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.
Category: Visual Effects
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.
Wicked RGB has extended its impressive stable of artists with the addition of Ira Shain, Micah Henrie, Pascal Blanché and Raphael Lacoste.
"We are here to push projects to the maximum level of graphical quality -- and we are here to stay," said founder/president Michael Christensen.
Toon Boom Animation announced the release of Symphony. With features such as morphing, basic inverse kinematics and "glue" (automatic joint connecting) that enhance the paperless animation production process, Symphony enables studios to produce high quality digital animation. Advanced drawing and asset management tools combined with a seamless, integrated workflow saves significant overhead costs while adding value to their animations. Symphony also building on the advanced features provided by Opus and Concerto.
NewTek Inc. announced the release of VT LIVE!, an integrated production suite that provides a comprehensive toolset for all professional SD video production needs. VT LIVE! offers computer-based live production capabilities, able to handle anything from switching and titling for network broadcast to serverless Web streaming. VT LIVE!
Jan De Bont has signed on to direct the big screen adaptation of Steve Altens shark thriller MEG, reports VARIETY. HELLBOY producers Guillermo del Toro, Larry Gordon and Lloyd Levin will produce along with CHUD.com creator Nick Nunziata and Ken Atchity. The story follows explorer Jonas Taylor who has a terrifying encounter with a 20-pound Carcharodon megalodon, the massive mother of the great white shark.
Timothy Albees long Alaskan journey resulted in the fascinating short, KAZE, GHOST WARRIOR, which he made totally on his own, largely using LightWave, for $5,000. Alain Bielik chats with Albee about the making of KAZE and plans to turn it into a feature.
Dimension Films has acquired the remake rights to the Korean horror film RYEONG (THE GHOST) from Showbox, reports HOLLYWOOD REPORTER. Vertigo Ent.'s Roy Lee, Doug Davison and Sonny Mallhi will produce. The original Tae-Kyeong Kim-directed film followed the mystery of amnesic teenage girl who discovers that she is somehow connected to a murderous ghost who is killing people one by one. Dimension co-presidents Andrew Rona and Brad Weston, and Dan Levine, svp production and development, will oversee the project. Vertigo Ent.
Australian production, post-production and TV broadcasting company, Omnilab Group is in the final negotiations on the acquisition of boutique local drama and feature post-production facility, Island Films. Over the last 10 years, Island has provided facilities for some of Australia's most successful feature films including RABBIT PROOF FENCE and LOOKING FOR ALI BRANDI, as well as the TEN TV drama series WHITE COLLAR BLUE and miniseries JESSICA.
Eden FX (STAR TREK: ENTERPRISE) is integrating modo, the new subdivision surface and polygonal modeling platform, into its production pipeline. Eden FX chose modo for its speed, advanced toolset and intuitive workflow.
20th Century Fox has tapped TROY screenwriter David Benioff to write the X-MEN spinoff, WOLVERINE, reports VARIETY. Fox hopes to have Hugh Jackman reprise his role as the superhero. The assignment will net Benioff seven figures. The writer pitch the idea to 20th Century Fox president Hutch Parker and svp Alex Young, who'll oversee the project.
Version2 and Liquid Light have merged their respective editorial and visual effects & design departments for a more streamlined creative process. Version2, as the new company is known, will provide services to clients in the film, commercial and broadcast arenas. The company kicks off with a high-profile spot for Samsung, as well as campaigns for Top Flite, TD Waterhouse, Wild Aid PSA, Verizon, Puma and a redesign for Time Warner.
Tim Robbins, Miranda Otto and Dakota Fanning are all in talks to co-star along with Tom Cruise in Steven Spielbergs big budget rendition of H.G. Wells WAR OF THE WORLD, reports HOLLYWOOD REPORTER. Robbins would play astronomer Ogilvy while Otto and Fanning would plays Cruises wife and daughter respectively. The film will be a super fast production due to Paramounts desire to have this film be its tentpole for next summer after MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE 3 was pushed back a year.
Los Angeles visual effects and animation studio KromA has hired producer Bob Yukich to head vfx production. He is a former freelancer with broad experience in commercials, music videos, feature films and episodic television and will oversee production, day-to-day operations and sales. He will also seek to expand the company beyond its base in commercial and music videos into effects work for film and television.
ArchVision Inc. announced the availability of the RPC Plug-In for Maxon's Cinema 4D 9 (PC only) for $99. Cinema 4D 9 offers customers enormous performance increase and simplifies the 3D learning curve. The RPC Plug-in for Cinema 4D 9 provides an easy to use interface for placing and editing RPC (Rich Photorealistic Content) within Cinema 4D.
20th Century Fox and Marvel Studios have hired Simon Kinberg to write the script for X3, reports HOLLYWOOD REPORTER. The deal will earn the writer a high-six-against-seven-figure sum. Kinberg isnt new to comic book inspired features having done rewrites on ELEKTRA and FANTASTIC FOUR. Details of the plot have not been announced.
As the sole visual effects facility on Working Title Films WIMBLEDON, Moving Picture Co. (MPC) completed 230 vfx shots with a high level of involvement throughout the entire production. The feature was digitally graded in the MPC Digital Lab under the guidance of Martin Kenzie. Australian Wimbledon champion Pat Cash served as tennis advisor on the film, which was granted unprecedented access to 2004s Championships by The All England Lawn Tennis & Croquet Club (AELTCC).
Production on the live-action rendition of AEON FLUX will restart on Oct. 4, 2004, reports VARIETY. Due to a back injury suffered by star Charlize Theron, Paramount and MTV had to put the film on hiatus Aug. 31. Karyn Kusama- directed film has Theron performing the action intensive role of an assassin 1,000 years in the future. Valhalla Prods. and Lakeshore Ent. are also producing. Producers are Valhalla head Gale Anne Hurd, MTV Films president David Gale and Greg Goodman. VP Pamela Abdy is sheparding for Paramount.
The inaugural UK CGI Festival announced its first speakers participating at the two shows scheduled for Nov. 9-10 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.
Highlights of the Leeds show will include:
VFXWORLD finishes its focus this month on TV with Karen Raugusts fascinating look at three hot paranormal cable series, THE DEAD ZONE, DEAD LIKE ME and CARNIVALE, each with a distinct vfx strategy and look, as well as Tara DiLullos sneak peek at some of the vfx wonders behind next months eagerly awaited Sci Fi miniseries, FARSCAPE: THE PEACEKEEPER WARS.