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Friday, October 31, 2008

ASGvis Unveils Service Release 1.5 for V-Ray


+ ASGvis today announced Service Release 1.5 for both V-Ray for Rhino 4 and V-Ray for Sketchup 6. This release offers several additional features, including the much anticipated V-Ray Toon material, expanded render channels and extra light options. In addition, this service release also addresses several bug fixes.
"We are very excited to bring this Service Release to our customers," said Damien Alomar, Product Manager for ASGvis. "This release continues to add features and clear up issues that will offer a marked improvement in render quality and workflow for V-Ray."
In anticipation of the next full version of both V-Ray for Rhino 4 and V-Ray for Sketchup, Service Release 1.5 will be the final update for both products. From this point on, the development team will be focusing efforts on new features, updates and interface changes that have been requested by our dedicated user base. "We are really excited about the new features we have planned for the next full version," continued Alomar. "Interface and workflow improvements, V-Ray Proxies, expanded materials and Per-Object Properties are welcomed additions by both beginners and advanced users alike." Users can download V-Ray for Rhino 4.0 SR1.5 and V-Ray for SketchUp 6 SR1.5 from the support section of www.asgvis.com.

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Free Maxscripts - Curtainwall and Material Lister


+ Two useful 3ds Max scripts by reFORM Studios are available for download. Curtainwall - The Curtainwall Wizard allows you to take any polygonal object and convert it into a curtainwall system; complete with glass, mullions, and silicon joints. The resulting curtainwall is parametric so you can make changes to the base mesh and it will update model in realtime. Please note that this Maxscript is only a beta release and new features such as glass chamfer, randomize ID, jitter, attach and mullion chamfer will be implimented soon. Material Lister - The material lister provides a means to view all the scene materials in list format along with the most commonly used parameters. Ideal for trying to find that rogue material or parameter.
>> Download Maxscripts

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Introduction to ZBrush 3 - By Ryan Kingslien



+ The Gnomon Workshop has released new "Introduction to ZBrush 3" by Instructor Ryan Kingslien training DVD for ZBrush users. Introduction to ZBrush 3 with Ryan Kingslien follows the same production artist training course Ryan developed while Product Manager at Pixologic for companies such as ILM, EA and Ubisoft. Focusing on the beginning digital sculptor, Ryan walks us through the different options and controls in the interface while explaining how each feature fits together within a digital sculpting and texture painting workflow. With 33 chapters, each feature is discussed in short 10 to 20 minute segements to give the learner easy access to all that ZBrush has to offer. Everything the beginning student needs to learn is covered here from ZBrush’s advanced brush-based sculpting system to MatCap materials. Special attention is paid to getting started in ZBrush as fast as possible.

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Saturday, October 25, 2008

Autodesk Acquire Softimage



+ Autodesk, Inc. (NASDAQ: ADSK) and Avid Technology, Inc. (NASDAQ: AVID), announced that they have signed a definitive agreement for Autodesk to acquire substantially all of the assets of Avid's Softimage business unit for approximately $35 million. Softimage was founded in 1986 by Daniel Langlois and is head quartered in Montreal, Canada. Softimage develops 3D technology for the film, televisionand games markets. Its flagship product is SOFTIMAGEXSI, an extensible 3D animation software solution used by leading media and entertainment companies, including Digital Domain, Ubisoft, SEGA Corporation, CAPCOM, Animal Logic and The Mill. Autodesk Media & Entertainment provides animation, visual effects, editing/finishing and color grading solutions for the 3D market, including entertainment and design industries.
"Softimage has been developing state-of-the-art 3D technology for more than 20 years, and its products are recognized as best-of-breed in the entertainment industry," said Marc Petit, senior vice president, Autodesk Media & Entertainment. "Upon the completion of this acquisition we will beadding Softimage technology and products to our portfolio, and welcoming one of the most talented teams in the industry to Autodesk Media & Entertainment. Both will help us accelerate the work of our Games Technology Group, as we build the next-generation of real-time, interactive 3D authoring tools for games, film and television.
"Gary Greenfield, CEO and chairman of Avid Technology, added: "We are excited about what this transaction means for customers of Softimage. The Softimage 3D product line has performed well in the video games market, a sector where Autodesk has a track record of success. Autodesk will provide a great homefor the business." For further information please visit www.autodesk.com.

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DAZ 3D Introduces Michael 4


+ Worthy of a double-take, the newest version of DAZ 3D's popular 3D male figure Michael 4 allows for final renderings that are nearly indistinguishable from photography. Derived from high-resolution real-life human photography and body scans which are combined with the fourth generation unimesh and improved rigging and body contours, Michael 4 offers the most realistic, versatile and anatomically accurate human male figure available for public use. Built to use the same add-on technology as his counterpart Victoria 4, Michael 4 allows characters of different proportions and shapes to be loaded, morphed and mixed, providing an extensive platform for limitless character generation. Michael 4 comes complete with multiple head shapes to alter age, weight and ethnicity characteristics, along with high-resolution photo-real skin texture maps showcasing enhanced irregularities such as pores, freckles, veins and muscle striations. The added utilization of DAZ 3D's new high-end Character Setup Tools grant Michael 4 more realistic joint movement while eliminating distortion in each pose.
Pricing and Availability
Available free of charge for all registered DAZ 3D users, Michael 4 is now available for electronic download via the
www.DAZ3D.com online store. Corresponding product bundles range in price from USD $34.97 (reg. price $49.95) to $59.97 (reg. price $99.95) and contain a variety of clothing, hairstyles, skins, heads and body shapes.

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Archexteriors vol.01 for Mental Ray


+ Evermotion has released Archexteriors vol.01 for Mental Ray. Have you ever wondered how does the professional set-up of HI-END rendering? Archexteriors gives you this possibility. Look how does it look from the backstage.Buy Archexteriors DVD and learn commercial rendering set-up. Make money from professional visualizations. Archexteriors vol. 1 comprises of 10 textured and shaderedvisualization scenes ready to be rendered.
>> more information

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Craft Animations Tools for Mac


+ Animating on the Mac has never been as fun, easy or fast since Craft Animations™ introduced Mac OSX Tiger and Leopard versions of its Craft Director Tools™ for users of Autodesk's Maya. A groundbreaking process-driven animation suite based on neural networking, artificial intelligence and autonomous control systems, Craft Director Tools condenses the classical animation production process saving companies both time and money - making what used to take a week achievable in a single day.
"We've been inundated with customer requests to bring Craft Director Tools to the Mac platform," says Craft Animations' Co-founder and CTO Luigi Tramontana. "Craft Director Tools offer an entirely new way of animating by quickly and accurately directing the physical motion paths of objects such as cars, planes and helicopters. Using either autopilot functions or input devices such as joysticks and Direct X game controllers, professional animating is now as fun as playing a game. We are thrilled that the creative Mac community can now receive the benefits of these tools."
Craft Director Tools extend creative possibilities by eliminating the time-consuming tasks of key framing and scripting. Professional users such as Digital Dimension, Toyota and Lockheed Martin report they have reduced production times by up to 90 percent by using Craft Director Tools for projects such as previsualization, game development, architectural visualization, industrial design and visual effects and animation. These users also gain the opportunity to create natural motion paths on the fly, using a variety of input devices to precisely control object placement, as well as the instant gratification received by highly realistic real-time animation. Craft Director Tools for Mac OSX Tiger and Leopard are available now and are individually priced between USD $129 and $1,199. For easy download and installation within Maya, please visit the
Craft Mac Download Site.

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7th Annual VES Awards - Call for Entries


+ The 7th Annual VES Awards are now open and accepting entries. This year marks a new method of submission of viewing materials to the VES Awards, designed to make the entry process easier and more accessible for all members. Last year VES honored filmmaker Steven Spielberg at the 6th Annual VES Awards on Feb. 10, 2008 at the Kodak Grand Ballroom in Hollywood. Over a thousand attendees celebrated the talent, experience, and knowledge that supports the “magic” of VFX.

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Sunday, October 19, 2008

Advanced Character Rigging in Houdini


+ 3D Buzz is proud to announce the release and immediate availability of our Houdini Advanced Character Rigging DVD set! This two-volume series will walk you through the creation of a complex bipedal rig with state-of-the-art control systems that allow for complete control over the character. Along the way, you’ll see how to approach stretchy limbs, IK to FK blending, matching IK to FK and vice versa, dynamic parenting for shoulders and the head, and even a belly jiggle system that can be animated manually, simulated automatically, or blended to anything in-between! The first volume of the Advanced Character Rigging Series focuses on the creation of rig setups for the arms and legs of your character using a variety of features including stretchy bones, FK/IK blending, matching to FK and IK controls, and a customized setup for the wrist that combines IK positional control with full FK rotation!
The second volume is all about spinal setup, including controls for twist, stretch, and the ability to have the shoulders automatically follow the hips, or to be separated completely and move on their own. Similar controls are provided for the neck, allowing for easy individual controls if the animator so chooses. You’ll also see how to set up eyes, connect the arms and legs, and bring the whole rig together as a Houdini Digital Asset. Each volume is available and ready to ship now for only $79.99 (+s/h), along with a FREE streaming option for your purchase! Some restrictions apply, so be sure to check out our store for more details.
>>
Rigging I: Initial Character Setup and Limb Control
>>
Rigging II: Spinal Setup, Control Establishment and Finalization

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Luxology Announces Rhinoceros File Translator for modo


+ Luxology® LLC, an independent technology company developing next-generation 3D content creation software, today announced the immediate availability of a new 3DM file translator that allows modo® users to exchange files with Rhinoceros® (Rhino), the popular 3D design tool from Robert McNeel and Associates. Developed using modo 302's File I/O Software Developer Kit (SDK), this new translator allows modo users to both read and write meshed 3DM files, greatly enhancing workflow for modo and Rhino users working in industrial design, design visualization, package design and marketing content development. Available from www.luxology.com, the new 3DM translator is based on Robert McNeel and Associates' OpenNURBS™ library and is available in both Mac and PC versions.
"modo is key to providing our designers with more fluid workflows for design exploration and we applaud Luxology for openly collaborating with other software makers in the design/engineering field," said Gustavo Fontana, lead industrial designer at the Bose Corporation. "With this new 3DM translator we can create geometry in either modo and/or Rhino and bring all the data in mesh form to modo for 3D visualization, photorealistic rendering, animation, and materials and finishes exploration. We can also send design data back to Rhino to output StereoLithography (STL) data for rapid prototyping." "modo is increasingly used for product prototyping and visualization by industrial designers," said Brad Peebler, president and co-founder of Luxology. "This new pathway allows the Rhino community to benefit from modo's incredibly powerful subdivision surface modeling for rapid ideation of both hard surface and soft body consumer products."

Pricing and Availability
The 3DM translator has an MSRP of USD $99 but is currently being provided at no charge to all registered modo users via their user accounts on the Luxology Website. It is compatible with modo 302 and supports both PC and Mac computers. Detailed information on the translator can be found at : Click Here

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Gnomon Free ZBrush Tutorials


+ Gnomon Workshop has released several new and free ZBrush tutorials at the Gnomon Workshop forums. Since 2000, The Gnomon Workshop has provided artists and students with the educational resources they need to succeed as artists in the entertainment industries.
- A 3 part zombie head sculpting tutorial
- Sculpting boot straps
- Sculpting a feather
- Creating a Turntable in ZBrush
- Creating a Character Sheet

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SAND 2008


+ From humble beginnings in 1999, SAND has transformed itself into one of the world’s most prestigious computer graphic imagery (CGI) events, with more high calibre speakers and delegates due to attend this year’s conference in November. SAND is organised by Swansea Metropolitan University’s School of Digital Media and is supported by its principal sponsor, the Welsh Assembly Government. It will take place at the Taliesin Arts Centre, Swansea from 24th until 28th November.
CGI stretches across many of the sectors in the creative media industries. Animated content can be found on television, in feature films, commercials, websites and computer or video games. The industry continues to grow at a rapid rate since the global success of films such as ‘Toy Story’ and the Oscar-winning ‘Shrek’, as well as the ever developing computer games market.
SAND is a highly prestigious event which is seen as a must for anybody involved with digital media. Touted as ‘easily one of the best shows around at the moment’ by leading CGI publication 3D World, SAND is unique as it deals solely in CGI and attracts companies and journalists from around the world. SAND 2008 will offer delegates the opportunity to share in innovative practice with other companies and presenters, and obtain a comprehensive understanding of the most recent developments in the CGI Industry. For more information on SAND 2008 please call 01792 481194, email
sandadmin@smu.ac.uk or visit www.smu.ac.uk/sand

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Poster Design Contest - Picture Challenge 2008



+ The Picture Challenge is a unique annual international poster design contest for talent in the field of design and photography. Contestants will have the opportunity to get in touch with design and marketing professionals. They stand a fair chance of getting published worldwide and getting paid for it! Entries will be judged by a professional jury consisting of people with a long-term experience in the publishing business. Besides a poster deal with Reinders Posters and the chance to become a worldwide selling artist, the first prize winner will receive an Apple MacBook™. More fantastic prizes are available for runners-up.
The Picture Challenge is an initiative by Reinders Posters. The company is a leading publisher and distributor of posters and prints with a worldwide distribution network. Through this contest Reinders Posters wants to get to know people with the right skills and talent. The goal is to ultimately expand the collection with best selling pictures. The Picture Challenge 2008 will start from August 1st. Entries close on December 1st. Work can be submitted on
www.picturechallenge2008.com.

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NVIDIA Introduces NVIDIA Quadro CX


+ NVIDIA introduced its new accelerator for Adobe®® Creative Suite®® 4 software, the NVIDIA®® Quadro®® CX. This new GPU provides creative professionals with a faster, better, more reliable way to maximize their creativity. Quadro CX was architected to deliver the best performance for the new GPU-optimized features of Adobe Creative Suite 4. NVIDIA specifically designed and optimized the Quadro CX to enhance the performance of Adobe Creative Suite 4 product line and meet the unique needs of the Creative Suite 4 professional. Adding NVIDIA Quadro CX to the pipeline gives creative professionals a faster, better, and more reliable experience. With NVIDIA Quadro CX users can encode H.264 videos at lightning-fast speeds with the NVIDIA CUDA™ enabled plug-in for Adobe Premiere®® Pro CS4, RapiHD™ from Elemental Technologies; accelerate rendering time for advanced effects; and accurately preview what deliverables will look like with 30-bit color or uncompressed 10-bit/12-bit SDI before final output*. Adobe Creative Suite 4 software now has added optimization to take advantage of GPU technology, including the parallel processing capability in the Quadro CX CPU. These enhancements accelerate a number of visually intensive operations, including:
- Adobe®® Photoshop®® CS4 uses NVIDIA Quadro CX GPU to bring unprecedented fluidity to image navigation. The GPU enables real-time image rotation, zooming, and panning, and makes changes to the view instantaneous and smooth. Adobe Photoshop CS4 also taps the GPU for on-screen compositing of both 2D and 3D content, ensuring smoothly anti-aliased results regardless of zoom level. Brush resizing and brushstroke preview, 3D movement, high-dynamic-range tone mapping, and color conversion are also accelerated by the GPU.
- Adobe After Effects®® CS4 now has added optimization features to accelerate a variety of creative effects, making it easier than ever to add graphics and visual effects to video, which allows the artist to quickly move from concept to final product and speeds up the workflow. Effects accelerated include depth of field, bilateral blur effects, turbulent noise such as flowing water or waving flags, and cartoon effects. NVIDIA Quadro CX takes advantages of these workflow enhancements.
- Adobe Premiere Pro CS4 can take advantage of Quadro CX to accelerate high-quality video effects such as motion, opacity, color, and image distortion. Quadro CX also enables faster editing of multiple high-definition video streams and graphic overlays and provides a variety of video output choices for high-quality preview, including DisplayPort, component TV, or uncompressed 10-bit or 12-bit SDI.
NVIDIA Quadro CX is available starting today, from leading resellers and retailers, for $1,999 USD. For more information on NVIDIA Quadro and the new Quadro CX, visit:
www.nvidia.com/quadrocx.

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Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Luxology imageSynth 2



+ Luxology® LLC, an independent technology company developing modern 3D content creation software, today announced the immediate availability of imageSynth™ 2, the newest version its popular image processing tool. Featuring up to ten times faster performance, imageSynth 2 allows artists to quickly process existing images into new seamless textures, synthetic images and backgrounds, and generate super high-resolution images from low resolution sources. imageSynth 2 is now available in both a standalone version and as a plug-in for Adobe®® Creative Suite®® 4.
The imageSynth software allows users to quickly create a new synthetic image based on areas of interest that are identified in one or more source images. imageSynth can handle a wide range of image subjects, and is especially useful when working with 'noisy' images such as crowds or beach pebbles. The royalty-free images that imageSynth creates are unique derivations and will tile together seamlessly, making them ideal for use as backgrounds, brushes or texture maps. imageSynth 2 is available now for USD $99. Existing imageSynth users can upgrade for USD $49. imageSynth works with Adobe Photoshop CS3 or higher and also includes a new standalone version. imageSynth users are welcome to use it on both the PC and the Mac as needed. To view sample images created with imageSynth, please visit
www.luxology.com/whatismodo/imageSynth/.

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PAUSE NYC Line-Up


+ New York-based filmmaker, designer and author Hillman Curtis, music video director Chris Milk and video and feature film director Mark Romanek have been added to the line-up for PAUSE: Ideas in Motion, a new two-day event for the broadcast and film industry, which takes place November 10 - 11, 2008 at the BMCC Tribeca Performing Arts Centre in NYC. The three award-winning directors join previously announced presenters BTRY, Brand New School, BUCK, Digital Kitchen, GMunk, Hush, Joseph Kosinski, MK12 and UFO. Mark Romanek and Curtis Milk (Kanyne West, U2, Green Day, Modest Mouse) bookend the event with end-of-day sessions on Day 1 and Day 2 respectively. Romanek will host an “in conversation” presentation that touches on his career as a music video and feature film director (“One Hour Photo” staring Robin Williams). Hillman Curtis will also take a personal approach to his presentation by talking about the creative processes he's developed while making short films. Each day of the event opens with a one-hour tech and tool presentation by Autodesk.
PAUSE NYC is open to anyone who works with 3D and motion graphics technologies -- whether 3DS Max, Adobe After Effects, Combustion, Maya, Motion, or a combination of these and other bold new toolsets. All PAUSE NYC attendees will be entered to win a prize pack, which includes a copy of Avid Media Composer software valued at $2,500.00. Delegate passes for PAUSE NYC range in price from $59 to $249 US (Student and Regular). Early bird discount rates apply now through October 10, 2008. Go to
www.pausenyc.tv for details or to register.

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aniMate - Drag-and-Drop Animation Plug-in for DAZ Studio


+ Playing with blocks isn't just for kids anymore. The aniMate plug-in for DAZ Studio allows artists to animate 3D characters through drag-and-drop animation modules called aniBlocks, which seamlessly blend into any DAZ Studio project. Created by GoFigure, producer of viral applications for Internet, computer and mobile social networks, and DAZ 3D, developers of high-quality 3D software and models, aniMate offers an extremely easy approach to building animation sequences that is ideal for beginners, yet capable of producing professional results. Users may import any DAZ 3D model, such as Victoria, and within seconds, create a high-quality animated sequence.
Using aniBlocks, animated behaviors such as dancing, walking, fighting and gesturing are simply dragged from the aniBlock library and dropped into the animation timeline, blending automatically to any 3D character within DAZ Studio. Behavior lengths may be set and modified in real-time by merely pulling the edge of the aniBlock. Upon purchase, aniMate comes equipped with a library of aniBlocks, while additional professional-quality aniBlocks may be purchased from DAZ 3D, or created using DAZ Studio's existing keyframe, PuppeteerT and Lip Synching technologies.
>>
More information

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Escape Studios Launches Online MAYA Training


+ Students now have access to world-class training in Autodesk Maya at the click of a mouse, with the launch of Escape Studios' revolutionary computer graphics (CG) online learning tool. Featuring dynamic and customizable HD content taught by the industry's most talented production professionals, Escape's new online training tool offers an unprecedented learning experience for a wide range of students - from beginners to seasoned production professionals. Escape's online training program is designed to be both flexible and robust allowing entry-level students or those wanting to re-train to learn in their own time and at their own pace, and receive instant help from Escape's online community. Aspects of the course can be mixed and matched depending on the required focus, providing an ideal opportunity for established industry professionals to create a custom course for furthering their skills. The system is also available to art schools, colleges and universities, where it can be integrated into the curriculum or used as a learning resource for students. For more information on Escape's Maya Core online courseware, or to access two-and-a-half hours of free 3D tutorials and courseware, please - Click Here

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Common Ground 2008



+ The Haun Tie Art Museum in Beijing will host the exhibition from Nov 9th – Nov 19th 2008. Original works of Digital Art from over 80 artists will be on display, all unified around the theme of environmental stewardship. HP (Hewlett Packard) will publish a limited edition commemorative book to be available at the event and online. All proceeds will benefit: The World Wildlife Fund, Global Giving and the Global Institute in China. To widely distributed monthly magazines in China will be our media sponsors: The Beijinger and Urbane. Common Ground will follow up this Chinese exhibition with a 'touring' set, produced here in the USA by A & I Digital Print Services in Los Angeles. It will be exhibited in Europe and No. America from 2009 through 2012. And, as planned, we will produce limited edition, fine art prints from the Common Ground Collection through A & I.
>>
www.commonground2008.com

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World’s first 3D Film Festival


+ Christmas is definitely coming early to Singapore and its a star-studded cast, from Brendan Fraser and Christopher Lloyd to the leading names from behind the spotlights, Jeffrey Katzenberg (CEO, Dreamworks Animation), James Cameron (Academy Award Winning Director and Producer), Jim Gianopulos (Chairman, 20th Century Fox), Dan Glickman (President, Motion Picture Association of America) and Mark Zoradi (President, Walt Disney Motion Pictures). Making a powerful statement about the future trend and impact of 3D technology and applications, they are all coming to Singapore for the 3DX Film and Entertainment Technology Festival being held from November 19 – 23 2008. 3D technology is already poised to enter the mass market and according to the Pricewaterhouse Coopers Global Entertainment and Media Outlook, the uptake of digital cinemas and multiplexes will see spending at the box office in Asia alone grow by more than 8.5% CAGR to reach USD 10.4 billion by 2012. Offering a taste of the future magic that 3D technology will deliver, this inaugural event in Singapore will feature Brendan Fraser’s “Journey to the Centre of the Earth” alongside Sandy Climan’s U2-3D which brings the on-stage experience to a new level with the world-acclaimed rock band in a first-ever 3D concert!
In line with the Cannes Film Festival in Europe and the Sundance Film Festival in the US, the 3DX Film and Entertainment Technology Festival will offer a wide range of 3D movies from all genres. Animation and Documentary Films like “Fly Me to the Moon”, “Dinosaurs 3D” are suitable for family viewing, while “Hanna Montana” targets the teenage viewers. Other screenings include Action Film “Journey to the Center of the Earth” and rock music concert “U2 3D”.
The 3DX festival and forum will take place from November 19 – 23, 2008 in Singapore and will be comprised of a business forum and film festival including: public screenings, festival based showings of newly released 3-D films, international speaker sessions and a gala red carpet reception. The Festival will be produced by Chabin Partners of Los Angeles and hosted by the Media Development Authority of Singapore (MDA) with support from the Singapore Tourism Board and Singapore Economic Development Board. Participating organizations include CNBC, Content Asia, The Hollywood Reporter, NBC Universal TV Asia, Star TV and Star Movies, TV Week and The Motion Picture Association. 3DX digital cinema and 3D infrastructure provided by Technicolor. 3DX is presented by THR Intelligence and sponsored by ST Electronics. SingTel of Singapore has been named the Official Event Partner of the 3DX Festival. More information and ticket registration for 3DX can be found on
www.3dxfestival.com.

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Luxology's Nexus Powers PhotoView 360


+ Luxology® LLC, an independent technology company developing modern 3D content creation software, today announced that its Nexus® technology was used to jointly develop PhotoView 360, the new design visualization application that is bundled with SolidWorks Premium and Professional 2009 editions. Designed to deliver new levels of interactivity, the software features physically based lighting, a library of realistic surface appearances and a collection of studio-quality lighting environments. Nexus is the core rendering technology behind PhotoView 360. Information on PhotoView 360 and the complete SolidWorks 2009 offering is available at www.solidworks.com.