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Category: Visual Effects

Headline News

ATI Introduces FireGL Graphics Accelerators

On the eve of the industry transition to PCI Express, ATI Technologies announced a complete line-up of FireGL workstation graphics accelerators with full native support for this new bus architecture. The newly branded Visualization series will offer four new graphics accelerators: the high-end FireGL V7100, mid-range FireGL V5100 and, redefining the entry-level segment, the FireGL V3200 and the FireGL V3100.

Digital Headline News

Digital Musings From the Editor:

THE DAY AFTER TOMORROW, which just claimed the best second place showing ever at the box office over the Memorial Day weekend ($85.8M), has whipped up quite a vfx storm, and Henry Turner explores all of the digital challenges in bringing on the next Ice Age.

Awards Headline News

Scientific & Technical Awards Apps Out

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences mailed entry forms on June 1, 2004 for the 2004 Scientific and Technical Awards to more than 850 companies and individuals, including past winners, within the sci-tech community both in the United States and abroad. All entry applications must be submitted to the Academy no later than Friday, July 30, 2004.

Film Headline News

New Southwest Arts, Film & TV Confab Focus on HD Production

Southwest Arts, Film & Television ConferenceDallas Texas, USAJune 4-6, 2004

The new Southwest Arts, Film & Television conference is offering a special section for HD production and has panels and exhibitors of interest to film & video professionals engaged in producing television programming for cable and broadcast, commercials for local and national audiences, feature films, corporate video production, documentaries, animation and special effects, infomercials and music videos. The conference runs June 4-6, 2004, at the Dallas Convention Center in Dallas.

Marvel Headline News

Marvel & Sony Make-Up

The litigation that disrupted the relationship between Marvel Enterprises and Sony Pictures is now over. Both companies announced they have "amicably resolved their pending court disputes." In 2003, Marvel sued SPIDER-MAN partner for $50 million, claiming the film studio was trying to label SPIDER-MAN a Sony property and leaving Marvel alienated from merchandising its own character. As part of the agreement, details were not released.

Film Headline News

Cinesite Wins High Profile VFX Slate

Cinesite (Europe) Ltd. has been awarded major visual effects and model contracts for a large slate of high profile films scheduled for release at the end of 2004 and 2005, including CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY (Warner Bros.), HARRY POTTER AND THE GOBLET OF FIRE (Warner Bros.), HITCHHIKER'S GUIDE TO THE GALAXY (Disney) and ALFIE (Paramount Pictures).

Effects Headline News

Cilliers Joins Click 3x

Jan Cilliers, a South African-born visual effects artist skilled in Discreet Flame and many other software tools, has joined the team at Click 3x. Cilliers most recently taught digital compositing at Escape Studios' School of Visual Effects in London. Previously, he spent eight months with the New York visual effects house Guava, where he worked on SINATRA: HIS VOICE. HIS WORLD. HIS WAY, a unique theatrical presentation that appeared at Radio City Music Hall last year.

Season Headline News

Second Voyager Season Now on DVD

STAR TREK VOYAGER: THE COMLETE SECOND SEASON (Paramount Home Ent., $129.99) was recently released on DVD, offering 26 episodes on seven discs. More sci-fi and greater psychological emphasis as Captain Kathryn Janeway (Kate Mulgrew) and crew come into their own, struggling to find their way home. VFX courtesy of Eden FX, Digital Muse, Digital Magic Co., Foundation Imaging, CIS Hollywood, Newkirk Special Effects, Pacific Ocean Post Digital Film Group and Santa Barbara Studios.

Animation Headline News

EI Technology Releases Electric Image Animation System 5.5

EI Technology Group has launched Electric Image Animation System 5.5, an update to the cross-platform professional 3D animation application. It includes dozens of new features, including caustics, a built-in scripting tool, new shaders, HRDI support, an array of new Animation capabilities, new deformation tools and GrangerFX Plug-in support. The software also features Radiosity, multi-processor support, Match Move, Material Library System, Macromedia Shockwave support, unlimited network rendering, character animation tools, global illumination and more. It runs on Mac OS 9/X.

Effects Headline News

Discreet's Systems Help Create Deep Freeze for Day After Tomorrow

Discreet announced that its 3ds max professional animation, modeling and rendering application and flame visual effects system were used to create seamless CGI for Fox's THE DAY AFTER TOMORROW, which opens May 28.

Team Headline News

Zoic Provides a Big CG Chill to Day After Tomorrow

Zoic Studios helped create the illusion of cold via 47 shots in which visible breath is seen in the Fox feature THE DAY AFTER TOMORROW, which opens May 28. Working in decidedly warmer temperatures then they were replicating, Zoic's team animated for three months perfecting the extensive breath scenes needed in a frozen New York. The shots were created using Maya, combustion and flame.

Zoic credits:

VFX producer: Raoul Y. BologniniVFX super: Rocco Passionino

Effects Headline News

Steele VFX Appoints Eissing

Continuing its recent growth, Steele VFX has appointed Monique Eissing to the post of Henry artist. Eissing, who has been with the visual effects and finishing studio since 2001, previously served as Mac artist and assistant Henry artist.

"Monique is technically fluent in the art of visual effects," said Steele VFX ceo Jo Steele. "Her progress here has been astounding. Our clients love her subtle attitude, knowledge and willingness to take on any challenge."

Digital Headline News

Digital Musings From the Editor:

For TROY, MPC developed its own crowd simulation software for the battle scenes along with creating a CGI version of Troy, while Framestore CFC conjured a digital Greek armada. After reading Alain Bielik's comprehensive account, you realize just how crucial CGI was to the Wolfgang Petersen epic, as we continue our focus on films this month.

Festival Headline News

All Roads Film Festival Presented By: National Geographic

Los Angeles, California October 22-24Washington, D.C. October 28-30

Deadline: August 1, 2004

National Geographic announces a call for animation entries for the All Roads Film Festival to be held October 2224, 2004, at the Egyptian Theater in Los Angeles and October 2830, 2004, and at National Geographic Headquarters in Washington, D.C. The festival will celebrate the works of indigenous and under represented minority culture filmmakers from around the globe.

Focus Headline News

A52 Arrives in VFXWorld's Focus On Gallery

Visual effects house A52 is the next pick for VFXWorld's Focus On Gallery. Check out more than two-dozen images from the company's work and read up on the techniques and challenges that went into making them. From music videos to commercials, the Focus On Gallery highlights some of the best work coming out of studios both big and small.

If you'd like to be considered for inclusion in the Focus On Gallery, contact Dan Sarto at dan@awn.com.

Visit the Focus On Gallery.

Time Headline News

Eternal Sunshine Director Becomes Master of Space and Time

ETERNAL SUNSHINE OF THE SPOTLESS MIND helmer Michel Gondry has been named as the director of Rudy Rucker's sci-fi thriller MASTER OF SPACE AND TIME, reports VARIETY. As well, Jack Black (SHALLOW HAL) has been tapped to star. French production company Midi Minuit is in negotiations to bring the project to DreamWorks for Walter Parkes and Laurie McDonald (GLADIATOR) to produce. Gondry worked with Midi Minuit on music videos before be crossed over into features. The story follows two mad scientists who discover a way to control reality.

Headline News

Harrison Ford Godsend for Cameron-Produced Sci-Fi Pic

With the next INDIANA JONES flick put on the back burners, Harrison Ford has signed on to star in outer space thriller GODSPEED, which will be produced by James Cameron via his Lightstorm Ent., reports VARIETY. The film is set to use the same 3D technology that Cameron used on his documentary GHOST OF THE ABYSS. Joining Cameron in the producer's chair will be Lightstorm's Rae Sanchini and Jon Landau.

Film Headline News

Penn To Script Spy-Hunter

X2 writer Zak Penn is negotiating to script Universal Pictures' SPY-HUNTER feature, reports VARIETY. Recently, the studio announced that action superstar John Woo would direct the film. Set to star Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, the film is an adaptation of the long-running Midway videogame franchise, which features a spy in a suped sports car set out to defeat a cartel seeking world domination. Chuck Gordon and Adrian Askarieh with Woo and partner Terrence Chang of Lion Rock will produce.

Effects Headline News

Win A Free Pass To VES 2004: A Festival Of Visual Effects!

By Dan Sarto | Wednesday, May 26, 2004 at 12:00am

AWN and VFXWorld are giving away one "total access" reserved festival ticket to this year's VES Festival, the best visual effects storytelling platform in the world! The event runs June 18-20, 2004 at The Rafael Film Center, 1118 Fourth Street, San Rafael, CA 94901. These reserved tickets, which normally cost $300, give you complete access to the entire three days of presentations and screenings.

This year, there are 8 fabulous presentations that will focus on the process of visual effects and how they bring the vision of the director to life. Highlights include:

Series Headline News

About a Boy Helmer Gets Dark Materials to Work With

New Line Cinema has hired ABOUT A BOY director Chris Weitz to helm the film version of Philip Pullman's award-winning fantasy book series, HIS DARK MATERIALS, reports VARIETY. Tom Stoppard (BRAZIL) wrote the adaptation of the first novel THE GOLDEN COMPASS. The series chronicles two kids in parallel universes who battle shape-shifting creatures, witches and armored polar bears. New Line production president Toby Emmerich will oversee the film.

Film Headline News

ESC & Stan Winston Join Superman

Even though the next SUPERMAN feature still lacks a headliner, Warner Bros. has assigned the picture's f/x work to ESC Ent, with Stan Winston consulting on the design of a prototype Superman's suit. Kim Libreri will serve as visual effects supervisor on the film, which hopes to go before cameras early next year. The film is being scheduled for a summer 2006 release. CHARLIE'S ANGELS helmer McG will direct the flick from a script by ALIAS creator J.J. Abrams.

Nick Headline News

Unrated Underworld on DVD

For those who enjoyed the stylish vampire/werewolf cult favorite, UNDERWORLD, it's time to replace your DVD with the new unrated extended version released May 25 (Columbia TriStar Home Ent., $34.95). There's 12 minutes of new footage highlighted by a sexy subplot with vampire Erika (Sophia Myles), backstories on the Lycans and a new battle. But the violence is no more graphic and there's no nudity with Kate Beckinsale.

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