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Category: Visual Effects

Headline News HimAnI Prods. Completes Full Slate of VFX Work

HimAnI Prods. has completed work on SCOOBY-DOO 2, HELLBOY and TREMORS 4 and continues contributing effects shots to the hit ABC TV series ALIAS.

For Warner Bros.' SCOOBY DOO 2: MONSTERS UNLEASHED (opening March 26), HimAnI designed, created and produced more than 30 vfx shots. These range from matte paintings and set extensions to the creation of "ghost ships" and an animated "ghost sword." HimAnI worked directly with visual effects supervisor Peter Crosman.

Headline News Secondhand Lions Shows Off Subtle VFX on DVD

SECONDHAND LIONS (New Line Platinum Series, $27.95), the eccentric yet warm-hearted coming of age story starring Michael Caine, Robert Duvall and Haley Joel Osment, is noteworthy for being Digital Domain's first in-house feature production (with Erik Nash serving as visual effects supervisor). The effects and digital animation are subtle but effective, as revealed in the supplementary comparisons.

Headline News Shuffle USA Launched to Build Roster of Commercial Directors

Shuffle Inc., an international television commercial production company with offices in Venice, California, and Tokyo, Japan, has launched Shuffle USA as a new operating unit.

Headline News Sony Pictures Mobile Announces New Spider-Man 2 Mobile Products

Sony Pictures Mobile has announced its roster of mobile entertainment products inspired by this summer's SPIDER-MAN 2. The premium mobile entertainment products will be available in the United States exclusively to Sprint PCS Vision customers for a limited time beginning in May.

Headline News Weta Digital To Rent Out Server Space

With the epic undertaking of the LORD OF THE RINGS trilogy behind them, Weta Digital is considering renting out several racks of IBM blade servers in partnership with Telecom, reports www.stuff.co.nz. Telecom Advanced Solutions started hosting the hardware last winter after Weta ran out of room in the Miramar facility. The new servers were linked to Weta's main site using a 10 gigabit fibre-optic connection.

Headline News Orphanage Adopts Stray Toasters Graphic Novel Adaptation

The Orphanage has announced that it will produce a film adaptation of Bill Sienkiewicz's graphic novel, STRAY TOASTERS, reported VARIETY. The pic will be directed by Jeff Renfroe and Marteinn Thorsson, whose ONE POINT O feature competed at this year's Sundance Film Festival. Sienkiewicz, Renfroe and Thorsson have all contributed on the screenplay. Orphanage head of production Amy Israel will produce with R.D. Robb, Renfroe, Thorsson and Sienkiewicz.

Headline News yU + co Probes Killer's Mind in Taking Lives Main Title

yU + co delves into the dark and disturbing world of serial murder in its wonderfully creepy main title sequence for D. J. Caruso's psychological thriller TAKING LIVES. The Warner Bros. release, about a murderer who assumes the identities of his victims, opened nationwide on March 19, 2004.

Headline News finalShaders for finalRender Stage-1 Released

cebas Computer GmbH has announced the release of finalShaders for finalRender Stage-1. finalShaders is the first of many upcoming finalRender Stage-1 material and shader plug-in collections. finalShaders works with finalRender Stage-1 Service Pack 2a or higher. Owners of finalRender Stage-1 can upgrade to Service Pack 2a for free by sending your serial number to dcpsupport@turbosquid.com. finalRender Stage-1 is available for 3ds max4.X, 5.X and 6.

The materials found in finalShaders include:

Headline News Lord of the Rings Card Game to Feature Original Images From Weta

Norfolk, Virginia-based Decipher has announced that Weta Workshop will create unique photographic images of characters not depicted in New Line's THE LORD OF THE RINGS trilogy for use in the trading card game based on the epic tale.

Headline News Muppets Take the Yellow Brick Road in TV Movie

In what will be the first outing for the Muppets as members of the Disney family, ABC has given the greenlight on a Muppet version of THE WIZARD OF OZ, reports VARIETY. The long in the works project will be produced by Jim Henson Prods. and Fox TV Studios. Debra Frank (HOME ALONE 4) and Steven Hayes (HEY, ARNOLD) will be penning the screenplay, which will be based on L. Frank Baum's novel, not the 1939 MGM musical. The Muppet characters are set to star as the Scarecrow, Tinman and Cowardly Lion with a human playing Dorothy. Internet rumors have attached Natalie Portman as the possible lead.

Headline News Gnomon Workshop Releases Three DVDs by Sculptor Brown

As part of its continuing series, the Gnomon Workshop released three new training DVDs by sculptor John Brown (A BEAUTIFUL MIND, PLANET OF THE APES, SPY KIDS). These titles focus on sculpting, casting and molding the full-size head and character maquette.

Headline News Kaydara Launches MOTIONBUILDER 5.5 Professional

Kaydara Inc. announced the release of MOTIONBUILDER 5.5 Professional, the latest version of the company's popular realtime 3D character animation software. With added support for Python scripting and CgFX shaders, MOTIONBUILDER 5.5 Professional allows 3D animators to create complex character set-ups and animation sequences in minutes instead of the days and weeks required by other systems.

Headline News Digital Musings From the Editor:

It's been a hectic last couple of days, what with the server being down, but we're finally up and running smoothly again, so now you can get caught up on our latest news and features. Lots of tech news with the Game Developers Conference coming up next week in San Jose.

Headline News Click 3x Adds DiMauro to the Flame

Flame artist Toni DiMauro has joined Click 3x. DiMauro is skilled in compositing, beauty work and design with diverse credits in commercial and broadcast media. She joins Click 3x from the freelance ranks and has recently worked with the studio in that capacity on projects for Road Runner High Speed Online and ESPN.

Headline News Discreet Ships lustre 2 Worldwide

Discreet is now shipping lustre 2 worldwide. It is the next version of the company's realtime color grading system for digital media and digital intermediate workflows, and has been used in MASTER AND COMMANDER: THE FAR SIDE OF THE WORLD, X2: X-MEN UNITED and AUSTIN POWERS IN GOLDMEMBER.

Headline News Pandemic Standardizes 3D Production with SOFTIMAGE|XSI

Softimage Co. announced that Los Angeles-based Pandemic Studios, creators of three upcoming console titles, FULL SPECTRUM WARRIOR, MERCENARIES and STAR WARS BATTLEFRONT, is standardizing its entire 3D pipeline with SOFTIMAGE|XSI, the leading nonlinear 3D production environment. The three phase transition, which will take place over the next six months and also includes the purchase of multiple licenses of SOFTIMAGE|XSI software, will replace all competitive 3D tools currently used at Pandemic Studios.

Headline News Pixologic Announces ZBrush 2

Pixologic Inc. has announced the upcoming release of ZBrush 2, the newest version of its award-winning 2D/3D digital-art creation software, on March 31, 2004. Modeling, texturing and painting features have all benefited from code enhancements and new tools and options provide even more versatility in all areas. Medium- to high-resolution models respond instantly to sculpting actions, constantly rendered and shaded in realtime.

Headline News MGM Pictures Promotes Markoe

MGM Pictures, a division of MGM Studios Inc., has promoted Bruce Markoe to evp, feature post-production. He will report to Andy Davis, the evp of physical production.

"Bruce has become a vital part of MGM since he joined the company, and has been a great supporter of filmmakers here," said Davis. "This promotion is extremely well deserved."

Headline News Electronic Arts Just Made with Godfather Game

At the Bear Stearns entertainment and media conference in Palm Beach, Florida, Electronic Arts announced it was creating a videogame based on the classic tale, THE GODFATHER, reported VARIETY. The company said the titled would most likely be their first M (mature)-rated game. EA has not released whether the game film be directly based on Francis Ford Coppola's film trilogy or Mario Puzo's original novels.

Headline News Catch VES Awards on Tech TV

On March 11, 2004 at 6:00 pm, Tech TV will first air the second annual VES Awards. The broadcast will allow fans and industry folk alike to see all the top winners presented with their trophies. In addition, a highlight of the show will be the awarding of the VES' first lifetime achievement award to George Lucas.

Below is a complete list of scheduled repeat airings of the show (all times pacific):

March 12 at 11:00 amMarch 13 at 3:00 pmMarch 14 at 8:00 pm

Headline News Digital Musings From the Editor:

TV's first CG-animated primetime series, GAME OVER, premieres tonight at 8:00 pm on UPN, and VFXWorld explores Toronto-based DKP Effects' cutting edge work on this video-game satire from Carsey-Werner-Mandabach. Read how DKP is meeting delivery challenges with artful technology that flows through their proprietary "GRID." Very topical, considering that we're highlighting new digital/3D frontiers in March.

Headline News Sega Developing Advanced Mouth Movements Technology

Sega has announced its development of new software for future use in games that will allow for more realistic mouth movements with character voices. Magical VEngine form these movements by comparing vowels and consonants sounds against each other then use the data to create more natural facial movements in realtime. In addition, the software will analyze voice actors' speech automatically choosing the proper facial animations, thus expressing more accurate moods. Sega will unveil the technology at the Tokyo Institute of Technology at the end of the month.

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