Maya Enters 3D Volume Market By Paulo de Andrade Alias/Wavefront has reduced the price of Maya. Not just by a little bit, but significantly. Maya Complete, formerly priced at $7,500 will now sell for $1,999 and Maya Unlimited, which formerly sold for $16,000 will be priced at $6,999. The software remains the same and no features were removed in order to lower the prices. This means that Maya is now priced in the same category as traditional volume market 3D software such as Lightwave and MAX, which may very well be considered a landmark in the history of 3D graphics. ...Read More »
Analysis: Apple's Acquisition of Nothing Real: Insanely Great or Just Plain Insane? By John Virata Apple's acquisition of Nothing Real, developer of the Tremor and Shake compositing systems, poses some serious questions with regard to the digital media marketplace. Tremor and Shake run on Linux, Windows, and the Irix operating systems. Apple sells Power Macs running OS X. So what does this mean to those artists who use Nothing Real's tools for creating their art? Will support be offered to those who have purchased the turnkey Tremor systems at prices starting at $75,000 on up to $140,000? ...Read More »
The Case For The Defense By Rick Monro You may not be too surprised to hear a designer jump to the defense of designers and the role they play. However, this little narrative has not been inspired by the instinct for the self-preservation of my industry, but rather by a blown gasket. A blown top. You see, someone said it again. With startling frequency I am informed, by inference or otherwise, that my computer does my job for me; "that's just Photoshop isn't it?" ...Read More »
Square USAs Final Fantasy By John Virata Square Co., parent company of Square USA, the Honolulu-based facility that brought us Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within, is expected to sell its money losing film unit within the next three months. ...Read More »
Editing, Compositing, Animation: A Fine Line By Charlie White Long ago, in the dark ages of video post production, editing was a completely separate discipline from animation. If you wanted a show open, you just took yourself and your half-baked ideas down to your local 3D animation boutique and started fantasizing out loud about your vision to the resident animation artist. But now, we're editing everything on computers, and those computers are also really, really good at rendering animations. Why not just dip into that other world, since we already have the processor power to do so? ...Read More »
It begins... By Stephen Schleicher While listening to the soundtrack to the soon to be released Harry Potter and the Sorcerers Stone, I began to think about all of the forthcoming features that have a wealth of CG animation and special effects. Im more excited now about the plethora of films set to be released than I was about Disneys Atlantis or Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within this last summer. The reason is simple -- a diverse amount of films using CG in a variety of ways to tell the story. ...Read More »
Virtual Actors By Stephen Schleicher I was able to slip away for a few hours this weekend to check out the highly anticipated and hyped Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within. One of the most hyped aspects of this movie was the implication that virtual actors would put real actors out on the street. While Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within was a huge leap for 3D movies, I don't think SAG and AFTRA have too much to worry about right now. ...Read More »
Details By Stephen Schleicher One of the things that I enjoy about teaching is that it gives me a chance to share the knowledge that I have accumulated over the years and help the student as they prepare to enter the professional arena. But sometimes the world before our eyes can be the best teacher. ...Read More »
Flash Is Back By Dave Nagel Not too long ago, I went on a bit of a tirade against Microsoft for failing to deliver the Flash plugin with the basic installation of Internet Explorer for Windows. After all, if it could happen on the Windows platform, the same fate couldn't be far off for the Mac platform either. But now (as of last week) Microsoft and Macromedia say Flash Player 5 will be distributed with the Microsoft Windows XP operating system, which is scheduled for worldwide availability Oct. 25. ...Read More »
Symbol Manager Bites the Dust By Elise Moss I spent this summer in Virginia. While my husband toiled at NASA Langley, I worked on a textbook for ADT and did consulting in the area. One of my local customers was an architectural firm in Norfolk. They were looking to upgrade from ADTR2 under AutoCAD R14 up to ADTR3.3 under AutoCAD 2002. Like most architectural firms, over the years they had created many lisp routines to manage custom symbols and help make their work easier. They brought me in to make sure that they could retain as much of their custom stuff as possible and still upgrade. They needed to upgrade to remain competitive in their industry because they exchange drawings with customers, subcontractors, etc. ...Read More »
SIGGRAPH 2001 By Paulo de Andrade SGI is one of my favorite companies. Their computers have fueled the entertainment industry for years, and they have played a major role in the development of the computer graphics industry that we have today. Unfortunately, SGI's presence at Siggraph 2001 was, to put it mildly, "interesting." ...Read More »
AA Movie Sites By DMN Staff Writer AA Movie Sites gather all the news, reviews, features, artists' names and imagery from recent animated movies. ...Read More »
Ultra Size Your DSL By Stephen Schleicher One thing that you have probably figured out by now is that I and many other DMN staffers have broadband in some shape or form, and we love it. When we lose our broadband access, we get very upset and cant understand why we have to suffer in the dial up wasteland. Having opened the DMN Central Division in recent months I have been forced to be in that wasteland (figuratively and literally) many times, and it got me thinking, has broadband been forced down our throats? Is the world really ready to accept broadband in all its glory? ...Read More »
The Costs of Censorship By Charlie White Censorship. It's always directed at someone else. Here's a variation on an old saying: Don't censor him, don't censor me. Censor that fellow behind the tree! Editors, unite! Let's let The Real World show its sometimes-ugly face. Who knows -- we may just be able to enlighten our entire society. ...Read More »
Are There Vultures Among Us? By Max Kopsho It's almost impossible to do anything today without thinking of the current economic situation and even more difficult putting out of mind the recent tragedies that struck our nation in New York, Washington D.C. and in Pennsylvania. I won't even try. So let's talk about what I've noticed since then. ...Read More »
What We do Really Does Matter By Denise Harrison Before this week, perhaps we thought how important good AV systems are to making a rock star look and sound their best, or a corporate CEO come off with authority and as a great communicator. Today I realize the much greater significance of the industry and everyone involved. I know our government officials are thankful for the tools available to them at at this moment. ...Read More »
The Future of Creating Photo-Realistic 3D Web Images By Walter Noot 3D markets are opening up rapidly as computer power increases, 3D engines proliferate and bandwidth increases. However, growth in many of these markets is limited by an inability to create photo-realistic content quickly. ...Read More »
The Widescreen Scam By Guy Wright These days there is a lot of talk about widescreen. DVDs feature letterboxed or widescreen versions of films, new TV sets on the market feature widscreen (16:9) picture tubes, and new HDTV video cameras shoot video with widescreen aspect ratios. ...Read More »
Undeserving Credit By John Virata Last week I found out that I got scammed. The ideas, the words, the paragraphs and the phrases that I get paid as a journalist to submit into Cyberspace, were purloined by an unscrupulous person masquerading as a journalist. This thief stole my writing (A review of Adobe's Photoshop Elements that appeared on in late June/early July) and put his/her name on it, submitted it as his/her own work to Digital Photographer Magazine, which proceeded to print it in the November 2001 issue on page 24 ...Read More »
Marketing Ideas: Game Cards By Denise Harrison Brilliantly simple, these game cards, good for three-month subscriptions ($29.99), allow someone to play the game without the need for a credit card. It also makes it a very easy gift for the holidays. ...Read More »
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