Deborah Reber profiles three applications of motion capturetechnology that are currently in production. In "Voltron Returns...ThisTime In 3D," the television show Voltron: The Third Dimension
There's no denying that Bristol is the stop motioncity, especially with Aardman Animations' coup of bringing a feature filmto the area. Andrew Osmond investigates the hubbub.
Silicon Graphics Inc, a company that built its reputation on UNIX-based systems used to create visual effects for countless films, has unveiled new workstations based on Intel processors and the Windows NT operating system. Dictated by a changing marketplace, the new systems will appeal to a wide group of users who need the computing power but not the prohibitive prices. However, SGI believes that these systems will not replace the high-end UNIX workstations but will rather complement them.
Adobe Systems Incorporated, a leading provider of publishing and imaging software, has announced an acquisition of GoLive Systems, Inc.s assets including GoLive CyberStudio, a professional web design and publishing software, and the GoLive Web Publishing System. CyberStudio has been used to produce web sites for Music Boulevard, Cartoon Network, Warner Bros. Records and The Associated Press, among others.
At the MacWorld Expo in San Francisco, Puffin Designs announced version 2.0 of its award-winning visual effects software Commotion. Commotion 2.0 is expected to ship around April this year, and will expand Commotion's current creative tool set with third party plug-in support, a new FX Brush for creating texture and stylized media brush effects, and new text creation and animation tools. Puffin Designs' founder and ILM visual effects supervisor Scott Squires commented that, "Commotion users have completed several challenging projects in recent months.
From hit movies to recent mergers, Eric Huelsman relays every facet of what happened last year in CGI and how it is going to effect 1999. Includes Quicktime movie clips.
Puffin Designs, the producers of the award-winning compositing system Commotion, recently introduced Knoll Lens Flare Pro Conductor for Alias|Wavefront Maya Composer. The new version, developed by John Knoll, a Visual Effects Supervisor at Industrial Light and Magic, will give users the ability to create realistic sunflares, lasers, flames, bursts, explosions, and "photon torpedoes," among other effects. The plug-in is already available for Adobe After Effects, Adobe Photoshop, ElectricImage, and Discreet Logic Flint/Flame/Inferno.
Animation World Magazine takes a jaunt into the innovative and remarkable: IMAX invents a new technology that allows animators to animate in thin air!
Motional Realms, LLC has released the ReelMotion plug-in for 3D Studio MAX, a real-time, physics-based procedural animation tool. The plug-in is designed for the professional animation artist and ideal for forensics animation, animating space and aerial dogfights, cars, helicopters and other rigid-body objects. It's possible to drive or fly a vehicle through a scene interactively using a mouse or joystick via a real-time display using QuickDraw 3D (Mac) or OpenGL (Windows).
Brad Bird, director of Warner Bros. Feature Animation's The Iron Giant, discusses the latest in storyboarding techniques and how he applied them to the film.
Toon Boom Technologies has released the Windows NT version of its USAnimation software package. Seoul, Korea-based Sun Woo Entertainment is the first studio to place an order for the new product. The studio is already using the SGI version of the software, and will now have a multi-platform set-up that allows the NT and SGI platforms to be used simultaneously.
Sheridan College is using Side Effects Softwares Houdini package in its one-year-old educational program aimed specifically at training technical directors (TDs). The complexities involved in technical animation are much greater than can be taught in a single year, so I developed the technical director program as an optional second year to our Computer Animation program, said Avrim Katzman, a former TD and current director of the Visualization Design Institute at Sheridan College.
7th LEVEL has released Agent 7, software that utilizes voice recognition and RealAudio to create talking animated characters. Users select from a pre-made cast of animated characters, speak into a microphone or add an existing voice track, and Agent 7 automatically animates the character's lips and facial expressions using "phoneme" (voice) recognition. The resulting animation can be streamed in the same manner as RealAudio. 7th Level is offering a free, two-character trial version on the web site, www.real.com/products/tools/5.html.
MICROSOFT has renewed its contract with TOTALLY HIP SOFTWARE for the licensing of GIF animations used in Microsofts software. Randall McCallum, CEO of Totally Hip, said, Using our own technology to develop content for Microsoft products provides our development team with feedback that has helped make WebPainter an award-winning Web design tool. Read a review of WebPainter in the April 1997 issue of Animation World Magazine.
THE University of Washington has obtained a patent for its pen-and-ink illustration software developed by INKLINATION, a young Seattle-based company started by people in the schools Computer Science and Engineering Department. The technology, which was presented in two papers at SIGGRAPH 94, is now available for worldwide licensing.
Laguna Hills, California-based CUTTING EDGE TECHNOLOGY, INC. (CETI) has introduced two new high-end graphics workstations: ProStation GS 400D and ProAlpha GS 667. The workstations, which cost $9,995 and $12,875 respectively, are compatible with animation software such as Alias|Wavefronts Maya, Softimage 3D, Lightwave 3DKinetixs 3D Studio MAX, and others.
The producers of Maya and PowerAnimator, Alias|Wavefront recentlyannounced that they were jumping into the technical surfacing market withthe introduction of its new SurfaceStudio. SurfaceStudio, which will bereleased later this year, will be a complement to the Alias Studio 9 familyof CAID products. "The introduction of SurfaceStudio is a natural extension of theAlias|Wavefront leadership in CAID tools. Our automotive customers, inparticular, have encouraged us to make this move and we greatly benefited
Robert McNeel & Associates will be releasing the final version of Rhino3D, a powerful NURBS-based modeling package, this month. The software, whichhas undergone an extensive public beta program (for the last 2 years), willbe available for Windows 95, 98 or NT, and is designed as a companion topackages like 3D Studio MAX and Lightwave. Priced at $795 US, the packageboasts features such as 3D digitising support (for Microscribe 3D and Faro),surface and solid modeling, an intuitive UI, and support for all major 3Dfile formats.
Registered MAC users of LightWave 3D 5.5 and 5.6 can now downloadOpenGL from the NewTek web site. "LightWave 3D with Mac OpenGL seems like acompletely new product. The speed in redrawing and real-time viewing hasbeen amazing," said Brad Peebler, NewTek's vice president, 3D graphicsgroup. "Macintosh users have been at a disadvantage in the industry by nothaving access to OpenGL. With our new Mac OpenGL update, NewTek has leveledthe playing field for our customers who use Macs."
German media group, ProSieben Media AG has bought a 20 percent stake in Los Angeles, California-based Aréte Image Software (AIS). The strategic alliance marks the first time the Munich-based company has invested in the American market. AIS, established in 1996, specializes in creating software--such as RenderWorld and Digital NatureTools--that enables animators to integrate water and atmospheric effects. The deal gives ProSieben exclusive rights to use AIS' technology and market it in Europe. Dr.
Animation World Magazine takes a jaunt into the innovative and remarkable: this month we look at two productions that are using computers to simulate cut-out animation techniques: South Park and Blue's Clues