Point Richmond, California-based Pixar Animation Studios has announced thatit is releasing version 3.9 of PhotoRealistic RenderMan, its AcademyAward-winning visual effects software, and version 4.0 of the completeRenderMan Artist Tools suite. The new software version, scheduled forshipment in September, makes RenderMan easier and more powerful forcreative artists, and for the first time provides support for rendering onrender farms running the Windows NT operating system. Some other advanced
Crater Software, a Spanish-Canadian software development collaboration, announced plans to launch a series of "satellite" versions of CTP, the company's 2D animation software, at this years' Siggraph. The launch of four CTP Satellites - Paint, Scan, Render and the already-released Pencil-test - will coincide with the release of CTP Version 1.3, also being showcased at the show.
Commotion, the award-winning visual effects application, is now available for Windows NT. Commotion version 2.1 marks Puffin Designs' first release for Macintosh and Windows NT. This highly anticipated release is a direct result of requests from thousands of NT-based effects artists who wanted to use Commotion on their platform of choice. Both versions are functionally and visually identical, enabling users to work in either environment without having to find work-arounds for interface or workflow differences.
Vicon has announced the latest in motion capture technology - Vicon 8Rt. The final reduction in the production pipeline has been achieved with the Vicon 8 system, producing accurate optical motion capture in real-time. This marks a significant breakthrough in motion capture technology as Vicon 8Rt is not a previewer, but actually produces full body motion capture data without the wait.
Discreet, a division of Autodesk, Inc., announced the worldwide availability of 3D Studio MAX Release 3 software, the latest release of its award-winning, professional, 3D modeling and animation solution designed specifically for Intel architecture and Microsoft Windows NT. Shipping with the 3D Studio MAX R3 software is a free update to Character Studio" Release 2.2. With an enhanced collaborative workflow environment and powerful new renderer, 3D Studio MAX supports hundreds of third-party commercial and free plug-ins, many of which will be available for 3D Studio MAX R3 software today.
Whether you are a student creating reel, a professional who wants to live a life of freelance, or a director of short films, computer animation at home is possible and affordable. Mike Amron explains.
If you want to post animations on the Internet then you need to become familiar with Macromedia Flash. Here Tom Calthrop does the introductions in a very useful "how to."
SGI has begun volume shipments of the Silicon Graphics 1600SW digital flat panel monitor for Apple Macintosh computers. The monitor is bundled with the new Macintosh version of the Number Nine Revolution IV-FP graphics accelerator in the Apple Macintosh version of the Digital Flat Panel Solution Pack. The graphics card provides the digital display interface, and features 32MB of graphics memory. The monitor features a 19-inch CRT-equivalent, 17.3 inch 1600 x 1024 pixel screen. It offers three times the brightness and five times the contrast of a comparably-sized CRT, with no flicker.
Vancouver, Washington-based Hash, Inc. has released an update to AnimationMaster 99, the 3D animation software program. In addition to carrying a lowprice tag, Hash offers many features found in higher priced packages and issupported by many animators as a low cost package that is capable of goodwork. New to version 7.1 are advancements in new real-time hardwaretechnologies, enhanced rendering tools, and overall workflow performanceenhancements. The upgrade is free to owners of Animation Master 99. Formore information visit www.hash.com.
San Franciso-based Macromedia, Inc. has announced an agreement under whichMacromedia will acquire Elemental Software for $24 million in a stock forstock transaction. Elemental Software is a privately held company thatdevelops and markets software that enables corporate users to build Webapplications for e-business solutions. Elemental's products includeDrumbeat 2000, Drumbeat 2000 JavaServer Pages Edition, and eStore Builderfor Drumbeat 2000. Upon completion of the acquisition, the Elemental
PG Studio is a production management tool that helps production housesproduce cost effective computer animation. Among its features are scriptand storyboard breakdown into scenes, shots, and frames; organization ofproduction documents according to script structure; identification ofproduction tasks from the script; allocation of production tasks tocreative and technical staff; establishment of total task time within theschedule; compilation of a running production budget including staff and
Macromedia Inc. has announcedthe worldwide availability of Flash 4. Flash 4 includes support for high-fidelity MP3 streaming audio and commands for creating interactive sites. In addition, Flash 4 streamlines the development process with a revamped authoring environment optimized to help developers create bandwidth-efficient Web sites. MP3 streaming audio support in Flash 4 allows designers to create new Web audio applications, such as long-form animations with voiceovers and background music, while keeping files small enough for low-bandwidth delivery.
Interactive Learning, a Division of Macromedia, Inc., has announced Attain Objects for Dreamweaver, an extension application for Dreamweaver which provides developers with a set of easy-to-use templates for creating Web-based learning and complex interactions that would otherwise be difficult and time consuming to build. The new release is compatible with Dreamweaver 2, Macromedia's software for professional Web site design.
Alias|Wavefront, an SGI company, is shipping Maya 2 for Microsoft Windows NT and Silicon Graphics IRIX workstations. Maya 2 includes a number of feature enhancements, timesaving workflow improvements, and across-the-board performance optimizations for 3D animation and visual effects. New features include Wavefront IPR (Interactive Photorealistic Renderer), a rendering technology that allows users to edit lights, shaders, textures and visual effects in a final rendered image.
Adobe has announced Adobe Photoshop 5.5 and Adobe Photoshop Limited Edition (LE) software. Photoshop LE offers tools for correcting and enhancing photos, compositing multiple images, creating original artwork with a variety of special effects, and outputting to desktop printers and common Web file formats. For graphics professionals, Adobe Photoshop 5.5 software provides additional precision and control, broader color mode support, and dynamic Web capabilities.
Two films are about to make history as the first widely released featurefilms available to moviegoers via digital projection. One is STAR WARSEPISODE I: THE PHANTOM MENACE; the other is the English romantic comedy, ANIDEAL HUSBAND. Beginning June 18, and continuing for four weeks, a digitalversion of Oliver Parker's AN IDEAL HUSBAND will play in New York City andLos Angeles. Check your papers for locations and times. For STAR WARSEPISODE I: THE PHANTOM MENACE, CineComm Digital Cinema and Texas
REALVIZ S.A. has announced the availability of its MatchMover softwaresolution for animation and special effects professionals on Microsoft,Windows, NT and GI IRIX platforms. Using MatchMover, computer-generated 3Dimages can be easily integrated with video or film to create SimulatedReality. Using computed 3D coordinates and geometric constraints,MatchMover transforms original live-action footage into an accurate 3Dspace. The transformed 3D live-action space can be precisely matched to 3D
Jeff Williams reviews Macromedia's Dreamweaver/Fireworks Studio and tells us about the latest in web designing tools with the release of Dreamweaver 2 and Fireworks 2.
Nichimen Graphics, Inc. (Nichimen), a manufacturer of technology for the 3Dcontent creation market, and Viewpoint(R) Digital, Inc. (Viewpoint),creator and publisher of a 3D digital content library, have releasedNendo(TM) & LiveArt(TM) SE Workshop, a combined graphics software packagethat provides 3D modeling and rendering tools for $99 (suggested retailprice).
The Workshop consists of Nendo v. 1.1, Nichimen's award-winning 3D modelingand 3D paint software, and Viewpoint's LiveArt SE software, with the
SGI's Silicon Graphics(R) Onyx2(TM) visual workstation will be used toproduce and project the world's first scientifically accurate 3D atlas ofthe Milky Way Galaxy at the new Hayden Planetarium as part of the AmericanMuseum of Natural History's Rose Center for Earth and Space in New YorkCity, which opens in 2000. As the centerpiece of the Hayden's 68-foot"virtual dome" Space Theater, Silicon Graphics Onyx2 will manipulatemassive scientific datasets containing billions of stars -- 100,000 times
Intel recently introduced the latest addition to their Pentium III range of processors, the Pentium III Xeon. Running at a speed of 500 megahertz (a 550 megahertz version will be released next month), Intel expects Xeon to make a prominent presence in high-end workstation solutions. But more interestingly, Intel is pitching Xeon as "the new chip [that] is intended to bolster its presence in e-commerce." Xeon contains a security feature that makes buying goods over the Internet much safer.
Alias|Wavefront, the producers of Maya, and Eyeon Software, the producers of Digital Fusion, have partnered to create a new video compositing solution for NT...Maya Fusion. The two companies are pitching Maya Fusion as a program that will bridge the gap between 2D and 3D by introducing a new production technique for blending 3D character animation with live action environments.
When capturing 3D models, 3D digitizers such as the Microscribe 3D (from Immersion Corporation) and ModelMaker 3D (from 3D Scanner Ltd.) have always been better at digitizing clay models than actual human beings (although ModelMaker can be used to digitize humans, its a painfully slow process in which someone has to sit VERY still), which is why when one wanted an accurate 3D model of a human being they had to go to a specialist...well, not any more!
Adobe Systems has began shipping Adobe After Effects 4.0, the latest version of the software tool for motion graphics designers and visual effects artists. Highlighting this release is tighter integration with other Adobe applications (e.g. Premiere, Photoshop, Illustrator).