Softimage Co. announced the worldwide availability of SOFTIMAGE|XSI version 4.0 -- the latest release of its industry leading nonlinear 3D production environment. Starting on June 7, 2004, Softimage customers with maintenance contracts can download version 4.0 at www.softimage.com/download, and first-time orders are scheduled to start shipping next week.
Category: Visual Effects
Expression College for Digital Arts of Emeryville, California, announced that its digital visual media students were chosen to design and produce the graphic openings for the Visual Effects Societys (VES) sixth annual VES Festival on June 18-20 in San Rafael, California. A team of Expression students under the direction of instructor Stephen Kopels is also responsible for videotaping all of the presentations for the VES archives.
Turbo Squid, worldwide publisher for the Discreet Certified 3ds max Plug-in Program, has released the first two TURBO TOYBOX 3D content packs. Each TURBO TOYBOX contains 30 or more 3D models for gamers to use in customizing their favorite games created with Discreet's gmax. The first two products, Starter TOYBOX and Vehicles TOYBOX, are now available and sell for $9.95 each.
With SPIDER-MAN 2 coming to theaters June 30, 2004, Columbia TriStar Home Ent. is naturally plugging Spidey on DVD as well, reissuing SPIDER-MAN in a three-disc deluxe edition ($24.95) with a few new extras aimed at promoting the sequel, along with a superior quality SPIDER-MAN Superbit disc ($26.96).
While the first two discs in the deluxe edition are the same as the previous SPIDER-MAN collection, disc three includes the following:
Costume design featurette
Rushes Postproduction Ltd. has promoted Paul Hannaford to head of visual effects.
In his new role, Hannaford will be responsible for the visual effects department, encompassing Flame, Inferno, Fire, Combustion and Backdraft. He will also continue to work as an effects artist and vfx shoot supervisor.
Hosted by Lindsay Lohan of MEAN GIRLS, the 2004 MTV Movie Awards, held at the Sony Pictures Studios in Culver City, California, have announced the winners. The awards will air on MTV June 10, 2004 at 9:00 pm.
Paramount has named 13 GOING ON 30 helmer Gary Winick as director of a live-action/CG version of E.B. White's classic all-time best selling children's tale, CHARLOTTE'S WEB, reports VARIETY. Jordan Kerner (SNOW DOGS) will produce the film from a screenplay first drafted by Susannah Grant (ERIN BROCKOVICH) then revised by Karey Kirkpatrick (CHICKEN RUN, CURIOUS GEORGE).
Given the preeminence of CG characters in movies and gaming, Vicon Motion Systems has acquired Los Angeles-based House of Moves (HOM) in an effort to expand its U.S. motion capture presence. The move formally establishes HOM, an indie motion-capture service bureau of long standing, as a new technology test-bed for Vicon.
Busy director John Woo has signed on to direct Paramount feature adaptation of Tom Clancy's RAINBOW SIX, reports VARIETY. The long in-development pic was originally brought to Paramount by Artists Management Group's Michael Ovitz in 1999. Michael Shiffer, Bill Wisher, Art Monterastelli, Frank Capello and John Enbom have all taken cracks at the script over the years. The story follows former CIA agent John Clark, who leaves the agency to set up an U.K.-based multinational organization that fights terrorism.
Alias and Motion Computing agreed to include the full version of Alias SketchBook Pro on all Motion M1400 Tablet PCs configured with the Motion Pak software package sold worldwide. The bundle combines Motion Computing's cutting-edge Tablet PCs with Alias SketchBook Pro's best-in-class digital pen-based sketching and annotation software.
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.
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.
The Visual Effects Society (VES) unveiled a stellar lineup for VES 2004, its sixth annual Festival of Visual Effects, June 18-20 in San Rafael, California. The three-day event features presentations and panels headed by visual effects supervisors and their teams with a focus on how vfx enhance the storytelling process.
June 18, 20049:30AM - 11:30AM"Film Visual Effects Techniques in Games"
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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."
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.
VFX producer: Raoul Y. BologniniVFX super: Rocco Passionino