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Friday, November 30, 2007

Maxwell Render 1.6



+ Next Limit Technologies is proud to announce the release of an update for its revolutionary rendering software: Maxwell Render version 1.6. Extensively tested, Next Limit is confident that this update will be well-received by Maxwell Render users around the world. Version 1.6 – available today for existing customers – brings new features and improvements, including the much-anticipated Maxwell Displacement, Instances, multithreading voxelization, new plug-ins, network improvements and much, much more. Maxwell Render 1.6 also includes a free pack of Dosch Design HDR images, exclusively for Maxwell Render license holders. This HDRI pack will be made available for download soon after the 1.6 release, and all customers will be notified by email.
Maxwell Render 1.6 and the updated plug-ins are available for download from the usual customer download area. The public release of Maxwell Render 1.6 will take place some days after the client release, when the demo will be re-enabled so that non-clients can test drive the new version. Please take a look at the attached list of Maxwell Render 1.6 highlights. A complete Maxwell Render features list and other additional information, including images, will be made available on the official website www.maxwellrender.com after the public release.

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CG Overdrive 2008



+ Happening in Singapore on 17 – 20 June 2008, CG Overdrive 2008 (www.cgoverdrive.com) is Asia’s unparalleled computer graphics event where CG professionals, decision makers, vendors and buyers gather under one roof to exchange ideas. This 3rd edition of CG Overdrive will have a comprehensive showcase of latest CG technologies, attracting local and regional visitors from the animation production & post-production, games studios & publishers, content providers, broadcasters and more.The event is also a gateway where interested job seekers can turn their dreams into reality. Various animation studios, VFX houses and games development companies will be on the look out for CG talents at Recruitment Overdrive. Another event highlight is CG Excellence where visitors will be in for a treat to view some of the very best CG works and films by local and international CG artists. Held alongside this are the Conference, Forums and Masterclasses where industry veterans are invited to delve on issues pertinent to the budding CG industry in Asia.
Event Components
Exhibition
Computer Graphics showcase by leading CG vendors
Recruitment Overdrive
‘Match-making’ opportunities for keen job applicants who are seeking employment in CG industry
Recruitment Talks
Sessions where recruiters share vital information and provide insights into job opportunities
Conference / Exhibitor Workshops
The Conference features highly esteemed speakers from the most respected international studios worldwide, delegates will immerse themselves in a wealth of creative knowledge that will broaden their horizons.Exhibitor Workshops are half day business sessions on developments, future trends and challenges for the industry.
Forums
Production and Education panel discussions on issues and challenges pertinent to the Asian CG industry, with invited speakers from both fields in Singapore and abroad. MasterclassesHands-on practical classes led by invited veterans from the CG industry to give delegates first-hand cutting edge knowledge.
CG Excellence Digital Art Gallery
Display of short-listed works by local and international CG artists
CG Excellence Digital Short Films
Screening Showcase of short-listed films contributed by international computer animators and professionals
CG Guilds Gathering
Networking event comprising the Modeling Guild, Animation Guild, Concept Art Guild, Visual Effects Guild and TD Guild
Date : 17 - 20 June 2008
Venue : Singapore Expo, Hall 9 & The Max Pavilion
Opening Hours : 17 - 19 June, 10.30am to 6pm: 20 June, 10.30am to 4pm
Visit www.cgoverdrive.com/ for more information.

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Craft Animations Student Competition


+ Craft Animations is launching a competition for students. You can win a complete set of Craft Director Tools (worth more than $8000). All you have to do is pimp a snail and make a film 1-2 minutes long. If you are not an animator this is still very much for you!! There are basically no rules about the snail, except that it has to be pimped. The snail can be a house. The snail can be a car. The snail can even be a snail. Make a film with one snail or two thousand snails - the sky is the limit. If you are a design expert, this is very much down your alley. Design the perfect snail-shaped whatever. A bicycle, a soffa, a parking garage that looks like a snail from the outside.
If you are a modeller, show us the baddest, most realistic and breath-taking model you can make. If you are an animator we expect big things from you. We like slime. We like snails that can crawl, or jump or do gymnastics. We like skin meshes, we like wiggles and jiggles. We like pimped snails. The only rule is that you have to use Craft Director Tools to visualize or drive your snail.
Craft Director Tools are a series of plug-ins for 3dsMax and Maya. You control objects and cameras with a joystick, and our plug-ins simulate motion in real-time. All the motion is captured and key-framed automatically. Win a complete license of Craft Director Tools at www.pimpmysnail.com

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Di-O-Matic announces the immediate release of Voice-O-Matic (XSI Edition)


+ Di-O-Matic, a leading developer of character animation software, is proud to unleash today the Voice-O-Matic addon to the SoftimageXSI community. The most renowned CG characters including Batman, Spider-man, Superman and many more are relying on Voice-O-Matic to chat with nothing less than the world. After six years of outstanding reviews, the award winning lip synchronization tool initially only available for Autodesk 3ds max marked today its release for SoftimageXSI. Voice-O-Matic is a user friendly and powerful addon that automates the process of lip synchronization for your animated CG characters. Simply feed an audio file to Voice-O-Matic, and it will automatically generate lip synch for your characters.
Di-O-Matic has worked in close collaboration with Softimage to adapt Voice-O-Matic to XSI’s unique workflow. Laurent M. Abecassis, founder and president of Di-O-Matic explains: “With Voice-O-Matic (XSI Edition) we did not simply transferred our technology to Softimage XSI, we have pushed it further to have a tight integration within XSI and to also offer the best automated lip synchronization tool to the XSI community.”
Voice-O-Matic might become your best lip-sync companion, whether you decide to leave your lip-sync as is or if you want to tweak it. The tool already has established its efficiency in leading video games, feature films, television and commercials. To open up to the world community, Voice-O-Matic is working with any type of character setup and also in any language from English to Japanese, including French, Spanish, and many others. Bill Roberts, Director of Product Management at Softimage concludes : “At Softimage, we always focus on high end character animations this is why we are thrilled about the additional capabilities that Voice-O-Matic is now offering to our users.” And if you need to process thousands of audio files, vomBatch is the extension that you need. vomBatch is an exclusive tool available only in the Di-O-Matic VIP yearly membership that allows you to process an unlimited amount of files without any user interaction. Including this plug-in in your pipeline will save you hundreds of working hours. To learn more about Voice-O-Matic or to download a trial version visit:
www.voice-o-matic.com

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Thursday, November 22, 2007

SWAY Uncorks Animated Dancers for Chandon Sparkling Wine Spot


Top VFX Studio Showcases Ground-Breaking Animation Techniques; Owner and Creative Director, Mark Glaser, Serves as Spot’s Director
+ Capturing the essence of the holiday season, SWAY studio adds life, spirit and a sense of romanticism to the newest Chandon Sparkling Wine commercial entitled “After Party.” SWAY’s talented team of artists combined detailed character animation with high dynamic range imaging (HDRI) and their renowned photogrammetry techniques to add precision and energy to this fanciful spot which is currently airing on select US cable and network broadcast stations.
The :30 spot captures a private moment between two magical characters, evolving from a Chandon bottle’s wire cage and foil, as they share a secret tango among romantic computer generated table top candles, chilled bottles of Chandon, and the sparkle of city lights.
“The challenge in this project was to evoke passion and emotion from characters made simply from foil and wire,” said Mark Glaser, owner and creative director of SWAY. “I was really pleased with the way the characters turned out, especially the woman. She has a lot of personality and attitude. I really wish this was a :60 spot as I would have loved to have had the opportunity to develop these characters even more.” SWAY started with a professional live action tango duo, directing them to create the performance that would be used for the wire characters. Because the dancers were so intertwined at times, SWAY opted to use motion capture techniques, instead of multi-camera video reference. To provide the correct quality of movement, SWAY used the motion capture data applied to the wire characters as a reference to animate the hero wire characters in 3D space. Once the wire characters were moving in 3D via motion capture, Glaser was able to shoot a variety of action coverage as if he had a virtual camera crew and dancers on stage.
“It was important to me that the characters were shot using techniques that would be used if I were shooting real dancers,” Glaser noted. “I didn’t want live action plate shots of a life size camera trying to capture angles looking into the dancers’ miniature world. To help immerse the audience in that world, I wanted the camera to dance with the characters and move at their scale as if we had a 6-inch tall film crew.” To allow complete freedom in shooting the dance sequence, SWAY additionally recreated the entire interior location, including the champagne bottles, table candles and twinkling city lights, utilizing their renowned photo real CG, HDRI, compositing and photogrammetry techniques. The end result is a spot that is almost entirely computer generated as only seven of the 24 shots contain live action. SWAY used a variety of off-the-shelf hardware and software to complete the Chandon spot. The most prominently used tools were NVIDIA Quadro professional graphics boards, Nuke for compositing, Scratch for color grading, V-Ray for lighting and rendering and After Effects for logo treatment. 3ds Max 9 was used as the primary animation tool while Lumonix Puppetshop was also used for final character rigging and animation.

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AKVIS LightShop v.2.0


+ AKVIS LightShop helps you create impressive light effects: lightning in a stormy sky, a colorful rainbow over a city, a reflection on a raindrop, the glow on smoldering wood in a fire-place, alien signs blazing in the night sky, flares on the sun, the lights of distant planets, fireworks -- wherever your imagination may take you! Light effects can brighten up any photo: make it look more natural (by adding reflections on shiny objects) or on the contrary -- add a bit of magic and fantasy. Just a few clicks and the eyes of your loved one sparkle like diamonds; some simple manipulations -- and a moonlit road appears in night scenery. For quick start the program offers a number of ready-to-use light effects (presets) that can be applied in their initial version or can be modified. First you can train on available light effects and than create your exclusive ones. It is possible to save your own presets to use them in the future or share with others. Professional designers will find many uses for light effects. They may apply reflections and glows to glamour photography -- to make jewelry and precious stones sparkle on the images of celebrities; or use effects in advertisement catalogues to draw attention to exclusive articles. Christmas postcards can not do without magic lights and glows. Dull landscape shots can be saved by the sun rays or reflections on water.
Light effects often have a complex structure and many parameters and modifiers. However, thanks to the Hints to every parameter and the preview window, users will not get lost in the interface. A bit of practice and you can create the most extraordinary effects. Moreover, an infinite number of them. Version 2.0 of AKVIS LightShop is available as a stand-alone application and as a Photoshop plug-in. The Macintosh version is a Universal Binary application. It runs on both Intel- and PowerPC-based Mac computers. Besides, added compatibility with Mac OS X 10.5 (Leopard); added a new interface language (French); added compatibility with Photoshop Elements v.6.0. The plugin version of AKVIS LightShop is compatible with Adobe Photoshop and Photoshop Elements, Corel Painter, Corel Photo-Paint, Paint Shop Pro and Ulead PhotoImpact. AKVIS LightShop runs on Microsoft Windows 2000/XP/NT/2003/Vista; and on Macintosh Mac OS X 10.3.9-10.5.

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Thursday, November 15, 2007

Call for Entries from L.A. Center for Digital Art


+ Los Angeles Center for Digital Art has announced Call for Entries, for LACDA International Juried Competition about digital art and photography. The Deadline for Submitting Entries is December 5, 2007. Entrants submit three JPEG files of original work. All styles of 2D artwork and photography where digital processes of any kind were integral to the creation of the images are acceptable. The competition is international, open to all geographic locations. The selected winner receives 10 prints up to 44x60 inches on canvas or museum quality paper (approximately a $1500-$2000 value) to be shown in a solo exhibition in our main gallery from January 10-February 1, 2008. The show will be widely promoted and will include a reception for the artist. Second place prizes: Five second place winners will receive one print of their work up to 24x36 inches ($150-$200 in value) to be included in upcoming group shows. Second place winners will be scheduled into group shows within twelve months of announcement of winners. Consideration is given to placing these works in shows appropriate to their style, genre and/or content. These shows will be widely promoted and will include a reception for the artists. Special consideration will be given to all entrants for inclusion in future shows at LACDA.

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Craft Pre-Rigged 3D Models



+ Craft Animations has released Crafts Pre-Rigged 3D Solutions for animators to save time. These are a hybrid of Craft Director Tools and top-quality models from PerspectX. Together they form a plug 'n play solutions for animators. For example, the Pre-Rigged 3d Model of MH60A Blackhawk in the picture above can be loaded into your scene immediately after you purchase it. Press 'record' and start flying the helicopter. Press 'stop' and render. That's it. You can fire the missiles immediately. The gun turrets on either side are not only controllable, they can fire bullets in rapid-succession. Craft Pre-Rigged Solutions require the version 8.1.1 of Craft Director Tools to function correctly. The Pre-Rigged Solutions includes the Pre-Rigged Model, Craft Free Utilities and all nessasary plugins to start animating the model immediately.
Craft Animations produces and sells plug-ins for Maya and Max which simulate complex motion. The motion is captured and key-framed autojmatically while users control the simulation interactively. For more information please visit:
www.craftanimations.com/

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Luxology Bundles modo 301 Evaluation Software with New modo in Focus Video Series



+ Luxology® LLC, an independent technology company developing next-generation 3D content creation software, today announced its new modo™ 301 evaluation version and modo in Focus video series. This bundle of software and eight high-resolution movies quickly orients new users to the artist-friendly toolset in modo. The evaluation software has 100% feature parity with the commercial version of modo, and includes an unlimited 30-day license for both the PC and Mac.
“This is a brand new on-ramp for anyone who is interested in learning more about modo,” said Brad Peebler, president and co-founder of Luxology. “We are not only offering a 30-day license to a feature-complete version of modo 301, we are including a highly approachable set of videos that really capture the essence of using modo.”
modo 301 is modern, artist-friendly 3D software that combines modeling, sculpting, painting, animation and rendering in a fused workflow for artists creating 3D content and final imagery for design visualization, creative imaging, game development, film and broadcast, educational and scientific purposes. A favorite tool among many designers and artists, modo’s innovative toolset offers one of the fastest paths to content creation and is a recipient of the renowned Game Developer Front Line Award (Best Art Tool category) for 2006.
The modo in Focus video album is designed to quickly introduce key modo concepts and workflows. It includes eight videos that cover everything from the modo user interface and terminology to specific 3D workflows that fully tap the power of modo. Containing over 148 minutes of high-resolution video narrated by Luxology’s Andy Brown, the videos quickly impart a sense of how modo can be used for modeling, sculpting, UV editing, 3D painting, animation and rendering. More than a tour, modo in Focus invites experimentation and includes a series of hands-on exercises to enhance understanding. The software and modo in Focus video album are sold together for USD $25 and can be downloaded immediately from
www.luxology.com/store/training_series07.aspx

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Version2 Creates a Surreal Showpiece with GenArts Sapphire Plug-ins


+ 2007 marks the second consecutive year that The Association of Independent Commercial Producers has invited NYC’s Version2 to create packaging for their annual show, The Art & Technique of the American Commercial. This prestigious show is a one hour compendium of exceptional domestic commercials, selected for achievement in various craft categories, and produced in partnership with the Museum of Modern Art. Widely referred to as “America’s Reel”, it also serves as the centerpiece of the AICP’s annual gala event in June—attended by over 2,000 mavens of the New York art, advertising and production establishment—and thereafter becomes a part of the permanent film collection at the MoMA. Eager to outdo themselves, the Version2 team aimed to create something remarkable and unique. Kieran Walsh, Creative Director and lead Inferno artist at Version2, also saw it as a perfect opportunity to showcase the diversity of talent at Version2, and to exercise their substantial creative muscle outside of the commercial, film, and broadcast arenas in which they primarily work.
In business since 2000, Version2 is an independent, 30-person company with collaborative design, visual effects and editorial divisions. Their creative kit includes the Autodesk troika—Inferno, Flame, and Smoke—with Sapphire Plug-ins installed on all systems. GenArts Sapphire Plug-ins is a collection of over 200 high-end, organic visual effects, each with comprehensive and intuitive parameter controls for unlimited, unique results. The recently released version 4 for Autodesk systems contains over 45 new effects, significant enhancements to existing effects, and improved rendering speed. According to Kieran, “I have been using Sapphire Plug-ins since their introduction, and have never used an Autodesk system without them. I consider them an integral part of the Inferno toolset. Unlike many other plugins which tend to be............Read more!

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PipelineFX Now Supports CINEMA 4D on Mac OSX


+ PipelineFX, makers of Qube!™ software, the leading render farm management software for film production, game development, and digital media education around the world, today announced that it has released support for CINEMA 4D on Mac OSX. CINEMA 4D is a robust and easy to use 3D animation software created by MAXON. Qube!’s CINEMA 4D on OSX job type allows Qube! to manage rendering done with MAXON’s CINEMA 4D application. It leverages Qube!’s SimpleCmd framework to provide a GUI interface for all options exposed through MAXON CINEMA 4D’s command line.
Qube! ships with an array of custom jobtypes for 2D and 3D applications, including Maya®, 3ds Max® and many more. Each jobtype contains a submission GUI integrated into the application itself, a submission form for the queue management GUI, a command line submission tool, and a backend execution module specifically developed to interface directly with the application. The custom jobtypes make job submission simple and easy for artists. The jobtypes also reduce the time for integrating internal production pipelines with Qube! by including ready-made interfaces and execution backends.
>>
www.pipelinefx.com/.

Hyperion v1.16.0


+ A new version of Hyperion Demo-System is available (v1.16.0). This version adds new functionalities to manage the joints of the Ageia PhysX engine. Hyperion is a tool designed to help developers and artists quickly create and prototype Real-time 3D solutions: demos, benchmarks, little applications or games. Hyperion aims to put realtime 3D graphics in everybody's hands by using a new and very understandable scripting language that will ensure an efficient understanding of the latest 3D technologies. The only thing you need to start with Hyperion is a computer with a good OpenGL graphics accelerator (nVidia GeForce 5200 and up or ATI radeon 9500 and up) and a text editor (like Windows Notepad). Now you are ready to code, modify and execute your own realtime 3D demos!
>>
Hyperion v1.16.0

Monday, November 12, 2007

Introducing LightRigger For 3DS Max



+ Based on dome lighting approach for faking global illumination, "LightRigger" script of 3dsmax, is a shareware program created using the "maxScript" scripting language within Autodesk 3ds max. LightRigger provides a draft-quality, global illumination lighting system for the default scanline renderer. Unlike full-featured global illumination renderers, LightRigger uses standard 3ds max lights and components to simulate only the diffuse inter-reflection component of global illumination. LightRigger's main advantage is speed, both in setup and rendering. The core principle on which it's founded is the well known "old-school" approach of using a light dome or rig, but LightRigger takes it much, much further. Using a little-known behavior of the default scanline renderer, LightRigger is able to convert Light Rigs into Shadow Rigs, which add shadows but no light at all to the scene. This is what allows multiple Rigs to work together in the same scene....something that is impossible using any other available light dome script.
LightRigger is also unique in that objects illuminated with its Rigs are able to move and animate freely, rather than be restricted to the scope of a single, large light dome. The amount of control in the LightRigger system is unmatched, allowing you to focus on your scene instead of continually managing a loose group of lights.

>> Download LightRigger for Max

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REALVIZ® Introduces 8-Camera Movimento Solution For Motion Capture



+ REALVIZ®, a leader in image processing software development, is pleased to introduce a specially tailored 8-camera solution bundle for motion capture professionals. Central to this bundle is, Movimento, REALVIZ' state-of-the-art video-based motion capture software. The 8-camera Movimento kit is a one-stop solution for time-pressured professionals looking for a flexible and robust way to boost production levels, whilst avoiding the constrictions of the standard mocap studio. A limited number of the 8-camera Movimento kits are now available whilst stocks last.
REALVIZ Movimento is "Powered by SMART", REALVIZ' powerful automatic 3D tracking engine, and offers the unique capability to capture the motion of any non-rigid object (humans, animals) in post-production, from synchronized image sequences with total flexibility:
- Starting from 2 cameras to as many as required

- Cameras can be fixed or moving.
- Cameras can be of different frame rates and definitions
- No need for a motion capture studio
Movimento offers users a complete and flexible solution for facial, hand,arm and full-body motion capture across a wide range of applications, from special effects, games, animation, biomechanical research, sports science, orthopedics and engineering, to behavioral analysis.
The REALVIZ 8-Camera Movimento Kit includes:

- Movimento software, node locked license and USB dongle
- Complete 8-camera system with PC Intel® Core Duo, XP Pro, 2GBRam, 8 video drives
- Giga-Ethernet Cameras: 640*480*8 bits at 90fps
- Record time of 205 minutes per camera
- StreamPix 4 capture software from NorPix
- Simultaneous Triggering system for all cameras
- One-year warranty on complete camera system
- 4 hours e-training via "Webex" with a REALVIZ Expert User
- Full warranty on Movimento software (bug fixes)
Since its launch at SIGGRAPH 2006, REALVIZ Movimento has been firmly embraced by leading motion capture specialists, game developers and production houses worldwide, including: Activision (USA), Framestore CFC (UK), WideScreen Games (France), Glassworks (London) & FilmAkademie Stuttgart (Germany) amongst others. The REALVIZ 8-Camera Movimento kit is available via the REALVIZ worldwide reseller network, and from REALVIZ direct at € 29,500/$ 39,500 USD, whilst stocks last. For further details, visit:
www.movimento.realviz.com

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CGNews Tid-Bit's


+ Check, paint-clone proxies max instance.
+ Have a look at, some unusual illustrations by Tom Channer.
+ Check out some real cool digital art work by "Ogi," final year student studying animation.
+ Have a look at, XSI artist Jae Ham's 2007 Demo Reel.
+ Switch, an animation short by Jean-Julien Pous, a fresh graduate from Supinfocom.
+ First Evermotion game is now available. Doomsday is a classic "Shoot'em up" game. Your task is to defend our planet from attacks of terrifying aliens.
+ A useful painting "making of" by Kirsi Salonen now posted on 3DM3.
+ Have a look at some awesome digital paintings by Norway based cgartist Ingar K Birkeland.
+ Looking for some more inspiration, than check Niel Quisaba's digital arts portfolio.
Note*: If some wise guy (Geek) happen to stumble upon our website, than please check what's wrong with our website layout in firefox. Mail us the fix at cgindia[at]gmail.com....Thanks!

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Friday, November 09, 2007

Graphic Artist in the Wheelchair: The Brian Boyle Story



+ Today, on occasion of Hindu “festival of lights” - Deepawali; we would like to feature an Open letter by the man, who cheated Death on more than one occasion and beaten all odds, “To live” and fulfill his dream to become "Graphic artist". Brian Boyle in his open letter to Graphic Community tell his tale and explains how digital art helped him come back to life after recovering from a near fatal car accident three years ago. His story is one of hope and inspiration - a tale of perseverance and the eternal human spirit.

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Stereographer Max


+ Stereographer Max is a Stereo 3d rendering tools for 3d Studio Max and available for Max 3.0 to Max 9.0. An Stereo Image are made by creating illusion of depth in a photograph, movie, or other two-dimensional image is created by presenting a slightly different image to each eye. The three-dimensional depth information can be reconstructed from two images using a computer by corresponding the pixels in the left and right images. Stereographer script for 3ds max renders Stereographic image with ease by specifying few parameter and just flick of a button. The Stereographer MAXscript is developed by Ron Lussier and Larry Minton, who claims it's to the best among all the available stereo rendering tools for Max. The script offers you couple of handy features including; # Automatic selection of camera in active viewport, # Composites to color anaglyph, pair, interlaced & Above/Below and # Adjustable offset placement for it's automatic compositing. It's a Fully functional freeware and can be download from:

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ShiVa version 1.5.2



+ StoneTrip has released ShiVa version 1.5.2, with a lot of real new functionality. ShiVa, a platform for 3D real time development, allows you to make all types of existing video games and much more. But ShiVa also allows you to make serious games applications and 3D real time applications for professional use such as in architecture, engineering, communication and marketing. The main difference with ShiVa resides in its innovating interface and ergonomics. ShiVa brings new concepts to game design, level design, resource management, creating materials, developing artificial intelligence and much more. The new version 1.5.2 of Shiva come with host of new features including; Static ambient occlusion , Object animation support, Movie rendering into Materials, HUD rendering into RenderMaps, Direct3D Renderer version 1 and many more.

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yU+co Creates Buzz for Bee Movie Main Titles



+ On the heels of their acclaimed main title sequence work for the Warner Bros. summer blockbuster 300, yU+co, the three-time Emmy nominated creative design studio founded by Creative Director Garson Yu, has created another blockbuster movie main title sequence for DreamWorks Animation's latest release, Bee Movie.
yU+co's work on the film actually marks the first time DreamWorks Animation has ever worked with an outside company on a main title sequence. Released on November 2nd, the highly touted animated film stars a high profile cast led by Jerry Seinfeld and Renée Zellweger.
"The goal for us is always to engage the audience and give them a reason to stay in their seats and watch the titles," Yu says. "The fact that DreamWorks Animation came to us to create something that will keep theater-goers watching is a testament to both their desire to acknowledge the craftspeople who worked on the film and in our ability to deliver something special each time."
David Garber, yU+co's Executive Producer, noted that one of the reasons DreamWorks Animation awarded main title sequence duties for Bee Movie to yU+co was because they wanted something special that didn't look like anything else in the film.
"Everyone involved wanted a different look at the end of the film," Garber says. "Since the film features a highly-detailed 3D animation look, our approach for the title sequence was to create a 2D painterly look as a counterpoint to the 3D look of the movie."
yU+co also rounded out the visuals with a story line that the filmmakers loved. "We pitched against several other companies for this and what the client responded to in our pitch was the concept of a day in the life of a bee," Yu explains. "We wanted to follow the bee on the little adventures that he likely goes through every day."
The title sequence begins with gold and orange hued environment inside a beehive where we see a bee's journey from inside the hive into the world outside where he encounters one danger after another, including pesticide spray, the windshield of a speeding taxi and a fast-moving spider. Eventually he returns back to the hive and flies into a stylized honey-producing factory, all the while playfully interacting with the letters and names in the credits. The end result is just over eight minutes of brilliant 2D animation with a clever narrative that will keep audiences watching till the last frame. For yU+co,
Bee Movie is the culmination of a busy few months that also included creating main title sequences for several new films in genres ranging from Ridley Scott's new crime drama American Gangster (Universal Pictures), Ang Lee's award-winning drama Lust, Caution (Focus Features) and the romantic comedies Dan In Real Life (Touchstone Pictures) and Tyler Perry's Why Did I Get Married? (Lions Gate). Additionally, yU+co has created the main title sequence for Disney's highly anticipated comedy-fantasy-musical, Enchanted, and the drama August Rush (Warner Bros.), which both open on November 21st.
>>
Watch title sequence video

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BOXX apexx 8


+ apexx 8 is true super workstation for VFX professional and now has the power of 32 cores. APEXX 8 leverages the quiet and compact tower format that forms the base for APEXX 4. This means that the power of 32 cores is yours while maintaining a low acoustic signature. That is good news for those who implement the power of APEXX 8 in a studio environment. With APEXX 8 it is possible to work on full 2k resolution, 10-bit digital intermediates (DI) with ease. What this means is colorists can get real-time feedback on color and timing choices that transforms the way they approach their work. Tests on 4k material show the promise of APEXX 8 for handling resolutions close to that of film.

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Tuesday, November 06, 2007

2007 Photoshop User Awards


+ Call for Entries has been announced by the National Association of Photoshop Professionals (NAPP) for its 2007 Photoshop User Awards - the only worldwide competition exclusively for Adobe® Photoshop® users. The competition is open to any and all Adobe Photoshop users, at any skill level, and this year's Grand Prize winner will be sent to Maui, Hawaii on an all-expense paid, five-day trip courtesy of Photoshop User magazine. Contestants may submit a maximum of three pieces for consideration in any of the following categories (may not exceed three image submission total).
- General Photography

- Illustration
- Artistic
- Photo Restoration
- Wedding and Portrait
- Landscape and Travel
- Photo Retouching
- Advertising Design
- Composites and Collages
- Student Work
- General Photoshop Design
Judging will be conducted by NAPP's creative team, including NAPP president Scott Kelby, and other noted industry experts. Winners will be announced February 1, 2008. The winner in each category will receive a special prize package valued at $2,500, and the winning image in each category will appear in a special issue of Photoshop User magazine. The Best of Show Grand Prize winner will be sent by Photoshop User
magazine on a dream assignment to Maui, Hawaii. Photoshop User will provide roundtrip airfare, hotel accommodations, hotel transfers and daily expenses for the Grand Prize winner, whose work will appear on a future cover of Photoshop User magazine.
All entries must be submitted by 12:00 midnight (EST) on December 31, 2007. The Entry Fee is $35.00 (U.S. Dollars) per piece, and you may enter a total of up to three pieces. NAPP members may enter up to three pieces at $25.00 per piece. All entries sent via postal service must be postmarked no later than December 31, 2007. Images submitted for judging must have been created between January 1, 2007 and December 31, 2007. Third party plug-ins and other applications may be used to create your artwork, but the primary tool for the creation of your entry must be Adobe Photoshop. For more contest rules and the official entry form, visit
www.photoshopuserawards.com.

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Auto Generate accurate 3D models from Images



+ Researchers at University of Washington is working on a photo software, which uses various images of a location to create a accurate virtual 3D model. A presentation in October at the International Conference on Computer Vision showed how photos from online sites such as Flickr can be used to create a virtual 3D model of landmarks, including Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris and the Statue of Liberty in New York City.
"The big breakthrough here is being able to compute very accurate 3D models from people's vacation photos," said co-author Steve Seitz, a UW associate professor of computer science and engineering. "The long-term vision is to be able to reconstruct the detailed geometry of all the structures on the surface of the Earth. Many people are working toward that goal, but by using online collections this work brings in a whole new source of imagery and level of detail."
Online photo-sharing Web sites such as Flickr and Google are popular because they offer a free, easy way to share photos. Flickr now holds more than 1 billion photos; a search for "Notre Dame Paris" finds more than 80,000 files. The study authors, experts in computer vision, believe this is the world's most diverse, and largely untapped, source of digital imagery.
But the freely available photos do present a challenge: these are holiday snapshots and personal photos, not laboratory-quality research images. While some may be postcard-perfect representations of a setting, others may be dark, blurry or have people covering up most of the scene.
To make the 3D digital model, the researchers first download photos of a landmark. For instance, they might download the roughly 60,000 pictures on Flickr that are tagged with the words "Statue of Liberty." The computer finds photos that it will be able to use in the reconstruction and discards pictures that are of low quality or have obstructions. Photo Tourism, a tool developed at the UW, then calculates where each person was standing when he or she took the photo. By comparing two photos of the same object that were taken from slightly different perspectives, the software applies principles of computer vision to figure out the distance to each point.
"The general principle is very similar to how our eyes work," said lead author Michael Goesele, a former postdoctoral researcher at the UW who is now a professor at Technische Universität Darmstadt in Germany. "You get multiple views from different points of a scene, and then you find the same point in different views and infer from that the depth of the object."
In tests, a computer took less than two hours to make a 3D reconstruction of St. Peter's Basilica in Rome, using 151 photos taken by 50 different photographers. A reconstruction of Notre Dame Cathedral used 206 images taken by 92 people. All the calculations and image sorting were performed automatically.
"We don't quite get the accuracy of a laser scanner, but we're in the ballpark," Seitz said. The recreations of Notre Dame show individual figures carved into the stone facade. A model of The Duomo in Pisa, Italy, a building about 160 feet tall, is accurate to within a few inches. The resolution of the 3D model mostly depends on the resolution of the original photos.
Creating 3D reconstructions of individual buildings is a first step in a long-term effort to recreate an entire city using online photographs.
"We've downloaded about 1 million photographs of Rome from Flickr," Seitz said. "We want to see how much of the city we can reconstruct--including exteriors, interiors and artifacts." The group hopes to make significant progress on the Rome project over the next couple of years, he said.
Other co-authors on the recent paper were Noah Snavely, a UW doctoral student in computer science and engineering; Brian Curless, a UW associate professor of computer science and engineering; and Hugues Hoppe, a researcher at Microsoft Research in Redmond, Wash. The research was funded through grants from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, the National Science Foundation, Microsoft Research and Adobe Systems Inc.

Source: uwnews.org

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Rainmaker Animation Deploys Qube! ™


+ PipelineFX, makers of Qube!™ software, the leading render farm management software for film production, game development, and digital media education around the world, today announced that Vancouver-based Rainmaker Animation has integrated Qube! to handle the rendering demands for their busy production schedule.
Rainmaker Animation currently has three direct to DVD productions, and a new feature film, Escape From Planet Earth, in the studio. “With the company expanding, we have many overlapping high volume productions,” said Martin Kumor, Head of Production Technology at Rainmaker Animation. “Our render farm is an essential part of our production, and is integrated into two production pipelines, running XSI®, Maya®, Mental Ray®, Shake®, and many custom jobs. When we decided to upgrade our render manager, we needed a robust and reliable product to handle our production needs. We spent a considerable amount of time looking at different alternatives, and Qube! has been by far the best render manager we have seen. The advanced architecture combined with Python support, and easy-to-use customizable interface make it a fantastic product,” said Kumor.

Qube!™ is the leading enterprise-class render farm management system for film production, visual effects, game development and digital media education. Qube! is highly customizable, extensively scalable, can be integrated into any production workflow, and is backed by world-class technical support. Qube! has custom pipelines for creative applications like Autodesk® 3ds Max®, Autodesk Maya®, NUKE™, SOFTIMAGE®XSI®, Shake®, Adobe® AfterEffects®, Pixar’s RenderMan®, Eyeon® Digital Fusion™ and many more. Rainmaker Entertainment Inc., headquartered in Vancouver, Canada, is an award-winning visual effects, 3D animation and post-production company with a 28-year history of technical excellence and outstanding service in feature films, television, games and commercials.

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CG Chosen | Robots magazine No.6 is available


+ CG Chosen No.6 Robots brings to you an amazing world of wild and intelligent, crazy and usefull and all the best robots in CG. Four chosen robot artists with their amazing artworks, 5 outstanding robot making of's, articles and interviews and as usually - lots of robot images. Fell free to download 67 pages of mechanical fantasy and robotic inspiration.

Monday, November 05, 2007

Introducing gw:IVY For 3D Studio MAX


+ gw:Ivy is an Ivy generator plugin for 3ds Max developed by Guruware. Ivy's are designed to grow in scenes with real-world scale and growing Ivy is quite a breeze, you just have to; plant an IvyRoot and hit the "Grow" button to watch it growing in your view port. Hit the button again to stop the growth. A Multi/Sub-Object Material is already assigned for mapping your ivy easily and you can even generate the grow-animation easily by specifying key frame for the ivy age. gw:Ivy generator plugin for 3dsMax comes with various handy parameter control options, using which you can easily create and control the looks of ivy. If the ivy isn't growing the way you want, you can stop growing any time, adjust age and/or grow-prams and start growing again.

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Framestore CFC : The Age Of Aquariums



+ With almost two million You Tube hits in just a couple of months, the promo for The Salmon Dance is The Chemical Brothers most successful video yet. Its digital fish were bred at Framestore CFC, Visual Effects Studio. Framestore CFC has recently completed work on a trippy, fishy little promotional video for The Salmon Dance, a new single by The Chemical Brothers, featuring vocals by ex-Pharcyde rapper, Fatlip. With a cast of over
300 piscine performers, the video is the latest collaboration between directing team Dom & Nic and Framestore CFC. Drawn from the Brothers' latest album, We Are the Night, the video was produced by John Madsen for Factory Films.
>>
Read more!

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Successful Freelancing Guide: Top 10 Tips!*



+ We often get this question in our email-box from designers, who are planning to go freelance or just have started working as "Freelancer" or a small freelance studio, So I have decided to write an brief article; giving you - some of my inputs and tips on this ever intriguing question. As the subject in question is quite subjective, So do use your own reasoning, see whether these tips apply to you and use them, only if you find them logical. The following tips are useful for freelancers or small studio of 2-4 members team, working in field of graphics, design, 3d animation, architectural visualization and computer graphics in general.

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NVIDIA Quadro® FX 5600 SDI and FX 4600 SDI Graphic Cards



+ Broadcast, video and film professionals engaged in editing, compositing, and color grading can now benefit from the advanced features of new NVIDIA Quadro® FX 5600 SDI and Quadro™ FX 4600 SDI graphics cards. These next-generation graphics-to-video-out solutions from NVIDIA, which allow real-time rendering to become an integral part of the production work flow, feature 8-, 10- and 12-bit uncompressed SDI output in SD, HD, or 2K formats, Genlock support, improved 2D video compositing capabilities, 3D graphics and graphics processing unit (GPU) programmability, and more. The NVIDIA Quadro FX 5600 SDI and Quadro FX 4600 SDI graphics solutions now also offer; # 2D Video Pass-Through Compositing, # Large Frame Buffers, # 8K Texture and Render Processing, # Next-Generation Vertex and Pixel Programmability, # Ancillary Data Support and more!
The Quadro FX 4600 SDI GPU has a MSRP of $5999 and the Quadro FX 5600 SDI GPU is being offered at a MSRP of $6999. NVIDIA Quadro technology solutions are widely available through leading system manufacturers, workstation system integrators, and NVIDIA channel partners such as PNY Technologies (US and EMEA), Leadtek (APAC) and Elsa (Japan). For more information about the complete lineup of NVIDIA Quadro GPU professional solutions, please visit www.nvidia.com/quadro.

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CG News Tid-Bits


- SU Podium 1.5 has been released.
- GPU Caps Viewer is a graphics card
utility that allows to quickly see the capabilities of your graphics card / GPU, offers a convenient OpenGL extensions database, provides a GPU-burner facility as well as GPU core temperature and web links related to your graphics card.
- The second part of
Michael Jensen's 3dsmax and Mudbox Character modelling for games tutorial, takes us through some of the 3dsmax techniques used to model the character.
- Some free photoshop
brushes by graphic artist Silvia.
- Microsoft and Dassault Systems have released a 3D building
application for the Virtual Earth.
- Free
Poster from Go Media; illustrated by Go Media’s own Dave Tevenal.
- Steven Spielberg will be honored by Visual Effects Society Lifetime
Achievement Award.
- Newtek today announced the shipment of
VT[5]™ Integrated Production Suite.
- Cebas has just created an exclusive 20 min video for
CGarchitect on tweaking GI.
- Women In Animation is a professional, non-profit organization established in 1994 to foster the dignity, concerns and
advancement of women who are involved in any and all aspects of the art and industry of animation.
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