1 to July 8, according to THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER. That cedes the holiday weekend to Steven Spielbergs WAR OF THE WORLDS juggernaut, starring Tom Cruise, with vfx by Industrial Light & Magic, which opens June 29 for Paramount Pictures.
FANTASTIC FOUR, with vfx by Canadas Soho VFX and Spectral Motion, will now go up against Sony Pictures BEWITCHED, with Nicole Kidman and Will Ferrell, and vfx by Imageworks.
Will McRobb and Chris Viscardi (the ED TV series) have been brought on board to pen the feature adaptation of THE TALE OF DESPEREAUX for Universal Pictures, according to THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER. Sylvain Chomet (THE TRIPLETS OF BELLEVILLE) is directing, while Gary Ross is producing through his Larger Than Life Prods. with partner Allison Thomas.
The project is based on the book, THE TALE OF DESPEREAUX: BEING THE STORY OF A MOUSE, A PRINCESS, SOME SOUP, AND A SPOOL OF THREAD, by Kate DiCamillo (BECAUSE OF WINN-DIXIE). It won the 2004 Newbery Medal for children's literature.
The Process of Making Great VideogamesWestwood, California, USAFebruary 8, 2005
LA ACM SIGGRAPH is hosting The Process of Making Great Videogames. Attendees will see the latest in videogames and the innovative ways in which they are being made. Presenters from Pandemic Studios, Shiny Entertainment & Electronic Arts will be presenting the latest in the art and science of game development.
Former Lucas Digital president Jim Morris wont be moving to Southern California after all to pursue a producing career in computer-animated features. After an 11-year stint as the Lucas Digital head and another 13 years as gm of Industrial Light & Magic, Morris will be producing at Pixar Animation Studios in Emeryville, California. According to a Pixar spokesperson, Morris begins at Pixar on Feb. 14, 2005, to work on an upcoming feature film project. We think Jim will be a very good fit, considering his visual effects background at ILM.
BOXX Technologies Inc. has launched the Get a Bundle, Save a Bundle program to offer significant savings to customers purchasing BOXX workstations bundled with industry leading software for graphics, animation and post-production software.
ATI Technologies Inc. announced its Mobility FireGL V5000 workstation graphics accelerator and that HP has selected this PCI Express based graphics technology to power the new HP Compaq nw8240 Mobile Workstation.
For the first time, notebook users have the same geometry processing hardware that they enjoy in the high-end desktops. The Mobility FireGL V5000 combines outstanding performance and stability with the industry's lowest power consumption design and features eight-pixel pipelines, six geometry engines and 128MB of GDDR3 memory.
Creative director Paul Song, exec director Casey Gelvin and exec producer Valerie Schadt have launched Liquid Images, a new visual effects company in Santa Monica that will be located within the offices of Cut + Run/Los Angeles. Liquid Images provides effects and motion graphic design for commercials, main titles and broadcast design. The company is independent of Cut + Run, but will serve as the companys visual effects and finishing arm on a project-by-project basis.
Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli, producers of the James Bond films, and MGM announced that Martin Campbell will direct CASINO ROYALE, the 21st film in the 007 franchise. This is Campbell's second time as helmer of a James Bond film. In 1995 he directed the hit GOLDENEYE, which introduced Pierce Brosnan to the role of 007.
UPN and Paramount Network Television have jointly announced that this will be the final season of STAR TREK: ENTERPRISE on UPN. Production will continue until the end of this season, which will finish shooting in March. The series finale will air on May 13, 2005.
According to TrendWatch Inc.s VISUAL EFFECTS/DYNAMIC MEDIA REPORT from last summer, 23% of American vfx/animation studios are allocating more resources for game development tools. Also, faster and more powerful desktop technology has enabled game developers to create compelling life-like, realistic film-like graphics. Plus, the combination of these two forces market growth and faster, more powerful technology -- is driving demand for more sophisticated magic from companies building games.
We concluded last months previs focus with Christopher Harzs overview, It Cant Be Done? Let Previs Do It, which provides a fascinating look at the strengths and limitations of this crucial craft. Meanwhile, later this week, Tulay Tetiker provides an instructive glimpse into how Germanys slumping vfx industry may be on the rebound, thanks to some high-tech successes despite a weak economy.
After recently closing its first Series A round of venture capital financing, Hawaiibased Pipelinefx has closed a reseller agreement with CG Wave Inc., one of Koreas most respected computer graphics software resellers.
Steve Hendricks has joined leading post-production boutique Post Logic Studios as president/ceo. With state-of-the-art facilities in Hollywood and New York, Post Logic has distinguished itself as a leader in digital intermediate and feature film restoration, and continues to expand into new and emerging arenas within the post-production realm. Hendricks brings a wealth of domestic and international experience into the company, and will oversee day-to-day business operations as well as expansion opportunities.
SPAWN creator Todd McFarlane has partnered with AngryFilms to develop TWISTED TALES, a half-hour anthology series, for FOX. Fox TV Studios' alternative division is producing in association with McFarlane and Angry Films (THE LEAGUE OF EXTRAORDINARY GENTLEMEN). Trey Callaway (I STILL KNOW WHAT YOU DID LAST SUMMER) will serve as exec producer/showrunner. McFarlane, Terry Fitzgerald, Rick Benattar, Susan Montford and Don Murphy will also exec produce.
Despite its lack of awards recognition from the vfx community, SKY CAPTAIN AND THE WORLD OF TOMORROW was definitely last years boldest CG experiment. Shot entirely against bluescreen, Kerry Conrans homage to comicbook and film lore has arrived on DVD (Paramount Home Ent., $29.99).
Avid Technology Inc. announced the worldwide availability of Avid Alienbrain Studio 7.1 asset management software, offering increased support for creative teams developing complex CG games, 3D simulation programs and animated film projects.
Paramount Pictures and Nick Movies have hired Robin Williams to star in a screen adaptation of the preschool book THE KRAZEES, reports HOLLYWOOD REPORTER. Sam Swope wrote and Eric Brace illustrated the book, which follows a young girl who encounters on polka-dotted krazees that emerge on gloomy days. Derek Guiley and David Schneiderman (CHASING LIBERTY) have the task of adapting the screenplay, which will include a new character for Williams to play.
Marvels MAN-THING feature will skip theaters and debut on Sci Fi Channel in April, reports FANGORIA. The Lions Gate Films and Marvel Studios flick was schedule to hit the big screen in August. Lions Gate will then release the film on DVD June 14, 2005. The horror story chronicles a man who is transformed into a swamp creature and wrecks havoc on humans. Brett Leonard directed the film.
Pipelinefx, a leading provider of enterprise renderfarm management software for 3D animation and interactive entertainment, has closed its Series A investment round led by Hawaii venture capital firm PacifiCap Group Llc. Several members of the UH Angel investment network also participated in the transaction.
BOXX Technologies announced that its HD [pro] RT workstations, coupled with Adobe Premiere Pro, Adobe After Effects and CineForms Prospect HD running on Microsoft Windows XP, fueled the post-production pipeline and DI workflow for the upcoming DUST TO GLORY documentary about the Tecate SCORE Baja 1000 race.
Following the successful introduction of its line of PCI-Express products in the consumer desktop PC market, NVIDIA Corp. has launched NVIDIA nForce Professional media and communications processors (MCPs), the industry's only PCI-Express core-logic solutions for AMD Opteron processor-based server and workstation platforms.