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Category: Visual Effects

Headline News Xfrog Organic Software Leaps Beyond Plants

Greenworks Xfrog organic modeling system has been rewritten from scratch for the release of Xfrog 4. With the new version, all parameters in Xfrog 4 can be animated and combined with the objects in MAXON's CINEMA 4D, allowing artists to create trees or other plants, which grow and follow the sun as well as leaves and branches, which move in the wind. Additionally CINEMA 4D XPresso diagrams can be combined with Xfrog to create photoreal parameter-driven organic effects.

Headline News HP zx2000 Now Includes Intel Itanium 2 Processor

HP has announced the HP Workstation zx2000 now includes the new low-voltage Intel Itanium 2 1.0-gigahertz processor with 1.5 megabyte L3 memory cache. The enhanced workstation provides up to a 10% increase in application performance. In addition, HP plans to introduce entry-level servers with the new low-voltage Intel Itanium processor in early 2004.

Headline News Fox Searchlight & DNA Films Sign Multi-Year Production Deal

The partners behind the summers surprise hit 28 DAYS LATER, Fox Searchlight Pictures and DNA Films have announced a five-year, $50 million joint production and distribution deal, reported the HOLLYWOOD REPORTER. DNA Films operates on unused U.K. lottery funds and first needed approval by the U.K. Film Council before the agreement could be signed. The new joint venture will remain with the name DNA Films and producer/exec Andrew Macdonald has been hired to head up the company.

Headline News Pirates Bound for DVD

Disney's PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: THE CURSE OF THE BLACK PEARL, which emerged as the live-action surprise of the summer, and has amassed more than $280M to date, arrives on DVD on Dec. 2, 2003 from Walt Disney Home Entertainment. The two-disc set (priced at $29.99) will include 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 Mars Attacks! Meets Godzilla in Il Postino Spot

Method recently collaborated with Fredrik Bond/MJZ, renowned character designer company Stan Winston Prods. and Goodby Silverstein San Francisco to create the visual effects in a new spot for HP and the United States Postal Service, IL POSTINO.

Headline News Miercort Joins Miramax Films

David Miercort joins Miramax Films in Los Angeles as svp of acquisitions and business affairs. Reporting to both Agnes Mentre, head of Miramaxs acquisition group, and co-president of production, Bob Osher, Miercort will be involved in motion picture acquisitions activities from a business affairs/legal perspective and help facilitate agreements for promotions initiatives.

Headline News IOMEDIA Creates MTV2 Online Fantasy Music Tycoon Game Promo

By Rick DeMott | Thursday, September 4, 2003 at 12:00am

IOMEDIA Inc. teamed with MTV On-Air Promotions to create the motion graphics for a 15-second promotional spot for the mtv.com online game, FANTASY MUSIC TYCOON. Airing on MTV2, the spot was customized to fit MTV's needs within a three-day timeframe. Followed by a montage of video footage and images, a graphics sequence features $100 bills raining down until one bill sweeps past the camera, wiping into the final shot of the FANTASY MUSIC TYCOON logo.

Headline News Clear Takes Home Best Special Effects at MTV Awards

By Rick DeMott | Thursday, September 4, 2003 at 12:00am

Soho-based Clear has won the Best Special Effects Award at the 2003 MTV Video Music Awards for their work on the Queens of the Stone Ages GO WITH THE FLOW. Directed by Shynola through the Director's Bureau LA, video is set in a desert with trucks playing chicken while a party of sex, drugs and rock n roll rages. This is the second time in three years that Clear has won this award, previously winning for Robbie William's ROCK DJ. The awards ceremony took place in New York City on August 25, 2003.

Headline News Blur Continues as Graphics Choice for Teen Awards

For the fifth straight year, Blur Studio created a graphics package for THE TEEN CHOICE AWARDS, developing a '60s lounge-themed aesthetic that was chosen, in part, by the popular awards show's teen viewers themselves. The lively, youth-oriented package includes the show's main title, category headers, winner banners, bumpers and background plates, as well as elements used in network promos. Blur Studio has created graphics for THE TEEN CHOICE AWARDS each year since its inception in 1998.

Headline News Angelman Takes Flight with Help of Strata 3Dpro

Strata, the trail-blazing company dedicated to adding a creative new dimension to the designers toolset, plans to publish ANGELMAN, a children's book completely illustrated using Strata 3Dpro. French artist Matthieu Roussel once worked in traditional materials until he discovered Strata.

ANGELMAN concerns a retired superhero who longs to take to the skies again and the young boy who discovers and inspires him. Like Mr. Angel, Roussel also found his wings, but in the form of 3D graphics software from Strata.

Headline News Oregon3D Signed as Premier Training Center for eyeon Software

eyeon Software has endorsed Oregon3D as the premier, professional training center for Digital Fusion, eyeon's 2D compositing and special effects solutions. The first training center in the U.S. to offer continuing courses on Digital Fusion, Oregon3D's 10,000-square-foot facility provides the working surroundings and equipment used by professional creative artists in the film, game, TV and visualization industries. Oregon3D's first series of eyeon classes will start by winter of 2003.

Headline News rhinofx Lights Dentyne's Fire

A jazz musician blows a note, the horn extends and his body language projects the coolness of the moment. A man and woman sit listening. He pulls out a package of Dentyne Fire and pops a piece into his mouth. Suddenly the club, the music and the mood transition from Cool Blue Jazz to Red Hot Salsa. The transformation is subtle. The crowd is not shocked or surprised. In fact, perhaps this happens every time they chew Dentyne Fire.

Headline News rhinofx Goes Longform with Geier

rhinofx has hired former Industrial Light & Magic visual effects producer Camille Geier (GANGS OF NEW YORK and PUNCH DRUNK LOVE) as its new senior exec producer. Her addition represents rhinofx's plan to secure longform projects while continuing its foothold in TV commercials.

Headline News Discreet Inks Large Sale to Art Institutes

Discreet has announced one of its largest desktop software sales to date with long-time partner The Art Institutes. The schools will distribute more than 4,000 licenses of 3ds max, character studio, combustion 3D and cleaner software to its 29 locations in the United States and Canada. Last autumn the Arts Institute purchased more than 2,000 licenses.

Headline News The Horror of Undead Unleashed at AEAF 2003

Brisbane filmmakers Peter and Michael Spierig will join a stellar international lineup of international speakers at the Australian Effects and Animation Festival (AEAF) being held at the Sydney Convention Center, Darling Harbor from Dec. 7-10, 2003. Their homegrown horror movie, UNDEAD, is due for release in Australian cinemas on Sept. 4 and destined for global release in 2004.

Self-financed and costing fewer than one million dollars to produce, UNDEAD has already garnered prizes and praise at the Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne Film Festivals.

Headline News FilmCore Promotes Burchard

FilmCore has promoted Tiffany Burchard to editor. For the past five years, she has been an assistant to editor Paul Norling and has worked as an editor for the past four years with Green, FilmCore's boutique for emerging editors.

FilmCore president Steve McCoy said, "Promoting Tiffany to editor is a tribute to her talent. She has an inviting and understated manner and a phenomenal depth of artistry when it comes to bringing a unique point of view to a project."

Headline News Tri-Dimensional Opens Maya Training Center

Tri-Dimensional Studios of Tampa, Florida has launched The Maya Training Center, a state-of-the-art computer animation training facility specializing in intensive training for Alias' Maya. Designed to meet the needs of professionals and enthusiasts alike, The Maya Training Center provides Maya 3D animation training via its Tampa-based state-of-the-art classrooms and remotely through onsite training at their client's location.

Headline News NXN Software Joins Intel Developer Dispatch Program

NXN Software has joined Intel's Developer Dispatch Program. Under the terms of the deal, NXN will provide a special trial version of its NXN alienbrain Engineer configuration management system to all participating developers. As part of the program, NXN will also present its offering for software developers at Intel's ECTS booth 1240.

Headline News Perception Goes to Bat for ESPN Classic’s 1st Live Broadcast

New York-based Perception has wrapped production on a new spot for ESPN Classics first live broadcast, covering the 2003 MLB Hall of Fame inauguration. Featuring a pebbled paper look and a American red, white and blue color palette, the spot's POV roams around an immense admission ticket. Video highlights of both baseball greats Gary Carter and Eddie Murray were composited along with their statistics and broadcast details into the background.

Headline News Plato Lives It Up with Sony Walkman and Ring of Fire

The vfx artists at Ring of Fire recently demonstrated their digital talent on a three-spot campaign for Sony Walkman Personal Audio Products via Young & Rubicam/New York. The spots feature Sony's popular mascot Plato - a gangly, blue-furred extraterrestrial who seems to know how to have a good time. ATHENS BEACH, MORNING AFTER and MUSIC LIBRARY required Ring of Fire to make the actions of Plato appear seamless.

Headline News Carr Speaks Out About Exorcist Debacle

In light of Morgan Creek's firing of director Paul Schrader from EXORCIST: THE BEGINNING (the production company disliked his final cut), famed novelist Caleb Carr (THE ALIENIST), who shares screenplay credit with William Wisher, gave his perspective to VFXWorld:

Headline News Beauty & the Beast Director Makes Live-Action Debut with Get Fuzzy

LION KING-director Rob Minkoffs Sprocketdyne Entertainment has signed a deal with United Media to transform Darby Conleys comic strip GET FUZZY into a CGI-enhanced live-action feature, reported DAILY VARIETY. BEAUTY AND THE BEAST and HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE DAME director Kirk Wise will be making his live-action debut on the project. Wise has been developing the project with Conley. Minkoff and his partner Jason Clark will produce the picture, with their Sprocketdyne vp of development Warren Davis co-producing.

Headline News Two Towers Theatrical Cut on DVD: That's the Short of It

OK, the TWO TOWERS DVD (New Line Home Entertainment, $29.95) arrives in stores Aug. 26, 2003, looking glorious in its widescreen edition and packed with the kinds of extras we've come to expect (two documentaries, eight featurettes, plus Sean Astin's short film, THE LONG AND SHORT OF IT, along with the making of it). But keep in mind: this is the theatrical version of Peter Jackson's blockbuster fantasy. There's the extended version still to come on Nov. 18, featuring some 43 extra minutes. So hold on tight and enjoy the second part of the journey.

Headline News Schrader Exorcised From Demonic Prequel

Celebrated writer-director Paul Schrader has been dismissed from EXORCIST: THE BEGINNING over a creative dispute with production company Morgan Creek. Reports of friction have been rampant for weeks, with the NEW YORK POST affirming that Schrader was fired in its Page Six column on Aug. 25, 2003. Warner Bros., which will distribute the prequel to the legendary horror classic, deferred inquiries to Morgan Creek, and a spokesperson there was unavailable for comment.

Headline News VFX Producers Emphasize Asset Management and Previs at Producers Guild Mixer

The demanding and multi-faceted role of the visual effects producer took center stage as the Producers Guild of America hosted its third mixer of the year, Aug. 21, 2003, at Sony Imageworks.

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