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Wednesday, January 23, 2008

DAZ 3D Unveils DAZ Studio 3D Bridge for Photoshop


+ DAZ Productions Inc., a leading developer of professional-quality 3D software and models, announced today the free public beta version of the DAZ Studio™ 3D Bridge for Photoshop© plug-in. Compatible with Photoshop 7, CS, CS2 and CS3, this new plug-in allows DAZ Studio users to automatically apply 3D imagery and artwork to any Photoshop project. To help users build their 3D Photoshop library, DAZ is additionally offering a free 3D Bridge Starter Bundle, valued at over $230. The 3D Bridge Starter Bundle contains DAZ’s best-selling Aiko 3 Base with several textures, hairstyles and poses; a Millennium dragon, cat and dog; a futuristic car, and the ever popular EmotiGuy. The DAZ Studio 3D Bridge for Photoshop makes it easy for users to do the following:
- View 3D scenes as Photoshop layers
- Change objects and figures simultaneously
- Render directly into Photoshop
- Import, export and modify image maps and textures onto 3D models in Photoshop
- Composite 2D and 3D content seamlessly
- Access DAZ’s full library of quality 3D content
The limited-time public beta version of the DAZ Studio 3D Bridge for Photoshop is now available for free download at
www.daz3d.com/3dbridge.

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Dosch Design Released new 3D Products


+ Dosch Design, which offers ready to use computer graphics 3d products has Released a range of new fabulous 3d products, as usual with Great deal of attention to product detail and quality. Dosch released the following new 3d and visualization products:
Dosch 3D: Building Details
Dosch 3D: Natural Objects V2
Dosch Viz-Images: Concept Cars 2007
Dosch Textures: Outdoor
Dosch Textures: Rocks
Dosch Textures: Sources - Female (Eleven Collection 1-11)
Dosch Textures: Sources - Male (Four Collection 1-4)
For more information about the about latest Dosch Products please www.Doschdesign.com!!

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Pixar Releases RenderMan Certified Courseware



+ Pixar Animation Studios today released the first version of its RenderMan Certified Courseware created in association with Escape Studios. With contributions from the world's most accomplished visual effects and feature animation studios, Pixar's RenderMan Certified Courseware is the perfect educational resource for everyone from the beginner to the advanced professional. Pixar's RenderMan Certified Courseware is divided into four main categories. The "Fundamentals" section covers all of the key concepts of Pixar’s core rendering technology. In the "How To" section, these key concepts are applied to real-world production scenarios. The "Production Examples" section provides case studies from leading film studios as they describe methodologies for creating feature film effects, and in the "Library" section, course-notes and references are provided for further study. Additionally, universities, colleges, and training establishments, are provided with detailed lesson plans that cover all aspects of teaching these materials in a classroom environment.

Backed up by a formal Certification program, Pixar's RenderMan Certified Courseware provides access to the hard-won experience of the world's most advanced RenderMan users, and represents an invaluable resource for production focused techniques and insights unavailable elsewhere. "The Courseware is both awesome and stellar. This is going to fill a huge void in the world of CG, and everyone from students to seasoned VFX pros can finally turn to a single authoritative source to acquire their RenderMan knowledge." said Saty Raghavachary author of Rendering for Beginners: Image Synthesis using RenderMan. "I really look forward to using these materials to teach my RenderMan classes." "Solving rendering problems in the thick of production requires a fundamental understanding of RenderMan and knowledge of the tips and tricks that users and studios have developed over the years.” said Apurva Shah, Effects Supervisor at Pixar Animation Studios. “The Courseware does a great job of presenting both aspects in one central repository." "Great resource! There's so much experience in here, I wish I'd spent the last 10 years at the beach and then just read this!" said Martin Hill, Shader Supervisor at Weta Digital Available worldwide from Escape Studios as a site license for educational establishments, production studios, and individual use, Pixar’s RenderMan Certified Courseware establishes a new standard of educational excellence for those learning how to use RenderMan. For more information about Pixar’s RenderMan Certified Courseware, please register to review the sample version at www.renderman.escapestudios.com/demo or contact Escape Studios directly at www.escapestudios.com.

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Four New HD Collections from Artbeats


Stunning New Royalty-free Footage Captures Dramatic Aerial Imagery, Unusual Camera Angles and Vibrant Colors
+ Soar through billowy white clouds and dazzling sun rays set against brilliant backdrops of purple, blue and pink skies with Cloud Fly -Thrus 3 HD, Cloud Fly -Thrus 4 HD, Cloud Plates HD and Sky Effects HD 2, four new collections from Artbeats. Featuring compelling aerial shots, unique camera angles and vibrant colors, these new royalty-free titles include superior quality, HD content that can be used for broadcast, feature films, commercial, multimedia, motion graphics, game development, independent production and more. To view or purchase these collections please visit Artbeats’ website at www.artbeats.com/skies. Cloud Fly -Thrus 3 HD (40 clips) and Cloud Fly -Thrus 4 HD (39 clips) contain breathtaking cloud banks and dramatic dusk views that let viewers feel a part of the sky-high action. Cloud Plates HD contains 44 clips and utilizes unique camera angles to capture side, point-of-view, down and three-quarter aerial views, plus a variety of dusk, dawn, cloud and terrain shots. Sky Effects HD 2 includes 14 clips showcasing the striking colors of magnificent sunrises and sunsets, and is the second edition of this popular Artbeats series.

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SU Animate 1.1 Win/Mac released


+ SU Animate 1.1 has been released. This is the Ruby program that automatically creates SketchUp scenes from a camera path making SketchUp animations very easy to create. What's new? For one thing 1.1 now supports the Mac OS. Another, there is now a 10 day eval version. Other things - a cool fillet ruby script to round the edges of your camera path.This simple application works inside SketchUp and automatically creates scenes that you can play as an animation in SketchUp or export to an AVI or MOV video file. SU Animate will create "key frame" like animations where SketchUp objects move along a path or walk thru type animations where the camera moves along a path. Also, the new version will create a batch of all the animation frames to individual .skp files. If you are currently using 1.0, the upgrade is free. Just download the eval. version from here, and then re-enter your serial number (if you are prompted for it).

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Autodesk and EA Groom Next Generation of Digital Media Leaders


+ Autodesk, Inc. (NASDAQ: ADSK) and Electronic Arts, Inc. (NASDAQ: ERTS) are today introducing a new project design workshop for Canada’s first Masters for Digital Media (MDM) Program at Great Northern Way Campus in Vancouver, British Columbia. As part of the 20-month MDM Program, the workshop will equip students with techniques to plan and manage digital media projects in their academic and professional careers. Glenn Entis, senior vice president at Electronic Arts, and Autodesk Fellow Tom Wujec developed the curriculum and will be teaching the workshop.
Following the workshop, student teams will be equipped to work on industry funded digital media projects that include: multi-player online game development; the creation of next-generation digital social networks; the 3D graphical visualization of a sustainable ocean ecosystem; and a 3D virtual ride on the Canada Line – the expanded rapid transit system which will be in place for the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics. “Our goal is to shape the next-generation of digital media leaders,” said Dr. Gerri Sinclair, executive director of the MDM Program.
“We’re collaborating with industry luminaries such as Electronic Arts and Autodesk, so that the students can benefit from their forward thinking. The project design workshop will give students the tools they need to manage real-world digital media projects. ”During the two-day workshop, students will map out the stages of their semester-long digital media projects. The workshop’s collaborative framework will provide more than 20 techniques to design and plan digital media projects, understand client and end user requirements, and generate a comprehensive production plan. Encouraging teamwork and critical thinking, students will use visual communication tools and techniques to explore topics and present key learning’s. EA’s Entis said, “I’m very excited about leading this workshop. There’s a clear need for better planning of digital media projects, particularly with the rapid pace of technological change. The right pre-production planning can make or break a project.”Autodesk’s Wujec added, “Autodesk’s knowledge and experience in multiple industries, including entertainment, automotive design, manufacturing and building, complement Electronic Arts’ approach to thinking more broadly about digital project planning. There’s growing demand for rigorous pre-production planning and visual communication throughout digital media projects. With this workshop, we’re helping tomorrow’s digital media leaders design better projects and arrive at the best choices in less time. At the heart of this emerging innovation practice is the art of making ideas visible.”Launched in September 2007, the Masters for Digital Media Program is an innovative, full-time professional Masters Degree Program. It offers students team-based experiences focused on project learning in close collaboration with the international digital media industry. Housed in the Centre for Digital Media at Great Northern Way Campus, the MDM is a 20-month program, and includes a paid summer internship. Great Northern Way Campus (GNWC), established in 2001, is an educational innovation; a collaborative university campus environment that combines the strengths of four leading academic institutions: University of British Columbia, Simon Fraser University, Emily Carr Institute of Art + Design and British Columbia Institute of Technology. The MDM Graduate Degree bears the seals of these four academic partners.

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Craft goes to 64-bit


+ Craft Animations is proud to join the ranks of 64-bit software providers. Craft Director Tools (except for Craft Crawler Tracks) is now compatible with 64-bit versions of Maya and 3ds Max. If you already have an installation of Craft Director Tools you will automatically be prompted to download the latest version. Otherwise you can always download it directly at www.craftanimations.com. Naturally Craft Director Tools will still work on 32-bit processors. Craft Crawler Tracks is still being worked on to get it ready for 64-bit support. Floating licenses are now also available for our Craft Master Bundle customers. In order to purchase a floating license you need to also be a member of the Craft Up2Date program (our support and update service). Floating Licenses are priced based on 25% of the original list price of your Craft Master Bundle and each license will enable a singel simultaneous user of the whole Craft Director Tools suite on any computer where the software is installed.

Monday, January 21, 2008

FXhome Launched PowerPlug and MuzzlePlug For Adobe After Effects



+ FXhome has launched PowerPlug and MuzzlePlug, visual effects plugins for Adobe After Effects. PowerPlug, a plugin for Adobe After Effects designed for lightning and electricity visual effects. Based on extensive research into electrical behaviour, PowerPlug can create both realistic weather and sci-fi and fantasy effects. PowerPlug comes complete with a selection of presets to quickly generate stormy weather, magical effects and sci-fi weapons. Extensive customization allows for an infinite variety of lightning designs, ensuring that the results are always unique and high impact.
MuzzlePlug, a plugin for Adobe
After Effects that creates photo-realistic gunfire visual effects. Designed for action movies that are shooting in sensitive locations or on tight budgets, MuzzlePlug provides a safe, versatile alternative to expensive and dangerous blank firing weapons. Slotting neatly into After Effects, MuzzlePlug comes complete with a selection of presets to quickly recreate convincing gunfire for a wide range of weaponry, from small pistols to machine guns, shotguns and sci-fi blasters. Extensive customization allows for an infinite variety of muzzle flashes to be generated, ensuring that action sequences are always fresh, exciting and realistic.
>>
Visit Fxhome

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MoI 1.0 Released



+ Moi version 1.0 final, a new 3D modeling software for designers and CG artists has been released. MoI’s sleek intuitive UI blends a fluid easy workflow with powerful tools, making it the perfect choice for someone who has been frustrated with the complexity of existing CAD tools. MoI (Moment of Inspiration) is also a fantastic complementary 3d tool for a polygon-based artist since its CAD toolset and advanced boolean functions enable extremely rapid creation of mechanical or man-made type “hard surface” models. The icing on the cake is MoI’s unique polygon mesh export that generates exceptionally clean and crisp N-Gon polygon meshes from CAD NURBS 3d models.
>> Download Moi 1.0

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European Design Awards 08


+ The European Design Awards is the comprehensive annual awards organization acknowledging the best of Graphic Design, illustration and multimedia design in Europe. The jury is composed of representatives from prestigious communication design magazines from across Europe including 2+3D, CAP & Design, +design, étapes, Eye, Graphic, and more. Deadline to submit entries for the 2008 European Design Awards is February 15, 2008. The Award ceremony will take place on May 18, 2008 at Södra teatern, Stockholm - Sweden.

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Saturday, January 19, 2008

Call For Entries: American Design Awards



+ The American Design Awards is inviting Graphic and web designers from around the world to participate in its 2008 Winter Semi-Annual Design Contest. The Winter and Summer Semi-Annual Design Contests which are now in their sixth year, are the flagship of the American Design Awards which attract an average of five thousand participants annually.

Deadline to submit entries for the 2008 Winter Semi-Annual Design Contest is February 15, 2008. Applications must be submitted online through the American Design Awards website. The top three entries in each of the twenty-two design categories will be considered for the Award of Design Excellence – this award is presented to designers or design firms who display outstanding design and creative abilities, while maintaining high ethical standards. The American Design Awards mission is to provide a fair and ethical platform for all web and Graphic designers of varying experience levels and disciplines to compete on, while providing a worldwide audience to showcase to.With the ever-changing landscape of the design industry, the American Design Awards is also expanding its code of ethics by which designers are graded and judged. "Ethical standards have always been valued and exercised in our competitions; this is by far the most important qualification of any designer entering the awards program" said Kevin Javid, Vice President of the American Design Awards. For more information regarding the entry process, including the various design categories, entry fees, and timelines, please click here.

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Introduction to Mastering 3ds Max: The Fundamentals


+ Below is the first introductory first video of Mastering 3ds Max: The Fundamentals, developed by 3dbuzz. Fundamentals is a massive 110 hour training course for 3ds Max engineered by 3dbuzz to turn you into a proficient 3d studio Max user.

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Call for Entries : Spring Solo Show


+ Call for entries has been announced by 3rdward for Spring Solo Show, open to artists working in sculpture, photography, painting, printmaking, Motion Graphics, illustration, installation, industrial design, Graphic Design, and/or film & video. If your work falls outside these categories, drop us a line - we're pretty flexible. And if it falls between them, even better...The Selected Artist will receive a $1000 cash grant provided by the kind folks atPernod plus a 2-month residency at 3rd Ward with FULL access to studios and facilities along with an exhibition at 3rd Ward in June with a huge opening reception and city-wide press exposure.The Judging panel for this show will include Eric Singer, Director of LEMUR (Lemurbots.org), Jason Goodman, founder of 3rd Ward and others, TBD. Has $25.00 Submission Fee.

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modo 301 German City Roadshow 2008


+ maconcept, the SAE Institute and Luxology LLC has planed A roadshow (January 22-25th, 2008), which is taking place in Frankfurt, Cologne and Berlin, in the form of a series of demonstrations exploring all aspects of the modo software. The session will include a question and answer session and a workshop that will give attendees the opportunity to experience modo for themselves. The Session topics includes: modo philosophy, Subdivision surface modeling, UV editing, Sculpting, 3D painting and baking, Texturing and rendering, Animation, and Q&A /workshop. Attendees will receive a thorough overview of what modo offers as a 3D modeling and animation package, concluding with a Q&A session and informative workshop. Attendees can also see a preview of the upcoming modo 302.

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Thursday, January 17, 2008

XSI Tutorial - Global Illumination and Final Gathering in mental ray


+ Below is Free XSI Tutorial (video) especially created for CGIndia users by i3dTutorials. In this tutorial, you will Learn how to use mental ray's Global Illumination and Final Gathering inside SOFTIMAGE XSI for a photo-realistic render and learn industry tips and tricks on how to combine mental ray's lighting features for higher quality renders.

>> Click on image to Play Video Tutorial

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BAFTA announced VFX and Animation Nominees


+ The Visual Effects and Animated films nominations for the Orange British Academy Film Awards were announced today at Academy headquarters by the British Academy of Film and Television Arts. This year Pixar/Disneys RATATOUILLE, Dreamwork's SHREK THE THIRD and THE SIMPSONS MOVIE made into the list of nominees under Animated Film category. The 2008 nominees in the Short Animation category include; THE PEARCE SISTERS directed by Jo Allen and Luis Cook, HEAD OVER HEELS directed by Osbert Parker, Fiona Pitkin and Ian Gouldstone, And THE CRUMBLEGIANT directed by the duo Pearse Moore and John McCloskey.
The Nominees list for Achivement in Special Visual Effects are;
THE BOURNE ULTIMATUM – Peter Chiang/Charlie Noble/Mattias Lindahl/Joss Williams
THE GOLDEN COMPASS – Michael Fink/Bill Westenhofer/Ben Morris/Trevor WoodsHARRY POTTER AND THE ORDER OF THE PHOENIX – Tim Burke/John Richardson/Emma Norton/Chris Shaw
PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: AT WORLD’S END – John Knoll/Charles Gibson/Hal Hickel/John Frazier
SPIDER-MAN 3 – Scott Stokdyk/Peter Nofz/Kee-Suk Ken Hahn/Spencer Cook
The Orange British Academy Film Awards will be held on Sunday 10 February at the Royal Opera House in London's Covent Garden. The event, hosted by Jonathan Ross, promises to be bigger and better than ever and the ceremony will be broadcast around the world and on the BBC in the UK. Voting for the Film Awards began in December and the nominations were announced at the Academy’s headquarters on Wednesday 16 January. For full list of nominations for the Orange British Academy Film Awards in 2008 - Click Here

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Wednesday, January 16, 2008

3x3 illustration Competition


+ Call for Entries has been announced for 5th annual 3x3 illustration competition. (PR) This year you’ll find we’ve simplified the entry process, less paperwork to send in, fewer forms to fill out and you can enter and pay for your entries online. So if you’ve entered before we think you’ll notice a dramatic difference with the ease of entering. But what hasn’t changed is our selection of judges–the very best as always.
Student show
Some of the top illustrators working today to judge our student show. Not only are these great illustrators they’re also educators who hold a high standard when it comes to illustration. And we have one of the top international artist representatives rounding out our judging panel. Your work will be judged as if it were in a classroom situation as well as judged on its merits as pure illustration. All entries must be uploaded to our site or your package must be postmarked no later than February 14.
Professional show
We're putting the final details on our professional show which will be announced in mid-January. All entries must be uploaded to our site or your package must be postmarked no later than March 14.

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MaPZone 2.6



+ Allegorithmic, an emerging 3D technology company developing advanced texturing tools for real-time 3D content creation, today announced the immediate availability of MaPZone 2.6, its free professional texturing software. Based on a revolutionary procedural approach, MaPZone 2.6’s enhanced toolset and improved workflow gives artists unprecedented control when creating high-quality, lightweight bitmap quality textures for animation, game, visual effects, online media, design and architectural visualization projects. MaPZone 2.6 is free and is available for immediate download from www.mapzoneeditor.com.
New and improved features in MaPZone 2.6 include:
- New transformation operations, without automatic tiling
- New bitmap image input node (similar to existing SVG input node) allows users to mix bitmaps and procedural noises, making it easier to add details and matter to texture creations
- New feature automatically flags normal maps for usage in DirectX or OpenGL
- New functionality allows nodes of the graph to be realigned horizontally or vertically
- Existing connections between nodes in the graph can now be modified by simple drag and drop

- Reposition camera and object in 3DEdit panel to their default positions
- Quicker access to Filter Menu by hitting [SPACE] key

MaPZone 2.6 is an authoring tool designed specifically for editing and managing textures. Based on Allegorithmic's patented FXMaps technology, MaPZone is the only tool that allows users to locally edit procedural textures to create diffuse, specular and normal maps that are resolution independent, match up perfectly and seamlessly tile automatically.

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Npower Power Translators for Autodesk® Maya®



+ nPower Software (a division of IntegrityWare) announces the release of its popular Power Translators product on the Autodesk® Maya® / Autodesk® AliasStudio™ platform. Power Translators for Autodesk® 3ds Max® / Autodesk® Viz® has become the premier tool for design visualization. Now that popular tool is available for Autodesk® Maya® / Studio Tools®. Rendering CAD data in Autodesk® Maya® just became easier and more effective. Power Translators Maya is the most accurate and efficient solution for importing CAD data into Autodesk® Maya®. Power Translators Maya imports precise NURBS data into Maya instead of transferring imprecise polygonal representations. The result is that you get a more accurate representation, and beautiful, precise renderings. Autodesk® Maya® users no longer have to spend days or weeks translating their high quality surface and solids models into imprecise polygonal models, and then struggling to generate high quality renderings. Power Translators Maya leverages IntegrityWare's SOLIDS++ precise geometric representation to generate extraordinarily smooth, crack free mesh and produce renderings without polygonal artifacts. If you want to get the most accurate CAD data translation, and produce the highest quality renderings, Power Translators Maya is the solution. For more information on nPower Software, visit www.nPowerSoftware.com.

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Only 14 days to go before IMAGINA opens its doors !


+ From January 30th to February 1st, IMAGINA will welcome 3D professionals and students from the Industry, Architecture, Landscape & Urbanism, and Media Entertainment sectors. If you are not yet registered, this is the time to do it ! Please click here to register now.
Please find below the program for IMAGINA 2008:
Two Industry roundtables in partnership with Micado and the AFRV. Take this opportunity to meet Bernard Boime (EADS), Claude Houellebecq (Nissan)…
The 9th Europe Driving Simulation Conference (DSC) 2008 in partnership with Renault
Architecture Conferences in partnership with VINCI Construction. Not to be missed ! - Alvise Simonetti (ARUP), Edoardo Luzzatto-Giuliani (Gehry Technologies)…
Urbanism Conferences around the theme : Communicating with citizens using 3D technology
Media & Entertainment Conferences : discover visual effects used for Asterix, Sweeney Todd, Children of Men, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix…
Special events (Autodesk, IMAGTP, OKTAL, OPTIS)
Business meetings (the P.I.M.)
The market an its exhibitors
The IMAGINA Awards (ceremony followed by the projection of the competition nominees)

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NVidia Quadro FX 5600 Review by CGC


+ CgChannel recently did a editorial review on NVidia Quadro FX 5600 Graphic Card. The NVIDIA Quadro FX5600, introduced in March 2007, is designed to tackle the most demanding 3D animation, rendering and visualization tasks. We’re not talking about a gaming video card here, but rather a high-end professional level graphics card based on the G80GL GPU with a hefty 1.5GB of onboard memory. The Quadro FX5600 along with the FX4600 is NVIDIA’s flagship graphics card. We have put NVIDIA’s top model, the FX5600 to the test, and you wll find our results and comments below.

Another quick test was done with the particle flow in 3ds Max8. Nothing special here, except the FX5600 did effortlessly handle 1000 polygons per/sec with the 3ds Max generated particles.......Read on!!

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3D Rad


+ 3D Rad is a collection of intelligent objects you can combine in virtual space to create interactive 3d worlds. What you get depends on the nature of the objects you add and the relationships you establish between them. The current collection of objects is mainly geared towards racing/driving games, but the sky is the limit if you can use 3D Studio Max or any other 3d modeler that supports the DirectX (.x ) file format. Scripting is also supported for those who aren't afraid of coding. This release brings an improved Skin Mesh object now supporting multiple animation sets, animation-blending and frame-by-frame animation. The Car object (car simulation system) has also been improved and ready-to-use car layouts have been added.
>>
More Information

Monday, January 14, 2008

Advanced Character Rigging (Book)


+ Award-winning 3D animator TJ Galda has kicked off his new series of books on Character Rigging with an advanced book outlining how to create muscles and tendons using computer graphics software such as Autodesk's Maya. The book is designed to make the techniques as accessible as possible, so that even beginners can create and animate lifelike muscles for their animated characters. TJ Galda has worked as character technical director and studio technical supervisor on films like Fantastic Four, Shark Tale, Over the Hedge, and the upcoming Passengers, Passchendaele and Kung Fu Panda. He has also served at Electronic Arts Canada, during which he oversaw all art production on over 25 games at a time. Recently, Mr. Galda received the worldwide Autodesk Maya Master Award. In writing the book, Mr. Galda drew on his work in character animation, as well as his experience as an animation instructor, mentor, and lecturer.
In this book, you will learn how to create musculature for your characters that simulates sliding skin and flesh, while maintaining speed for animation. You will learn several tricks to create your own muscles, tendons, and more that do not require simulation and baking time. Starting from examining your forearm and hand, TJ Galda will go in depth on the usage and explanation of weight painting to maximize your efficiency. From there, we will progress into advanced rigging techniques including rigging with muscles, allowing for squash and stretch, writing custom expressions to account for various predictable anatomical phenomena and a variety of other advanced topics. These techniques have been utilized in several feature films and are based on a solid understanding of anatomy and Maya® software. You will also learn alternatives to dynamic musculature solutions and leave with a variety of options. His website can be found at www.tjgalda.com, and his book can be found at www.stores.lulu.com/tjgalda.

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Animatu 2008



+ Call for entries has been announced for Animation Festival, Animatu 2008. The festival holds an international Short competition, Workshops, Talks, among other activities. The Entries has been invited under four categories; 3d/2d , Machinima, Motion Graphics and Mobile Phone Animation. For 2D - 2D computer generated animations, with a maximum of 30 minutes. This includes all vector-based animations. You may use scanned images but the main effect can only be achieved through software. Example: digital cut-outs. The hand-draw frame-by-frame animations, made on paper or cel, scanned and digitally painted do not fit in this festival, unless this technique is only used as a complement to the digital one, being the acceptance to this competition dependent on the organization. Even if you use a digital tablet it still may not fit this festival. For 3D - 3D CGI with a maximum of 30 minutes. As for Machinima - Animations developed in a real-time virtual 3D or 3D game engine with a maximum of 15 minutes. For Motion Graphics - Computer generated 2D/3D graphics that use video and/or animation technology to create the illusion of motion with a maximum of 15 minutes. We seek works with more animation than live action. For Mobile Phone Animation - Animations optimized for Mobile Phones or PDA's with a maximum of 20 seconds. For more information about festival, please visit www.festivalanimatu.com.

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Zign Track - Facial motion capture software


+ The Zign Track is a new Facial Motion Tracking application that can track an Characters face with just one regular camera. Its developer boast of its cost effectiveness and its easy to use interface. The facial markers are tracked from only one point of view. Every motion the actor makes is converted to 3D motion. The technique used for this does not give 100% accurate positions in 3D space but is estimated motion based on the offset of each facial feature. This is why even a webcam can be used for motion tracking with Zign Track. Zign Track 1.0 handles head rotation, jaw / lip syncing, eyebrows, sneer and cheek movements. Things like lip curling, tongue and eye movement can be added in your 3D animation application. You can find more information about Zign Track and download trial version by following - this Link !!

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Reactor beginner tutorial


+ Reactor Beginner tutorial for 3ds Max users which explains an simple process of creating animated sequence of ; Car crashing through a wall using reactor, only for 3ds max 7 or up users and no 3d modeling is required.

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Competition for animation students in India


+ Hong Kong based creative company, Fluid Friction, is inviting artists, amateur artists, students and anyone with a desire to achieve immortality from all across India to participate in a unique Character Design Competition. The winning artist and their creation will be featured in Fluid Friction's debut comic book series, DevaShard, a new comic book inspired by Indian mythologies.
Taking inspiration from the description provided by
Fluid Friction ; artists are encouraged to use their imagination and develop a completely fresh and new character. The deadline for all character design submissions is February 1st, 2008. The top twenty character designs will be unveiled on the Fluid Friction website and the public will have the opportunity to narrow the selection to the final three by voting for their favourite design. After the voting period, Fluid Friction will select the winning character design to be included in DevaShard. The global launch of the comic book will begin in India in March 2008. The selected artist will see their character in print and also have their profile included on the Fluid Friction website as well as the chance to display their artwork at the upcoming CGF-X exhibition in Hong Kong. To find out more about the new comic book series, please visit www.devashard.com/.

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Friday, January 11, 2008

Cartoon Characters in modo 301



+ Digital-Tutors, a leader in video-based training, today announced the availability of 'Creating Cartoon Characters in modo' - the first release in a new library of interactive training for emerging digital artists learning modo, the artist-friendly 3D software for the PC and Mac. 'Creating Cartoon Characters in modo' provides over six hours of project-based training and guides artists through a time-saving approach to character creation, art direction, look development and the processes of modeling, texturing, and rendering cartoon characters using modo 301. Creating Cartoon Characters in modo training is available as a download and also ships on disc.
Highlights from 'Creating Cartoon Characters in modo' include: mesh sculpting, image-based sculpting, vector displacement, painting textures in modo, working in the shader tree, global illumination, constrain to background, copying and pasting polygons, reusing geometry, SDS subdivide, sub-d modeling tools, using morph maps to add facial expressions, using deformers, combining falloffs with other tools, combining images with effects in the shader tree, organizing the item list, using the Pen Tool, using Loop Slice, mirroring geometry, modeling with symmetry, using Element Move, selection methods, and additional lessons developed to teach artists the essentials of cartoon character creation with modo. For a full outline and pricing information of 'Creating Cartoon Characters in modo' visit: www.digitaltutors.com/store/product.php?productid=3425.

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140 high-resolution bush textures by Got3D


+ Got3D released its newest collection of plant material textures today, an assortment of 140 high-resolution bush Textures broken into four texture libraries. The bush textures cover a wide variety of commonly utilized species. With sufficient image detail to use in the extreme foreground, this library will find its way into all of your exterior renderings. And because most of the plants are shown from additional angles, you can maintain your environment's high level of verisimilitude in renderings from multiple camera angles. Each high-quality JPEG texture is paired with a perfectly matched alpha channel and averages 2,000 to 3,000 pixels tall or wide. Introductory pricing for each texture collection is only $30.00.The Bush Texture Collections add an important subset of landscaping plants to our already wide-ranging assortment of plant materials. From trees to grasses and now to bushes, we've got you (ground)covered! Download a full resolution sample today to test drive before you buy. And as always, this new collection is backed with a 100% satisfaction guarantee! To see all the new collections and to download a high quality samples, visit us at www.got3d.com/.

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Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Autodesk® Mudbox™ Contest


+ Only 21 days left to submit your entry in Autodesk’s Mudbox Contest, which has been launched on 3rd December 07 and will end on January 31, 2008 at 11:59 p.m. Using the high resolution brush-based 3D sculpting software, Autodesk Mudbox allows you to shape and sculpt your surface as one would with a slab of wet clay. Enhance existing models to their full potential with a flick of the mouse. Show how you can bring a creature to life. There are three models from which you can choose to work upon. Using either Lizard, Human or Drago -- digitally sculpt precise details with fast high-quality brushes. Paint and add detailed texture directly onto their geometry using customizable 3D brush stamps. Quickly stencil images over the model and rub those image details into their mesh. Use curves to precisely guide your brush strokes, for that specific position you need to get at. Take advantage of 3D layers to mask and blend different detail passes and libraries of morph targets - and use interactive multiplier sliders to adjust the blending results you desire. The most unique and interesting character modifications will win.

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Voice-O-Matic For Autodesks Maya



+ Di-O-Matic, a leading developer in user friendly character animation software, is proud to launch today Voice-O-Matic (Maya Edition).After five years of expertise in automating lip synchronization for thousands of CG characters, Voice-O-Matic is now available to the Autodesk Maya community. Di-O-Matic made a commitment to 3D animators, and from now on animators using Maya can also count on Voice-O-Matic to speed up their animations creation process. Di-O-Matic heard the call from animators that spending hours creating lip synch for CG characters can be tiring, and that manually generating every lip movement can be a long and tedious task. That’s why Voice-O-Matic was designed to combine a user friendly interface with a highly efficient and time saving system. Some of the most admired CG characters including Batman, Spider-man and Superman sport what Voice-O-Matic can achieve.
Being designed for animators by animators, Voice-O-Matic only requires an audio file to automatically produce accurate lip synch. Afterwards, the results can be easily tweaked to match perfectly any style of animation. Voice-O-Matic works with any type of character setup and with virtually every language. Combining these features has earned Voice-O-Matic the reputation of being the animators’ best friend when it comes to lip synch projects. Voice-O-Matic has also already earned its stripes with its use in leading feature films, popular television shows, commercials and award winning video games. 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 yearly Di-O-Matic VIP membership that allows you to automatically process an unlimited amount of audio files without any user interaction. Including this plug-in in your pipeline could easily 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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Cheetah3D 4.4



+ Cheetah3D 4.4 was released today. It improves the MacOS X 10.5 (Leopard) compatibility and should solve the last minor problems. Furthermore Cheetah3D improves binding a skeleton to a 3d mesh. Now it is possible to bind single joints to a mesh which don't build a bone with another joint. That makes it much easier to use skeletal animation for facial animations. Cheetah3D 4.4 is free for all registered Cheetah3D 4.x users. A single user license costs 129 US$ and 59 US$ for an update of an older version (1.x, 2.x or 3.x). Some of the New features in Cheetah3D 4.4 includes; improved Mac OS X 10.5 (Leopard) compatibility, enhanced skeletal binding (now also end joints get weights), enhanced OpenGL preview , added splash screen to Cheetah3D , added Transform, Move, Scale and Rotate toolbar icons.

Cascade SIGGRAPH and Frederator Studios Presents “Drinking and Drawing”


+ Ever want to make an animated movie? Cascade ACM SIGGRAPH, Oregon and Southwest Washington’s local SIGGRAPH chapter, today announced in partnership with Frederator Studios “Drinking and Drawing,” scheduled to take place Wednesday, Jan. 23 at 8 p.m. at Someday Lounge located at 125 NW 5 Avenue in downtown Portland, Ore.This event brings together a multitude of Portland’s creative minds and cartoon enthusiasts for a night of collective animation that culminates in an animated movie. Participants will be broken up into teams as the first set of six animators race to create eight frames in ten minutes, leaving their last frame on their light box. Starting with the previous artist’s last frame, the next set of people will produce another eight frames, and so on. Each animator will only see the frames he or she is currently drawing. At the end of the evening, six different collaborative films will be projected on the big screen for everyone to enjoy. Location and RegistrationThe Cascade ACM SIGGRAPH “Drinking and Drawing” event will take place Wednesday, Jan. 23 starting at 8 p.m. at Someday Lounge, located at 125 NW 5 Avenue, Portland, Ore. For directions, visit www.somedaylounge.com/location . Please note the venue is 21 and over and non-smoking.This and other Cascade ACM SIGGRAPH meetings are free to Cascade SIGGRAPH chapter members. Nonmembers will need to pay a $5 admissions fee at the door. New members who sign up on site and pay the $35 annual membership fee do not have to pay the $5. Sorry, checks or cash only; no credit cards accepted. For more information on Cascade ACM SIGGRAPH and membership registration, visit the Cascade ACM SIGGRAPH website at www.cascadesiggraph.org.

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Autodesk Wins National Television Academy Awards for 3ds Max and Maya


+ Autodesk, Inc. (NASDAQ:ADSK) announced today that its Autodesk 3ds Max software and Autodesk Maya software for 3D modeling, animation and rendering have won Technology and Engineering Awards from the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, in the Gaming Category of Visual Digital Content Creation Tools and Their Impact. Now in its fourth year, this category award recognizes pioneering efforts and breakthroughs in the gaming world.
Seth Haberman, chair of the Video Gaming and Technology Awards Panel, said, "An expert peer group studied digital content creation tools over a six-month period, and we unanimously awarded both Autodesk tools. The majority of video games are created with Autodesk products. As well, these industry- standard tools continue to shape the most sophisticated digital content across numerous entertainment platforms. I congratulate Autodesk on driving 3D innovation with 3ds Max and Maya."
Marc Petit, senior vice president, Autodesk Media & Entertainment, said, "On behalf of Autodesk, I thank the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences for this tremendous honor. I'd also like to thank all the Autodesk artists out there. They have an amazing passion for our products; constantly
motivating and inspiring us to take our tools in new directions. We're dedicated to making 3ds Max and Maya the most innovative 3D tools for storytelling, cinematography and visual communication."
3ds Max and Maya received the awards on January 7, 2008 at the 59th Annual Technology and Engineering Awards ceremony held in Las Vegas, Nevada. Launched in 1948, the Technology and Engineering Awards honor development and innovation in broadcast technology and recognize companies, organizations and individuals for breakthroughs in technology that have a significant effect on television engineering.

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Saturday, January 05, 2008

finalRender Stage-2 SP4 for Maya


+ cebas Computer, maker of finalRender®, today announces the release of Service Pack 4 for finalRender Stage-2 for Maya. All users should download SP4 and install it today! It is strongly recommended that you always keep your software up to date with these Service Packs. Please be aware that all of the prior Service Pack fixes are included within this latest version of the software and you do NOT need to install all of the patches in order to become current. Simply installing the SP4 build will give you all of the updates, fixes and enhancements. finalRender Stage-2 for Maya is now compatibile with Maya 2008 and contains many fixes and improvements. SP4 is a free download and can be acquired by registered users at the cebas Shop. finalRender Stage-2 SP4 is a full install and you should completely remove any previous install from add/remove programs, Before installing.

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Academy Picks Visual Effects Films


+ Academy picks 15 films that will be considered for VFX Oscar, Reports variety.com. The entire list of 15, in alphabetical order, is: “Beowulf,” “The Bourne Ultimatum,” “Evan Almighty,” “The Golden Compass,” “Harry Potter And The Order Of The Phoenix,” “I Am Legend,” “Live Free Or Die Hard,” “National Treasure: Book Of Secrets,” “Pirates Of The Caribbean: At World's End,” “Ratatouille,” “Spider-Man 3,” “Sunshine,” “300,” “Transformers,” and “The Water Horse.” The Academy instituted the short list this year so that its Visual Effects branch could see all the contending films before selecting the seven that will compete in the bake-off. Three of those seven will receive VFX Oscar nominations.
Source: Variety.com

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Thursday, January 03, 2008

Furnace 4 for eyeon Fusion



+ Leading visual effects software developer The Foundry is delighted to announce the release of its Furnace 4 plug-ins for eyeon Software’s Fusion. The recently released toolset is brand new to Fusion artists, giving them access to a host of advanced image processing tools designed to enhance workflow and boost productivity in digital visual effects post production. Thousands of leading digital artists worldwide already take advantage of Furnace to ease the routine processes involved with the creation of digital visual effects. With The Foundry’s Furnace 4 for Fusion now shipping, Fusion artists will, for the first time, be able to gain access to a broad range of The Foundry’s sophisticated motion estimation technology.
The Furnace 4 for Fusion toolset is born from The Foundry’s OFX initiative. Launched in 2004, OFX (Open FX) is free-of-charge, open source plug-in standard for developing 2D digital visual effects. OFX was instantly welcomed for its benefits to digital artists and their clients, and for allowing developers to focus more R&D time on new solutions to advance the art of digital effects. And The Foundry is delighted that eyeon has joined the growing list of supported OFX hosts. Bruno Nicoletti, Chief Technology Officer, The Foundry commented “eyeon has supported the OFX initiative from very early on and we are thrilled that we are now able to add Fusion to our list of supported OFX hosts. The collaborative efforts of our development teams have culminated in a significant number of our Furnace plug-ins being available for Fusion artists, enabling a broader range of digital artists to take advantage of our advanced motion estimation technology on their compositing application of choice.” ...“It is no secret that the Furnace plug-ins have been in high demand for some time now. Artists know a good fit when they see one – and Furnace and Fusion just makes sense," commented Isaac Guenard, Senior Product Manager at eyeon Software.
Furnace 4 for Fusion includes; Align, BlockTexture, ChannelRepair, ColourAlign, ColourMatte, Contrast, Correlate, DeBlur, DeFlicker, DeFlicker2, DeGrain, DeNoise, Depth, DirtRemoval, FrameRepair, Kronos, MatchGrade, MotionBlur, MotionMatch, MotionMatte, MotionSmooth, PixelTexture, ReGrain, RigRemoval, ScratchRepair, ShadowRemoval, SmartFill, Splicer, Steadiness, Tile and WireRemoval. For further information please visit
www.thefoundry.co.uk.

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Call for Entries: ZGRAF 10



+ ZGRAF invites international submissions in two sections: a traditional Review of graphic design production and a special Theme section: Local/Global. Work submitted for the Review must have been produced between 1 January 2004 and 15 February 2008. Work for the Theme section may be produced especially for the occasion. Submissions must be received by 15 February 2008.

ZGRAF is an international triennial exhibition of graphic design and visual communications held in Zagreb, Croatia since 1975. ZGRAF is organised by the ULUPUH, the Croatian Association of Artists of Applied Arts, a Professional Member of Icograda. Throughout the years, ZGRAF exhibitions have gathered designers, theoreticians and critics in order to discuss essential design issues and design status in contemporary society, including: the importance of design as a profession (ZGRAF 1); the relationships between graphic design and art (ZGRAF 3); the importance of education and the establishment of a design school (ZGRAF 5); the advance of digital technology in design - web design and multimedia as new design segments (ZGRAF 8); and the role and social responsibility of design and designers in the area of advertising (ZGRAF 9). ZGRAF 10 aims to be a meeting point of different cultures, a point of confrontation and dialogue between the local and the global, a study point of mutual impacts, a point of respect and connection between differences, a point of verification and learning about new values that may ultimately surface from these encounters.

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Gnomon hosts : Craft Animations USA Launch


+ On Thursday Jan. 10, 2008, the Gnomon School of Visual Effects is hosting Craft Animations' launch in the U.S. The event will introduce attendees to Craft and feature a tech talk by the creator of Craft Director Tools, CTO of Craft Animations Luigi Tramontana. In addition, Mark Noland of Autodesk will demonstrate the new features of 3ds Max 2008, and Andrew Roberts from Digital Dimensions will give a very special presentation on the importance of realistic motion in visual effects and, more specifically, Digital's reasons for choosing Craft Animations for their latest project, GET SMART. A Meet & Greet will begin at 6:00 pm, with the presentation starting at 7:00 pm. It will take place at the Gnomon School of Visual Effects, located at 1015 N. Cahuenga Blvd., Stage 15, Hollywood, California 90038. RSVP to this free event at reserve@gnomon3d.com. Find more about event - click here!!

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Tuesday, January 01, 2008

The Mill & Psyop Get Juicy with Orangina



+ After a two-day, highly detailed and choreographed motion-capture shoot involving professional dancers performing the moves and acting out the central story, , a basic edit was completed, to be replaced later on with the 3D animated characters. The Mill’s 3d team led by CGI & Animation supervisor Juan Brockhaus then took all the motion-capture data in to ‘motion builder’ where it was mapped to the rough 3D models to establish the timings of the edit. It was then brought into XSI, where hand animation of details such as fingers and facial expressions was carried out including some major re-animation of the characters. It was one thing motion capturing a dancer and quite another translating human motion to that of a ten foot high giraffe! Meanwhile, the Mill’s environment team were busy collaborating on the look and feel of the scenery, mixing 3D elements such as grass, shrubs, trees and the stage with matte paintings for the landscape. In-house tools gave the Mill artists the opportunity to .........Read more!!

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Thinking Animation: Bridging the Gap Between 2D and CG



+ Thinking Animation: Bridging the Gap Between 2D and CG, is an interesting new book by Angie Jones and Jamie Oliff, which offers a fresh perspective on the subject of animation and computer graphics. Learn how to think before you animate. Thinking Animation is a one-of-a-kind book that emphasizes how artists can use traditional animation techniques and principles with the computer generated animation technology of today. Written by seasoned animators with experience in both 2D and CG, Thinking Animation is an exquisite guide aimed at experienced animators; however, the skills taught within are still accessible and valuable to the novice animator. This full-color book includes numerous interviews with experienced contributing authors from a wide range of backgrounds, including stop-motion, visual effects, traditional animation, and CG. Thinking Animation is non-software specific. It contains a history of the field of animation as well as insight into how CG studios operate. It embraces the future of animating with the computer while still retaining the core values that traditional animators use as formulas and principles.

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Pakistan`s First Graphic Art E-Magazine Launched



+ Some more visual treat, some more awesome illustrations, some more interesting interviews and above all loads of inspirational stuff,...Is coming your way in the form of E-magazine and this time its our neighbors whose up to the task of feeding creative section of our brains with some real inspirational work from Pakistani Artists. The first Pakistani Graphic Arts E-magazine has been launched, which features awesome illustrations, interviews, concept art and focus on talented Pakistani digital artists. The first launch issue features graphic artist and animator Khalid Ali. Good luck to you, guys!!

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Pixel Farm Offers PFTrack 4.1 PLE



+ The Pixel Farm Ltd. , a leading developer of innovative, collaborative solutions that are specifically designed to meet the needs of artists working in digital intermediate, restoration, visual effects, gaming and broadcast markets has released PFTrack 4.1 Personal Learning Edition (PLE). The complete toolset of PFTrack 4.1, including geometry tracking, image-based modeling, z-depth extraction and multiple-motion solves, is included in PFTrack 4.1 PLE. Not only does PFTrack provide you with the best and most cost effective professional Match Moving system on the market but it also allows you to generate Optical flow data, Z depth data and geometry for use in your entire visual effects pipeline.Autodesk FBX and Apple Motion offers PFTrack streamlined interoperability between many applications, including Flame, Flint and Smoke. Apple Motion is supported by exporting either a native camera file, or an entire scene file. The unique geometry tracking system in PFTrack 4.1 allows 3D geometry to be imported into PFTrack and then matched to sequences, making this an ideal tool for head and facial replacement meaning artists can now be confident that animated CG, when rendered and composited, will exactly match the live action.
The PLE version of PFTrack is fully functional without a license, however it will not allow you to export data. You can save your project and use the software to learn the tools within PFTrack. Project Data from the PLE version of PFTrack is not compatible with the Commercial version and can not be opened with it.

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Trapcode - Particular V1.5 For AE


+ Particular is a powerful 3D particle system that can produce a wide range of effects from natural smoke and explosions to geometric or organic abstract motion graphics design elements.The real-time interactive preview allows browsing through the numerous presets and playing with them interactively to get a feeling of the dynamics. Tight integration with Adobe After Effects provides bouncing particles on 3D layers, emitting particles from layers and lights and using a layer as custom particle. Comp-camera aware and 16bit of course! New features in Particular V 1.5 include:
Depth of Field:
depths of an image. This new version of Trapcode Particular mimics the look of a real camera by adding a Depth of Field simulation. Depth of Field is useful to generally increase realism or to match footage shot with a real camera where Depth of Field is apparent.
Motion Path:
This new feature gives the possibility to control the path particles travel efter beeing born.Motion Path is useful when precise control of the particle path is needed.
Particle count:
The current number of particles in the simulation are displayed in the Info window during render. Two numbers are displayed: Total is the total number of particles at the current frame. Visible is the number of particles actually visible in the frame, others may be behind the camera or on the sides. Normally the Visible count is less than the Total count, but in one case it can be the other way; when Motion Blur is enabled in-between particles are created that do not contribute to the Total count, but they do contribute to the Visible count. The particle count is useful when trying to optimize a render, always try to keep both numbers as low a possible!
>> Trapcode - Particular for AE

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damnfx delivers eye-popping Cover Art for National Geographic Magazine



+ Montreal-based visual effects and animation studio damnfx delivers eye-popping cover art for the December 2007 issue of National Geographic Magazine. Montreal’s damnfx is proud to have created the cover image of this December’s National Geographic Magazine, devoted to the topic of “bizarre dinosaurs.” Following earlier work for the prestigious society, including images for the December 2005 issue, and ten minutes of animation for this fall’s IMAX 3D stereoscopic extravaganza Sea Monsters: A Prehistoric Adventure, damnfx was tapped to create and image of the skull and neck of the dracorex hogwartsia (“King of the Dragons”).
To reconstruct the dinosaur, damnfx creative director Mark Dubeau relied on photographic material of dracorex fossils: “Judging from the skull alone, we knew that it was going to be a really detailed and complex build to get this guy right. Just a mess of knobs, scales and horns.” The creative team relied heavily on Maya’s 3D software package and Z-Brush to generate the 3D geometry, Photoshop to color and texture the creature, Mental Ray to shade and render the final image with final touch ups being done in Photoshop. “We kept the team small, led by myself and texture artist Marc-André Dostie doing the heavy lifting. In doing so, we were able to effect changes quickly and on the fly.” Josh Smith, Paleontology Specialist at National Geographic commented: “This is easily the best reconstruction of dracorex out there… period. Heck, in terms of texture and color, it’s one of the best dinosaur reconstructions I’ve seen.”

“This cover is probably the coolest thing that has happened to us in the dino field,” adds Bruce Buckmeier, the paleontologist who discovered the new species. “We always wanted our dino mentioned in National Geographic. We never dreamed it would make the cover, and with such a great rendition by damnfx. This was to me, even more exciting than finding the dinosaur.”
“The result, I think, speaks for itself. And it always feels good to see one of our creations peering back at us from the news-stand,” concludes Dubeau.

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First Annual Computer Generated Images for Advertising & Marketing Conference (CGAM)


+ Hollywood has been selected as the host city for the first annual Computer Generated Images for Advertising & Marketing conference (CGAM). CGAM will take place at the Renaissance Hollywood Hotel - March 10 & 11, 2008. CGAM is the premier annual global conference for professionals focusing on cutting-edge technology and the value of Computer Generated Images (CGI) in marketing and advertising. The conference features a variety of tutorials and conference sessions that cover current topics related to CGI. CGI experts, ad agencies, implementers, manufacturers, inventors, clients and vendors are invited to attend this unique conference. The interactive format makes the CGAM Conference a great place to meet and exchange ideas with leading experts, find out about the needs of potential clients, or get information about new and existing products. Sponsors include: RealTime Technologies/ RTT, Saddington & Baynes, Bunkspeed, Mackevision, AutoDesk and Radiance. For conference details and to request more information, visit www.cgamconference.com.

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