When Amy Cuthbertson finished her degree in Music Technology, she didn’t expect to find herself starting a career in CG, but that’s exactly what happened. Wandering around a careers fair, Amy spotted the Escape Studios stand, got talking about her love of animation and the rest is history, as they say.
This week, my round up of CG news features software and hardware announcements, interviews with VFX professionals, and some cool new VFX breakdowns. Hope you enjoy it!
The guys at IKinema have an awesome idea in development that is making their award winning animation technology more available to the masses. For those of you who don’t know IKinema, it is a plug-in for Maya that lets you create full-body animations quickly and easily with brilliant realistic results. It is a time saving tool that eliminates the need for characterisation or special rigs as it does the hard work for you, letting you work directly onto a rig. You can combine multiple models into a single animation, retarget from any source to any target, customise or tweak motion capture and animation as well as retarget data inside Maya in real-time.
My, what a busy week! There are announcements from the likes of Pixar about their RenderMan software, interviews with London studios such as Pixomondo and the much more education controversy. Here's my pick of last week's more interesting stories.
Not sure how many of you picked up on this story, but a new report on the Global Animation Software market was released last month. The cost of the full report is a little steep at 3,983 Euro, but the press release did have some interesting snippets of information, which I thought I would share with you.
After an interesting last week in our Los Angeles studios, I have come back to what seems to have been a week dominated with announcements about the state of our education system. But my round up of news is not just about education news, and this week, there is news about what the London Olympic stadium is going to look like, details of Cinecite's internship program and lots more...
The Visual Effects Society (VES) are holding their 10th annual awards ceremony very soon, set to define the greatest VFX moments from 2011. Earlier in the week VES released their nominations for this year’s awards, a list that recognises the outstanding VFX achievements across film, animation, television, commercials and games. Regularly referred to as the “Oscars” for the visual effects world, this is a highly prestigious event for VFX professionals internationally. Receiving an award from any of the 23 categories is a great honour.
First week back at work and it's as if Xmas was months ago. The news certainly kept on coming this week, and here is a quick summary of what I picked up on this week.
As some of you may know, we recently launched a new course called "Visual Effects Animation Professional". Well, our first group of students from the courses have been handing their projects in and I wanted to take the opportunity to showcase a fantastic piece of work by Hyeon Joon Kang. His work clearly shows how the VFX pipeline works and if we retrace his steps, we can take a closer look at each part of the process. Joon's project is a great illustration of what we teach in this new course and what you can achieve in just 18 weeks with us.
For those of you who logged into my November Free Tutorial entitled Animate a Bird and Make it Fly, you'll remember that I promised to deliver a second part to it. This tutorial uses a pre-created rig, which you can buy here and explores the mechanics of bird locomotion. It costs just $5 and trust me, it’s worth it. If you'd like a re-cap of what was in part 1, you can find all the details here.
It's been a while since my last News Round-Up... Hopefully, you will all be rested after this holiday season and rearing to go. So, to get you going, I have selected a whole bunch of news items which have been published over the last couple of weeks.
Last Thursday, the winners of CG Whiz 2011 were announced at the much anticipated Reveal Event held at our Escape Studios headquarters in London. The room was busy with noise and champagne as Daniel Danielsson waited patiently to find out whether he had scooped first place. He needn’t have worried though as Mark Cass our General Manager and head judge Lee Danskin soon explained why Daniel deserved first place. With no professional training at all, he took it upon himself to learn all of the software that enabled him to create such a professional looking showreel. Check out the Reveal Event video, created by The Mill, to find out why Daniel was pretty much speechless when he found out.
Tweak are working hard to develop and expand their powerful playback software, RV-image and sequence viewer. Their latest development comes in the form of RV 3.12.13. With this new version you get all the usual benefits of real time reviewing software, but now with the additional support of Python to make this version the most powerful yet. This new addition to the product has been in beta for a while now, and has benefitted from extensive feedback from customers reporting rough edges and bugs. With this valuable knowledge behind them Tweak are happy to release RV with Python, confident that the results will impress all.
This will be my last Weekly Round-Up of News for this year..., hope you enjoy it. If you have suggestions for stories I missed, just drop me a line or post a comment. I'll be sure to look at your suggestion during the Xmas break.
I created this month’s free tutorial with one thing in mind: How can I help improve artists’ workflow’s? This tutorial explores Maya’s ‘Transfer maps’ tool and is designed to do just that. I’ve made sure that we cover this tool in great detail, providing valuable insight into how it works, and how you can avoid common problems. It’s a very practical, hands-on demonstration of the ‘Transfer maps’ tool and with it, you will learn how to bake a diffuse texture from multiple pieces of geometry to one individual model.
CG Whiz is over for another year, and it’s been a brilliant competition, with an incredible level of talent on show in both categories. It's now time for what you have all been waiting for, the announcement of the winners. But before I do so, I wanted to take time to give you some information on what our judges were looking for.
Arthur Christmas is a must for any child wanting to get into the Christmas spirit this year. I know this as both of my children loved it and my test was to see whether or not I actually stay awake!
It's just fun. The CG is not meant to be ground-breaking - it simply is not Tintin - but that really wasn't the point. If you just want to go see a feel good children's movie then there is nothing better. It also has a great cast and some of my personal favourites actors: Hugh Laurie, Jim Broadbent and Bill Nighy (who continually makes me smile whatever he appears in or talks over).
Aardman have done a great job and they should be very happy with it, it has their stamp all over it.
Here is my usual Weekly Round-Up of News, with stories that I have picked up over the past week. If you have suggestions for stories I missed, just drop me a line or post a comment.