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Category: Visual Effects

Headline News Alias Offers New Learning Tool for Latest StudioTools

Alias Systems announced the release of another learning tool in its popular education series. StudioTools Techniques| Exploring StudioTools examines the integrated 2D/3D sketching and modeling features and many other design workflow enhancements found in the latest release of its computer-aided industrial design (CAD) software, Alias StudioTools 11.

Headline News Pirates Breaks Record With 11 Million Home Ent Units

PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: THE CURSE OF THE BLACK PEARL, the year's top live actioner, has sold 11 million DVD and VHS units (a reported 90% on DVD) in its first week of sales, becoming the largest opening live-action home entertainment title in history. According to VIDEO BUSINESS, that translates to about $187 million in revenue.

Headline News Buena Vista Int'l Ups Four to VP

Buena Vista International Inc. upped four of its key marketing and publicity exec directors to vp: Maggie Todd (international publicity), Donald Evans (marketing and promotions), Mari Gastineau (marketing/creative print services) and Ticole Richards (marketing/creative film services).

Headline News Lara Croft Cradles Pandora's Box in DVD Sequel

Now on DVD, LARA CROFT: TOMB RAIDER, THE CRADLE OF LIFE (Paramount Home Entertainment, $29.99) continues the video game-inspired exploits of the alluring archeological adventuress (Angelina Jolie) in this sequel involving Pandora's Box.

Headline News Rings' Jackson Wants to Continue Tolken Habit with Hobbit

LORD OF THE RINGS helmer Peter Jackson has been quoted in various trade publications saying that he would love to make J.R.R. Tolkens prequel to the RINGS series, THE HOBBIT into a feature. Jackson said if he were presented the chance, he would work with some of the same actors he worked with on the RINGS trilogy. If Jackson gets his wish, it would come after his remake of KING KONG, which is next on the directors plate as well as his visual effects house, Weta in New Zealand.

Headline News Moneyshots Throws Mid-Air Party for Shorty

Vfx studio Moneyshots recently completed work on SHORTY (Put it on the Floor), the new music video from director Gregory Dark. One of several songs created specially for the feature film LOVE DON'T COST A THING (opening Dec. 12, 2003), the video features the film's star, Nick Cannon, and hip hop stars Busta Rhymes, Chingy and Fat Joe.

Headline News USA Greenlights 4400 Sci-Fi Series

USA Networks has order a pilot and five episodes of a new sci-fi series entitled THE 4,400, reported VARIETY. The new program will follow the events that occur when 4,400 people abducted by aliens are returned to Earth. The project will be exec produced by Francis Ford Coppola, Rene Echevarria (DARK ANGEL) and Maira Suro (PLATINUM). Scott Peters (THE OUTER LIMITS) will be writing and producing the hour-long series with Viacom Prods. and Renegade 83 as the production firms.

Headline News AJA Video Systems to Introduce Latest Io Products at GV Expo

AJA Video Systems will introduce Io LD and Io LA to the U.S. at GV Expo in Washington, D.C. on Dec. 3, 2003 The two newest members of AJA's Io family, Io LD and Io LA support the highest quality 10-bit uncompressed video available - on both the digital and analog inputs and outputs. These smaller and lower cost relatives of Io are application specific: Io LD is designed to work with SDI digital systems, and Io LA is for analog component or composite systems. AJA will be located in Apple's booth # 412 at GV Expo. Io LD and Io LA will begin shipping in January 2004.

Headline News SCI FI Sign's Abraham and Flannery for Dead Lawyers Series

SCI FI Channel has signed Academy Award-winner F. Murray Abraham (AMADEUS) and Sean Patrick Flanery (YOUNG INDIANA JONES) to star in the hour-long pilot for the drama series DEAD LAWYERS. A Zanuck Co. production in association with Sony Pictures Television, LAWYERS begins filming in Toronto in early December. Paris Barclay (THE SHIELD, NYPD BLUE) directs.

Headline News Definitive Alien Quadrilogy DVDs Offer New VFX

On the heels of Ridley Scott's recent director's cut of ALIEN comes ALIEN QUADRILOGY, the ultimate box set of the sci-fi franchise and Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment's (TCFHE) most ambitious DVD project yet. Streeting Dec. 2, 2003 and priced at $99.98, QUADRILOGY contains four films, nine discs and 45 hours of bonus materials. Plus new vfx in ALIEN and ALIEN3 supplied by TCFHE and five houses (Svengali, R!OT, Encore, Frantic and Modern Video). There are 15 new CG shots in ALIEN, including CG blood, CG fire, wire removal and star fields.

Headline News Pipeline 2003 Shows CG Strength in U.K.

The Pipeline 2003, held by Techimage at the ICA in London on Nov. 20, attracted more than 700 digital artists and animators.

Katy Edwards, human resources, Framestore CFC commented: "The Pipeline event was well organized and attended, and Framestore CFC were very glad to be involved. It was particularly exciting to see so many motivated and enthusiastic students at the event, who will no doubt be adding to the existing talent within the U.K. in the next few years."

Headline News Machinima Making New 3D Inroads on Spike TV's VGAs

Spike TV (a division of MTV Networks) will be airing animation created using ILL Clan Inc.s proprietary 3D animation technique called machinima. By modifying off-the-shelf computer game technology, the New York animation studio produces machinima in a fraction of the time it would take using typical computer animation techniques.

Headline News Encore Hollywood Adds New FX To Alien 3 DVD

Encore Hollywood provided animation and visual effects services for Fox Home Entertainment on ALIEN 3 for the Alien Quadrilogy, the nine disc boxed set, which arrives on December 2. Computer animator Greg Tsadilas created a 3D version of a baby alien for the birth sequence, which is part of 30 minutes of added material. The birth sequence shows the newborn alien creature emerging from the carcass of an ox then fleeing down a corridor. The new creature is in a form not seen in any of the ALIEN films.

Headline News Nevercenter Releases Silo 1.16

Nevercenter Ltd. Co. has released its new modeler Silo, version 1.16, which now includes support for linking to RenderMan-compliant renderers and POV-ray for direct rendering from Silo. Options include the ability to add header and footer files to the render file, and the ability to optionally include or exclude light, camera and material information. In addition, version 1.16s improvements include a more advanced universal manipulator and manipulator options, as well as some tool enhancements and workflow improvements.

Additional 1.16 updates include:

Headline News Original Star Wars Trilogy Hitting DVD Nov. 2004?

Various Internet sources have claimed that Fox Home Entertainment and LucasFilms have released information to retailers that the original STAR WARS trilogy will be released on DVD November 2, 2004. These rumors first started when LucasFilms held a hush hush invitation only marketing preview in San Francisco on Nov. 5, 2003. Force.net is stating that the films with be packaged individually and not as a box set. Fox Home Entertainment has told VFXWorld it is too early to confirm any of the details until LucasFilms informs them.

Headline News Pirates: A DVD Bounty of Riches

Disney's PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: THE CURSE OF THE BLACK PEARL, which has amassed more than $304M to date, arrives Dec. 2, 2003 on DVD (Walt Disney Home Entertainment, $29.99). The two-disc set includes a bounty of supplemental riches, including audio commentaries by director Gore Verbinski and Johnny Depp, deleted scenes, a "making-of" featurette, "Moonlight" scene progression, blooper reel and an interactive history of pirates.

Headline News Syd Mead to Serve on EXPOSÉ 2 Advisory Committee

Syd Mead, the renowned designer behind such films as BLADE RUNNER, TRON, 2010, and ALIENS, has joined the EXPOSÉ 2 Advisory Committee. EXPOSÉ 2 is the second in Ballistic Publishing's series of award-winning digital art books celebrating the talents of digital artists worldwide. Advisory Committee members will collaboratively assist in the selection of artwork to be presented in EXPOSÉ 2, as well as take on an advisory role ensuring the highest quality standards.

Headline News AEAF Awards Finalists Announced

Finalists in the nine of 12 categories of competition for the Australian Effects and Animation Festival (AEAF) Awards have been announced. Winners in each category will be announced at the AEAF Awards presentation, Dec. 9, 2003 at 7:00 pm. AEAF will be held at the Sydney Convention Center, Darling Harbor from December 7-10.

All finalists entries will be screened during the Awards ceremony in an evening of animation and vfx entertainment

Headline News Discreet Extends mental ray Rendering Options for 3ds max 6

In addition to selling mental ray 3.2 integrated in 3ds max 6, Discreet will now offer a standalone version of the high-quality rendering solution. mental ray 3.2 can be deployed in multi-workstation and render farm configurations enabling greater return-on-investment and productivity gains for the world's largest community of 3D animators in film, games and design visualization.

Headline News NXN alienbrain Studio Now Supports Kaydara's FBX Format

NXN Software has integrated support for Kaydara's universal FBX file interchange format into its flagship asset management product, NXN alienbrain Studio. The integration provides versioning, workflow and intuitive file management for FBX files.

Headline News Digital Element and Digimation Team Up on Modelshop

Digital Element, an Oakland-based software developer and publishing firm specializing in art tools, and Digimation Inc., a leading provider of 3D models, announced the release of the Modelshop plug-in for Photoshop, which includes 50 3D models from Digimation's Model Bank Collection.

Headline News dvGarage and Gnomon Release First Maya Tutorial

dvGarage teams up with the Gnomon School of Visual Effects up to make Maya more accessible to new users. THE MAYA LAB: VOLUME 1 provides a visual step-by-step introduction to the powerful but sometimes complicated application.

"We get requests for step-by-step training," explained Gnomon founder Alex Alvarez, "but we wouldn't be able to cover everything that we do if we built this kind of training day to day. It's really a daunting task to get it right."

Headline News Maxon Supports Kaydara FBX in Cinema 4D

Kaydara Inc. and MAXON Computer GmbH announced full integration of Kaydara's versatile FBX 3D interchange format into the new CINEMA 4D R8.5 upgrade, MAXON's premier high-end 3D modeling and animation tool. Kaydara FBX allows for the universal interchange of 3D data between every major 3D package and a significant number of second-tier applications.

Headline News X2: X-Men United Explodes Onto DVD

X2: X-MEN UNITED (Fox Home Entertainment, $29.98) has arrived on DVD. The highly anticipated follow-up to X-MEN has director Bryan Singer and crew surer footed with both the comic book conventions and demanding vfx, supervised by Michael Fink, who recently wrote about the history of previs for VFXWORLD.

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