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Friday, February 29, 2008

PipelineFX Announces Support for 3Delight Renderer


+ PipelineFX, makers of Qube!™, the leading render farm management software for film production, game development, and digital media education around the world, today announced that it has released official support for DNA Research's 3Delight RenderMan®-compliant renderer. 3Delight is a fast, high quality, RenderMan®-compliant renderer designed to produce photorealistic images in demanding production environments. Some of its features include ray tracing, global illumination (including photon mapping, final gathering and high dynamic range lighting and rendering), realistic motion blur, depth of field, complete geometry support (including efficient rendering of hair and fur), programmable shaders, quality antialiasing and antialiased shadow maps. Advanced features include Ri filtering, network caching and highly customizable workflow. It is available for Windows, Linux and Mac OS X.
Qube!'s Maya jobtype supports
3Delight as a Maya-compliant renderer. An artist simply chooses “3Delight” as the renderer within Maya and fills in the submission dialog. The render machines launch Maya and utilize the plug-in 3Delight renderer to render the scene. Artists can then easily manage their 3Delight jobs through the Qube! GUI, the standard artist interface to a Qube!-based render farm. “We’re excited that 3Delight users will finally have the full benefit of a tight integration with Qube!,” said Aghiles Kheffache, CTO of Singapore-based DNA Research. “We love Qube!’s interface that provides flexibility and configurability. Qube! is the first product we recommend to our clients looking for a render farm management solution.”
DNA Research develops rendering solutions for the demanding CG film production pipeline environment. For more information about DNA Research and 3Delight,
www.3delight.com. For more information about PipelineFX, please visit www.pipelinefx.com.

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Oscar Winning Short - Peter & the Wolf


+ Go behind the scenes to check out the post-production of Oscar Winning Short "Peter & the Wolf" with director Suzie Templeton. The film is based around the story of Peter and the Wolf and is set to the music Sergei Prokofiev wrote for the story in 1936. In common with other animated shorts such as The Snowman the film has no vocals but relies on music and action to tell the story. Conceived and directed by award-winning animator Suzie Templeton, this modern-day "Peter & the Wolf" uses stop-frame model animation, puppets and digital photography to re-tell the enduring classic. A new recording of Prokofiev's music was made to accompany the cinema and television release. The recording was made by the Philharmonia Orchestra and conducted by Mark Stephenson.

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Call for Entries: LACDA 'TOP 40' JURIED SHOW


+ Forty Winners! Enter our "TOP 40" juried competition for digital art and photography. Entrants submit three JPEG files of original work. All styles of artwork and photography where digital processes of any kind were integral to the creation of the images are acceptable. Open to all geographical locations. Forty selected winners receive one print up to 24x36 on museum quality paper to be shown in an international group exhibition in our gallery from April 10- May 3, 2008. The show will be widely promoted and will include a reception for the artists.
Many artists from this exhibition continue their relationship with LACDA with exhibitions in solo shows or exhibitions curated outside of LACDA and digital art and photo fairs where LACDA participates. All entries are given special consideration for exhibiting at LACDA and outside exhibitions where we are featured. Artists participating in our competitions form the pool of artists from which we select the vast majority of those featured at LACDA and are often considered by our associated network of galleries and curators. Proceeds from the competition support these gallery programs. Juror Rex Bruce has curated and participated in over 50 exhibits since the founding of LACDA in 2004 and is internationally recognized as a leader and expert in the field. Registration fee is $30US and Online registration only. Multiple entries are permitted, seperate entry fee required for eachset of three images submitted.
Deadline for Entries: March 20, 2008
Winners Announced: March 27, 2008
Exhibit Dates: April 10-May 3, 2008
For more information, please visit www.lacda.com

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Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Nuke 5 Arrives



+ Leading visual effects software developer The Foundry is delighted to announce the next major release of its powerful compositing application, Nuke. Nuke 5 features a brand new user interface, the addition of Python for scripting, support for stereoscopic workflow, and with the ability to read, process and write over 1,000 channels per stream, it now features the industry’s broadest support for EXR images.
Since taking on the development of Nuke The Foundry’s goal has been to remain true to the original concept of developing a comprehensive compositing solution that is ‘designed by artists for artists’. With user requirements as the driver, The Foundry has concentrated on enriching and refining the product, building on its already strong foundations and focussing development efforts on areas that required renovation. Nuke 5 is the first major step towards this goal.
"Nuke is a complete pipeline tool. We created a pipeline for a job within days that would not have been possible with any other software. Within three days of getting our license we generated over 85,000 frames of data that equalled 350 variations for the client. Nuke 5’s support for OpenEXR is so effortless that our renders comein and we just work." Robert Nederhorst, VFX Supervisor at SpeedShape’s Los Angeles studio.
Applying over a decade of software development experience and close collaboration with the growing Nuke community, The Foundry has reworked Nuke’s UI to improve the user experience and make it more approachable for a broader range of artists. In addition to augmenting the existing floating window layouts with a flexible panes and panels system, Nuke 5 features per-node mask inputs, and expanded LUT support for file I/O colourspace conversion.
Since its inception, Nuke’s extensive scripting capabilities have been a key feature for many of its adopters, and The Foundry has taken this to the next level by adding support for the Python scripting language for the version 5 release.
The Foundry’s product development has long-benefited from close working relationships with some of the industry’s leading post production facilities. The latest challenge facing these cutting edge artists is the dramatic increase in volumes of stereoscopic projects. The Foundry has responded by laying the groundwork for efficient multi-view compositing in Nuke 5.
“With the latest Nuke developments we are reinforcing our commitment to deliver first-class products that assist creativity, workflow and productivity, no matter how demanding the pipeline,” said Dr BillCollis, CEO, The Foundry. “Close relationships with our Nuke and plug-in customers are fundamental to our work – we listen to what they say they need for their pipelines today and tomorrow and this drives our R&D.” Available on Linux, Windows, and Mac platforms Nuke delivers unparalleled speed, an efficient multi-channel scanline rendering engine, and powerful feature set unrivalled in the desktop market.
Availability and Pricing

Now shipping, Nuke 5 is priced at $3,500 / £1,750 with render nodes priced at: $250 / £125, with the annual maintenance and support contract prices at $1,000 / £500 per GUI license. Nuke 5 is available for existing customers with valid maintenance at no extra cost, customers can download now from The Foundry website www.thefoundry.co.uk

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CGIndia On Google Homepage



+ Now can integrate your favorite website right into your Google homepage (iGoogle), and get all the latest news of Computer Graphics industry, as soon as we updates on our website. New software release, Plugins updates, latest tutorials, reviews, Competitions and much more, all at your fingertips. iGoogle is a more personal way to use Google.com. Customize your page anyway you like, by adding your favorite themes and gadgets from across the web.
>>
CGIndia on iGoogle

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PRINT Magazine's Regional Design Annual


+ PRINT Magazine has announced call for entries for the 2008 Regional Design Annual. This issue, the Regional Design Annual, is the most comprehensive survey of graphic design in the United States-and one of the biggest issues to hit the graphic design industry each year. All winning work will be organized by region and featured in the December 2008 issue of PRINT. We received more than 20,000 individual entries for the 2007 Regional Annual, from almost every state. The process of selection in all regions of the country was as stringent as ever, and, as always, we feel that the work we chose is first-rate, and that it represents the best design, illustrations, and photography being produced throughout the United States. NEW for 2008: Entering your work is even easier. You can now register and pay for your entries online.

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Saturday, February 23, 2008

LightWave® v9.5



NewTek Announces Fourth Major Update to LightWave 3D® v9 - Update to award-winning 3D animation system includes addition of hair and fur along with new real-world lighting system and advancements in global illumination
+ NewTek, Inc., manufacturer of industry-leading video and 3D animation products, today announced LightWave® v9.5, a major update to its award-winning 3D modeling application, LightWave 3D®. LightWave® v9.5 new capabilities include a complete hair and fur solution, new lighting system and many improvements to animation, global illumination, rendering and workflow. The update will be available to registered owners of the LightWave v9 series at no charge. The LightWave v9.5 Open Beta program is scheduled to begin early March; LightWave v9 owners who wish to participate may register now by visiting: www.
register.newtek.com.
“As promised with the LightWave v9 series we’ve added major capabilities with each of the updates we’ve delivered so far and LightWave v9.5 is certainly no exception,” said Jay Roth, president, NewTek 3D Division. “With the addition of a complete hair and fur solution, all new real-world lighting system and GI that is significantly faster with even more beautiful results, LightWave v9.5 has something to offer the 3D community regardless of the specialty - from game developers to character animation to architectural visualization.”
LightWave v9.5 Update Includes:
Character Animation Enhancements
New Hair and Fur System
Enhanced IK and Animation Systems
- New Collada, FBX and OBJ I/O
- New IK Calculation Options for Faster Performance
- New Bone Type - Joints
- New Objective Options for IK
- IK/FK blending
- Multi-threaded Mesh Deformation Evaluation
>>
Read more about new release

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nPower translator - Revit to 3ds Max


+ nPower's Revit to Max bi-directional translation solution provides your design visualization team the most advanced Revit to 3ds Max translation tools on the market today. nPower Software’s precise surface and solid modeling technology plugs directly into 3ds max enabling an accurate data transfer portal allowing you pass Revit data seamlessly back and forth between Max and Revit without polygonal data loss.
Experience the advantages of nPower translators
The 3ds Max nPower advanced visualization environment provides your Revit model with infinite resolution surfaces producing stunning photo-real surfaces that you can easily cut away and reveal without rendering artifacts. Easily create close-up renderings without conventional polygon faceting by easily controlling the level of detail on any selected Revit object. Compress your Revit model data structures to the absolute smallest memory footprint with our Power Cache technology giving you the extra space you need to render hi resolution large format images. Organize your Revit model in Max with our advanced Revit Material support by layer and an easy to browse instanced multi-sub object material. Collaborate with other CAD applications like Inventor and Rhino to produce highly accurate complex design and planning visualizations. Conceptualize freeform volumes, structures and shapes from furniture to light fixtures with the industry's most flexible solid modeler and then export them directly to Revit for dimensioning and construction. If you’re looking for a Revit to Max and back solution that will give you the edge in the world of architectural visualization then take our no risk 30 day free test drive and experience the nPower translation advantage.
Revit to Max Beta Download here

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NVIDIA Quadro FX 3600M professional graphics solution for notebook and laptop workstations


+ NVIDIA Corporation (Nasdaq: NVDA) , the world leader in visual computing technologies, today introduced the NVIDIA Quadro® FX 3600M professional GPU for notebook and laptop workstations. This new graphics solution defines a new level of graphics performance and advanced visual computing for designers, engineers, and scientists who demand the functionality of a desktop workstation on a notebook platform.
“Design professionals, who rely on the high-performance and advanced features of NVIDIA Quadro graphics in a desktop workstation, can also experience this same level of performance in a notebook workstation,” said Jeff Brown, general manager, Professional Solutions, NVIDIA. “With the new NVIDIA Quadro FX 3600M GPU, the notebook becomes a powerful workstation, allowing professionals to work anywhere, anytime without sacrificing graphics quality or performance.” “The HP Compaq 8710w mobile workstation, with the new NVIDIA Quadro FX 3600M GPU, is our most powerful mobile workstation to date,” said Dan Forlenza, vice president, Business Notebooks, HP. “The implementation of high-performance features such as CUDA and Shader Model 4.0 technology on the mobile GPU, gives professionals the workstation-caliber processing and graphics performance they need to go wherever their work takes them.”
These new platforms deliver a uniform feature set, which include Shader Model 4.0, CUDA™ technology and GPU computing for visualization. Professionals working with large datasets, models, and images in markets such as computer-aided design (CAD), digital content creation (DCC), imaging, computing, and the sciences, are now unchained from their desktop workstations with notebook solutions that feature the latest Quadro professional graphics architecture. Engineered to deliver high performance and visualization of extensive datasets with extremely high image quality in an ISV-certified, notebook platform, the Quadro FX 3600M is available as a fully qualified MXM v2.1A type-III form factor mobile workstation graphics board with:
- 512 MB G-DDR3 memory

- 256-bit memory interface
- 51.2 GBps graphic memory bandwidth
- OpenGL 2.1, Shader Model 4.0, and DirectX 10
- PowerMizer™ adaptive power management tools
The complete line of NVIDIA Quadro FX notebook solutions are widely available through leading OEMs such as HP, Dell, Lenovo, Fujitsu Japan, and FSC as well as workstation system integrators. For more information about the entire series of NVIDIA professional Quadro solutions, please visit
www.nvidia.com/quadro.

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Quest3D 4.0


+ The Version 4.0 of Quest3D® is now available from Quest3D resellers and the Quest3D website. With the release of Quest3D 4.0, Act-3D™ B.V. lifts its flagship to an even higher quality level of real-time 3D application development. New functionality contains real-time support for COLLADA, Newton Game Dynamics, Advanced Weather Simulation, 3D GUI Support and a fully Object-Oriented development model. The new release is a giant leap forward in real-time 3D software development. High-end 3D software projects, such as 3D architecture visualizations, product and design presentations games and training simulators benefit from the newly supported technologies in Quest3D.
At a glance
“This is one of the largest steps forward in Quest3D history”, says Remco Jacobs, CTO at Act-3D. “We wanted the real-time 3D industry to be able to utilize everything that is expected from an advanced software engineering tool. We have put a huge amount of effort in making Quest3D a tool for large and advanced projects.”The biggest change is how Quest3D allows you to structure your project. The huge amount of features and image quality have always been the strong points of Quest3D. With the new version it gains another strong point: the ability to build complicated projects and standardize them for future use. Projects can now be divided into modules, parts can be reused and overall manageability is greatly improved. Further, it is now possible to import COLLADA models on the fly. The Newton Game Dynamics engine teaches the software some new tricks and there is an environment system that easily allows you to create skies, clouds, moon, sun, lightning and weather elements. You can just type in a location, time of day and it will draw the starts, moon and sun at the exact locations they should be. New GUI components allow quick creation of sliders, buttons or other user interface elements and as a bonus the OGG sound format is now supported.
Availability
The new version is available for free for users that purchased version 3 after July 2007. New users will get the new version directly if they purchase it through the Quest3D web shop or through the Quest3D reseller network. Both web shop and a list of resellers is available on
www.quest3d.com.

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finalRender Stage-2 for Maya SP4a Released


+ (PR) cebas Computer, maker of finalRender®, today announces the release of Service Pack 4a for finalRender Stage-2 for Maya. All users should download SP4a and install it today!
Service Pack 4a for Maya
Welcome to Service Pack 4a for finalRender Stage-2 for Maya. In our ongoing desire to serve the needs and expectations of our customers, cebas Computer will periodically release Service Packs to enhance features and stability for your production usage. 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 Packfixes 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 SP4a build will give you all of the updates and fixes. SP4a is a free download and can be acquired by registered users at the cebas Shop

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Allegorithmic Unveils Substance at GDC 2008


+ Allegorithmic, an emerging 3D technology company developing advanced texturing tools for real-time 3D content creation, today announced Allegorithmic’s Substance®, its new texturing middleware for authoring, generating and streaming dynamic textures in real time. Shown for the first time at the 2008 Game Developers Conference (GDC), Substance is poised to redefine the development and distribution of rich content for the next generation of online and retail games. For more information please visit Allegorithmic during GDC 2008 in the North Hall, booth #6533.
“Substance addresses a tremendous need in the games industry and is the culmination of more than two years R&D time at Allegorithmic,” said Dr. Sebastien Deguy, the company’s president and founder. “For the first time, developers and players have a powerful solution that is so fast it allows for continuous texture streaming during the execution of a game. With Substance, game play will no longer be restricted by bandwidth or memory allocation issues, enabling developers and players to experience higher resolution textures, more dynamic content and richer environments.”
“Substance brings us a clear technological edge,” said Gregory Garcia, lead graphics engineer at Ubisoft. “Procedural generation of textures allows us to consider new asynchronous loading strategies in order to obtain much bigger worlds. Moreover, Substance will allow us to create richer and more diversified content as well as spectacular graphical effects with controlled production costs.” Substance is Allegorithmic’s new generation of middleware for authoring and generating textures that feature unprecedented visual quality and graphical detail.

Some of Substance’s key features include:
• Continuous texture streaming allows delivery of 2-4 times more detailed texture data and real-time integration of weather dependant effects, visual post processes, on-the-fly decal generation and breakable environments. • Fast and multi-threaded texture generation (higher than 4MB/s per core or per SPU) makes it ideal for racing games, flight simulations and other games featuring large environments and/or open worlds. • 90% linearity in the number of cores means Substance doesn’t impact the GPU and the frame rate of the game. • Significantly minimizes texture memory allocation needs. • Provides a solution to tedious seek times of DVDs.
“As the games industry continues to experience exponential growth, the demand for scalable content will be a critical component of development,” said Wanda Meloni, president and senior technology analyst of DFC Intelligence. “Allegorithmic’s Substance represents a significant contribution to the games industry and will add tremendous value to today’s next-generation game development pipelines, as well as help developers extend the graphical richness of their creations.”
Pricing and Availability
Substance pricing models vary based on type of game and gaming platform. Substance is scheduled to ship in spring 2008. For more information, please contact the company’s headquarters in Clermont-Ferrand, France at +33 4 73 34 70 80, or visit
www.allegorithmic.com.

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DX Studio 2.3 Released


+ Pinewood studios based software developers Worldweaver Ltd announce the latest release of their games and simulation platform DX Studio. The Version 2.3 comes packed with new features including PhysX support, depth of field, simple user control creation, scrolling listboxes, full tweening on all object properties, DXT support and a spherical map importer. There have also been a number of performance and memory usage optimizations. Full details of all the new features in v2.3 can be found at www.dxstudio.com/news .
“We’ve done a lot of work embedding the PhysX engine into DX Studio but the benefits of using PhysX should really help users looking to create particular gaming environments, especially given the recent announcement of Nvidia’s acquisition of Ageia and that they will soon introduce PhysX physics processing support into all GeForce 8-series graphics cards through a simple software download. Of course we have still kept the option of using Bullet physics too as it is still proving to be more appropriate for creating certain environments ” said CEO and founder Chris Sterling.

The latest version of DX Studio also sees the release of their own demo game, Hut of the Dead ( www.hutofthedead.com/). The game is free to play and all script available to DX Studio users to help with their own projects. There is also a competition running for the best game play modification of Hut of the Dead. DX Studio licenses are available in both freeware and commercial editions (from £50) and can be downloaded from the website at www.dxstudio.com/.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Autodesk Reduces Pricing for Maya Unlimited and Announces Maya 2008 Extension



+ Autodesk, Inc. (NASDAQ:ADSK) today announced reduced pricing for Autodesk Maya Unlimited 3D modeling, animation, and rendering software -- the tool of choice for designers, artists and freelance professionals working in film, television and games. Autodesk also announced Maya 2008 Extension 2 software, which provides enhanced creative control over polygon modeling and UV texturing, as well as significant improvements to the Maya Muscle toolset. Maya was recently inducted into the Game Developer Front Line Award Hall of Fame for its outstanding contribution to the game development industry.
"The reduced price of Autodesk Maya 2008 Unlimited makes its extensive toolset more accessible to new users and existing facilities that want to expand their Maya-based pipelines," said Marc Petit, senior vice president, Autodesk Media & Entertainment. "More artists can now take advantage of the software's professional tools and advanced workflows to meet demands for captivating content created on shorter deadlines and tighter budgets." Maya Unlimited contains every thing offered in Maya Complete software, plus innovations such as Maya Fluid Effects, Maya nCloth, Maya Hair, Maya Fur, and Maya Live. Pricing for Autodesk Maya Complete remains unchanged.
The Autodesk suggested retail price of a new license of Maya Unlimited, Standalone has been reduced from US$6,995* to US$4,995*. The Autodesk suggested retail price of a new license of Maya Unlimited, Network has been reduced from US$8,345* to US$6,245*. Maya Complete 2008 customers can now cross-grade to Maya Unlimited 2008 at the reduced Autodesk suggested retail price of US $2,995*. All price changes are effective as of Feb. 18, 2008.
Autodesk Maya Extension 2
Maya 2008 Extension 2 software is expected to be available for download to Maya Complete 2008 and Maya Unlimited 2008 Autodesk Subscription customers with Gold support in March 2008. The Extension 2 is not sold separately. Key features and enhancements offered in Autodesk Maya 2008 Extension 2 include:
-- Superior Modeling Workflow: New selection management features offer modelers a fast and precise workflow for controlling large amounts of complex geometry. Also, symmetrical modeling has been enhanced through such additions as seam preservation functionality.
-- Faster Texturing through Streamlined UV Workflows: New and enhanced UV workflow tools provide artists with more control over their texturing, which enables them to achieve their desired results faster.
-- Detailed Skin Articulation and Animation: New features and enhanced workflows for Maya Muscle extend the animator or technical director's ability to precisely direct muscle and skin behavior. These include a new smart collisions toolset, support for three new forces, and the ability to displace skin.

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Wolda '08 : Call For Entries


Global design community welcomes Wolda, the Worldwide Logo Design Annual
+ Built on the success of Eulda, the European Logo Design Annual (which it replaces), Wolda is the innovative graphic design awards scheme that rewards the best logos and trademarks designed throughout the world. Wolda’s mission is to promote excellence in visual communication and to provide real recognition to the people who invest their passion in this field.Designers, agencies, studios and students from all over the world are invited to enter. For Wolda ‘08, any logo published between 1 January 2007 and 31 December 2007 is eligible.
Deadline for submissions: 20 May 2008.
The winning entries will be selected by a highly innovative three-tier jury, comprising ten design professionals selected by Icograda, ten marketing managers representing major international clients selected by Aquent and finally ten members of the public, representing the ultimate target market of consumers, selected by Consumers International. The judging mechanism reflects the actual process that turns any logo idea into a successful logo: the designers decide what to present to the clients, the clients decide what to present to the public, but in the end it is always the public that decides if a brand is successful.The core of excellence generated by this process is collated in a printed annual, a substantial hard bound volume of exceptional quality, printed on SAPPI acclaimed papers by Fontegrafica (winner of two gold medals in the “Sappi 2007 International Printer of the Year Award”). The annual rewards the best designers each year, creating an archive that tracks the evolution of tastes, styles and trends in logo design around the world, year after year.Wolda is the first and only awards scheme in the world endorsed by over 80 international design associations and schools (see www.wolda.org for the complete list). For further information, please visit www.wolda.org.

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Saturday, February 16, 2008

finalF/X Updates for 3ds Max 9 and 2008


+ cebas Computer, maker of finalRender ®, today announced the release of finalF/X update for 3ds Max versions 9 and 2008. All users that purchased a finalF/X plugin within the last 2 months will get this update for free. pyrocluster can now perform real 3d motion blur with finalRender.Real 3d motion blur allows for many effects such as motion blur inreflections and mirrors as well as blurry shadows! Pyrocluster is nowthe only volumetric renderer that brings the power of 3d motion blurto 3ds Max.
finalF/X Bundles are made out of a collection of powerful plug-ins for 3ds Max which includes, finalDOF 1.5, finalFlares 1.5 and PyroCluster 3.5. They offer nearly every possible rendering effect youwill ever need for your daily CG work. For more information onfinalF/X Bundles, CLICK HERE!

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3Delight for XSI



+ 3Delight for XSI is a fully integrated plug-in for SOFTIMAGE®XSI®. The plug-in uses the latest rendering API advancements in XSI 6.5 to achieve a seamless integration and without any compromises in work-flow. Some of the 3Delight features includes:
- XSI shaders are automatically converted to RenderMan® shaders and compiled on the fly

- Integration in the render region and support for most output formats
- Full geometry support (including smooth subdivision surfaces, NURBS and curves)
- RIB export and import
- Advanced pipeline options such scene caching for rapid lighting and networking
3Delight for XSI comes in two different packages: Studio and Artist. 3Delight is the first third party renderer to achieve a full integration inside SOFTIMAGEXSI and bring the RenderMan standard and practices to the XSI user base.

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Allegorithmic Announces “Substance” Session at GDC 2008


+ Allegorithmic, an emerging 3D technology company developing advanced texturing tools for real-time 3D content creation, today announced it will sponsor a “Substance” session during the 2008 Game Developers® Conference (GDC). This session will demonstrate how Substance, Allegorithmic’s new generation of texturing middleware, is redefining production and distribution pipelines for next-generation game developers. Being shown for the first time at GDC, Substance provides game developers with a professional set of tools for creating high-quality textures that are generated in real-time to optimize data streaming and create changing environments.
The “Substance” session is scheduled for Wed., Feb. 20, 12-1 p.m. in room 134. The session will feature Dr. Sebastien Deguy, president and founder of Allegorithmic, as well as speakers from NCsoft Europe and industry influencers who have worked with such high-profile publishers as Electronic Arts and Ubisoft Montreal. For more information on Allegorithmic’s GDC activities, please visit
www.allegorithmic.com.

SWAY Drives Effects for Multi-Spot Toyota Corolla Campaign


+ SWAY studio recently added liveliness, detail and a touch of whimsy to the 2009 Toyota Corolla campaign entitled “Through the Roof” for Saatchi & Saatchi LA. With their renowned image-based lighting and animation techniques, SWAY’s team of artists delivered over five minutes of moving live action, 2D matte painting and full 3D shots, contributing to multiple customized regional :30 second commercials as part of this modular-based national campaign.
“Through the Roof” began airing in local markets across the country on Feb. 9. It features the Corolla sweeping through a striking environment of green countryside and urban landscapes on a mission to absorb available features typically found only in luxury cars: satellite radio, leather trimmed seats, an MP3 jack, Bluetooth® capability, traffic control and navigation, and more. SWAY’s computer graphics and matte painting techniques were combined with a live miniature set to create the extraordinary backdrop. “The challenge of this project was to create a balance between real and surreal,” said Chris Nichols, VFX supervisor at SWAY studio. “The directors at Buck were inspired by a miniature set, but we needed to make it appear believable on a real-world scale. SWAY’s advanced compositing, image-based lighting and animation methods were able to bring this feeling to life and further proved our ability to work with any type – or size – of environment.”
Working with the miniature set, SWAY meticulously collected tracking and lighting data to ensure that each car was correctly integrated into the shot, allowing the final product to appear believable on a real-world scale. SWAY’s team then utilized their data to exactly match the camera, geometry and lighting to make certain that each car’s movements, lighting and shadows matched precisely. SWAY employed their proprietary Drive-A-Tron™ driving simulator to create the exact movements made by the Corolla. Instead of using traditional animation techniques, Drive-A-Tron allows SWAY artists to literally get behind the wheel and drive the car on even the most challenging CG terrain, creating the desired performance without compromising the reality of the driving. “The Drive-A-Tron provides SWAY a large advantage over other studios, allowing us to complete the most precise and detailed animation available,” said Mark Glaser, owner and creative director of SWAY. “Using this proprietary tool over the past three years has allowed us to perfect these difficult animation techniques making SWAY the studio to call upon for automobile animation.”
>> Watch da Spot - Click here video

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NVIDIA and CGSociety Host Art Space digital art competition


+ NVIDIA and CGSociety have teamed up to offer another NVArt competition, this time the focus is on architecture and landscape design. Titled, Art Space: Architecture and Landscape, this digital art competition challenges participants to create the most awe inspiring architecture and landscape designs. I wanted to send you information about the contest and see if you’d be interested in running a blurb on your site. The deadline for entering is March 10, 2008. And I should point out; the competition is offering some great prizes – over $21,000 (USD). For more information, please - Click here

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ArtRage 2.5 Paint Software Wins Awards


+ Ambient Design announced thatthey have received two noteworthy awards for their paint and drawingsoftware ArtRage 2.5. Macworld Magazine gave their "Eddy" award toArtRage for the best "Painting Tool" of 2007 and Children'sTechnology Review gave ArtRage their 2008 "Editor's Choice Award" intheir interactive media category. ArtRage was created for all digitalartists including painters, animators, illustrators, comic and mangacreators and the education market. There have been over 3 milliondownloads since ArtRage was first released.Macworld Magazine said, "Professionals and amateurs alike will findArtRage 2.5 a valuable addition to their electronic paint box." Seethe full ArtRage 2.5 review in Macworld Magazine at: Click Here

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Artbeats Blazes a Trail with New Forest Fire Collection


New Royalty-Free Footage of Destructive Flames, Ravaged Trees and Billowy Smoke
+ Artbeats, the industry’s leading creative footage resource, today announced the release of Forest Fire (V-Line). Close-up angles of intense flames, thick smoke and ravaged trees capture the devastating destruction of several forest wildfires. Forest Fire (V-Line) contains 32 clips of smoldering brush spreading across the forest, including water bombers dousing the flames from above. To view or purchase this collection please visit Artbeats’ website at www.artbeats.com/forestfire.
Featuring a wide range of practical and compelling subject matter, Artbeats’ extensive library includes thousands of high-quality clips that can be used for broadcast, feature film, commercial, concerts, live events, game development, independent production, multimedia and more. A favorite among creative professionals, Artbeats’ footage is used by some of the industry’s leading film and broadcast companies, including Disney, Dreamworks, Pixar, Universal Studios, Comedy Central, BBC, Cartoon Network, MTV, American Idol and CNN.

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Imaginary Forces Creates Magical Sequences for "The Spiderwick Chronicles"



+ On February 14th, the Paramount Pictures and Nickelodeon Movies feature film, “The Spiderwick Chronicles,” will open nationwide. Based on the beloved best-selling series of fantasy adventure books, the film opens with a riveting prologue created and produced by entertainment and design company Imaginary Forces (IF). Filmmakers also tapped IF to produce two key flashback sequences in the film, the whimsical end titles, as well as the teaser trailer. The prologue, flashback sequences and end titles were designed and directed by IF Creative Director Ahmet Ahmet. They were produced by IF’s Kathy Kelehan.

"I can't imagine ‘The Spiderwick Chronicles’ without the incredible contribution Imaginary Forces made to three crucial sequences,” says Director Mark Waters. “Ahmet [Ahmet] and Kathy [Kelehan] and their team added texture and nuance and mystery in a way that really sucks the audience into the world of Spiderwick." “Imaginary Forces definitely lived up to its name,” adds Producer Kathleen Kennedy. “Between crafting a lush and lyrical title sequence and shaping the look and style of segments within the film itself, their creative contributions to ‘The Spiderwick Chronicles’ really helped to elevate the story’s magical realism. I look forward to collaborating with them again on future projects.” The suspenseful opening sequence takes viewers back 80 years to the secret study of Arthur Spiderwick. For the two-day prologue shoot at Paramount, Ahmet collaborated with renowned Director of Photography Caleb Deschanel. “Ahmet and the team from Imaginary Forces brought great ideas and a wonderful visual and rhythmic sense to all the sequences they created for Spiderwick,” comments Deschanel. “They worked with Mark Waters to develop the storylines, then found powerful visuals to get those ideas across. They were a delight to work with, and the results of their work made everyone involved in Spiderwick excited and proud. Ahmet’s end titles make you want to stay to very last note of the movie – clever and fun. I look forward to getting a chance to work with them again.”
“Working with this team of talented filmmakers enhanced the entire process,” concludes Ahmet. “There was a level of dialogue that allowed us to hone our ideas, and focus on the storytelling and creative content within the sequences to produce something quite unique. The sequences, while imbued with magic and mystery, are set in a tangible scientific world. Spiderwick’s meticulous documentation of scientific discoveries in his field guide, coupled with the macro photography of collected specimens, lab jars and collaged book pages, helped to propel the narrative and convey his obsessive character.”

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Tuesday, February 12, 2008

CorelDRAW® Graphics Suite X4 Unveiled Today



+ Corel Corporation (NASDAQ: CREL; TSX: CRE), a leading developer of graphics, productivity and digital media software, today unveiled the newest version of its award-winning graphics suite, CorelDRAW® Graphics Suite X4. With more than 50 new and significantly enhanced features, CorelDRAW Graphics Suite X4 provides users with the tools, resources and confidence to tackle a wide variety of projects - from logos and Web graphics, to multi-page brochures, to high impact signage and digital displays. New text and page-layout enhancements, market-leading file format compatibility, and an expanded collection of high-quality content make this powerful suite the ultimate design partner, helping users turn inspiration into stunning results.
A comprehensive suite of intuitive page-layout, illustration, photo-editing, and bitmap-to-vector tracing applications, CorelDRAW Graphics Suite is the trusted choice of millions of professional and aspiring designers worldwide. The latest version of the suite includes new tools designed to fuel the creative process, simplify project management, and optimise the graphic design workflow.
“As we developed the newest version of CorelDRAW Graphics Suite, we consulted with users from a wide variety of industries. We sat with them to observe how they worked, gathering their feedback on how we could create an even better user experience,” said Gérard Métrailler, Director, Product Management, Graphics at Corel. “The end result is CorelDRAW Graphics Suite X4 - a suite that provides users with easy-to-use tools that deliver outstanding results, while also having a dramatic and positive impact on their day to day productivity”.


CorelDRAW Graphics Suite X4 features more than 50 new and significantly enhanced features, including:
New! Live text formatting: CorelDRAW Graphics Suite X4 introduces live text formatting, allowing users to preview text formatting options before applying them to a document. With this time-saving feature, users can now preview many different formatting options, including fonts, font size, and alignment, removing the “trial-and-error” typically associated with the design process.
New! Font identification: CorelDRAW Graphics Suite X4 now integrates with WhatTheFont™, the online font identification service from MyFonts.com. Users can save time by quickly identifying the font used in existing bitmap designs, artwork or other images received from clients.
New! Independent page layers: Users can now control and edit layers independently for each page of a document, reducing the occurrence of pages with empty layers. Users can also add independent guidelines for individual pages and master guidelines for an entire document. This gives users the ability to create different layers on a page-specific basis, unconfined by a single document structure.
New! Interactive tables: The new, interactive Table tool in CorelDRAW Graphics Suite X4 lets users create and import tables to provide a powerful, structured layout for text and graphics. Users can easily align, resize, or edit tables and table cells to suit their designs. In addition, users can convert delimited text and easily add and adjust images in individual cells.
Enhanced! Windows Vista® integration: CorelDRAW Graphics Suite is the only professional graphics suite Certified for Windows Vista®. CorelDRAW Graphics Suite X4 has been designed to take advantage of the latest innovations from Windows Vista, while still offering a superior experience for Windows® XP users. CorelDRAW Graphics Suite X4 integrates with the desktop search capabilities of Windows Vista directly from within the Open and Import dialog boxes, enabling users to search for files by author, subject, file type, date, keywords, or other file properties. Users can also easily add their own keywords, ratings or other notes when saving files in order to better organise their projects.
New! CorelDRAW® ConceptShare™ integration: The new CorelDRAW® ConceptShare™ docker, accessible from within CorelDRAW Graphics Suite, integrates a valuable online collaboration tool directly within the user workflow. In a Web-based environment, CorelDRAW ConceptShare lets users share their designs and ideas with colleagues or clients in real time. Users can easily create multiple workspaces, upload their designs, and invite others to provide feedback or submit their own ideas without sending large files over email.
New! File format support: CorelDRAW Graphics Suite X4 maintains its position as market leader in file format compatibility by adding support for Microsoft® Office Publisher. Users can also expect seamless compatibility with Microsoft Word 2007, Adobe Illustrator® Creative Suite® 3, Adobe Photoshop® CS3, PDF 1.7 (Adobe® Acrobat® 8), AutoCAD® DXF™ and AutoCAD® DWG™, and Corel Painter™ X, making it easier than ever to exchange files with clients and colleagues.
New! Professionally designed templates: CorelDRAW Graphics Suite X4 includes 80 professionally designed and customisable templates, giving users a springboard to the design process. Flexible and easy to customise, the templates are accompanied by Designer Notes that provide information on the design choices made for the template, tips for outputting a design based on the template, and instructions for customising the template while still adhering to design principles.
New! Specialised fonts: An extended selection of new fonts in CorelDRAW Graphics Suite X4 helps users ensure their output is optimised for its intended audience. This specialised collection of fonts includes single-line engraving fonts and OpenType® cross-platform fonts, which offer enhanced language support for Latin, Greek, and Cyrillic outputs in WGL4 format.
New! Welcome screen: With a new Welcome screen, CorelDRAW Graphics Suite X4 provides users with a centralised location to access recently used documents, templates, and learning tools, which include Tips & Tricks and video tutorials. To inspire users, the Welcome screen also includes a gallery that showcases designs created by CorelDRAW Graphics Suite users from around the world.

New Additions to Corel PHOTO-PAINT®
New! RAW camera file support: Corel PHOTO-PAINT® now includes support for RAW camera file formats, enabling users to import RAW camera files directly from their digital camera. With support for approximately 300 different camera types and interactive controls that provide real-time previews, users can view file properties and camera settings, adjust image color and tone, and improve image quality, all from within Corel PHOTO-PAINT X4 and CorelDRAW X4.
New! Straighten image: Using Corel PHOTO-PAINT, users can quickly and easily straighten images that were scanned or photographed at an angle. With interactive controls, a grid with vertical and horizontal guidelines and an integrated histogram that provides results in real time, PHOTO-PAINT makes it easier than ever to straighten crooked images. In addition, users can choose to have their images automatically cropped.
Enhanced! Tone Curve adjustments: With the enhanced Tone Curve dialog box, Corel PHOTO-PAINT X4 users can adjust their images with greater precision. With an integrated histogram, users now receive real-time feedback as they make adjustments to their images. In addition, the new Eyedropper tool lets users pinpoint specific color locations on the tone curve of their image, as well as select, add, or delete nodes along the tone curve.

CorelDRAW Graphics Suite X4 will be available for a suggested retail price of INR16,400 for the full version, INR8,900 for the upgrade and INR6,200 for the Student and Teacher Edition. The latest version of the suite will be available from February 2008.For more information on CorelDRAW Graphics Suite X4 or to download a full-featured, free trial version, please visit www.corel.com.au

Autodesk Launches 3ds Max 2009 Entertainment Software and Introduces 3ds Max Design 2009 for Design Professionals


3ds Max Design Meets New Requirements for Advanced Visual Communication
+ At its annual World PressDays event, Autodesk, Inc. (NASDAQ: ADSK) today announced two new versions of its Autodesk 3ds Max modeling, animation and rendering software -- the leading asset creation tool for game development. The company launched Autodesk 3ds Max 2009 software for entertainment professionals, and debuted 3ds Max Design 2009 software, a tailored 3D application for architects, designers and visualization specialists. Both versions of the software offer new rendering capabilities, improved interoperability with industry-standard products including Revit software, as well as additional time-saving animation and mapping workflow tools. 3ds Max Design 2009 further provides lighting simulation and analysis technology.
"Autodesk 3ds Max now comes in two distinct flavors to better meet the specific needs of our entertainment and visualization customers," Petitadded. "3ds Max 2009 and 3ds Max Design 2009 provide users with tailoredonline experiences, user interface and application defaults, tutorials, samples, and more. This simplifies the learning process and makes it easier for users to find the information that's most relevant to them."
New Feature Highlights
Key features in Autodesk 3ds Max 2009 include the new Reveal rendering toolset, which streamlines iterative workflows; and the ProMaterials material library for simulating real-world surfaces. The release also delivers numerous biped enhancements and new UV editing tools. Improved OBJ and Autodesk FBX file formats import and export vastly enhance interoperability with Autodesk Mudbox, Autodesk Maya, Autodesk Motion Builder software programs and other third-party applications. In addition, Recognize, a new scene-loading technology, significantly improves the inter-application workflow with Revit Architecture 2009.
"Autodesk 3ds Max has never failed to deliver; now it's even stronger with specialized versions," said Technical Director Yunus "Light" Balcioglu. "3dsMax 2009 offers great new features that allow me to be more productive and creative. The new biped improvements make it easy to build quadrupeds, Reveal rendering lets me iterate faster, and reworked OBJ import makes it easier than ever to jump between 3ds Max and Mudbox".
3ds Max Design 2009 includes all features offered in Autodesk 3ds Max 2009, with the exception of the software development toolkit (SDK). The SDK is aset of development tools used in the entertainment markets to integrate software into a production pipeline and develop in-house tools to be used in conjunction with the application. 3ds Max Design also includes Exposure technology for simulating and analyzing sun, sky, and artificial lighting to assist with LEED 8.1 certification.
"At SHoP Architects we rely on computer-aided design technology not only toproduce innovative architectural forms, but also to create new efficiencies and cost-savings in the design and construction process," said David Fano,designer at SHoP Architects. "Autodesk 3ds Max Design will help us further this pursuit. The newly enhanced daylight simulation tools and improvements to the rendering workflow will allow us to iterate more freely and create better quality work faster. Also, the FBX-based interoperability with Revit will give us a continuous digital workflow by leveraging our Building Information Model for advanced visualization in 3ds Max during all stages of design."
For more information about 3ds Max 2009 and 3ds Max Design 2009, visit:
www.worldpressdays08.com. Product availability will vary by country. Details and purchasing options are expected to be accessible starting March25, 2008, at: www.autodesk.com/purchaseoptions.

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Friday, February 08, 2008

2008 Prix Ars Electronica Competition



+ Call for Entries has been announced for 2008 Prix Ars Electronica Competition and the deadline is March 7, 2008. Since 1987, the Prix Ars Electronica has served as an interdisciplinary platform for everyone who uses the computer as a universal medium for implementing and designing their creative projects at the interface of art, technology and society. The Prix Ars Electronica is one of the most important awards for creativity and pioneering spirit in the field of digital media. The event calls for entries in seven categories, including a youth competition. And since internationally renowned artists from over 70 countries also participate in the Prix Ars Electronica, it has established itself as a barometer for trends in contemporary media art. The Prix Ars Electronica calls for entries and awards prizes in the following seven categories:
- Computer Animation / Film / VFX

- Interactive Art
- Digital Musics
- Hybrid Art
- Digital Communities
- u19 – freestyle computing
- Media.Art.Research Award
The submissions are accepted up into March and International juries will select the winners for each category in April. Prizewinners in six categories will be honored with Golden Nicas. Beside Golden Nicas their are twelve Awards of Distinction, approximately 70 Honorary Mentions as well as the Media.Art.Research Award to be presented.
The "Computer Animation / Film / VFX" category has been part of the Prix Ars Electronica since its very inception. It recognizes excellence in independent work in the arts and sciences as well as in high-end commercial productions in the film, advertising and entertainment industries. In this category, artistic originality counts just as much as masterful technical achievement. For more information about Computer Animation and other categories, please visit;

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Swansea Animation Days Conference - Call for Papers


SAND Paper 2008 - Call for Papers
+ Swansea Animation Days (SAND) is pleased to announce its first annual academic conference on animation, games, and special effects. SAND Paper invites you to submit a research paper on, but not limited to, one of the following topics:
- The application, evaluation, or theoretical development of digital visualisation – e.g. procedural animation, motion capture, issues of realism and perception.
- Issues relating to the uncanny valley concept in relation to the creative, digital industries – e.g. computer games, 3D animation, multimedia.
- An evaluation of pedagogical approaches for digital media disciplines – e.g. teaching strategies, assessment procedures, and the development of new teaching tools.
- An investigation of ludological and/or narrative structures in computer and video games.
- Issues concerning formal, scientific evaluations of game quality.
- Other topics of particular interest include online communities, new approaches for the creation of 3D art, and the design and contextual analyses of digital visualisation.

Papers should outline original work and clearly describe the method(s) used and its application in the context of creative digital industries and/or visualisation. All papers will undergo double-blind peer-review. Authors will be notified on the dates given below. Accepted papers will be published on a DVD of SAND’s conference proceedings in November 2008 and selected authors invited to introduce their paper at the SAND 2008 conference. For submission guidelines please visit http://www.sand.org.uk/docs/SAND_Paper.doc

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Method Studios Delivers Bridgestone Super Bowl Spots


+ Method Studios the innovative Los Angeles-based visual effects and animation studio, collaborated with Director Kinka Usher on a new campaign for Bridgestone via The Richards Group. Aimed at “drivers who want to get the most out of their cars,” “Scream,” and “Unexpected Obstacles” aired during Sunday night’s Super Bowl while “Lucky Dog” began airing yesterday. Designed to highlight the enhanced traction of Bridgestone tires, “Scream” and “Lucky Dog” take a clever look at other things on the road, presenting both real and CG animals while “Unexpected Obstacles” takes a slightly different turn with celebrities Alice Cooper and Richard Simmons. “This project seamlessly unites 3D and live action,” says Method’s Andy Boyd, lead 3D artist on “Scream.” “It is always our philosophy to shoot as many elements in-camera as possible, just because it looks best that way. On these spots, of course, real animals couldn’t do exactly what we wanted them to, so we had to create photorealistic 3D animals that could cut directly with live action footage to give us the performance shots needed to sell the story. Delivering at HD1080 resolution, close-ups of the animals faces was a huge challenge, there was no way to cheat; they just had to be perfect. The quantity and variety of animals meant great fun for our team of artists.”
>> To Watch spots, please visit:
Scream - Click here
Lucky Dog - Click here
Unexpected Obstacles - Click here

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Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Boris FX Ships Final Effects Complete 5.0 for AE


+ Boris FX the leading developer of integrated effects technology for video and film, announced that Final Effects Complete 5.0 for AE (FEC 5.0 for AE) is now shipping. Version 5.0 marks the expansion of the highly popular FEC product into three distinct flavors; Final Effects Complete for After Effects (Adobe), Final Effects Complete for FxPlug (Apple) and Final Effects Complete for AVX (Avid). The first in the series; FEC 5.0 for AE adds support for the Adobe Creative Suite 3.0 After Effects application running on the latest operating systems from Apple (OS X Leopard) and Windows (Vista). The two forthcoming FEC packages; Final Effects Complete 5.0 for AVX (FEC 5.0 for AVX) and Final Effects Complete 5.0 for FxPlug (FEC 5.0 for FxPlug) will be released later in Q1, 2008.
"This is the first significant upgrade for the FEC package since it was acquired by
Boris FX three years ago. Long-time FEC users will be thrilled with the additions we made. Features such as BCC's Pixel Chooser and the integrated Motion Tracking add an immense amount of creative flexibility while the new preset save and load functions allow effects to be shared across workstations, platforms and editing systems. A phenomenal extension of the effect options which are further enhanced with comprehensive online help and factory installed standard presets... and this is just a taste of what the release offers," comments Boris Yamnitsky, founder and president, Boris FX.
The new FEC release offers a modernized workspace for optimal effects creation. Contextual tools and onscreen widgets streamline effects workflow while the multi-processor acceleration increases the FEC package performance by up to 30%. Rounding off the FEC 5 for AE package are the 800 plus preset effects which can be used to quickly create professional quality transitions and composites or modified to create a more unique look. The presets can be shared with other Boris users, working with different Boris packages on different hosts and platforms. For more information and trial download, please visit
www.borisfx.com

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DWG Export Plug-in for Maya 2008


+ DWG Export Plug-in for Maya 2008, is new utility plugin under development at Autodesk lab and a preview version of plugin is currently available for download. The DWG Plug-in for Maya 2008 enables users to export complex conceptual building designs from Maya for further design development and documentation in Autodesk Revit Architecture 2008. For additional information including a how-to overview of the technology, please see BIM: Maya 2008 for Complex Conceptual Design. PDF which accompanies the install file in the ZIP download. The utility plugin is available for Maya in both 32-bit and 64-bit flavors. If you are an Autodesk Maya 2008 user and have a need to export conceptual design data to AutoCAD and/or Revit Architecture, than you may download the plugin utility by: Clicking Here

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TextureKit New Textures Collections



+ TextureKit has released two new textures collections. Skies Texture Collection provides 53 images (JPEG format) to Architectural Illustrators and graphic designers.Panoramas, Seamless textures, large size photos (can be printed on A0 sized boards (landscape format) for architectural competitions at 150 dpi without upscale !). Moorish Texture Collection provides 50 high resolution seamless tileable texture maps. All textures are hand-retouched to create seamless effect. All textures can are tileable in all directions. For more information, please visit : www.texturekit.com

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NVIDIA and CGSociety Announce NVArt Award Winners


+ NVIDIA (Nasdaq: NVDA) and CGSociety today announced the winners of the NVArt digital art challenge, the first in a series of worldwide competitions to be held during 2008. The theme of the inaugural challenge was “Amazing Creations.” Artists were invited to submit computer-generated imagery that could exist only in a virtual, imaginary world. The winning art was unveiled at a reception at the San Jose Museum of Art on February 1. The event was keynoted by NVIDIA CEO Jen-Hsun Huang and featured remarks from digital arts gurus Lorne Lanning of Oddworld Inhabitants and Mark Snoswell of CGSociety.
“The digital arts community and NVIDIA are natural partners. As NVIDIA graphics technology becomes increasingly programmable, it provides artists with an infinite palette for expressing their ideas,” commented Mr. Huang. “NVIDIA has always been inspired by the incredible creativity of 3D artists and content creators. NVArt is our way of celebrating and recognizing their creativity.”
“Throughout the ages, artists have been dreamers and visionaries, creating truly amazing and inspiring works of art,” added Mark Snoswell, president of CGSociety, a global organization for digital artists. “But they have been limited by the physical media in which they work. The NVArt competition embodies the attraction of digital art: the opportunity to create compelling images free from physical limitations.” The winning art will be displayed at the San Jose Museum of Art through February 8. The art is available for viewing online at:
Click here

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Warner Bros.(MPI) and Prime Focus - Form Strategic Alliance


+ Warner Bros. Motion Picture Imaging and Prime Focus have entered into a strategic alliance that will allow both companies to expand their abilities to offer their state of the art digital post production capabilities to filmmakers on a global scale. The agreement will provide filmmakers around the world with access to the expert talents and services both companies have been providing through their state of the art facilities. It also allows both companies to manage their workflows more efficiently between Warner Bros. MPI in Burbank, and Prime Focus’s facilities throughout multiple locations in India and London as well as in New York, Vancouver, Winnipeg and Los Angeles.
The two companies will be able to move content seamlessly from facility to facility, using the most cost efficient method, which will allow them to process work in the time zone that most closely meets individual filmmaker’s needs and schedules. It is also expected that Prime Focus’ world class digital VFX capabilities will compliment and enhance the offerings and services required by the increase of local productions developed globally.Warner Bros. Motion Picture Imaging (MPI) is a state-of- the-art post-production facility. Located on the Warner Bros. Studio lot in Burbank, MPI’s services and experts are equally available and have been used by Warner Bros. films as well as those of outside clients. MPI is also a leader in the field of film preservation and restoration and has developed a unique and patented process to digitally restore classics from the vast Warner Bros. Studios film and television library as well as those of other clients. The facility has received safety certification to store and work with nitrate film stock.
Prime Focus offers a comprehensive spectrum of services ranging from editing, visual effects, digital film lab (Digital Dailies, DI, film scanning and film recording), film restoration and remastering, camera and motion control rentals for film, television and advertising productions. The company was founded in 1997 and continues to expand to offer clients in film, television and advertising the industry’s top talent and technologies from premium facilities around the world. After achieving a leadership position in India and successful establishment in the UK, in December 2007, Prime Focus acquired Post Logic Studios and Frantic Films which are the two specialized post production and visual effects companies in North America. Currently the group employs nearly 1500 people and operates out of facilities in India, London, New York, Winnipeg, Vancouver and Los Angeles.

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Friday, February 01, 2008

Image Enhancement Plug-ins for Graphics Designers



+ Topaz Labs LLC, a software company specializing in image and video enhancement technology, releases Topaz Vivacity V1.3.1, a set of Photoshop plug-ins for image enhancement. The breakthrough super-resolution algorithms used in Topaz Vivacity affect a distinct improvement in imperfect images. This technology was used in spy satellites and military surveillance and only recently has been brought into the consumer market. Avid photographers and graphics professionals will find Topaz Vivacity invaluable in rescuing otherwise unusable images and to enhance images in all aspects. Graphics designers also can create unique special effects with Vivacity filters.
Features include:
(1) enlarge images while still maintaining visual clarity,
(2) eliminate ISO noise, film grain and other noise with little loss of details,
(3) eliminate JPEG and JPEG2000 compression artifacts,
(4) sharpen and enhance edges without overshooting or noise amplification,
(5) remove color bleeding and recover color edges, and

(6) create special effects.
The major changes in this update are:
- support for multi-cpu systems, such as those with Core 2 Duo or Xeon processors. For example, it can provide a 2.5~3.5 times speed increase on computers with a quad-core CPU.
- better compatibility with Windows Vista and Photoshop CS3, and
- a new convenient installation that automatically installs the plug-ins properly to Photoshop and Photoshop Elements.
Pricing Topaz Vivacity retails at $49.99 USD. It is available on the Topaz Labs web site at
www.topazlabs.com, and many software download sites. Current Topaz Vivacity customers are encouraged to upgrade to this release free of charge.

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Call for entries - Polish Poster Foundation


+ Call for entries has been announced by Poster Museum at Wilanow, the Polish Poster Foundation. International Poster Biennale in Warsaw, the first poster Biennale in the world was held in 1966. The idea of periodic international review achievements in the field of poster art was first proposed by Polish graphic designers in the beginning of the sixties. The man who inspired the project and was its first organizer was Professor J zef Mroszczak. Winning the highest acclaim among critics and graphic designers, Biennale soon grew into the most important and prestigious artistic event of this type in the world. The finest names have been connected with it - as participants, laureates, jurors and friends. IPB is endorsed by the International Council of Graphic Design Association Icograda which funds an Icograda Excellence Award. Since 1994 the International Poster Biennale has been located in the Poster Museum at Wilanow.
Categories includes:
A) Ideological posters - works concerning universal themes, conditions and existence of man, civilisation problems, social and political action
B) Culture posters - promoting culture, art, education and sport ventures
C) Advertising posters - promoting commodities and business
D) The Henryk Tomaszewski Golden Debut - works submitted by students or graduates of art academies within two years from graduation. Graduation projects and academic assignments printed digitally can be submitted with permission from the college.
The 21st IPB will be held in Warsaw at the Poster Museum at Wilanow and will last from June 7th 2008 till September 7th 2008. For more information, please visit www.postermuseum.pl

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Digital-Tutors Unveils Introductory Guide to Learning modo


+ Digital-Tutors, a leader in video-based training, today announced the availability of ‘Introduction to modo’ - the second release in a new library of interactive training for emerging digital artists learning modo, the artist-friendly 3D software for PCs and Macs. ‘Introduction to modo’ provides over seven hours of project-based training and allows artists to easily learn the robust features available within modo, while adopting a creative workflow to modeling, sculpting, painting, animating and rendering. “‘Introduction to modo’ is a comprehensive learning tool for artists wanting build a foundation and learn all essential aspects of modo,” said Tanya Golubeva, Director of Emerging Media at Digital-Tutors. “It will also give artists a complete and full overview of modo’s modeling, painting, sculpting, animating and rendering tools as well as many other useful techniques,” said Golubeva.
Popular highlights from ‘Introduction to modo’ include: Interface overview, customizing the interface, navigating 3D viewport, modeling tools, mesh sculpting, slicing geometry, smoothing meshes, combining geometry, setting keyframes, editing keyframes with Graph Editor, blending texture layers, utilizing materials, light setup, global illumination, subsurface scattering, adjusting render settings, rendering multiple passes, cloning meshes, working with mesh items, bevel tool, 3D painting, texture layers for effects, UV layouts, morph maps, creating images inside modo, and using solid sketch. For a complete outline and detailed pricing information of ‘Introduction to modo’ visit: Click Here

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The123D Antiques Kit - 3D Models


+ The123D Antiques Kit is a collection of over 60 high quality finely detailed & textured 3D models to add richness to your antique style visualisation projects.This is a fully detailed, textured and lit model collection in multiple file formats including interior scene with Vray lighting setup and standard scanline scene.
Features:
• High quality polygonal models - correctly scaled accurate representation of real world objects.

• Model resolutions are optimised for polygon efficiency
• Models are fully textured with all materials applied.
• 3ds Max models 'attached' for easy selection & objects are logically named.
• No part-name confusion when importing several models into a scene.
• No cleaning up necessary, just drop your models into the scene and start rendering
• Available in the following File Formats: .max 7.0 / .max vray / .3DS / .obj / .lwo

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