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Friday, December 19, 2008

Introducing Mathsurf For 3DS Max*



+ Mathsurf is a scripted plug-in for 3ds Max to create and explore mathematical surfaces and geometries in form of the standard editable mesh. This MaxScript creates surfaces by mapping a 2D rectangular domain into R3 space using specific criteria. The rectangle is the product of the intervals [uMin,uMax] and [vMin,vMax]. Each point (u,v) of the rectangle is mapped to a three-dimensional point P with coordinates (x(u,v), y(u,v), z(u,v)). The mapping is given by writing Pascal procedures that defines the values of x, y, and z as functions of u,v. In this method each patch in 3D surface is corresponding by a unique patch in the 2D domain. This 3ds Max plug-in works as an extra create tool in category of geometries along with the parameters which can be used in animation to morphing the surface. This package includes over 60 predefined surfaces and ready to use. MathSurf will expand the mathematical functions embedded in max-script and make you able to create differential geometries such as Minimal surfaces. It also provides more efficient and user friendly interface to make your codes and formulas using the common controls and rollouts in 3ds Max interface. For more information on Mathsuf, please - Click Here

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The Gnomon Workshop releases 5 new training DVDs


+ This week The Gnomon Workshop releases a wide range of new titles to help you end 2008 on a very positive note. From "The Skinned Character Rig" to "Watercolor and Gouache Painting," these DVDs offer something for everyone. This group of DVDs ushers the return of instructors Aaron Sims, Wendy Froud and Carlo Sansonetti – each one building on previous lectures on character design, character sculpting and character rigging. This week we also introduce world class instructors Erik Tiemens and Richard Keyes. Erik, an award-winning movie concept artist, teaches his watercolor and gouache techniques for quickly capturing the essence of an idea or concept – techniques useful for fine artists and concept designers alike. Richard presents a must-have lecture on color, breaking down the concepts of color and demonstrating through historical and contemporary examples how artists have used color harmonies and contrasts to compose their images.
Color Theory: The Mechanics of Color
Beginning with some thoughts on how we define the concept of color, Richard explains various methods people in history have used to systemize color. These systems include the additive and subtractive color wheels, which are addressed as metaphorical maps of color. The basic vocabulary we use to describe color — hue, value and saturation — are explained through illustrative and graphic means.
Designing Creatures in Adobe Photoshop®
In this DVD, Aaron Sims shows how he uses Adobe Photoshop® to create and design characters and creatures. Aaron covers many of his techniques for designing character concepts and discusses the logic behind his methods. He shows you the entire process including sketching and drawing in Photoshop®, and manipulating, warping and blending photos to develop interesting features, backgrounds and textures. Aaron explains how to effectively design with tools like Warp, Liquify and different layer blend modes for quick results.
The Skinned Character RigSkinning and Deformations
In The Skinned
Character Rig, lead character rigger Carlo Sansonetti shows the skinning process from start to finish. The lecture begins with the concepts required to understand basic skinning, allowing the viewer to quickly start deforming their characters. It then progresses to detailed examples and explanations of advanced techniques. Carlo covers his favorite tools, smooth binding, deformation order, deformation correction, indirect skinning and deforming cloth.
Creating a Character Figure
In this two-disc DVD workshop, renowned artist Wendy Froud explains and demonstrates how to create a character figure of your own design. Wendy reveals her process in step-by-step detail, beginning with a discussion of how to use reference to inspire the look and feel of your designs. She sculpts three different
character heads, covering a variety of techniques for giving personality to your figure including facial expressions, wrinkles and lines.
Watercolor and Gouache Painting
The essence of an exciting idea can be captured successfully using a limited palette gouache and watercolor thumbnail technique. Artist and designer Erik Tiemens presents a compelling demo and covers multiple topics, including how to start visualizing thru multiple mini-sketches that take into account lighting, atmosphere, high-key and low-key plans, palette mixing, and brush control. Additional areas covered include paint consistency, working on toned paper, and zeroing in on your final direction. The lecture concludes with a detailed step-by-step demo for creating a finished small-format painting. Visit
www.thegnomonworkshop.com for more information about these titles.

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2009 Chicago Motion Graphics Festival


+ The “city of Big Shoulders” is about to assert business leadership again, as a center for technology. Coming up this January, the 2009 Chicago Motion Graphics Festival and the Chicago Convergence produces seven days of events about the mergers of technology, entertainment, advertising, media, and more. “The frontier of motion pictures has shifted from films and television towards ipods, computer games and personal technology,” said Mason Dixon, founder of the six-year-old festival. “If you look at film as just being Hollywood, then of course California and New York have a lot to offer, but when you include games, music, advertising and Internet technology, Chicago really outshines other cities.” Earlier this year, The Chicago Convergence, began its efforts to pioneer Chicago as the New Media Capital, presenting the 2016 Olympics as the New Media Olympics, and Chicago as the best home for it. The Chicago Convergence will be run a day of panels and presentations as the Technology portion of the Chicago Motion Graphics Festival in 2009. Festival Sponsors includes : Stash, The Chicago Convergence, Columbia College, Toolfarm, School of the Art Insitute of Chicago, Bridges Media Group, Future Media Concepts, DigiEffects, Resolume, Livid Instruments, Ableton, Boris FX, All City Technology, Lumen Eclipse and Sterling Ledet. The Chicago Motion Graphics Festival runs from Monday, January 20th to Sunday January 25th in various locations across downtown Chicago.

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Dozens of FREE 3D characters from N-Sided


+ N-Sided announces the release of new "QUI Packs": two collections of models that include almost 40 3D characters. There are businessmen, superheroes, female heads, warehouse workers, weightlifters and many other characters.But the best news is that these two packs are completely free! The .QUI format is the proprietary format of QUIDAM. It saves all transformations and changes done on a model: modeling, textures, props import, proportions, poses and more. You can easily customize QUIDAM models, make countless variations and create your own characters library. Save your creations in the .QUI format and store them to create your own library. In no time you will have hundreds of models available to use for projects, creations or to sell to other artists!
>> Free Quidam 3d Models

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Luxology Offers Two New modo Arch-Viz Training Videos


+ Luxology® LLC today announced that two new sets of videos focused on architectural subjects have been added to the company's growing training library. Using modo® 302, Luxology's artist-friendly 3D content creation software, the "Architectural Modeling" video training album demonstrates how to create an architectural model from a given set of dimensions, and the "Architectural Interior: Lighting and Rendering" video album provides techniques for creating compelling day and night shots of a contemporary interior living space. To expedite the learning experience, Luxology provides pre-built models and images with each tutorial.
The first set, "Architectural Modeling," provides instruction on how to use modo to accurately model the famous Los Angeles Charles Eames house. Authored by Andy Brown, Luxology's training division director, this album includes three separate video tutorials that explain how to accurately model the framework, interiors and windows of this iconic structure. "Architectural Interior: Lighting and Rendering" shows how modo can be used to effectively light interiors, and how to create final high-resolution images suitable for previsualization or client presentation purposes. Created by Yazan Malkosh, this album includes three separate video tutorials that cover the following topics: lighting and materials, render settings and outputs, and final presentation. Dozens of models, images and lighting files are included with this training series that consists of 26 video lessons. Both albums are produced in high-definition resolution and are available for immediate purchase at -
Click Here

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AVATAR - 2D/3D Art Competition



+ International Art Competition «Avatar». We thought it would be great to gather artists from all over the world to fight creative task together. We really want to turn it into a remarkable, exciting and fun event so we’ve invited an amazing group of artists to our judges’ panel and partnered up with great sponsors. On the judges panel we've got great team of professional artists and VFX industry leaders like Donato Giancola, Eric Hanson, Francisco Cortina, Jinwoo Lee (Weta Digital), Armand Serrano (Sony Pictures Animation), Ron Lemen, Jim Murray, Steve Gordon, Vincent Dutrait, Bobby Chiu, Don Seegmiller... many more.
The competition will run from Dec 08, 2008 with the deadline set on Mar 08, 2009. There are three nominations for submitted images: 2D and 3D illustration, as well as stylized illustration (especially for comic and cartoon style fans!). Besides the great prizes for winners, all of the participants, who will provide final submissions, will get special offers from our partners. we encourage artists to imagine their avatars living in fictitious worlds. Would it be a totally futuristic, alien realm or maybe something primitive and close to nature? Imagine a world you'd like to live in and tell us about it. You are free to create any life form for your avatar character, just make sure it has some charisma and personality. We'd like to see not just alien vistas but images with a story, so we encourage participants to tell interesting stories in their works. In other words, we’d like to maximize your creative output. For competition guidelines, rules and other information, please, visit www.cgartaward.com

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Friday, December 05, 2008

Voice-O-Matic (Maya Edition) v1.5


+ Di-O-Matic, a leading developer in user friendly character animation software, announced the new version 1.5 of Voice-O-Matic (Maya Edition). Voice-O-Matic (Maya Edition) is a powerful, easy-to-use plug-in which automates the lip synchronization process for your animated CG characters directly in Autodesk Maya. Simply feed a recorded audio file to Voice‑O‑Matic and it will automatically generate timing and lip position data for your characters. Being designed for animators by animators, Voice-O-Matic only requires an audio file to automatically produce accurate lip synch. Afterwards, the results can be easily tweaked to match perfectly any style of animation. Voice-O-Matic works with any type of character setup and with virtually every language. Combining these features has earned Voice-O-Matic the reputation of being the animators’ best friend when it comes to lip synch projects. New Features in Voice-O-Matic (Maya Edition) v1.5 includes: Support for Maya 2009 (32bit and 64bit), Use Weighting option, Restrict Time Range for keyframes creation, Reference scene support for visemes mapping. Registered Voice-O-Matic (Maya Edition) users are entitled to this update free of charge.
>>
more information

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Craft Animations Free Real-time 3D Tools



+ Condensed Versions of Select Craft Director Tools Offer Professional Results to the Masses; Time-saving Solutions Work Seamlessly with 3ds Max and Maya. Broadening its already widespread FreeWare catalog and extending real-time 3D animation to the masses, Craft Animations™ today announced free light versions of its highly regarded Craft Director Tools™. Created to introduce users of Autodesk’s 3ds Max and Maya to the benefits of Craft Director Tools, Craft 4-Wheeler Free, Craft ObserverCam Free and Craft Airplane Free all utilize cutting-edge research in advanced control systems to drastically reduce traditional animation processes without compromising quality. Craft Director Tools eliminate the prolonged tasks of key framing and scripting, allowing users more time for creative processes. Additionally, professional users have gained the opportunity to create natural motion paths on-the-fly through autopilot functions, or a variety of input devices such as gamepads, joysticks, keyboards, Wacom boards and 6DOF controllers (such as Space Pilot®).
Craft’s newest FreeWare additions to Craft Director Tools include:
Craft 4-Wheeler Free: Capable of modifying up to six significant factors – acceleration, top speed, steering angle, brake force, suspension and weight, Craft 4-Wheeler Free provides the ability to rig and animate any type of four-wheeled vehicle model. Craft ObserverCam Free: With the ability to move in all directions, Craft ObserverCam Free eases the animation process by setting up a standard configuration and allowing users to animate a camera with the help of input devices. Craft Airplane Free: Users may rig and animate any type of airplane model, in addition to the ability to alter the four essential parameters of the tool’s configurations - weight, top speed, elevation speed and turn speed.
>>
Download Crafts Free Real-time 3D Tools

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VFX Framestore - Westfield



+ As the largest in-town shopping and leisure destination in Europe, Westfield London is aiming to create a real stir with shoppers of all stripes. Opening in W12 on October 30th 2008, the complex keeps late evening hours for shopping and even later hours for dining. So a spectacular launch spot was planned, featuring a host of people sprouting wings of an evening and launching themselves, moth-like, towards the seductive glowing light in the west.........The Framestore 3D team animated and rendered the wings in Maya, with
Houdini's strengths in particle work making it invaluable for the wider flock shots. But, as Harrison-Murray is quick to point out, the spot was never intended to be a CG 'showcase' - it was vital that his team's work blend seamlessly into the overall mood and feel of New Light. To further this end, Senior Colourist Dave Ludlam created a TK that aimed to help bed in the work, whilst maintaining the natural feel that Barber had created.....read on!
>>
Watch the Spot video

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Updated 3D software CityEngine is Faster



+ Procedural Inc. today released a significant upgrade to their revolutionary 3D software CityEngine. When the software was launched in July, Procedural Inc. announced the generation of ancient Rome 3d within just one day (Rome Reborn Project). Now, with the newly introduced OpenStreetMap® import, the CityEngine enables the generation of literally every city in the world within minutes. Procedural Inc., an innovative software company located in Zurich, is home to the world’s foremost procedural modeling technology. With the CityEngine, Procedural Inc.’s graphics experts have created a radically different 3D application that allows professional users in entertainment, architecture and urban planning to efficiently model 3D cities and buildings.
Other highlights of the new CityEngine release include:
Convenient interface to control specific parameters such as the building height or age. A parameter modification by the user invokes the automatic regeneration of the 3D model with all architectural elements correctly aligned. Generated city models can now be exported also to Pixar’s RenderMan® and Google Earth®. New learning resources such as video tutorials and extensive user manuals. For full list of features, please -
Click Here

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FreeSpin3D Released


+ FreeSpin3D comes outof beta. Revolver, a leading provider of 3D content development solutions for the graphic design and game development industries, announced today the release of its patent pending product, FreeSpin3D™. FreeSpin3D™ is the first commercial solution for importing and real-time rendering of 3D Models into Adobe® Flash®. The FreeSpin3D™ (Beta version) was successfully implemented by more than 10,000 flash developers and designers around the world. FreeSpin3D™ is the first software that makes 3D development simple, fast, and effective, enabling all Flash designers and developers to create real time 3D content. With FreeSpin3D™, designers and developers can add dynamic 3D graphics to their 2D environment-based online games, animations, advertisements, web design, entertainment and interactive content. The solution is available at the company website, www.freespin3d.com.

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