Syd Mead, the renowned designer behind such films as BLADE RUNNER, TRON, 2010, and ALIENS, has joined the EXPOSÉ 2 Advisory Committee. EXPOSÉ 2 is the second in Ballistic Publishing's series of award-winning digital art books celebrating the talents of digital artists worldwide. Advisory Committee members will collaboratively assist in the selection of artwork to be presented in EXPOSÉ 2, as well as take on an advisory role ensuring the highest quality standards.
Category: Visual Effects
Finalists in the nine of 12 categories of competition for the Australian Effects and Animation Festival (AEAF) Awards have been announced. Winners in each category will be announced at the AEAF Awards presentation, Dec. 9, 2003 at 7:00 pm. AEAF will be held at the Sydney Convention Center, Darling Harbor from December 7-10.
All finalists entries will be screened during the Awards ceremony in an evening of animation and vfx entertainment
Kaydara Inc. and MAXON Computer GmbH announced full integration of Kaydara's versatile FBX 3D interchange format into the new CINEMA 4D R8.5 upgrade, MAXON's premier high-end 3D modeling and animation tool. Kaydara FBX allows for the universal interchange of 3D data between every major 3D package and a significant number of second-tier applications.
X2: X-MEN UNITED (Fox Home Entertainment, $29.98) has arrived on DVD. The highly anticipated follow-up to X-MEN has director Bryan Singer and crew surer footed with both the comic book conventions and demanding vfx, supervised by Michael Fink, who recently wrote about the history of previs for VFXWORLD.
dvGarage teams up with the Gnomon School of Visual Effects up to make Maya more accessible to new users. THE MAYA LAB: VOLUME 1 provides a visual step-by-step introduction to the powerful but sometimes complicated application.
"We get requests for step-by-step training," explained Gnomon founder Alex Alvarez, "but we wouldn't be able to cover everything that we do if we built this kind of training day to day. It's really a daunting task to get it right."
Cinesite (Europe) Ltd announced that it has moved into production on visual effects for several major feature films, which will complete throughout 2004. These include TROY (Warner Bros.), HARRY POTTER AND THE PRISONER OF AZKABAN (Warner Bros.), ALIEN VS. PREDATOR (Fox), AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 DAYS (Walden Media), SAHARA (Paramount), KING ARTHUR (Buena Vista) and ALFIE (Paramount).
Warner Bros.' GOTHIKA, the contemporary ghost story starring Halle Berry, Robert Downey Jr. and Penelope Cruz, marks the debut of new digital fire effects created by CafeFX. With fire a central motif in the movie, CafeFX was challenged to develop custom software for fire shading and motion in key sequences, and with creating effects that heighten the impact of other frightening scenes.
Veteran motion picture and television animator Everett Burrell has joined Café FX as animation supervisor. Burrell comes to Café Fx from Cantina Pictures Inc. He brings 18 years experience managing teams of 3D animators, 3D digitizers, texture artists, compositors, technical directors and freelance artists, and working collaboratively with directors, producers, art directors and software engineers in defining the creative and technical direction of projects.
For ABCs PETER JENNINGS REPORTING: THE KENNEDY ASSASSINATIONBEYOND CONSPIRACY, the 3D animation was created by Dale K. Myers, an Emmy-winning animator and author, with a BOXX 3DBOXX workstation, running Newteks LightWave 3D software. The workstation contained dual Intel Xeon 3.06 processors, 4GB RAM and a 3Dlabs Wildcat 4 7210 graphics board.
Moviegoers attending the special engagement of Disney's THE HAUNTED MANSION at Hollywood's historic El Capitan Theatre (Nov. 26, 2003 through Jan. 4, 2004) will have the opportunity to explore a rare behind-the-scenes attraction about the making of the movie. "The Haunted Mansion - Hollywood" features the actual sets, costumes and vfx designed and built by the film's Academy Award-winning team of artists at Sony Imageworks.
In an interview with the TORONTO STAR, actor Andy Serkis, the man behind LORD OF THE RINGS: THE TWO TOWERs scene-stealing CG character Gollum, alluded to his re-teaming with RINGS director Peter Jackson as the big ape in KING KONG. The article stated, Serkis has an even bigger assignment ahead of him. Rumour has it he'll be the face of King Kong in Peter Jackson's planned 2005 remake of the legendary ape epic.
Video Symphony, a TV, Film and DVD Digital College and Career Center, has launched another in a series of year-long 3D Animation and Visual Effects course programs.
"Today, nearly every movie, TV show and commercial turns to 3D magic and visual effects for everything from dueling spaceships, fiery explosions, and slime-dripping aliens, to animated breakfast cereal, and cars that drive on water, said Video Symphony's president Mike Flanagan.
DigitalFilm Tree (DFT), a post and design company specializing in Final Cut Pro (FCP) consultation and implementation, collaborated with Oscar-winning editor Walter Murch to pioneer a Final Cut Pro editing workflow for his work on Anthony Minghella's COLD MOUNTAIN, Miramax's Civil War epic starring Jude Law and Nicole Kidman and prime Oscar contender, due in theaters Christmas Day.
Industrial Light & Magic's art director Alex Laurent will provide the Australian Effects & Animation festival (AEAF: Dec. 7-10, 2003) an exclusive preview of how the upcoming PETER PAN was brought to the big screen. Australian director P. J. Hogan (MY BEST FRIEND'S WEDDING) is at the helm of the first live-action sound feature based on J. M. Barrie's enduring classic.
The world of integrated effects creation just got faster. Shipping immediately for an upgrade price of $199, Boris FX 7 brings high performance directly into the editing environment with new OpenGL acceleration and faster renders. Editors can now experience advanced keyframe control with more than 20 new filters and paint tools for advanced masking and compositing.
Framestore CFC has received the Best Digital Effects prize at this years Royal Television Society Craft & Design Awards. At the Nov. 17, 2003 event, the company won for its work on the two WALKING WITH DINOSAURS specials THE GIANT CLAW and LAND OF GIANTS. The award was accepted on behalf of Framestore CFC by DINOSAURS team members Tim Greenwood, Darren Byford, George Roper and Sarah Tosh.
Buena Vista Pictures Distribution has acquired the domestic distribution rights to Walden Media's adventure comedy, AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 DAYS, starring Jackie Chan. The film will be released by Walt Disney Pictures as a summer 2004 tentpole.
Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment plans to up the D-VHS ante by debuting five new titles this holiday season on JVC's D-VHS format, featuring JVC's D-Theater encryption and introducing for the first time optional DTS digital surround sound at the full bit rate of 1509 kbps. The titles include: X2 (Nov. 25), LEAGUE OF EXTRAORDINARY GENTLEMEN (Dec. 16), MOULIN ROUGE (Nov. 25), SPEED (Dec. 16) and TRUE LIES (Dec. 16).
Visual effects vet Hael Kobayashi has joined Animal Logic, the Sydney-based visual effects house as digital artists manager to oversee recruiting, training and career development of the studios expanding ranks of digital artists.
Nexsan Technologies, a leader in innovative storage solutions, announced that its new ATABeast is now shipping in volume and available worldwide. The ATABeast disk vault sets the bar in high-end, high capacity storage, delivering industry-leading features with unparalleled density and security. ATABeast offers a TCO that also establishes new standards of affordability.
Moneyshots recently completed visual effects on a series of spots for Reebok featuring the NFL Summit Heavyweight Jacket and Philadelphia Eagles Quarterback Donavan McNabb. Directed by The Odiorne Brothers for Arnell Group, the 30- and 10-second spots were shot in Philadelphia over three days, and utilize a series of scenes connected by the winter breaths of Eagles players and fans.
At the 2003 Virtuality Conference, Franz Cerami announced the new Miss Digital World, a beauty contest for digitally created women. The contests Website (www.missdigitalworld.com) has now officially launched. The idea for the event is to search for a contemporary ideal of beauty, represented through virtual reality.
Giant Killer Robots (GKR), an Oscar-winning vfx boutique in San Francisco, provided pre-visualization, design, effects animation, rendering and final compositing services to create the subterranean metropolis Zion in THE MATRIX REVOLUTIONS. GKR also served as a lead coordinating firm for critical action sequences in Zion that required photorealism and precise animation. REVOLUTIONS features vfx with a Japanese anime-like feel that blends fantasy and reality.
On the heels of Ridley Scott's new director's cut of ALIEN comes ALIEN QUADRILOGY, the ultimate box set of the sci-fi franchise and Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment's (TCFHE) most ambitious DVD project yet. Due Dec. 2, 2003 and priced at $99.98, QUADRILOGY contains four films, nine discs and 45 hours of bonus materials. Plus new vfx in ALIEN and ALIEN3 supplied by TCFHE and five houses (Svengali, R!OT, Encore, Frantic and Modern Video). There are 15 new CG shots in ALIEN, including CG blood, CG fire, wire removal and star fields.