IKinema is a UK based company with a great technology for quick full-body solving and animation. Their flagship product, IKinema Action, is a plug-in for Maya that enables artists to rig characters as well as stream, retarget and record motion capture data, in less time. It is also a very cost effective solution.
Last night, Thursday 29th March, was the Art of 3D Visualisation event at the Barbican Centre, and we’re delighted to report it was a great success. To start with, the setting was spectacular. The Barbican is an inspiring setting for architectural design. The event kicked off in the conservatory terrace, a hidden treasure in the heart of the Barbican and a lavish space with a back drop of decorative tropical plants. This time was spent wisely, arming ourselves with a cold drink the proceedings moved to Cinema 3 where we and our guests were treated to four presentations from five fantastic speakers.
With the release of IKinema Action version 2.0 there has been a range of updates and enhancements made to an already very powerful technology. This upgrade also brings with it a new price. The new pricing will take effect from April 1st, so that leaves you with 2 days to purchase this new version under the old price. For more information on this, please contact our software team.
Moving on from the presentation by Kevin Jenkins we turned our attention to Ben Morris who gave us the low-down on his role as a VFX Supervisor. As we watched the end sequence of War Horse, which is the part where we discover the fate of our hero’s horse, we all became a little misty eyed, but were quickly reassured by Ben that no horses were harmed during the making of this film. Needless to say, we were all very impressed with the great VFX work done by the guys at Framestore and how realistic the horse looked. Surely Mr Spielberg wouldn't have it any other way.
I was pretty shocked last week when the Coalition Government reversed its position in their dramatic Budget announcement. The UK government has declared its intention to establish a nationwide games tax break policy, in a manoeuvre that leaves the British sector in shock and jubilation. They stated: "Following consultation on the design, the Government will introduce corporation tax reliefs for the video games, animation and high-end television industries from April 2013, subject to State aid approval," read the official budget report.
On March 29th, Shapes in Motion will be running an 'Acting for Animators' class. It's a great little course and one which can really help you understand how to bring your animations to life. If you'd like to find out more, here are the details.
Here is the trailer for the new 3D stop motion comedy thriller by Laika, the animation studio that brought us 'Coraline'. Norman 'I see dead people' Babcock is a local boy from a small New England Town who has the ability to see and speak with the dead. The movie will follow Norman as he takes on ghosts. zombies and worst of all, grown ups to save his town from a century old curse. Cannot wait to see this film! But what do you think of the trailer - we want to hear it!?
HP has partnered with DreamWorks since the beginning, helping the business mature into the well-oiled animation machine we know today. HP is responsible for the hardware platforms at the very heart of the company, with a storage infrastructure that allows the team to share data quickly and easily over a global network, as well as state of the art workstations and monitors for creating detailed and realistic effects. In the video above, the team at DreamWorks discuss how HP technology has contributed significantly to the company staying on the cutting edge and how this technology brought to life the 2011 production of Puss in Boots.
A very sad day indeed for the comics industry and for all of those like me who grew up within the amazing and imaginative world of Moebius. I have always been an avid comics fan and for me, the two most influential peolple have been Stan Lee (he taught me very important words such as puny proverbiale and imperious rex) and Jean Giraud who I stumbled upon by accident. He introduced me to the world of french comics and it was a revelation. The French are masters of comic art and narrative, and the works of Moebius have inluenced all manner of media including some of the most important science fiction films.
His legacy will no doubt live on - a true inspiration. You can read the full article on the Geek Out Blog.
On Thursday 29th March, Escape Studios are hosting an event at the Barbican Centre that will discuss the art of 3d visualisation. Joined by four industry speakers this is an opportunity to discover how professionals in film and other media create stunning as well as captivating animated visuals. The event is aimed at anyone working in the business of 3d visualisation, whether that’s in architecture, design, engineering or media and entertainment. We would like to invite you all to this exclusive event as we expose the creative side of this visual form.
As an avid zombie fan, I spend my days either killing zombies on the game console or watching them get hacked to pieces on tele (not to mention seeing one in the reflection of the mirror, the morning after a night of partying). One TV series which I'm sure most of you have heard of, is 'The Walking Dead'. Apart from the ghastly zombies and the characters of the show - one of the most common things people talk about is the lovely VFX. The talented guys at Stargate Studios are responsible for the VFX for The Walking Dead and they have just released their Season 2 showreel.
Enjoy, VFX/Zombie fans!
Here is my usual jumble of news to start off this week. There are tutorials, news of various software releases, a cool "Making of Rango", and really sweet advert for Twinnings tea, and lots more. Feel free to add anything I may have forgotten.
After the rip roaring success with their Christmas adventure Arthur Christmas, Aardman Animations has once again teamed itself up with Sony Pictures Animations for The Pirates! In an Adventure with Scientists due for release on March 28th in both 2D and 3D.
Apologies, but in celebration for the upcoming release we’ve gotten ourselves in the buccaneering mood with a nautical themed blog with added seafaring lingo. Keep up if ya dare!
After an absence of a week, I am back again with my usual digest of news. This week, we have some great showreels from the likes of Pixomondo, a great trailer from Spiderman and even some tutorials.
This was hardly surprising news, but the positive spin put on this stat by Universities UK, was that the drop wasn’t as great as predicted. However, a decrease of 8.7% is significant, and demonstrates prospective students are unable or unwilling to pay the increase in fees imposed by the current government.
There were more women than men applying, but the biggest drop is not amongst school leavers, down only 3.6%, but from older students over 21 which were down significantly.
However, there was also a slight increase in overseas students applying here, and conversely more UK students are applying abroad, for example, Maastricht University forecasts 600 applications.
It’s not rocket science figuring out that fees of £9000 p/a over a three year degree, plus all living costs will be a considerable sum to repay, and for a non-vocational degree, it will require serious thought to justify. After all, if the degree studied will not guarantee a job at the end earning you X amount, then being saddled with that kind of debt is a hefty burden to bear.
Even the prospect of the student idyll and those first tastes of freedom living away from the parents, in the life of Riley, may now seem a little indulgent.
In our sector, Animation and Computer Graphic degrees are wide ranging and extensive, but this can be both their strength and their weakness. Yes, you may learn a wide range of skills, direct your own mini movie masterpiece, and if you’re exceptionally talented and hardworking, this film may lead to a job winning Showreel.
The reality is too often we see films that are either strong in one discipline but severely lacking in others, so making the overall effect disappointing. Or either, so many students have worked on one jaw dropping movie, that it’s hard to see exactly how much of a role any one individual played in the overall execution.
If getting a job is your top priority, fair to say it’s better to study an in-depth industry specific course, such as we offer here at Escape Studios, rather than something less focused.
Flipbook, the Manchester based animation and VFX boutique studio, are celebrating a second year in business this week. Quite literally two years ago to the date (February 8th 2010) they took on their very first job. Since then Flipbook have grown from strength to strength, and look forward to a prosperous future as they make some significant upgrades in the company’s workflow.