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Category: Visual Effects

Headline News

RenderMan for Maya 1.0 Unveiled

Pixar has announced RenderMan for Maya, a new rendering solution based on Pixar's award-winning rendering technology. The RenderMan for Maya plug-in, which is entering beta testing soon, will be available on computers running Mac OS X or Windows XP. It will be priced at $995.

RenderMan for Maya enjoys complete integration with Maya. Just switch your renderer to "RenderMan" and automatically render everything in your Maya scene, including Maya materials, Maya particles and Maya fur.

Headline News

LightWave [8] Training Edition Announced

NewTek Inc. announced the LightWave [8] Training Edition, a special offer that provides more than $400 in training materials free to new LightWave 3D purchasers. By special arrangement with the publishers New Riders, Wordware Publishing and Kurv Studios, purchasers of new licenses of LightWave will be able to receive six books, four training videos and the DVD KAZE: GHOST WARRIOR, which includes extensive extras on how the independent CGI film was produced.

Animation Headline News

AWN Discussion Forums - What's New? for August 12, 2004

This week in AWN's Forums, a member is trying to find rare animated shorts from Tim Burton. Another member asks what is the best scanner for 2D animation. Another thread is looking for members' favorite animated shorts to increase their toon knowledge. Several junior members continue to ask for software and school recommendations. Additionally, members continue to discuss Craig McCracken's new series FOSTER'S HOME FOR IMAGINARY FRIENDS.

Producers Headline News

Spy-Hunter Producers to Tackle Psi-Ops

SPY-HUNTER producers Adrian Askarieh and Chuck Gordon have obtained the feature rights to Midway's PSI-OPS videogame, reports VARIETY. The producers hope to secure a director and pitch the project to various studios by the beginning of September. The story follows a psionic agent who has had his memory erased that must infiltrate a band of rogue agents who were in training with him.

Headline News

The Matrix 10 DVD Set Coming Soon

Warner Home Video has announced that it will release a 10-disk MATRIX collection in December. THE ULTIMATE MATRIX COLLECTION will include the trilogy, THE ANIMATRIX and 35-hours of bonus material as well as a Neo bust and 80-page book.

The disks include:* THE MATRIX - containing a new digital transfer of the film with two new commentaries* THE MATRIX REVISITED

Film Headline News

J.J. Abrams To Make Directing Debut on M:I 3

Paramount Pictures and Cruise/Wagner Productions have made it official J.J. Abrams will make his theatrical directing debut onMISSION: IMPOSSIBLE 3. Originally set to hit theaters next summer, the film will now start shooting in the summer of 2005. Abrams is best known as the creator and director of such hit series as FELICITY, ALIAS and his new series LOST. Previously, NARC director Joe Carnahan had long been attached to direct the film, but had "creative differences" with the studio, leading to his stepping down from the film earlier this year.

Effects Headline News

CaféFX Promotes Vicki Weimer to Exec Producer

After seven years as CaféFX's senior effects producer and supervisor, Vicki Weimer has been promoted to exec producer. Weimer, a 30-year veteran of the motion picture industry, will handle team building and oversee all CaféFX feature film projects.

"Vicki has been an incredible asset to us during her tenure here at the Café. She has actually been doing the EP role here for years. We are just making it official," said Jeff Barnes, ComputerCafé Group's president/ceo.

Digital Headline News

Alienbrain VFX Offers New Digital Asset Library Module

Avid Technology Inc. has introduced a new digital asset library module for its Alienbrain VFX asset management system. The Internet-based module offers unprecedented archiving and retrieval functionality to teams producing large volumes of graphics files for complex visual effects and computer-generated feature projects. The new digital asset library module was unveiled at SIGGRAPH 2004.

Headline News

Atari Engages Military Expert/Author Brown for ACT OF WAR: DIRECT ACTION

Atari Inc. is collaborating with best-selling author Dale Brown and Eugen Systems on ACT OF WAR: DIRECT ACTION, scheduled to be released in spring 2005. The upcoming near-future, geopolitical techno-thriller is being developed by Eugen Systems with a storyline and game universe created in cooperation with Brown, 15-time New York Times best-selling author and expert on U.S. military, global conflict and future military technology.

Software Headline News

HP Remote Graphics Software Introduced

HP introduced groundbreaking new software at SIGGRAPH 2004 that allows customers in graphics-intensive fields such as engineering and graphic design to collaborate with teams across geographically dispersed regions in realtime.

Headline News

ILM Reporting for War of the Worlds VFX Duty?

It looks like the heavy vfx duties on the new WAR OF THE WORLDS feature from Paramount Pictures and DreamWorks will be done by vfx supervisor Dennis Muren and Industrial Light & Magic, according to the HOLLYWOOD REPORTER. Steven Spielberg is directing the remake of H.G. Wells novel with Tom Cruise set to star in the pic stet to shoot in November 2004.

Headline News

Kingsley & Loken to Vamp for BloodRayne

Ben Kingsley has been signed to play the vampire Kagan, the evil ruler of an army of bloodsuckers, in the film adaptation of the videogame BLOODRAYNE, opposite Kristanna Loken (TERMINATOR 3: RISE OF THE MACHINES), the ASSOCIATED PRESS reported. The film chronicles the adventures of a half-vampire, half-human in 18th-century Romania who has the super strength of a monster countered by the emotions of a person.

Headline News

Cruise and Spielberg to Wage War of the Worlds

Project postponements have freed up actor Tom Cruise and director Steven Spielberg to team up again in the re-make of H.G. Wells THE WAR OF THE WORLDS for a fast track investment for DreamWorks and Paramount Pictures.

Cruise had been set to work on MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE 3 until a delay while Spielbergs untitled project on the aftermath of the 1972 Munich Olympics has also been pushed back. Cruise and Spielberg collaborated successfully on MINORITY REPORT.

Animation Headline News

Kaydara and Alias Announce MOTIONBUILDER 6

Kaydara Inc., and Alias announced from SIGGRAPH 2004 the forthcoming release of MOTIONBUILDER 6, the newest version of the company's award-winning character animation software. This comes on the heels of the recent news that Alias has signed an agreement to acquire Kaydara.

When the purchase closes (which it is expected to within two months), then MOTIONBUILDER will be rebranded Alias MOTIONBUILDER.

Headline News

Digital Musings From the Editor:

VFXWorld and AWN are at the SIGGRAPH Conference in full right now. VFXWorld's editor Bill Desowitz is walking the convention floor, checking out all that is new in the world of technology and visual effects. As for new articles on VFXWorld, continuing in the SIGGRAPH mode, we have an article from Mary Ann Skweres about Dr. Paul Debevec's pioneering 3D works as well as his newest short, THE PARTHENON, which premiered at SIGGRAPH 2004's famed Electronic Theater. As well, we have an article from J.

Motion Headline News

Apple Ships Motion for Motion Graphics

Apple announced at SIGGRAPH 2004 it has begun shipping Motion, the revolutionary new application that delivers high-performance, realtime motion graphics design. Motion offers the creative freedom and power for artists to deliver stunning, professional quality results, quickly and intuitively, with realtime previews, procedural behavior animation and integration with both Final Cut Pro(R) HD and DVD Studio Pro(R) 3, all at a breakthrough price of $299.

Digital Headline News

Digital Domain Plans to Deliver Messiah

Digital Domain and Barnet Bain Films have acquired the film rights to Richard Bach's bestselling novel ILLUSIONS: THE ADVENTURES OF A RELUCTANT MESSIAH, according to DAILY VARIETY.

French filmmaker Yann Samuell is reportedly set to direct the adaptation, the inspirational account of an encounter with a modern-day messiah. The book has sold 15 million copies for author Bach, who also penned JONATHAN LIVINGSTON SEAGULL.

Studios Headline News

TrendWatch Ranks Previs #2 Task at Studios

According to TrendWatch, previsualization is rapidly gaining acceptance among producers and directors, with 39% of all studios/facilities currently doing previs tasks along with eight out of 10 vfx studios.

This TrendWatch Fast Fact is good news in terms of shrinking budgets and shorter production cycles.

TrendWatch Inc. (www.trendwatch.com) is a market research firm located in Mill Valley, California.

Headline News

Alias to Acquire Kaydara

In its first major step since becoming an indie, Alias will acquire Kaydara, maker of Motionbuilder and FBX, providing leading realtime 3D character animation and motion editing solutions. Alias was recently acquired by Accel-KKR and Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan from SGI.

Avid Headline News

Avid Introduces 3-Democracy Campaign

Avid Technology announced new pricing for its SOFTIMAGE|XSI product line, ushering in 3-Democracy, the company's plan for making its comprehensive 3D content creation software accessible to all levels of CG professionals. Now a greater number of artists can purchase the award-winning 3D software in three new affordable configurations, starting with the unprecedented price of $495 for SOFTIMAGE|XSI v.4.0 Foundation.

Headline News

McGregor Aboard Bay's Island

DreamWorks is in negotiations with Ewan McGregor (BIG FISH) to star in Michael Bay's next sci-fi feature, THE ISLAND, reports HOLLYWOOD REPORTER. Caspian Tredwell-Owen (BEYOND BORDERS) wrote the spec screenplay, which chronicles a harvested being" who tries to escape the utopian facility he is housed in. Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci (TV's ALIAS) have been hired to polish the script. Walter Parkes, Laurie MacDonald and Ian Bryce (CATCH ME IF YOU CAN) are set to produce. Marc Haines will oversee the project for the studio, which hopes to starting filming in the fall.

Headline News

Immersion VirtualHand Plug-In for MOCAP Certified by Kaydara

Immersion Corp. has announced that Kaydara has certified Immersion's new VirtualHand for MOCAP plug-in for MOCAP software. With this new combination, professional filmmakers, motion-capture directors, visual effects artists and game developers can use Immersion's CyberGlove hand-sensing hardware to capture hand motion, then edit and blend the animation in MOCAP. The CyberGlove provides high-performance hand measurement and real-time motion capture.

Headline News

Kelseus Unveils Antics Pre-Viz at SIGGRAPH 2004

Kelseus will launch Antics Pre-Viz, its own previs product that uses intelligent realtime 3D animation technology, at SIGGRAPH 2004, Aug. 10-12, at the Los Angeles Convention Center in booth #1355.

Headline News

Fox Boots X2's Singer from Lot

20th Century Fox has pulled the plug on X-MEN helmer Brian Singer's two-year first look deal, now that the director has signed on to direct Warner Bros. SUPERMAN, reports HOLLYWOOD REPORTER. Singer's Bad Hat Harry production company, which was based on the Fox lot, was asked to clear out its offices. Singer, who is working on SUPERMAN out of the Warner lot, does not have a overall deal with Warner, despite his development of the remake of LOGAN'S RUN.

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