A while back, Bruce Shutan profiled Atomic Visual Effects of South Africa for VFXWORLD. Spurred by a letter to delve further into South Africa's thriving 3D community, Shutan recently interviewed several other vfx and animation studios and various artists to discover why Cape Town is on the verge of becoming the next Sydney, Australia.
Category: Visual Effects
Samsung has unveiled a uniquely designed 3D Game Phone that uses the company's established clamshell design that includes a joystick. The game phone (SCH-V450), which comes installed with three games, such as ZIOGOLF (golf game) and METALION (shooting game), allows users to get a full 3D mobile gaming experience heard through dual speakers.
Activision's North American Publishing unit has shipped more than two million units of its SPIDER-MAN 2 videogame timed to the theatrical release of the feature film. The game lets players experience what it's like to be Spider-Man as they web sling from buildings, dive from rooftops to the streets and scale the heights of Manhattan. Players will be able to engage in various missions inspired by the action of the film. The game is available for PlayStation 2, Xbox, Nintendo GameCube, Game Boy Advance and PC.
Edmonton's Glenrose Rehabilitation Hospital's Syncrude Centre for Motion and Balance has used motion-capture software to help a six-year-old boy walk, reports THE GLOBE AND MAIL. Using the same technology that was used to create Gollum from THE LORD OF THE RINGS trilogy, the hospital's "gait lab" helped doctors determine a surgical strategy to help Quinn Kozlowski, who suffers from cerebral palsy, walk.
Alias announced its full lineup of new Maya Learning Tools to accompany Maya 6, the latest version of its 3D animation and special effects software. Maya Learning Tools are books and DVDs that offer self-paced learning for 3D professionals, students and enthusiasts. Alias will release dozens of DVDs and books in the coming months for a variety of learning levels, many in time for SIGGRAPH (Aug.
Rushes has recently completed the opening title sequence for Touchstone Pictures' KING ARTHUR (opening July 7). Loosely based on the true story that inspired the legend of King Arthur, the film focuses on the history, politics and warfare at the time of the Roman Empire's collapse in 476 AD. The title sequence sets the background from where the films narrative begins. Rushes composited sequences reflecting the passage of the Roman conquest from Samaria in Palestine, throughout Europe and reaching Britannia.
Originally planned to kick off the summer 2005 season, MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE 3 will now open in theaters on June 29, 2005. Paramount Pictures' move is likely in response to SPIDER-MAN 2's huge box office receipts leading up to the Independence Day holiday in the States. The Tom Cruise starrer will now go head to head with 20th Century Fox's THE FANTASTIC FOUR, which is set to open July 1. Whether Fox will move F4 is yet to be seen, however Fox will be happy that it will now have May 6 all for itself for its Ridley Scott-directed Crusades epic, KINGDOM OF HEAVEN.
Impact Pictures has announced that its next videogame-turned-feature will be DRIVER, based on Atari's top franchise, reports VARIETY. Impact co-founders Jeremy Bolt and Paul Anderson will produce the film along with Constantin Film's Bernd Eichinger. The script was written by James DeMonaco, Todd Harthan and James Roday. Constantin's L.A. head of production Robert Kulzer will exec produce.
Impact previously translated the RESIDENT EVIL videogame franchise into a film in 2002 and will be following up with the sequel RESIDENT EVIL APOCALYPSE this September.
Twentieth Century Fox and Adobe Systems have teamed to create an interactive, 3D experience for Fox's I, ROBOT Website (www.irobotmovie.com) -- the first motion picture Website to utilize Adobe's Atmosphere technology. The site allows visitors to create and build their own robot, selecting its body parts, color, texture and gender. Visitors can also issue commands that demonstrate the robots mobility and agility. In addition, the site allows visitors to interact with the robots inside the world of I, ROBOT.
Sony's SPIDER-MAN 2 shattered the opening day record yesterday by snaring a stunning $40,442,604M in its web. That's better than SPIDER-MAN's $39.4M debut two years ago, which went on to earn $403.7M as the fifth highest grossing movie of all time. SPIDER-MAN 2 also tagged the best Wednesday opening ever, besting THE LORD OF THE RINGS: THE RETURN OF THE KING's $34.5M.
Burger King Corp. announced the availability of eight kids meal toys based on Sony Pictures' SPIDER-MAN 2. These Spider-Active toys are Burger King's first premiums with sun-reveal technology that enables a secret Spidey symbol to appear when the toys are in sunlight. The premiums are available at participating Burger King restaurants nationwide with the purchase of a kids meal from June 28, 2004, to Aug. 8, 2004, while supplies last.
Imax Corp. is in discussions with Sony Pictures to remaster SPIDER-MAN 2 for release in its large-format theaters, reports VARIETY. Imax is anxious to fill the empty spot in their lineup now that Warner Bros.' has pulled CATWOMAN from Imax because the visual effects won't be done in time to remaster the film for a day-and-date release July 23, 2004.
VFXWorld ends the month and our focus on education and jobs with an informative school survey that covers everything from core philosophies to evolving tools and curricula to meet the digital demands our ever changing 3D industries. Technology vs. technique. It's always a tough balancing act. Plus Steven Mirkin gets a few helpful hints from vfx houses about what they're looking for in new hires.
Director Tim Burton is busy indeed. Simultaneous to production commencing in London on the stop-motion CORPSE BRIDE, he has also started production in the same city on CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY. Based on the classic Roald Dahl novel and filmed once before in 1971 as WILLY WONKA AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY, CHARLIE is a Warner Bros. Pictures and Village Roadshow Pictures production.
FOX Network and its FX cable channel have paid Sony Pictures TV $50 million for the broadcast/cable rights for SPIDER-MAN 2, reports VARIETY. As part of a 10-year agreement, FOX receives three runs of the movie during the first three years, starting December 2006. In 2010, Sony will have the rights to sell the film to other broadcast networks to share rights with FX for the last seven years of the contract. The original SPIDER-MAN flicks took in $60+ million from FOX and Turner's TBS/TNT.
NVIDIA Corp. broadened its already expansive graphics line with the introduction of four new NVIDIA Quadro professional graphics solutions based on PCI Express. Leveraging this next-generation bus architecture, NVIDIA doubles the bandwidth of its AGP 8X-based products to more than 4GB per second in both upstream and downstream data transfers.
COMDEX Las Vegas 2004 has been postponed in order to reshape the event with the cooperation of information technology (IT) industry leaders, it was announced by organizer MediaLive International Inc. COMDEX 2004 had been scheduled to open November 14, 2004, in Las Vegas. The company has established a COMDEX Advisory Board representing the IT industry's foremost companies to determine how COMDEX can reboot itself to best meet the future needs of the industry.
Mercedes' latest commercial, CLOUDS, a follow-up to last year's award-winning MOVEMENT, broke across the U.K. on June 22, 2004. The HD ad (created by CDD's Walter Campbell and directed by MJZ's Nicolai Fugslig) boasts The Mill's most demanding vfx job, resulting in the London-based studio applying new working practices across the 3D department as a result of the project.
yU + co provided motion graphics design, computer animation and visual effects services for both the marketing campaign and the main title sequence of Steven Spielberg's THE TERMINAL. The studio's design team collaborated with its recently formed visual effects department to create a CG replica of an enormous "split flap" airport flight information board that spells out the film's title and other messages.
On the eve of the premiere of the SPIDER-MAN 2 movie, National Geographic Channel will air SPIDER POWER at 8:00 pm on June 25, 2004, an extraordinary look at the evolution of one of the most successful hunters on the planet. This one-hour special uses spectacular macrophotography and stylized CGI bring to bring viewers within attack range of some of the worlds most ingenious predators and their super powers.
Framestore CFC has wrapped work on a new spot titled ILLUSIONS for the Audi A6. The spot features an Audi A6 traversing a cityscape that seems at first to be normal, but gradually warps and transformations of the streets and buildings that create impossible paths and spaces form.
VES 2004, held last weekend in beautiful San Rafael, California, was a sheer delight. The sixth annual festival of the Visual Effects Society, in which the baton was symbolically passed from founder Tom Atkin to new executive director Eric Roth, offered the latest in vfx creativity and technology (Mars and MYTHBUSTERS were two favorites). But the buzz was all about how games are catching up to movies in vfx quality, which is now being stressed in schools, the inevitable acceptance of outsourcing and the need to unionize.
V12 and Panopoly Pictures are merging their respective design and production departments to form Full Circle, a the new company that will provide live-action production, branding motion graphic design and animation to clients in the feature film, commercial and broadcast arenas. Leading the joint venture are V12 founder David Hwang and Panopoly Pictures co-founder Kathryn Peaslee.
Softimage Co. announced that it will premiere its SOFTIMAGE|XSI version 4.0 software at industry events in New York and Los Angeles on June 28 and July 13, respectively. The events - sponsored by HP and Intel Corp., and part of Softimage's "i am 4 power" campaign - will feature product demonstrations of SOFTIMAGE|XSI v.4.0 software running on the latest technology from HP, Intel and NVIDIA Corp.