Ben Kingsley has been signed to play the vampire Kagan, the evil ruler of an army of bloodsuckers, in the film adaptation of the videogame BLOODRAYNE, opposite Kristanna Loken (TERMINATOR 3: RISE OF THE MACHINES), the ASSOCIATED PRESS reported. The film chronicles the adventures of a half-vampire, half-human in 18th-century Romania who has the super strength of a monster countered by the emotions of a person.
Category: Visual Effects
Project postponements have freed up actor Tom Cruise and director Steven Spielberg to team up again in the re-make of H.G. Wells THE WAR OF THE WORLDS for a fast track investment for DreamWorks and Paramount Pictures.
Cruise had been set to work on MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE 3 until a delay while Spielbergs untitled project on the aftermath of the 1972 Munich Olympics has also been pushed back. Cruise and Spielberg collaborated successfully on MINORITY REPORT.
Kaydara Inc., and Alias announced from SIGGRAPH 2004 the forthcoming release of MOTIONBUILDER 6, the newest version of the company's award-winning character animation software. This comes on the heels of the recent news that Alias has signed an agreement to acquire Kaydara.
When the purchase closes (which it is expected to within two months), then MOTIONBUILDER will be rebranded Alias MOTIONBUILDER.
VFXWorld and AWN are at the SIGGRAPH Conference in full right now. VFXWorld's editor Bill Desowitz is walking the convention floor, checking out all that is new in the world of technology and visual effects. As for new articles on VFXWorld, continuing in the SIGGRAPH mode, we have an article from Mary Ann Skweres about Dr. Paul Debevec's pioneering 3D works as well as his newest short, THE PARTHENON, which premiered at SIGGRAPH 2004's famed Electronic Theater. As well, we have an article from J.
Apple announced at SIGGRAPH 2004 it has begun shipping Motion, the revolutionary new application that delivers high-performance, realtime motion graphics design. Motion offers the creative freedom and power for artists to deliver stunning, professional quality results, quickly and intuitively, with realtime previews, procedural behavior animation and integration with both Final Cut Pro(R) HD and DVD Studio Pro(R) 3, all at a breakthrough price of $299.
Digital Domain and Barnet Bain Films have acquired the film rights to Richard Bach's bestselling novel ILLUSIONS: THE ADVENTURES OF A RELUCTANT MESSIAH, according to DAILY VARIETY.
French filmmaker Yann Samuell is reportedly set to direct the adaptation, the inspirational account of an encounter with a modern-day messiah. The book has sold 15 million copies for author Bach, who also penned JONATHAN LIVINGSTON SEAGULL.
According to TrendWatch, previsualization is rapidly gaining acceptance among producers and directors, with 39% of all studios/facilities currently doing previs tasks along with eight out of 10 vfx studios.
This TrendWatch Fast Fact is good news in terms of shrinking budgets and shorter production cycles.
TrendWatch Inc. (www.trendwatch.com) is a market research firm located in Mill Valley, California.
Avid Technology announced new pricing for its SOFTIMAGE|XSI product line, ushering in 3-Democracy, the company's plan for making its comprehensive 3D content creation software accessible to all levels of CG professionals. Now a greater number of artists can purchase the award-winning 3D software in three new affordable configurations, starting with the unprecedented price of $495 for SOFTIMAGE|XSI v.4.0 Foundation.
DreamWorks is in negotiations with Ewan McGregor (BIG FISH) to star in Michael Bay's next sci-fi feature, THE ISLAND, reports HOLLYWOOD REPORTER. Caspian Tredwell-Owen (BEYOND BORDERS) wrote the spec screenplay, which chronicles a harvested being" who tries to escape the utopian facility he is housed in. Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci (TV's ALIAS) have been hired to polish the script. Walter Parkes, Laurie MacDonald and Ian Bryce (CATCH ME IF YOU CAN) are set to produce. Marc Haines will oversee the project for the studio, which hopes to starting filming in the fall.
Immersion Corp. has announced that Kaydara has certified Immersion's new VirtualHand for MOCAP plug-in for MOCAP software. With this new combination, professional filmmakers, motion-capture directors, visual effects artists and game developers can use Immersion's CyberGlove hand-sensing hardware to capture hand motion, then edit and blend the animation in MOCAP. The CyberGlove provides high-performance hand measurement and real-time motion capture.
Imagineer Systems announced the release of monet, its new product for broadcast, film and video post-production markets. monet is uniquely offers a start-to-finish solution for replacing elements in film and video. monet offers precision, lens distortion aware, 2D motion tracking with tools that allow accurate adjustments of the track to be made. It allows properties of the source material, such as lens distortion, shadows, highlights and grain/noise easily to be applied to the new element.
20th Century Fox has pulled the plug on X-MEN helmer Brian Singer's two-year first look deal, now that the director has signed on to direct Warner Bros. SUPERMAN, reports HOLLYWOOD REPORTER. Singer's Bad Hat Harry production company, which was based on the Fox lot, was asked to clear out its offices. Singer, who is working on SUPERMAN out of the Warner lot, does not have a overall deal with Warner, despite his development of the remake of LOGAN'S RUN.
Howard Shore, the world-renowned film composer who composed the scores for THE LORD OF THE RINGS trilogy, will compose game music for Webzen Inc.s next in-house developed game, SUN: SOUL OF THE ULTIMATE NATION. The massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) will be first introduced in early 2005 and launched later in the year. The original SUN soundtrack will be distributed for sale globally.
Josh Hutcherson (THE POLAR EXPRESS) and Jonah Bobo (AROUND THE BEND) have cast in Columbia Pictures' film rendition of ZATHURA, reports VARIETY. Based on the book by children's author Chris Van Allsburg, the story follows two young brothers whose house is launched into space. Tim Robbins plays their father. Jon Favreau (ELF) will direct with Michael De Luca and Bill Teitler producing. Ted Field and Louis D'Esposito will serve as exec producers with Peter Billingsley co-producing. The screenplay was penned by David Koepp. Columbia hopes to have the film in theaters in 2005.
VAN HELSING writer-director Stephen Sommers, along with his producing partner Bob Ducsay, has landed the rights to FLASH GORDON, which the duo will develop for Universal, reports VARIETY. Sommers will write the FLASH screenplay, but has yet to decided whether he will direct. Hearst Corp.'s King Features Syndicate, who owns the rights to the character, have assigned Rick Karo to produce for the company. Overseeing the project for Universal will be vice chairman Scott Stuber and vp of production Dylan Clark.
e-on software, the leading publisher in natural 3D scenery software, announces the forthcoming release of the fifth iteration of Vue/Esprit, its award winning scenery rendering and animation software for casual and advanced digital artists. Vue 5 Esprit will add a long list of superior realism features for the creation of ultra natural 3D graphics.
Lucasfilm and Dark Horse Comics are teaming up to create a graphic novel based on STAR WARS: EPISODE III - REVENGE OF THE SITH. Dark Horse and the concept artists behind the film will produce the graphic novel called STAR WARS: VISIONARIES, a collection of 12 tales told by the artists that helped envision the worlds, creatures, technologies and characters of EPISODE III.
Dosch Design is releasing the 3ds max and Maya versions of Dosch 3D: Logo Animations, each containing 25 animated logo scenes. All scenes are optimized and "ready to go" for use in 3ds max or Maya, and include all relevant textures. Because the animations are provided as fully editable scenes, the user is able to adjust output resolution and many other effects and visual parameters. Users can render for the Internet, video (PAL or NTSC), DVD, business presentations or the higher cinema resolution.
In anticipation of SIGGRAPH next week, VFXWORLD focuses on emerging technologies throughout August. We begin on Friday with Mary Ann Skweres' sneak peek at Paul Debevec's latest cutting-edge virtual journey, THE PARTHENON, a short film premiering in SIGGRAPH's Electronic Theater. Using the best archaeological sources available, Debevec digitally reconstructs the famed temple and photorealistically recreates many of the sculptures, revealing a host of new 3D visualization advancements.
Fresh off the success of three Promax Awards, leading creative concept, design/effects and production company Sideshow Creative has added creative director Andrew Kobliska to its team. Kobliska will be heading up the west coast creative group based in Los Angeles.
"Andrew's vast experience in all realms of our industry makes him a natural fit for Sideshow," said Scott Mantel, Sideshow Creative ceo. "He brings the highest pedigree of strategic thinking and creative leadership to his new role at the company."
Side Effects Software will be hosting its Annual Houdini Meeting on Aug. 8, 2004 during SIGGRAPH in Los Angeles. This event will bring together Houdini users from around the world to network with their peers, witness the official unveiling of Houdini 7 and catch an exclusive sneak-peak into Houdini's future.