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Pixar, Sony, and Lucasfilm Host Studio Nights at SIGGRAPH

As part of the newly expanded format of the Computer Animation Festival, SIGGRAPH 2008 will feature three all-star Production Studio Nights hosted by industry powerhouses Pixar Animation Studios, Sony Pictures Imageworks, and Lucasfilm.

In addition to the Festival's popular Competition and Invited Screenings, Festival Talks, and Production Sessions, each studio will host evening events at Los Angeles' famed Nokia Theatre. Highlights will include an exclusive advance screening of "Star Wars: The Clone Wars", preceded by a conversation between Animation Director John Knoll and Director David Filoni. Read on...Read on...

Posted: July 22, 2008

Pixar, Sony, and Lucasfilm Host Studio Nights at SIGGRAPH

As part of the newly expanded format of the Computer Animation Festival, SIGGRAPH 2008 will feature three all-star Production Studio Nights hosted by industry powerhouses Pixar Animation Studios, Sony Pictures Imageworks, and Lucasfilm.

In addition to the Festival's popular Competition and Invited Screenings, Festival Talks, and Production Sessions, each studio will host evening events at Los Angeles' famed Nokia Theatre. Highlights will include an exclusive advance screening of "Star Wars: The Clone Wars", preceded by a conversation between Animation Director John Knoll and Director David Filoni. Read on...Read on...

Posted: July 22, 2008

Robotic future

THIS science-fiction number by Appleseed producer Fumihiko Sori has ingredients that anime fans will appreciate: a dazzling hybrid of 2D and 3D animation, heady action scenes and jaw-dropping images of a futuristic world and the brilliant technology that drives it.

Well, all except for a gripping, original story, that is.  Read on...

Posted: May 11, 2008

Robotic future

THIS science-fiction number by Appleseed producer Fumihiko Sori has ingredients that anime fans will appreciate: a dazzling hybrid of 2D and 3D animation, heady action scenes and jaw-dropping images of a futuristic world and the brilliant technology that drives it.

Well, all except for a gripping, original story, that is.  Read on...

Posted: May 11, 2008

Hollywood on the Plains: No. 21, Iowa City

When Stephen Jennings landed in California, he quickly shed his Iowan roots. His first job carried the only-in-L.A. title of "assistant flame artist."

At Digital Domain and Sony Pictures Imageworks, his animation and special-effects projects included Spider-Man and The Fight Club. He wore bowling shirts, hobnobbed with big-name producers at Oscar parties, and founded Grasshorse Technologies, an animation and special-effects film production company whose clients include the Cartoon Network and Warner Brothers Studios.  Read on...

Posted: March 26, 2008

WEB TV: The Wizardry of Movie Animation

Dan Barker has come home to Mzansi from New York to promote the animated cartoon "Horton Hears A Who", which starts on the movie circuit on Friday.

Animation company Blue Sky Studio’s newest film is based on a Dr. Seuss book. It continues the magic we’ve been led to associate with them, such as "Ice Age" and "Robots".

The Horton script is rendered with sparkling wit and precision by an army of animators, Dan Barker being one of them.  Read on...

Posted: March 25, 2008

SIGGRAPH Computer Graphics Conference Opens in San Diego
With Yoichiro Kawaguchi's "20th Anniversary CG Performance and Opening Show"

On Sunday August 5th at 6:30 p.m., Yoichiro Kawaguchi's "20th Anniversary CG Performance and Opening Show" will take center stage as one of the first events at the SIGGRAPH 2007 Computer Graphics Conference. This huge bash, affectionately called "The Sake Party" by SIGGRAPH attendees, will occur at the San Diego Marriott Hotel and Marina, in the Marina Ballroom D&E (3rd Floor, South Tower). This event is open to all, free to the public. The main focus will be the premiere of Mr. Kawaguchi's newest computer animation film, which will be projected onto a 16 foot screen. There will also be a dance performance and music. Truth be told though, a big attraction of Kawaguchi's annual "CG Performance and Opening Show" is the barrels of sake which he and his team bring from Japan. Sake will be served from these barrels, being poured into traditional Japanese cups, which are square and made of wood. Read on...

Posted: August 4, 2007

Mesh Simplification Methods With Application To Games

Modern 3D games demand a great amount of computing power. In real-time interactive games new frames in the scene must be rendered between 30 to 60 times per second to maintain a smooth visual appearance. Anything below this will result in jerky animation, degrading the overall quality of the gaming experience. Although there are several computationally intensive aspects of modern 3D games such as artificial intelligence, physics, and character animation, the most intensive is the rendering of the graphics. To get a sense of the computational power necessary, modern 3D games require at least some form of dedicated graphics processing hardware, specifically designed for rendering complex 3D scenes and special visual effects in real-time. Read on...

Posted: August 4, 2007

A Primer to Methods in Computer Gaming Graphics
Part II

This is the continuation to Part I, expanding on the basic techniques used in today's computer gaming graphics! Read on...

Posted: August 4, 2007

The Art of Digital Show -- Elevating the Art Form

San Diego -- The Art of Digital Show, a major international exhibition, announced their "Call for Entries" to digital artists around the world. This world-class exhibition, which runs October 6 to November 11, 2007 at the Lyceum Theatre Gallery in downtown San Diego, will feature all forms of digital art.  The gallery will use flat-screens to display video art along with traditional arrangements of framed art. Entries must be submitted by August 15, 2007. Read on...

Posted: August 3, 2007
SIGGRAPH Debuts Arcade Play-Off On Giant Vector Display

Officials from the SIGGRAPH technology conference have announced the use of a state-of-the-art vector graphics laser projection system in order to play several classic arcade games like Tempest and Star Wars on a giant projection screen nightly at the San Diego Civic Center from August 6-8. The event will feature celebrity players in front of a live audience prior to each night's unveiling of the SIGGRAPH Computer Animation Festival, with Atari's Asteroids and Tempest, and LucasArts' Star Wars comprising the title line-up. Read on...

Posted: August 3, 2007
Getting animated at Sheridan

Sheridan College's computer animation program in Oakville, Ontario, has earned an international reputation as one of the top animation schools in North America. Pcworld.ca visited the campus to find out what makes this program such a plentiful recruiting ground for studios like Pixar, DreamWorks and Industrial Light and Magic. As I entered one of the labs for Sheridan College's computer animation program, I was struck by some of the titles on the... Read on...
Posted: August 1, 2007
Animation, the Future of Entertainment industry

Do you know who Shrek is, quizzed a colleague quite innocently. In answer, at least eight pairs of eyes looked daggers at her.

"Who doesn't and how preposterous" was the accusatory look from all. A tablefull of adults had taken umbrage to an innocuous question on a lovable animated ogre.

"My wife and I enjoyed the movie last evening," someone murmured (note wife and I; no kids). Immediately everybody tried to outdo each other by their knowledge about the animated character. Read on...

Posted: July 21, 2007

Crackle To Take A Bite Out Of YouTube?

In an attempt to regain its lost footing in the user-generated video race, Sony has announced today the revamping of its media sharing site Grouper. The site's newest incarnation (now called Crackle) is a step in a slightly different direction. First off, Grouper's focus on music and photo sharing has gone kaput. Sony's newest gamble is aimed to bring video to the forefront--but they assure us that this isn't another YouTube. By encouraging higher quality content and offering cash payments upfront for some of the best user-generated stuff, Sony is hoping that Crackle can become the head turning Rolls Royce to YouTube's traffic friendly Honda Civic. Read on...

Posted: July 17, 2007
DreamWorks Animation's 'Monsters vs. Aliens' Set to Invade U.S. Theaters May 15, 2009

DreamWorks Animation's "Monsters vs. Aliens" has been slated for its domestic release on May 15, 2009, one week earlier than its previously announced date, with both the official title and the 2009 release date now confirmed for the project. "Monsters vs. Aliens," which reinvents the classic '50s monster movie into an irreverent modern day action comedy, will be the first DreamWorks Animation film produced in stereoscopic 3D technology. The film is being directed by Conrad Vernon ("Shrek 2") and Rob Letterman ("Shark Tale"), and produced by Lisa Stewart ("I Think I Love My Wife").Read on...

Posted: July 17, 2007
Framestore Performs CG Wizardry for Order of the Phoenix

Framestore CFC is -- as always - along for the broomstick ride of a HARRY POTTER movie. This time around, for THE ORDER OF THE PHOENIX, the company's CG contributions included a herd of centaurs, a sinister house-elf named Kreacher and, for the first time, the title sequence. Heading the team for Framestore CFC was veteran vfx supervisor Craig Lyn. "We have made a name for ourselves producing creatures with real character for the POTTER films, creatures such as the Cornish Pixies and Buckbeak the Hippogriff," he recalled. Read on...

Posted: July 16, 2007

CB Top 5: Computer Animated Movies

Once a rarity, computer animated movies are now commonplace. We get a new one nearly every month, it’s just a shame most of them aren’t any good. But some of them are not only good, they’re really good. The world’s first computer animation studio Pixar has never missed yet, and others like DreamWorks and Fox Animation have stepped things up to deliver truly wonderful films using only computers and disembodied voices. With the latest and greatest in Shrek sequels on the way this summer I grabbed a pitchfork and a torch, waded into the swamp and roused the Cinema Blend staff from their hovels with one thought in mind: Tell me about your favorite computer animated movie. They did, I tallied it up, and the result is another CB Top 5. Read on...

Posted: May 16, 2007

Digital Pooh and Tigger Too!
John Cawley chronicles Winnie the Pooh's long history in film, leading up to his new CG incarnation in My Friends Tigger & Pooh.

For a bear with very little brains, Winnie the Pooh has been very smart in his ability to adapt. More than 80 years after his first print appearance (1926), this bear "stuffed with fluff" has managed to be a bear for all seasons. This year he evolves into a character with depth thanks to a new CGI series, My Friends Tigger & Pooh, debuting on the Disney Channel, May 12, 2007, at 10:00 am. It will mark the fourth TV series to star A.A. Milne's classic ursine, on top of his numerous shorts, specials, features and videogames. Pooh even has a star on Hollywood Boulevard! Perhaps the most amazing thing is that Pooh represents a time when Walt Disney made a mistake -- but more on that later. Read on...

Posted: May 16, 2007

Spielberg & Jackson to Direct Performance Capture Tintin Trilogy

Steven Spielberg has gained a partner in Peter Jackson to fulfill his long desire to bring beloved Belgian comicstrip TINTIN, which was created by Georges Remi (aka Herge), to the big screen. The duo will produce a trilogy of films for DreamWorks while each director will helm at least one of the three films, which will be presented in full digital 3-D via WETA Digital™s performance capture system. Joining the duo as a producer will be Kathleen Kennedy.  Apparently, Spielberg and Jackson have been developing the project for some time. WETA Digital has created a 20-minute test of performance capture versions of Remi's characters. Read on...

Posted: May 16, 2007

The Future is Now for Sanctuary
Tara DiLullo Bennett gets the scoop on Sanctuary, which marks a new media experiment for sci-fi shot in HD and made with XSI and ZBrush.

There's an intriguing experiment launching on the Internet this month that finally moves forward the long-simmering chatter about creating high-quality television programming, targeted specifically for dedicated genre fans, right to the Internet. We're not talking about repeated episodes from broadcast networks, or fan-funded projects with low budgets and questionable talent, but brand new, scripted programming created by television and film professionals who think the time has come to bypass fickle networks by offering niche programming directly to their core audience. Read on...

Posted: May 16, 2007

Pinocchio Scene by Scene

There is an important Disney history triple-play going on at three of our favorite blogs. Michael Sporn got the ball rolling last year by posting the first 23 pages of the animator drafts for Pinocchio (1940). These are the sequence by sequence breakdowns of who animated each shot, scene by scene. Start here to read the earliest scenes. Hans Perk at A Film L.A. picked up the ball and continued this project by posting the rest of the draft, (backtrack from here), posting several new pages each day. Read on...

Posted: March 25, 2007

The Last Mimzy: Magical Reality VFX
Alain Bielik uncovers the secrets behind the ethereal yet photographic effects in The Last Mimzy, a task shared by 10 vendors.

The Last Mimzy (opening March 23 from New Line Cinema), based on the 1943 short story Mimsy Were the Borogoves by Lewis Padgett, tells the story of two children who discover a mysterious container on a beach. Inside the container, they find an eclectic group of small objects, each one casting a spell of fascination over the kids. As they play with their newly discovered "toys," the children start to develop exceptional mental abilities. The key to this wonder lies inside Mimzy, a stuffed rabbit that is one of the "toys"... Often presented by the filmmaking team as E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial for our time, the movie required extensive visual effects work, and a huge conceptual design effort. A veteran of such large-scale productions as Batman Forever, Broken Arrow and Spider-Man 2, visual effects supervisor Eric Durst decided to split the 335 vfx shots among 10 different vendors.  Read on...

Posted: March 25, 2007

79th Annual Academy Awards® Nominated Short Films and Features Animation

This year's Oscar® nominated Short Films and Features Animation are diverse in both genre and subject matter. The selection of the award winners is made all the more difficult by their extraordinary quality and because many have already won multiple awards. While Spain leads with two nominations in the Live Action Short Film category, the United States is leading with three nominations in the Animated Short Films category. Audiences around the country will have the opportunity to see the 10-Oscar nominations, and another 5 Oscar-eligible Shorts, starting Friday, February 16, 2007, in over 40 theaters around the country. The Oscar Ceremonies will be held Sunday, February 25, 2007, but the Oscar selections for Short Films will be made before February 25.  Read on...

Posted: February 19, 2007

Toy Story 3 Coming in 2009

Toy Story 3 is coming in 2009, but John Lasseter won't be the director, reports Variety. Lasseter and Disney Animation president Ed Catmull provided extensive details on their upcoming slate at the Mouse House's investor conference Thursday. In addition to confirming for the first time that a third "Toy Story" is in the works, most likely for 2009 release, Lasseter said Lee Unkrich will helm it with Tom Hanks and Tim Allen returning as the voices of Woody and Buzz Lightyear. Read on...

Posted: February 19, 2007

Narnia Sequel Starts Shooting

THE CHRONICLES OF NARNIA: PRINCE CASPIAN, the second live-action/CG movie adaptation of C.S. Lewis' beloved series of literary classics, began principal photography Feb. 12 on location in Auckland, New Zealand. The production, once again a joint venture between the Walt Disney Pictures and Walden Media, continues the franchise that commenced with the very successful, Oscar-winning 2005 release, THE CHRONICLES OF NARNIA: THE LION, THE WITCH AND THE WARDROBE, which went on to earn more than $745 in worldwide theatrical release. Native New Zealander Andrew Adamson (the Oscar-winning SHREK, SHREK 2) embarks on his second Narnian film adventure, returning to his homeland to helm the follow-up film from a screenplay he co-wrote with Emmy Award-winning writing partners Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely (HBO's THE LIFE AND DEATH OF PETER SELLERS), who also co-scripted the first film. Read on...

Posted: February 19, 2007

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