Category: Visual Effects

Headline News 3D Festival Early Bird Registrations Open

Early bird registrations and pricing are now available online for 3D Festival 2004 (www.3dfestival.com), which will be held May 3-6 at Bella Center, Copenhagen. The festival features a noteworthy line up of showcases, master classes, workshops and speakers. Early Bird pricing is available through April 4.

An impressive list of speakers for the conference, organized by CGNetworks and Gnomon School of Visual Effects, has already been announced, with more to be confirmed before the event in May. These include:

- Alex Alvarez, Gnomon School of Visual Effects

Headline News Digital Anarchy Announces Text Anarchy 2.1

Digital Anarchy has launched Text Anarchy 2.1 for After Effects and Final Cut Pro. Text Anarchy 2.1 is the newest version of Digital Anarchy's best selling plug-in, and includes many product optimizations, the most significant of which is improved font support. Other key improvements in Text Anarchy 2.1 include:

* OpenType support: In addition to TrueType and Postscript type 1 fonts, all the Text Anarchy filters now support OpenType fonts.

Headline News Gnomon Workshop Pacts with Design Studio Press on Training DVDs

The Gnomon Workshop has partnered with Design Studio Press in the production of analog training DVDs. Leading concept designers from the film, game and industrial design industries will share their techniques in an effort to inspire and educate artists around the world.

Headline News Underworld Rises on DVD

Vampires and werewolves wage war in UNDERWORLD, which comes to DVD Jan. 6 (Columbia TriStar Home Entertainment, $28.95), boasting VFX from Framestore CFC and Luma Pictures. Think ROMEO AND JULIET meets THE MATRIX, starring Kate Beckinsale and Scott Speedman, and you get the gist of this indie sensation directed and co-scripted by Len Wiseman, which will spawn both a prequel and sequel from Lakeshore Ent. and Screen Gems.

Headline News Is Jackson King Among DGA Nominees?

Peter Jackson (THE LORD OF THE RINGS: THE RETURN OF THE KING) appears to be the leading contender among the five DGA nominees for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Feature Film for 2003. The other nominees, announced by Directors Guild of America President Michael Apted, are: Sophia Coppola (LOST IN TRANSLATION), Clint Eastwood (MYSTIC RIVER), Gary Ross (SEABISCUIT) and Peter Weir (MASTER AND COMMANDER: THE FAR SIDE OF THE WORLD).

Headline News Discreet Announces combustion 3 for Mac Users

combustion 3 for Apple Macintosh, the latest version of Discreet's award-winning visual effects and 3D compositing desktop software, was announced on Jan. 5, 2004 in conjunction with MacWorld in San Francisco. combustion 3 for the Mac will deliver industry-leading features benefiting customers who produce Web content and professional video motion graphics, repurpose video content for the Web and create effects for independent feature films and HDTV content.

Headline News Gnomon Workshop Releases Church Training DVDs

The Gnomon Workshop has released five new training DVDs by Ryan Church, one of the industry's leading concept designers and a conceptual art supervisor for STAR WARS EPISODE III. On each DVD, Church masterfully executes a digital painting, while sharing his insights into his own creative and technical process. The focus of these lectures is not on software, but on the fundamentals of design, composition, lighting, material indication, storytelling and workflow.

Headline News Gnomon Workshop Releases Hood Training DVDS

The Gnomon Workshop has released three new training DVDs by feature animator Cameron Hood (lead character animator on DreamWorks' SHARKTALE). Focused on both the aesthetic and technical art of digital character animation with Maya, these four titles contain more than six hours of instruction, lecture notes and project scene files. Students new to animation, or artists transitioning from 2D to 3D, will benefit from these titles.

Headline News Zoic Applies VFX to Launch of KIA's Amanti

To help independent advertising agency davidandgoliath launch KIA's new luxury sedan, Amanti, Anonymous Content director Jeffrey Plansker collaborated with award-winning Zoic Studios to apply visual effects expertise to BOOKS.

Headline News Service Pack 2 Upgrade Available for finalRender Stage-1 Plug-In

Turbo Squid announced the release of Service Pack 2 (SP2) for cebas' finalRender Stage-1, a Discreet certified 3ds max plug-in. SP2 is a free download and provides the following to finalRender Stage-1 users:

*All-New Anti-Aliasing Core Engine Technologies The latest advanced adaptive anti-aliasing sampling algorithms have been implemented within SP2 and provided as a new engine along with significant speed enhancements to the existing engines.

Headline News Atari Commissions DRIV3R Short Film

In what Atari calls a "convergence first" between Hollywood and the interactive entertainment company, the videogame publisher announced it has retained Ridley Scott Associates (RSA) the commercial production company owned and run by legendary filmmakers Ridley and Tony Scott to produce an original three-minute live-action film inspired by the upcoming game, DRIV3R. The film short, which is the first of its kind in the videogame industry, is titled, RUN THE GAUNTLET, and will be the core component of both the DRIV3R Website, www.DRIV3R.com, and an extensive marketing and advertising campaign for DRIV3R being launched globally by Atari, beginning in late January.

RSA, the producers of several of the original series of short films on BMWFilms.com, is in post-production on RUN THE GAUNTLET, written and directed by RSA's Sean Mullens, and inspired by the characters, plot and action of DRIV3R. The third installment in the DRIVER franchise, DRIV3R casts players once again as the original Wheelman undercover cop Tanner who must infiltrate a global cartheft ring in an action-packed adventure that features Hollywood-caliber production values and a gripping, narrative storyline.

Headline News Cold Mountain Selects Seagate & Rorke for Data Storage

Oscar-winning editor Walter Murch chose a Rorke Data Storage Area Network (SAN) containing 1.2 terabytes of Seagate disc drives for post-production editing on Anthony Minghellas Golden Globe nominated film, COLD MOUNTAIN. Reliability was the main concern for the system that was first built and configured by DigitalFilm Tree before being shipped to the film set outside of Bucharest, Romania.

Headline News S.W.A.T. Shoots its Way to DVD

The big-screen version of S.W.A.T., starring Samuel L. Jackson, Colin Farrell and Michelle Rodriguez, comes to DVD on Dec. 30, 2003 (Columbia TriStar Home Entertainment, $28.95) with enough gunfire and other explosions (with vfx help from Pixel Magic) to satisfy action-movie junkies as well as fans of the '70s TV series.

Headline News Memory Erasure Underscores yU + co's Main Titles for Paycheck

yU + co explores the elusiveness and transience of memory in its absorbing main title sequence for the new John Woo thriller PAYCHECK, which opened Christmas Day through Paramount Pictures. The design studio's mercurial graphics, where words and names form out of random characters on a computer screen before being quickly erased, serve as a subtle metaphor for the conflict that besets the film's protagonist, who is engaged in a desperate struggle to reconstruct his past.

Headline News Comcast Looking To Buy TechTV

Comcast is expected to acquire Paul Allen's computer-info channel TechTV for about $300 million, to merge it with Comcast's fledgling G4 channel, reports VARIETY, in an effort to boost its programming assets and subscriber reach.

The merger of G4 and TechTV, would combine the best original programming of each into a videogame-focused, computer and technology-based network, reaching around 45 million subs, targeted to the highly desirable male 18-34 demo.

Headline News Never Die Alone Slated for Digital Intermediate Finishing at Cinesite

Cinesite Hollywood will provide digital intermediate and vfx services for the Fox Searchlight release NEVER DIE ALONE. The film noir directed by cinematographer Ernest Dickerson will premiere at the Sundance Film Festival on Jan. 19, 2004, and is slated for wide release on March 19.

Based on cult novelist Donald Goines' book of the same name, NEVER DIE ALONE is about King David (DMX), a hard-boiled, stylish criminal who returns to his hometown seeking redemption and finding only violent death.

Headline News FCC Chairman & CEA CEO Go 'One-on-One' at CES

Federal Communications Commission (FCC) chairman Michael Powell will address top public policy issues facing the consumer technology industry during a "One-on-One" discussion with Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) president and ceo Gary Shapiro at the 2004 International CES. The session will take place on Jan. 9 at 7:30 am in the Las Vegas Convention Center Room N257. The 2004 International CES runs Jan. 8 11, 2004.

Headline News Platinum Gains Film Rights to Dark Fringe & Rust Comics

Platinum Studios has acquired the film rights to two indie comics THE DARK FRINGE and RUST. Platinum head Scott Rosenberg will oversee the live-action projects.

FRINGE -- created, written and inked by Eman R. Torre for Atomic Rocket Prods -- follows a cop who must decide whether he can trust the top suspect in the murder of his wife to lead him to the possible true killer. RUST, created by Steve Miller, follows a man who is accidentally covered in metal and finds solace in sculpture.

Headline News Barbie of Swan Lake a Home Entertainment Hit

Worldwide sales of the direct-to-video BARBIE OF SWAN LAKE have topped more than two million units through Entertainment Rights (excluding North America), via its home entertainment division, Rights Ent. This includes more than 400,000 units in the U.K., where the title has remained at number five on the children's chart after debuting at number one.

These figures follow the trend that began with Barbie's first direct-to-video feature, BARBIE IN THE NUTCRACKER and continued with BARBIE AS RAPUNZEL, which were also distributed through Entertainment Rights.

Headline News Parks Awarded Gordon E. Sawyer Oscar

Peter D. Parks, one of the industry's foremost microphotographers, has been voted the Gordon E. Sawyer Award by the Board of Governors of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

The Oscar statuette will be presented at the Scientific and Technical Awards Dinner on Feb. 14, 2004 at The Ritz-Carlton Huntington Hotel in Pasadena.

Headline News Maya Provides Core 3D Animation Technology for Rings Trilogy

Alias' Maya software played a central role in the development of Gollum, Shelob, the Battle of Pelennor Fields and the Witch King's death in THE LORD OF THE RINGS: THE RETURN OF THE KING. In fact, Maya has been the core 3D animation software used in all three RINGS films created by Weta Digital and distributed by New Line Cinema.

Headline News Guru Makes Robin Rap For Fox Spot

When PWLC London was looking to create a rapping robin for its new Fox's biscuits campaign, it brought the script to Toronto's guru animation studio. Armed with only a sketch and a Snoop Dog reference, cd Frank Falcone and his team went to work on developing a 3D character that was not only hip hop fabulous, but kid (parent) friendly.

Headline News EuNoia Training Facility Driven by MOTIONBUILDER

Kaydara and Mexico's EuNoia Animation School announced the successful completion of the facility's first 10-month course specifically dedicated to teaching professional animation software. Driven by MOTIONBUILDER, Kaydara's award-winning character animation software, EuNoia is Mexico's only certified training center to offer artistic and technical courses on the industry's leading animation and effects software.

Headline News King of the Box Office World: $250M in 5 Days

THE LORD OF THE RINGS: RETURN OF THE KING continued its record-breaking assault on the box office, grabbing $72.6M domestically over the weekend ended Dec. 21, 2003, and $125.1M for its first five days. Overseas, the final RINGS movie took in $125M in 28 territories, breaking all-time opening records in the U.K., Austria, Germany, Scandinavia, Spain, Switzerland and New Zealand. That's more than $250M on more than 14,000 screens worldwide (7,205 domestically), shattering the previous five-day record of THE MATRIX REVOLUTIONS ($202.8M) and eclipsing THE TWO TOWERS ($201.8M). Domestically, the five-day opener puts RETURN OF THE KING in third place behind THE MATRIX RELOADED ($144.4M) and SPIDER-MAN ($135.8M). Still, it ranks as the best December weekend opening ever, beating THE TWO TOWERS ($62M). Overall, it stands as the seventh best opening ever, and the third best of the year, behind MATRIX RELOADED ($91.8M) and X2 ($85.6M). It appears to be a triumph in every way for New Line, director Peter Jackson and his crew and Weta Digital, which did most of the vfx and improved upon its previous work.

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