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Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Filter Forge Announces Series of Free Photoshop Plugins

+ Filter Forge, Inc. announced series of free Photoshop plugins and the availability of the first plugin in the series, "Filter Forge Freepack 1 - Metals", which generates photorealistic metal textures and effects.Over the course of the coming year, Filter Forge, Inc. plans to release seven free Photoshop plugins named Filter Forge Freepacks, with each plugin centered around a different theme. The freepacks are based on the technology used in the company's flagship product, Filter Forge, an innovative Photoshop plugin allowing users to create their own filters in a visual editor. Each freepack will be capable of generating seamlessly-tiled textures with professional-grade anti-aliasing, and will take full advantage of modern dual-core processors.
The theme of the first Filter Forge freepack is metals -- the plugin comprises seven filters that produce realistic metal textures and effects. Alien Metal produces a sci-fi texture of an alien-looking metallic surface; Brushed Metal generates a texture of brushed aluminum; Foil produces a texture of crumpled aluminum foil; Diamond Plate creates a texture of an industrial diamond plate floor; Metal Panels generates a metal plating texture; Metalizer produces a smooth metallic surface based on the brightness of the source image; and Rust renders patches of corrosion over the darker areas of the source image. All textures generated by the plugin are seamlessly tiled and can be immediately used as a web background or a game texture.
The free plugin is available for download at the company website: www.filterforge.com/download. Registration is not required. The plugin currently works under Windows only, the OS X version for both Intel and PowerPC processors is in development.

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Call for Entries: Graphic Design Inspirations

+ Call for Entries has been announced for Graphic Design Inspirations book, a part of daab's inspiration book series. GRAPHIC DESIGN INSPIRATIONS will present the works of more than 300 graphic designers and studios from around the world. This compendium, to be published in September 2008, is a part of daab's inspiration book series. There is no entry fee. Any commissioned or self-commissioned graphic design work, in print, that has been created in the last two years, in any of following categories:
- Magazine Design (Editorial Design, Special Interest, Fanzines, Student Magazines, etc.)
- Book Design
- Posters
- Music Graphics (LP/CD, etc.)
- 3D, Exhibition Design, Spatial Design
- Packaging Design
- Brochure Design (Image, Annual/Business Reports, Self-Promotion, etc.)
- Stationery (Letterhead, Business/Personal Cards, etc.)
JPG and PDF file of 350 dpi resolution with preferable Page dimensions of 290 x 290 mm is required. Your presented works should be able to be reproduced at large format. Please make sure that either the horizontal or vertical dimension is 280 mm. Color mode: RGB and please Ensure that all fonts are embedded, or convert all fonts to outlines/vectors. Work's original format ? no cropping marks, etc. Do not use any black or thin outlines to delineate the format of your work/media. This is a time-sensitive project and Submission Deadline is on : 29th Feb 2008. For more information, please visit


Saturday, December 15, 2007

2008 Adobe Design Achievement Awards

+ Adobe Systems Incorporated has announced the call for entries for the eighth annual Adobe® Design Achievement Awards (ADAA). The awards honor talented and promising student graphic designers, photographers, illustrators, animators, digital filmmakers, developers and computer artists from the world's top institutions of higher education. Reflecting the growth in the interactive design field and the importance of the integration between design and development, Adobe has added several new categories in three media areas: Interactive Media, Motion Media, and Traditional Media. - Interactive Media categories include Browser-Based Design, Non-Browser Based Design, Designer/Developer Collaboration, Installation Design and Mobile Design.
- Motion Media categories include Animation, Live Action and Motion Graphics.
- Traditional Media categories include Illustration, Packaging, Photography, and Print Communications.
"The annual awards celebrate emerging talent and innovative thinking from students from all over the world," said Ann Lewnes, senior vice president of corporate marketing at Adobe. "It is truly inspiring to see how this event dissolves boundaries between cultures and unleashes great talents through the convergence of technology and creative arts." Students from more than 30 countries are invited to submit projects through the Adobe Design Achievement Awards website. From the website, visitors will also be able to access ADAA Live! an interactive website that allows visitors to see the participants submitting projects in real-time. Entries will be reviewed and scored by an independent panel of twelve distinguished judges. Judges include: Emily Chang of Ideacodes; Joshua Davis of Joshua Davis Studios; Tina Roth Eisenberg of Swissmiss Studio; David Gensler of Keystone Design Union; Eric John of Forum Nokia; Adrian Johnson of Adrian Johnson, Ltd.; Maya Kopytman of C&G Partners; Michael Lebowitz of Big Spaceship; Rebecca Mendez of Rebecca Mendez Design; Independent Film maker Joan Raspo; Stan Szymanski of Sony Pictures Imageworks, and Armin Vit of UnderConsideration.
Submissions will be accepted online through 2 May 2008. The online submissions will be judged digitally in May and semifinalists will be asked to submit their source files and a physical aspect of their entry as it is meant to be viewed for the final phase of judging. Finalists will be invited to New York and win cash and software prizes. The 2008 Awards are an Icograda endorsed event.
Visit the ADAA website

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Dover Studios Announces New Visual Effects Training DVD

+ Dover Studios, Inc. announced the release of Shake: Techniques Volume 1, their latest visual effects training DVD. Shake: Techniques Volume 1 provides compositors with a variety of solutions that can be applied to everyday compositing challenges. Through a series of in-depth lessons, visual effects artists, Andrew Hazelden & Russell Hazelden, share tips and techniques that will help you create better composites in Shake. Essential topics include several approaches to stabilizing footage including the Stabilize node that uses motion trackers, and the SmoothCam node that uses optical flow technology. Learn how to use the Defocus node and see how it can be used to simulate a real lens by creating the Bokeh lens effect.
Discover how to pull a key from a blueScreen shot by using the Keylight keyer and learn how to use the Keylight status mode to troubleshoot a key. Advanced topics include: creating a procedural animation using an audio file and an expression, and building a composite using an external matte with the SwitchMatte node. Demystify the topic of alpha channels by learning what the terms pre-multiplied and un-pre multiplied really mean. Check out
www.DoverStudios.com today and download the free preview movie. Shake: Techniques Volume 1 is available on DVD-ROM for Mac OS X and Windows. Shake: Techniques Volume 1 is available now for $49.95 CAD.

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VisMasters FREE Online Live video training

+ Great news, VisMasters is hosting more FREE Online Live video training in January. Following up on the hugely successful free V-Ray class that was offered in October, in which over 2000 people registered, VisMasters is once again offering free training! In partnership with CGarchitect.com, VisMasters is pleased to offer three new free training classes in the month of January. Regular visitors to CGarchitect.com will be familiar with the Visualization Insider articles written by Brian Smith. As the wrap up of that series, the final topics will be presented as a live online session through VisMasters. The classes covers following topics; Creating Onyx Trees, An In-Depth Look at the V-Ray Proxy, and Building walls – Lofts vs. Edit Polys.

Plug-in for Animating Tanks

+ Craft Animations is releasing two plugins for animating tanks and other track-driven vehicles directly in Maya and 3ds Max. Craft Crawler Extended and Craft CrawlerTracks are a revolution for animators everywhere since the physical interaction of a tank's tracks is so complex. Along with Craft Crawler Extended and Craft Crawler Tracks, there are two more Pre-Rigged Solutions for sale: Pre-Rigged M1-Abrams Tank and Pre-Rigged AMX-30 Roland. Customers can purchase these solutions and literally start animating a tank within a few minutes. For more information, please visit www.craftanimations.com

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Diesel and Flaunt Magazine Team With New Creative Design Studio Royale For Three-Minute Branded Short Film

Experimental Branded Short Blends 2D, 3D, Stop Motion and Still Photos Into Immersive Visual Experience
+ Rarely does a single project offer a design studio a chance to flex all of its creative muscles at one time, especially for their first assignment as a company, but that was the exhilarating challenge presented to newly-launched design/animation/production studio Royale -- the new creative hub led by creative directors Jayson Whitmore, Brien Holman and executive producer Jen Lucero -- when they tackled the new Diesel sponsored three-minute experimental branded short included on a DVD in the ninth anniversary issue of Flaunt Magazine currently on newsstands.
Flaunt and Diesel gave us full support to speak to their brands and still make the project our own," said Whitmore. "Working with branded entertainment gave us the freedom to make a relevant piece for Flaunt and Diesel while showing our own capabilities. We were also able to collaborate with some amazing people that helped this project stand out and give our new company a creative voice.
"Taking inspiration from Diesel's current "Human After All" campaign and outer space in general, the Royale film expertly fuses traditional cell animation and stop motion with 2D/3D animation and compositing. The result is an immersive experience that is also experimental in nature.

"The basic concept was to connect all of these different worlds where Diesel exists through the pages of Flaunt," adds Holman. "We wanted to take viewers on a voyage through this hyper-stylized version of outer space while limiting the design of this world to the medium of paper from the magazine. All elements, including buildings, spaceships, Robots and planets were made out of scanned images from Flaunt.""We had a great time mixing multiple animation techniques to create this environment," said Whitmore. "Everyone in the studio at some point literally touched the project, whether it was helping to shoot stop motion paper elements or creating textures for the world.
"For Holman, the biggest challenge was creating a sense of fluid motion using only still images. "Using the pages of Flaunt as the medium, we used torn pages to create a world that the Diesel models live in," said Holman. "Also, knowing the potential for still images to look out of place, we came up with a stylistic solution of mixing stop motion with 2D and 3D animation to help the static images feel more integrated into the world. When all of it blends to the point where you can't discern the technique you know it's working." In addition to the branded short, Royale designed the packaging for the DVD page and are profiled in the issue. Lucero states, "This was the first time Flaunt had ever included a DVD with branded content in the magazine and we had a great experience being involved with such creative brands."
watch the film video


Monday, December 10, 2007

Nontzeflash 2008 5th animated film competition

+ Nontzeflash is an online competition organized by Nontzeberri cultural website in association with Bilbao’s Fantastic Film Festival. The best animated films will be awarded by judges and they will be shown on Bilbao's Fantastic Film Festival FANT 2008. Just like last time, the Competition is open to everybody who wants to take part, no matter where they are from and with no limit on number of animated films submitted. Registration is free. The animated films will be produced in SWF and the file should be no bigger than 3 Mb and not longer than 4 minutes. Each film should be submitted in a single file, and if it includes some music it should also be included in the same file. Registration is free of any charges and Deadline is 21 February 2008 at 1pm local time.

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Lumonix Releases ShaderFX 2.0

ShaderFX 2.0 - The Node-Based Real-Time FX Shader Editor For 3ds Max
+ Lumonix Inc, today announced it is now offering version 2 of its unique ShaderFX plug-in for Autodesk 3ds Max. ShaderFX is designed to allow artists to quickly and easily create shaders for use in Max's real-time viewport and in external real-time applications and game engines. "Lumonix is very honored to see respected game studios such as: Microsoft Game Studios, Neversoft, Bioware-Austin, EA, Midway, Ubisoft and many others add ShaderFX into their artist pipeline." said Kees Rijnen, director of Lumonix. "Whether it is for quick prototyping of shaders, look and feel development or to create most of their in-game shaders directly within Autodesk 3dsMax, we've been very happy with the positive reception ShaderFX has received so far."
Ben Cloward: "I think artists will really appreciate our new release. Being able to preview Shadows and Fur interactively inside the 3d viewport will be of great benefit to game artists, level designers and animators. ShaderFX reduces the number of times artists will have to export to their game engine to get an idea of the final look of their art assets." Next to Viewport Shadows and Real-time Fur ShaderFX 2.0 highlights: Workflow improvements such as cloning of parts of the schematic, various new nodes (Channel Input, Color Blend), Shader Model 1.1 and improved Shader Model 3.0 support as well as basic support for more publicly available 3d engines (Virtools, Ogre). ShaderFX 2.0 is available immediately and offered as a free upgrade to existing license holders. Sample videos & an educational demo can be downloaded from the Lumonix website: www.lumonix.net/shaderfx.html

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Allegorithmic Ships ProFX 2.6

Generates File Sizes that are 500-1000 Times Smaller than Regular Textures; Allows MMO, AAA and Casual Game Developers to Produce High-quality Texture Assets Faster
+ Allegorithmic, an emerging 3D technology company developing advanced texturing tools for real-time 3D content creation, today announced the immediate availability of ProFX 2.6, the newest version of its patented procedural texturing middleware. With an optimized core that runs faster and on a wider range of machines, ProFX 2.6 allows game studios to produce texture assets up to two times faster than with regular techniques. ProFX 2.6 procedural textures also ensure very small files sizes - typically 500 to 1000 times smaller than regular textures - making them ideal for massively multiplayer online games (MMOGs), virtual communities, casual, and downloadable games. For more information on ProFX 2.6 please visit www.allegorithmic.com.


Wednesday, December 05, 2007

International Posters Competition 2008

+ Within the context of the 19th International Poster and Graphic Design Festival of Chaumont, which will take place from May 24th to July 6th 2008, the International Poster Competition is launched, open to any printed poster created since January 1st 2005, whether they be cultural, social, political or commercial. They can either be issued by private commissioners or public organizations. The Competition and the Festival aim at reviewing the world wide production of these past three years and are intended for graphic designers as well as studios, but also for all the institutions or companies concerned. The posters can be the work of one sole artist or of a group. Graphic designers from all over the world are invited to participate in this event. The selected posters will be exhibited during the Festival and prizes will be awarded. To be part of the competition, the posters entry deadline is Friday, January 18th 2008. Any poster delivered after this date will not be registered.

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finalRender, finalToon, and finalShaders R2 SP1 for 3ds Max

+ cebas Computer, maker of finalRender®, today announces the release of Service Pack 1 for finalRender, finalToon, and finalShaders R2. SP1 fully supports 3ds Max 2008 and has an installer for all supported versions of 3ds Max. All users should download SP1 and install it today! This Service Pack offers fixes as well as an installer for 3ds Max2008. A list of all fixes is as follows:
DIRT: fR-Dirt not updating sub mtls correctly, fixed

FILLET: fR-Fillet not updating sub mtls correctly, fixed
MSP: rare crash fixed
CORE: problems with AB fixed
ARCH: problems with fast interpolate and animations fixed
CORE: some optimizations for blurry reflections/refractions
AA: crash in adaptive AA sampler fixed
GBUF: problems with velocity vectors fixed
LIGHT: crash in light mtl fixed
LIC: client lib update New client lib to fix runtime dll problems
LIC: switched to new client lib MSP: 2 crash conditions fixed (rare occurance)
CORE: bug in texture pager fixed (black squares)
FILLET: problems with flickering edges fixed
LUMA: problems with license checks fixed
TEX: AGradient3D working with scanline now fixed...and many other fixes!
SP1 is a free download and can be acquired by registered users at
the cebas Shop!!

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VectorMagic - Precision Vectorization Online

+ If you are an avid user of CGIndia.org, you must have notice my inclination towards Vector Art as we have featured quite a few websites on the subject in last couple of months...well, I do love sharp and well defined lines.... Anyways, today we would like to bring VectorMagic - a precision Vectorization online tool, to your notice. Raster images are pixel-based, whereas vector images are represented by geometric shapes such as lines, circles and curves. The VectorMagic site converts bitmap images to vector images - it's an online auto-tracer. Just upload your image and VectorMagic will vectorize it for you. Vector art is useful because it allows you to scale an image without making it blurry or pixilated. VectorMagic supports inputs in following formats like; JPG, GIF, PNG, BMP, TIFF and gives you crisp vector image output in EPS, SVG, and PNG format. We will add a direct access link to VectorMagic in CGToolbar for easy access.

>> Visit VectorMagic

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Houdini Apprentice HD

+ Rules has being changed....thanks for the tip by Joe Drew!! Side Effects Software an industry leader in 3D Animation software, recently announced a new $99 version of Houdini called "Houdini Apprentice HD" - the Starving Artist edition! It's a full-featured version of Houdini for non-commercial work, and it has NO WATERMARK on renders, and only a resolution limit of 1920x1080 for animations. Schools and training facilities will also benefit from this program as students working with either the free Houdini Apprentice or Houdini Apprentice HD will be able to bring their work into the computer lab and render watermark-free at HD resolutions. Institutions interested in learning how Houdini Apprentice can provide low-cost solutions to their students, please contact Side Effects Software’s Training and School Accounts Manager Aliza Sorotzkin for more details.
Both versions of Houdini Apprentice include all of Houdini Master’s features except for the ability to render to third party renderers. Each copy of Houdini Apprentice comes with one Mantra render token. The Houdini Apprentice HD “Starving Artist” Edition is now available for purchase online through the
Houdini Store.