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Tuesday, November 25, 2008

88th Annual ADC Awards Call for Entries

+ It's your chance to win a Gold Cube in the 88th Annual Awards. Enter your Advertising, Design, Interactive, Photography, Illustration andeven unpublished work in Playground. There are also breakout categories, ADC Hybrid and ADC Design Sphere, and a sponsored award from Corbis! So go ahead, enter now! The Art Directors Club is the premier organization for integrated media and the first international creative collective of its kind. Founded in New York in 1920, ADC is a self-funding, not-for-profit membership organization whose mission is to connect, provoke and elevate creative visual communications professionals around the world. It focuses on the highest standards of excellence and integrity in visual communications for the industry, and encourages students and young professionals entering the field. ADC provides a forum for creatives in Advertising, Design, Interactive Media and Communications to explore the direction of these rapidly converging industries.

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Digimation's Best Selling Plug-ins for 3ds Max Now Available for FREE*

+ Digimation®, a leading provider of 3D software, models, and creative services to the entertainment, visualization, and defense industries, today announced that it is making twelve of its award-winning software plug-ins for 3ds Max, available for free. The free products are collectively known as the Digimation Suite. In addition, the company has launched a completely redesigned website to make finding and purchasing products easier than ever.
Free plug-ins support most versions of 3ds Max and include;
Atomizer, which allows 3ds Max particle systems to use any 3D object as a particle.
Bones Pro, a powerful and easy to use skeletal deformation system.
Chameleon, which places textures based on the location of an animatable gizmo.
Clay Studio, an advanced metaball modeler.
DigiPeople, a collection of procedural, low-resolution mannequins.
Fractal Flow, which can be used to warp any image, video, or 3d object.
Glider, which can animate any object or particle along the surface of another object.
Lightning, a procedural electric arc generator.
MaxSculpt, advanced mesh sculpting with support for pressure sensitive tablets.
SandBlaster, the flexible particle system with a unique emitter and target system.
Spray Master, which can be used to spray geometry on, or around, other objects.
Tree Factory, used to generate a wide variety of trees and ground foliage.
"We're pleased to make these popular products available for free to the Max community," said David Avgikos, president of Digimation. "We've enjoyed seeing the fantastic work our customers have created over the years with these tools, and now that they're available to everyone, we're eager to see what they'll create next." The Digimation Suite is available on the company's newly redesigned website, which features a new interface and updated information on the company's software products, 3D models, and services.

About Digimation
Digimation is a world leader in the 3D industry with products and services designed to accelerate the development, and enhance the quality of visual communication, training, and entertainment in the commercial and defense sectors. For more information about the company's award-winning products and services, please visit www.digimation.com.

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A Retro-Futuristic Short Movie by abstract:groove

+ abstract:groove is proud to introduce you the latest advertising campaign for Diesel Kid FW08 previewed worldwide with a super-oneiric, eccentric web-exclusive short-movie. Reality and sci-fi merge together in this surreal work. Enter a world of winged horses, vintage fantasy space bikes and imaginative intergalactic galleon contraptions and let the kids take you on a space-race to find “the treasure” in the strangest of strange space-scape you ever did see. The Movie is a mixture of different techniques and styles: live action, stop motion, motion graphic and 3D. Inspired by a retro futuristic collection “Explorers of the past and future” is available on www.dieselkids.com


Gnomon Workshop:LIVE!

+ The Gnomon Workshop will rebroadcast ten lectures from our past Weekend Live events. Join our private event forum from December 12th - 19th and view HD quality video of these amazing lectures and interact with instructors: Brom, Erik Tiemens, Iain McCaig, George Hull, Marc Gabanna, William Stout, Wayne Barlowe, James Clyne, Tyruben Ellingson and Kenneth Rocafort.
Each of our seven weekend events has sold out to 300 attendees who mostly come from the Hollywood area. For the first time, we are thrilled to be able to share some of these presentations with a wider audience around the world. While the ticket price for the actual live event was inexpensive, travel costs easily quadruple the cost, if not more. Yet, we honestly believe that these weekends have made a dramatic difference in the lives of many CG artists, opening eyes and minds to the opportunities that are out there for dedicated visually creative individuals. Student ticket price will go up to $175 on Dec 1st. Use coupon code "EDUEVENT1208" in the check out area to activate discount. For more information, please visit :
Click here


Tuesday, November 18, 2008

LipService w/LBrush for 3DSMax

+ Joe Alter, Inc has just released LipService w/LBrush for 3DSMax. It is a sort of swiss-army tool crammed into a single 3DSModifier. The tool was designed to be a WYSIWYG facial animation solution that let’s you animate, puppeteer, and sculpt with your targets. The sculpting tools are so advanced, however, that you might wind up just using it to do sculpts that you might have otherwise exported to Mudbox or ZBrush. The tool features a multi-res subdiv mesh that can be edited and animated at any level of detail. So your little wrinkles and furrows can come and go as an integrated part of your sculpted target, but you needn’t be encumbered by all that detail while sculpting the gross animation.
Like Mudbox and ZBrush, you can go back and fourth between resolutions, paint stencils, texture, sculpt and blend at any level right inside your max workspace. You can paint features from one target to another, and even paint high resolution texture and displacement detail right in the Max view port. Performance is similar to Mudbox 1.0, it can get a little chunky around 1M polygons if you don’t hide the areas you’re not working on, but it’s still far superior to anything you’ll find inside 3DSMax and is bristling with tools. If you have a fast card results will vary. Animation is straight forward, and looks fantastic. The shape interpolation is a splined interpolation, not a morph. Your animation flows through the targets without stopping on them. It gives the animation a really “fleshy” look that you just can’t duplicate with a morph tool. You can also layer the animation in tracks, and perform things like blinks and eyebrows with the mouse in real-time to liven it up. The texture painting lets you paint seamlessly with color swatches, copy brushes, displacements and stencils. You can bake textures out to images, displacements, and normal maps with a variety of options (included animation).
Joe Alter, Inc is known for their popular hair and fur tool, “Shave and a Haircut” and are also the authors of 3DSMax’s Hair and Fur module. The product is currently available for $99 for 3DSMax 8,9,2008,2009. Alter says the Maya version should ship by Feb. There is a fully enabled 45 day demo version of the product on the website, excellent support, documentation, and some flash videos. For more information, visit www.lbrush.com


Dover Studios Unveils Maya NURBS Modeling 3rd Edition Visual Effects Training Video

+ Dover Studios, Inc. today unveiled Maya NURBS Modeling 3rd Edition, their latest visual effects training video. Maya NURBS Modeling 3rd Edition provides visual effects artists with an introduction to the powerful NURBS modeling tools available in Autodesk Maya. The third edition has been completely revised and updated, and includes a variety of new examples, more detailed descriptions, and features over 2 hours of crystal clear 1080p high definition video.
Through many in-depth lessons, visual effects artists, Andrew Hazelden and Russell Hazelden, provide numerous tips for efficient NURBS modeling including: how to keep objects organized using the layer editor, how to create accurate scale models using reference images, and countless time saving techniques.
Essential topics include creating curves using control vertices and edit points, using curve primitives, inserting and removing knots from curves, detaching curves using curve points, opening and closing curves, cutting and attaching curves, reversing a curve's direction, the smooth curve tool, the pencil curve tool, arc tools, and creating text. Discover how to create NURBS surfaces from curves by using the loft, extrude, revolve, planar, and boundary surface tools.
Learn how to sculpt NURBS surfaces using the intuitive brush-based Maya Artisan. Advanced topics include: curve and surface parameterization, UV surface coordinates, adjusting surface tessellation, editing surface components and rebuilding NURBS surfaces. All of the modeling techniques are put to use in the final exercise: the creation of a detailed antique lantern using NURBS curves and surfaces. No steps are left out and every detail is explained with easy to follow step-by-step instructions. For more information visit
www.doverstudios.com/ and watch the free preview. Maya NURBS Modeling 3rd Edition is available now as a download for $125 (US). Single user and multi-user site licensed versions of the video are available.


VRAYforC4D 1.1 update

+ LAUBlab [in cooperation with Renato Tarabella & Daniele Ficini] is happy to announce the release of the major update 1.1 to the VRAYforC4D render engine, which brings the famous Vray engine to Cinema4d. The update adds over 75 new features, enhancements and fixes to the well known Vray for Cinema 4d. this is already the 9th update to the render engine, which was first released only one year ago. Despite the great amount of new features it is still delivered free to all existing users. The development team managed to incorporated many of the users wishes and in addition also adapted to the very newest VRAY render core 1.6 from Chaosgroup. "We think this is an exiting major update, and the very best version for cinema4d available so far. almost all areas of the engine has been even further optimized and speed up, and many new features have been added", Stefan Laub, CEO of LAUBlab explains. The update is available from today on the VRAYforC4d.com website. It is the only VRay version that is also available on OSX.It is optimized to complement the new MAXON Cinema4d v11 Version and runs in full 64bit on OSX and Windows. www.vrayforc4d.com

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+ “The Seed” is a beautiful short animation of the epic journey taken by a humble apple seed through the natural cycle of life. Written, designed and directed by Johnny Kelly (and produced in collaboration with Goodby, Silverstein and Partners, with the support of Adobe) this thoughtful film was created using the new features and tools of the Adobe CS4 Master Collection. Using a mix of 2D animation and stop-frame paper craft, the Adobe tools were used at every stage of the creative process to bring to life the vivid paper models on their animated voyage through nature. The new features in After Effects, Premiere Pro, Sound Booth, Photoshop, Idesign and Flash combined superbly to demonstrate their enhanced capabilities in achieving the artistic realisation of the story of “The Seed”. The film and its making of are featured in the CS4 launch campaign, along with illustrations and films from other artists from around the world.
Watch Trailer video (mov)


Thursday, November 06, 2008

Ocula 3D stereo plug-ins - shipping

+ Leading visual effects software developer The Foundry is now shipping Ocula – the unique collection of plug-in tools that solve common problems with stereoscopic imagery, boost productivity in post production, and ultimately help to deliver a more rewarding stereoscopic viewing experience. Ocula plug-ins are designed to automatically replicate key processes on left and right channels and help artists polish and refine stereoscopic material, literally removing headaches from the final viewing experience.
Ocula’s tool set is based on brand new disparity-mapping algorithms, created by The Foundry’s Academy Award®-winning R&D team. Disparity maps track and correlate the differences in positional space and movement between corresponding pixels in the left and right cameras, delivering pixel-level control over images. Knowing where disparities occur, Ocula tools apply corrections by warping, stretching and squeezing only the areas of an image that require treatment. Image manipulation using disparity maps is different to the X, Y or Z-axis shifting of images, where only whole image planes are being shifted.
Ocula plug-ins allow artists to apply a multitude of adjustments to stereo image pairs. All corrections can be made to the left and right eye channels either together or separately, minimising or eliminating discomfort from the stereo viewing experience. Nuke 5.1 is currently the only visual effects compositing system with an embedded 3D stereoscopic workflow where left and right eye channels can be manipulated separately or together. Nuke 5.1 is, therefore, currently the only platform that supports Ocula. Now shipping, Ocula is priced at $10,000 / £5,000. Also shipping, Nuke 5.1 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 5.1 is available for existing customers with valid maintenance at no extra cost, customers can download now from The Foundry website


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4th Cheetah3D-Contest

+ Cheetah3D has announced the 4th official Cheetah3D modeling and rendering contest. This time it is a "Game Heroes" 3D modeling contest. You're welcome to submit any type of game hero. If it is a soldier, a robot or a spaceship. That's up to you. If you want to create a whole splash screen for a game with enemies that would be also great. And with some luck you will win one of those amazing prizes like the Unity game engine + iphone and you can directly build a iPhone game with your new game hero. The contest officially starts at 4.Nov.2008 and ends at 23.Nov.2008. For the contest rules please - Click here


Roadside Romeo - 3D animated film by VCL

+ Visual Computing Labs (VCL), a division of Tata Elxsi Ltd, has lived up to the expectations of making India’s first fully 3D animated mainstream film with Roadside Romeo. The film, a joint venture between India’s largest production house Yash Raj Films and the leader’s in animation worldwide Walt Disney was released on October 24, 2008 and has since received rave reviews on the quality of animation. The film is the first in the series of original and exclusive 3D animated feature films to be tailor made for Indian audiences as part of the alliance between YRF and Walt Disney where VCL is the animation partner.
The 90 minute film has around 1500 shots and 37 scenes. The entire project has been executed at VCL, from visual conceptualization to final delivery. Each frame was executed with painstaking attention to detail in less than 2 years involving 120 odd artists at peak. The film underwent a complex process, with all the characters, props, backgrounds being built on the computer, animated, lit, rendered and composited. This had to be done for each of the 150000 frames that made up the film. Each character in the film, every expression and emotion was first drawn with possible body movements / postures. The characters were then modeled and rigged. This was followed by shading, addition of texture and fur.
About Visual Computing Labs

Visual Computing Labs, a division of Tata Elxsi Ltd, is a creative facility offering animation, digital visual effects and game asset building for the global entertainment and broadcast industry. With its global delivery center in Mumbai, India, VCL is a unique mix of engineering and creative skills, which provides solutions from scripting, pre/post production, character modelling & animation, VFX and development services among others. - Click Here

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