Archive of the Animation Category

Siggraph 2008 CAF Award Winners

Well, I hate to say I told you so, but…a couple of days ago I wrote this entry, France dominates Computer Animation Festival, which is pretty self-explanatory. Now, I’m writing to tell you of the winners in the Siggraph 2008 Compuater Animateion Festival, and guess what?

France dominated.

Here’s the list, all deserving winners. Congratulations to all the nominees on a great exhibition!

Best of Show Winner
Oktapodi
Gobelins l’école de l’image, France more

A look back at the SIGGRAPH CAF from a contributor’s perspective.

It was an exciting day when I found out that my short film “Distraxion” was going to be featured in the 2008 SIGGRAPH Computer Animation Festival. I had spent the last two years bringing it to completion and I was constantly motivated by the goal of a screening at the CAF. The first year, I was a student in the short film curriculum at AnimationMentor. The next year, I had landed my position as staff animator at DreamWorks Animation and had dedicated my nights and weekends to completing the remaining work on the project. As exciting as it was to learn about my acceptance to the festival, it was even more exciting to learn that in 2008 a new format was being introduced. This new format combined the festival with what was in previous years known as the Electronic Theater. The two showcases would be shown intertwined in high definition digital projection at Los Angeles’ Nokia Theater. more

A New World

I’m sitting in the Electronic Theater with my old pal Dan Ochiva blogging on my iPhone. I mention this only to indicate how trippy it is to realize how fundamentally the world has changed with the technology revolution that entertains us and let’s us communicate in new ways. The festival BTW is amazing … Glad I made it over here…
MG

Simple 3D

iClone3The guys at Reallusion gave me a look at iClone3 a little while ago, as well as their philosophy that there is a market for “simple 3D” work and a merging of the ergonomics that video gamers are used to with the requirements and mindset that animators have. They call iClone3 an affordable and “complete 3D movie machine with real-time animation and actor creation tools for rendering movies with ultimate detail.” The software has a library of characters, bodies, limbs, faces, expressions, sets, and so forth, and is designed for ease of import of elements from places like the Google’s 3D Warehouse, as well as other software packages. Users can animate out of a library of movements, or do basic keyframe work, as well. more

Traveling at Bunkspeed

BunkspeedOn the convergence trail once again this afternoon, I learned a bit of the Bunkspeed story (booth #311). What intrigues me most about the company’s 3D rendering engine, created specifically for product designers and engineers (starting with the auto industry folks in 2002), is that it has potential to be a pre-viz tool for Hollywood–another example of technology crossing over from one application to the next.

Bunkspeed marketing chief Thomas Teger told me the company’s HyperShot technology, introduced last year as a simplified and way to render and move photographic images in real-time was used a while back for pre-viz and storyboarding work by a freelance artist who worked on Transformers, for example. He adds that the focus of the company remains on design applications, but increasingly, that world requires movement, and so, this year, Bunkspeed announced the addition of enhanced animation capabilities with its new HyperMove tool (slated for an October debut). HyperMove is basically a tool for moving photo-real imagery rendered in the Bunkspeed world for display purposes (driving a car, posing a cell phone on a turntable, etc), without requiring the artist to have any significant computer animation skills particularly. more

Festival Awards Ceremony Preview

ourw.JPGThe Nokia Theater hosts the Siggraph Computer Animation Festival’s awards ceremony today at 3:45, when the winners of the Audience Award, the Student Prize, the Jury Award, and the Best of Show award will be announced. I’ve covered many of the films up for these awards in previous blogs. See France dominates Computer Animation Festival and Commercials and Promo Spots are Shorts Too for details and links to some of the actual films themselves.

I’ll take this chance to spotlight some of the nominees I haven’t covered. Carbon Footprint is a time-lapse movie depicting 50 years in the life of a discarded aluminum can and is enough to make you vocal the next time you see some jackass throw something away on the street. It comes from the U.K.-based Jellyfish Pictures, and despite its very short running time, is a strong contender for Best of Show. more

Modeling the world

Creaform VIUscanUntil recently, most laser scanning systems—whether for use in films, games, or other applications–were pretty big pieces of gear, designed for capturing a car, or on a slightly smaller scale, a full body. While some companies did make small desktop rigs, these mainly captured small objects—say the size of a soda can—that had to be placed on a revolving stage attached to a workstation. Pretty complicated for the most part.

At the show, Quebec-base Creaform, which develops and makes the Handyscan 3D line-up of handheld and self-positioning laser scanners, debuted an innovative, lightweight handheld 3D color scanner that only needs to be attached to laptop to deliver near real-time scans. more

The Virtual Cinematography of Speed Racer

Speed RacerA lot of focus this year at Siggraph has been on stereoscopic 3D and its emergence as a new language of filmmaking. If 3D is a new way of making movies, then the vast visual effects team that worked on Speed Racer discovered a reinvention of 2D filmmaking.

Visual Effects Supervisor John Gaeta calls the style pioneered on Speed Racer many things. Among them: “virtual cinematography,” “photo-anime,” and “2 1/2 D” layering. When he and Dan Glass first started working on the project, it was a liberating experience to force themselves to let go of the need for any kind of photorealistic element. This quality is something ingrained into any visual-effects artist worth his salt from the get go. Letting go of that instinct is like asking a cat to ignore a mouse. more

DCPTV: FJORG! Winner “The Red Truck”

redtruck150.jpgTeam Grojf was chosen as the 2008 FJORG! winner at Siggraph for the animated reel “The Red Truck.” Composed of Jacob Patrick, John Nguyen, and Kevin Rucker, Team Grojf was chosen from a field of 16 three-member teams that competed for 32 straight hours to create character-driven animations under extreme pressure and multiple staged distractions. Watch the winning FJORG! animation.

The Issues of Games

An interesting early-morning panel today at Siggraph was the videogame panel Games: Evolving on an Order of Magnitude, which featured apropos comments about where the industry is going technically and from a business point of view from some heavy hitters in the game world. The panel, moderated by Michel Kripalani of Autodesk, included Lyle Hall of THQ Inc., Martin Walker of Artificial Mind & Movement, Steve Theodore of Bungie, Steve Sullivan from Lucas Arts, and Jeff Lander of Electronic Arts. more

About

The editors of Digital Content Producer and millimeter post live from Siggraph as the news happens. Check back several times a day for the latest industry news, reports from press conferences, and product introductions.

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