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Category: Visual Effects

Dykstra Headline News

Dykstra Rides Hot Wheel, Skips Spidey 3

Instead of following-up his Oscar winning work on SPIDER-MAN 2 with work on the third film in the franchise, visual effects wizard John Dykstra is tackling McGs HOT WHEELS. The self-describe adrenaline junkie decided to take the challenge of bringing a variety of vehicle to life for Columbia Pictures toy franchise turned feature. Sony Imageworks' Scott Stokdyk will step in for Dykstra on SPIDER-MAN 3. Previously, Stokdyk served as visual effects supervisor on the webslinging flicks, for which he won the Oscar as well for the second films vfx.

Headline News

Alias Searches for Next Maya Masters

Alias announced that nominations for its 2005 Maya Masters will be accepted until March 18 at 11:59 pm (EST). Now in its fifth year, the Maya Masters program recognizes talented members of the computer graphics community whose spirit and imagination reshape and redefine the boundaries of technology, art and visualization. No more than six Maya artists are chosen from the dozens of nominations received each year for this coveted award. The 2005 Maya Masters will be announced and honored on the Alias Global Users Assn. (AGUA) mainstage during SIGGRAPH in Los Angeles on July 31.

Effects Headline News

The Orphanage Finishes Off Sin City’s Yellow Bastard

The Orphanage Inc. announced that it has completed nearly 600 visual effects shots for the That Yellow Bastard chapter of the highly-anticipated feature film, SIN CITY, directed by Robert Rodriguez and Frank Miller and adapted from Millers graphic novels. Visual effects supervisor and company partner Stu Maschwitz headed up The Orphanages team with Marc Sadeghi serving as exec producer in charge of the production and Jody Echegaray serving as producer.

Headline News

Softimage & Epic Games Collaborate on Game Development Solution

Avid Technology Inc. announced that its Softimage subsidiary and Epic Games have collaborated to co-develop the UnrealActor X Exporter for the XSI toolkit a solution for those interested in creating interactive titles with SOFTIMAGE|XSI animation software and Epics Unreal Engine technology. The Unreal Actor X Exporter for the XSI toolkit enables game developers to use technologies from both companies together in a game development pipeline.

Game Headline News

Playmakaz $50,000 Contest Calls for Entries

Game Playmakaz ContestWorld Wide WebSeptember 9, 2005Deadline: July 31, 2005

Zango, the provider of exclusive free premium content online, announced the official launch of its Game Playmakaz Contest for independent game developers. The winning submission will be awarded a $50,000 game development contract with Zango. Finalist submissions will also be considered for Zango licensing agreements. Zango will announce the winning game during the Austin Game Conference in Austin, Texas.

Game Headline News

Sony Computer Ent. America Stages Biggest Presence Ever at GDC

Sony Computer Entertainment America Inc. (SCEA) is staging its biggest presence ever at the 2005 Game Developers Conference, held March 7-11, 2005, in San Francisco to feature the newest PlayStation platform, PSP (PlayStation Portable), innovations for the PlayStation2 computer entertainment system and EyeToy, as well as tools and technologies designed to encourage game development on all platforms.

Sony experts in game development, programming and technology have been scheduled to speak at numerous sessions during the 19th annual conference.

Headline News

New Line To Breathe Life into Phantasm Franchise

New Line Cinema is in final talks with filmmaker Don Coscarelli to resurrect his cult horror franchise PHANTASM, reports HOLLYWOOD REPORTER. Coscarelli would serve as producer on the remake. New Line exec Jeff Katz, who championed the project, will oversee the film along with George Waud and Stokely Chaffin. The original 1979 film followed the emerging psychic Mike and his friends as they went up against the grave robbing Tall Man and his deadly flying spheres.

Headline News

Digital Musings From the Editor:

With GDC taking place in San Francisco this week, VFXWORLD asked Fred Galpern to review TEKKEN 5, the latest entry in Namcos 10-year fighting game franchise. From a vfx and animation standpoint, TEKKEN 5 offers lush cinematics, three brand new characters, all new in-game animations, a story mode, all-new environments and unlockable bonus accessories for all characters. You can read all about it later this week.

April Headline News

Registration Open for Spring Term at Gnomon School

Registration for the spring term at the Gnomon School, which runs April 4 through June 12, is in full swing. You can register online at, in person, via mail or by fax. Office hours are Monday through Friday from 9:00 am to 6:00 pm. You can also call 323/466-6663 to make an appointment.

Mill Headline News

Colorist Seamus O’Kane to Join The Mill

Seamus O'Kane has left VTR to join The Mills transatlantic telecine team of Fergus McCall, Adam Scott, Paul Harrison, Jamie Wilkinson, Tom Poole and James Bamford.

OKane, who begins in April, has worked with award-winning directors Ivan Zacharias, Steve Reeves, Stuart Douglas, Chris Palmer, Vince Squibb and Tom Carty. Among his many recent credits are: Stella ENGLISH AIRMAN (Zacharias), HSBC EASY RIDER (Palmer) and Lynx KUNG FU ROMANTIC (Tom Carty).

Animation Headline News

Bionatics Launches natFX 3 for Maya

Bionatics announced the launch of natFX 3 for Maya at GDC 2005 (booth #924). Designed to accommodate the most challenging next generation animation and videogame production requirements, this major release of natFX has been developed with a performance-driven mind-set to facilitate fast creation and animation of massive plant datasets.

Film Headline News

The Foundry Helps Tune The Piano with OpenFX

Leading visual effects developer, The Foundry, announced the completion of the first OpenFX project: the indie feature THE PIANO TUNER OF EARTHQUAKES, due for release in November. An open API for visual effects software, OpenFX has been used on the film in conjunction with FilmLights Baselight grading and finishing system by German vfx facility, Optical Art.

Painting Headline News

New Maxon Plug-in Connects Bodypaint 3D with Softimage|XSI

Maxon Computer announced the immediate availability of a new plug-in that connects its renowned 3D painting program, BodyPaint 3D, to SOFTIMAGE|XSI. Now the unique 3D painting features of Maxons industry proven tool are available to all users of the latest generation of SOFTIMAGE|XSI. Character animators, game developers and motion picture artists in particular appreciate the versatility of BodyPaint 3D when it comes to texturing the most complex models without distortions.

Game Headline News

Discreet Announces Support for Next Generation Xbox Platform

Discreet announced that its 3ds max software is aligned as a leading 3D animation solution to support the next generation Xbox platform. The Discreet division of Autodesk has been a close partner with Microsoft since the introduction of the first Xbox video game system from Microsoft, with the most 3ds max-created game titles for Xbox on the market above any other digital content creation (DCC) tool.

Headline News

Keanu Sets Sail on 8th Voyage of Sinbad

Columbia Pictures has hired Keanu Reeves to topline its long gestating THE 8TH VOYAGE OF SINBAD project, reports VARIETY. XXX director Rob Cohen will direct with Neal Moritz producing. Charlie Mitchell has been hired to rework the script from Cormac and Marianne Wibberly and Tedi Sarafian. The eighth-century tale will place Sinbad and his crew in China searching for the Lamp of Aladdin, while encountering a supernatural Chinese general, gorgeous empress and fantastical creatures. Director John Singleton was previously attached to this project.

Game Headline News

Naked Sky Ent., Spinoff Studios Employ modo on RoboHordes

Luxology Llc. announced that Spinoff Studios and Naked Sky Ent. used modo as the core modeling tool for ROBOHORDES, a 3D robot combat demo created to demonstrate the processing power of Intels dual-core processor during the 2005 Game Developers Conference (GDC, booth #726).

Headline News

Swiss Family Robinson Sets Sail in September

Disney-based Mandeville Films has announced that it will start production on a SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON remake in September at the Queenslands Warner Roadshow Studios, reports PRODUCTION WEEKLY. Greg Poiriers screenplay has set the story during the time period of the book -- the beginning of the 19th century. Based on a novel by Johann David Wyss, the story chronicles the adventures of the Robinson family after they are washed ashore on an uncharted tropical island following a stormy shipwreck. The original 1960s film version starred John Mills and Dorothy McGuire.

Headline News

Australian Developers Target U.S. Talent At GDC 2005

The Game Developers Association of Australia (GDAA), the governing body for the Australian Videogame Industry, announced that Australian videogame companies are planning ahead and looking for talent at this years GDC to help fuel the booming games industry Downunder in years to come. During GDC 2005 in San Francisco, California (March 7-11, 2005), interested parties wishing to learn more are asked to stop by and visit the BigWorld Booth # 827 or Auran Booth # CP160 and talk with the GDAA executives.

Game Headline News

BioWare Unveils Recruitment Efforts For GDC & Beyond

BioWare Corp. announced its plans to continue the expansion of its development teams for its future videogame projects. The Edmonton-based company is actively recruiting for a variety of positions across numerous disciplines and will be taking those recruitment efforts across North America in the upcoming months.

Headline News

Dan Glass, Cinesite on Board for V for Vendetta

V FOR VENDETTA, the next futuristic thriller from the Wachowski Brothers and Joel Silver (THE MATRIX trilogy), began shooting today in Berlin, Germany, marking the directorial debut of James McTeigue, who was first assistant director on THE MATRIX movies and STAR WARS: EPISODE II ATTACK OF THE CLONES. Dan Glass (BATMAN BEGINS) will serve as visual effects supervisor and London-based Cinesite will provide CGI and model work.

Headline News

NVIDIA Expands Comprehensive Toolkit for Game Developers

NVIDIA Corp. announced the immediate availability of the NVIDIA Developer Toolkit at GDC in San Francisco, a comprehensive suite of cutting-edge content creation, code integration, performance analysis and educational resources for game developers. Designed to make it easier for game developers to take advantage of the latest advancements in graphics hardware technologies, the NVIDIA Developer Toolkit can be downloaded for free at

Software Headline News

Katja Reitemeyer Joins Pipelinefx

Katja Reitemeyer, formerly of Avid and NXN Software, has joined Pipelinefx as vp of worldwide sales. Reitemeyer was one of the founders of NXN Software, makers of asset management software Alienbrain, which was acquired by Avid last year for $44 million. Reitemeyer will be based in Los Angeles, where a large part of the market for the companys flagship product qube! Remote Control exists. She will coordinate the companys sales thrust into the interactive entertainment and 3D animation markets worldwide.

Headline News

MPC Has Kelly Rappin’ in the Rain for VW Golf

One of the hottest online threads, Gene Kelly break dancing in his iconic SINGIN IN THE RAIN routine over the new Volkswagen Golf GTI, was given the digital treatment by Moving Picture Co. The BMP DDB :60 spot, directed by NE-O at Stink, originally aired in the U.K. in late January.

Game Headline News

Avid to Showcase Softimage and Alienbrain at GDC 2005

Avid Technology Inc. will demonstrate its leading computer graphics technology at the 2005 Game Developers Conference (GDC), to be held in San Francisco, March 9 11 (in booth #413). Technology demos will feature SOFTIMAGE DCC tools and Alienbrain asset management software.