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Category: Visual Effects

Headline News

Sideways Star Swings into Spidey 3

Thomas Haden Church, who was most recently nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor in SIDEWAYS, has been cast as Spider-Man's new adversary in SPIDER-MAN 3. The announcement was made by Sam Raimi and producers Laura Ziskin and Marvel Studios' Avi Arad, however the identity of the villain Church will play is being kept secret. Production is set to begin early next year with the film to be released on May 4, 2007.

Headline News

Alien vs. Predator Helmer to Tackle Deathrace 2000 Remake

Paramount has signed ALIEN VS. PREDATOR director Paul W.S. Anderson to write and helm a remake of Roger Cormans cult adventure, DEATHRACE 2000, reports VARIETY. In addition, Anderson will produce along with Corman, C/W partners Tom Cruise and Paula Wagner, and Impact Pictures partner Jeremy Bolt.

The original featured a race where drivers accumulated points for running over pedestrians. The new version will be "set in 2020, ours is an ultraviolent, no-holds-barred race with heavily armed Escalades, Ferraris and Aston Martins," Anderson said.

Film Headline News

British Director Confirmed as X3 Helmer

20th Century Fox has confirmed rumors that British helmer Matthew Vaughn has been hired to direct X-MEN 3, reports HOLLYWOOD REPORTER. Avi Arad, Lauren Shuler Donner and Ralph Winter will produce. Zak Penn and Simon Kinberg have written the script. Hugh Jackman has already signed on to reprise his role as Wolverine and the studio is in talks with Ian McKellen, Halle Berry and Patrick Stewart. The film is expected to start lensing in mid-July and will hit theaters May 26, 2006.

Lucas Headline News

Bird, Lucas & Katzenberg Shine at ShoWest

STAR WARS creator George Lucas was presented with the Galactic Achievement Award at the closing night ceremony of ShoWest 2005, March 17, 2005, in Las Vegas at the Paris Hotel. Lucas, whose sixth STAR WARS movie, STAR WARS: EPISODE III REVENGE OF THE SITH, opens May 19, acknowledged the one-time special honor while Animation Director of the Year honor was given this year to Brad Bird, director of THE INCREDIBLES.

Headline News

Marvel’s Killraven Flies to Sony

Sony Pictures is in talks with Marvel Ent. to adapt Marvel's lesser-known comicbook KILLRAVEN into a sci-fi tentpole feature, reports VARIETY. Sony is already in talks with Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Robert Schenkkan (THE KENTUCKY CYCLE) to adapt the 1970s series. If the film goes forward, Marvel's head Avi Arad would produce with Angryfilms' Don Murphy. Marvels Kevin Feige would exec produce.

Film Headline News

Butterfly Effect 2 Flutters To Life

FilmEngine has okayed a pitch for a sequel to THE BUTTERFLY EFFECT, reports VARIETY. Because the new film has an entire new cast of characters, original star, Ashton Kutcher, isn't expected to return. John Leonetti (MORTAL KOMBAT: ANNIHILATION) will direct and Michael Weiss will write the script.

Filmengine's A.J. Dix and Anthony Rhulen will produce along with Benderspink's Chris B Bender and J.C. Spink. William Shively is exec producing.

Motion Headline News

wondertouch Releases Collection of Preset Particle Effects

wondertouch announced the release of "wondertouch Particle Emitters for Motion," a particle emitter package designed for customers using Motion, the high-performance motion graphic design and production application from Apple. The emitter package features a selection of more than 300 preset particle effects, based on the company's award-winning, standalone particleIllusion software technology, that have been converted to operate in Motion.

Lucas Headline News

Lucas to Repurpose Star Wars Trilogies in 3D

George Lucas announced Thursday at ShoWest that he intends to repurpose all of the STAR WARS movies in 3D for digital cinema re-release, with the original movie, A NEW HOPE, to be readied in time for its 30th anniversary in 2007, according to THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER. The plan is to then reissue one every year through 2012.

Visual Headline News

Desktop Images Announces Visual FX Training Series

Desktop Images announced the availability of the Visual FX Series, 3D EFFECTS COMPOSTING and SET EXTENSIONS, a step-by-step instructional DVD set for mastering the essential skills of seamlessly integrating computer generated 3D elements with live-action footage.

Film Headline News

Buffy Creator Whedon to Tackle Wonder Woman

Known for creating strong female characters for his hit TV series BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER, Joss Whedon has been hired by Silver Pictures to write and direct the feature film adaptation of WONDER WOMAN. Joel Silver and Leonard Goldberg will produce the film, which Warner Bros. Pictures will release worldwide. William Moulton Marston created the original Wonder Woman character, which appeared in DC Comics.

Movie Headline News

DLP Cinema Adds in Post on Sin City

Texas Instruments (TI) DLP Cinema technology, the digital cinema projection technology deployed in movie theatres worldwide, assisted the directors and visual effects team of Miramax's and Dimension Films' SIN CITY during post-production to achieve the desired comic-book feel of the movie. Directors Robert Rodriguez and Frank Miller relied upon DLP Cinema projectors to ensure rich and consistent color in the movie.

Motion Headline News

Sony Computer Increases MoCap Output with Vicon MX40

Sony Computer Ent. of America Inc. (SCEA) has more than doubled its motion-capture output as a result of deploying the MX40 system from Vicon Motion Systems. SCEA Motion Capture operates as a service bureau available to all of Sonys first-party game titles that require motion capture. The outfit installed a 24-camera Vicon MX40 system in September of 2004, and in just six months has already exceeded the amount of motion capture produced in all of the previous year.

Headline News

‘Definitive’ Titanic DVDs Set Sail in October

As with THE LORD OF THE RINGS, look for two TITANIC DVD sets when Paramount Home Ent. releases the all-time box office juggernaut in October: a four-disc COLLECTORS EDITION and a two-disc SPECIAL EDITION. No street date or SRP were announced at yesterdays Paramount/Fox joint press conference (the latter will handle international markets). The COLLECTORS EDITION will contain two bonus discs with including nearly an hours worth of deleted scenes that can be accessed through branching while watching the feature or viewed separately.

Headline News

Iridas Releases FrameCycler Professional 3.5

Iridas, a pioneer in uncompressed playback technologies, announced the release of FrameCycler Professional 3.5, the newest version of the leading resolution-independent review and analysis software. FrameCycler 3.5 is based on the MP (multi-platform) architecture that Iridas introduced last year.

Animation Headline News

Bauhaus Software Ships Mirage 1.5

Bauhaus Software Inc. announced the immediate availability of Mirage 1.5, a new version of its powerful 2D animation, paint and vfx system. A true paperless digital animation system, Mirage dramatically broadens the capabilities of traditional 2D animators, allowing users to create any classical or digital style 2D animation, from cel animation and anime, to rotoscoping, stop motion and more, in a fully-digital pipeline. Mirage is proven to drastically reduce costs and decrease animation production time by up to 50 percent when compared with traditional 2D pipelines.

Headline News

Digital Musings From the Editor:

VFXWORLD turns technical this week as Andy Stout talks to users of Iridas new SpeedGrade DI software, which offers a completely non-destructive way of working, saving all color, conform and compositing information as XML-based metadata alongside the unaltered source material. This means that users can save as many versions of each shot as they want at any stage in the production process without requiring any additional storage, before baking in the changes during one final session.

Headline News

Ring Two Director Has Eye for Hong Kong Horror Remake

Paramount Pictures has hired THE RING TWO director Hideo Nakata to helm the American remake of Hong Kong horror film, THE EYE. C/W Prods. will produce. Vertigo's Roy Lee and Doug Davison will exec produce along with the original films producer Peter Chan. The story follow a young blind girl who after receiving a cornea transplant begins to see ghosts and premonitions.

Framestore Headline News

Framestore NY Builds ‘More Bars’ for Cingular Wireless

From their gleaming new space in Manhattans SoHo neighborhood, Framestore NYs team of artists recently manifested WORKDAY and TRIPLETS, new visual effects-driven spots in the ongoing high-profile Cingular Wireless More Bars in More Places campaign.

Dykstra Headline News

Dykstra Rides Hot Wheel, Skips Spidey 3

Instead of following-up his Oscar winning work on SPIDER-MAN 2 with work on the third film in the franchise, visual effects wizard John Dykstra is tackling McGs HOT WHEELS. The self-describe adrenaline junkie decided to take the challenge of bringing a variety of vehicle to life for Columbia Pictures toy franchise turned feature. Sony Imageworks' Scott Stokdyk will step in for Dykstra on SPIDER-MAN 3. Previously, Stokdyk served as visual effects supervisor on the webslinging flicks, for which he won the Oscar as well for the second films vfx.

Headline News

Alias Searches for Next Maya Masters

Alias announced that nominations for its 2005 Maya Masters will be accepted until March 18 at 11:59 pm (EST). Now in its fifth year, the Maya Masters program recognizes talented members of the computer graphics community whose spirit and imagination reshape and redefine the boundaries of technology, art and visualization. No more than six Maya artists are chosen from the dozens of nominations received each year for this coveted award. The 2005 Maya Masters will be announced and honored on the Alias Global Users Assn. (AGUA) mainstage during SIGGRAPH in Los Angeles on July 31.

Effects Headline News

The Orphanage Finishes Off Sin City’s Yellow Bastard

The Orphanage Inc. announced that it has completed nearly 600 visual effects shots for the That Yellow Bastard chapter of the highly-anticipated feature film, SIN CITY, directed by Robert Rodriguez and Frank Miller and adapted from Millers graphic novels. Visual effects supervisor and company partner Stu Maschwitz headed up The Orphanages team with Marc Sadeghi serving as exec producer in charge of the production and Jody Echegaray serving as producer.

Headline News

Softimage & Epic Games Collaborate on Game Development Solution

Avid Technology Inc. announced that its Softimage subsidiary and Epic Games have collaborated to co-develop the UnrealActor X Exporter for the XSI toolkit a solution for those interested in creating interactive titles with SOFTIMAGE|XSI animation software and Epics Unreal Engine technology. The Unreal Actor X Exporter for the XSI toolkit enables game developers to use technologies from both companies together in a game development pipeline.

Game Headline News

Playmakaz $50,000 Contest Calls for Entries

Game Playmakaz ContestWorld Wide WebSeptember 9, 2005Deadline: July 31, 2005

Zango, the provider of exclusive free premium content online, announced the official launch of its Game Playmakaz Contest for independent game developers. The winning submission will be awarded a $50,000 game development contract with Zango. Finalist submissions will also be considered for Zango licensing agreements. Zango will announce the winning game during the Austin Game Conference in Austin, Texas.

Game Headline News

Sony Computer Ent. America Stages Biggest Presence Ever at GDC

Sony Computer Entertainment America Inc. (SCEA) is staging its biggest presence ever at the 2005 Game Developers Conference, held March 7-11, 2005, in San Francisco to feature the newest PlayStation platform, PSP (PlayStation Portable), innovations for the PlayStation2 computer entertainment system and EyeToy, as well as tools and technologies designed to encourage game development on all platforms.

Sony experts in game development, programming and technology have been scheduled to speak at numerous sessions during the 19th annual conference.

Headline News

New Line To Breathe Life into Phantasm Franchise

New Line Cinema is in final talks with filmmaker Don Coscarelli to resurrect his cult horror franchise PHANTASM, reports HOLLYWOOD REPORTER. Coscarelli would serve as producer on the remake. New Line exec Jeff Katz, who championed the project, will oversee the film along with George Waud and Stokely Chaffin. The original 1979 film followed the emerging psychic Mike and his friends as they went up against the grave robbing Tall Man and his deadly flying spheres.