Just over a week ago we let you know that we are hosting “A Pint With The Pixel Farm” an exclusive event in Soho.
The evening of the 21st of November will be the first chance since IBC for the UK users to get up close and personal with The Pixel Farm's new 2d to 3d conversion and depth map creation software, PFDepth. The above video is a little sneak peek of what you can expect to see at The Sun & 13 Cantons, Great Pultney St.
Thinkbox, the makers of Deadline & Krakatoa, have developed a large number of application and plugins designed to extend existing pipelines and operate seamless with each other to create new workflows. Many of the software platforms that Thinkbox have created started in-house to refine dozens of VFX feature films over 15 years of production.
Want to get up close and personal with PFDepth? You are in luck!
We are pleased to announce that The Pixel Farm team, the creators of industry favourites PFMatchit and PFTrack, will be over in the UK for an exclusive evening with Escape Studios Technology at The Sun & 13 Cantons in Soho on the 21st of November 2012.
We are pleased to announce that The Pixel Farm has been awarded a TVB “Best Of IBC” for their detailed depth map creation and stereoscopic conversion software product, PFDepth.
PFDepth has been recognised for the opportunities it presents to the industry and praised for its ability to greatly increase productivity.
PFDepth retails for £2000 and integrates seamlessly with the other PF family products especially PFTrack.
For the first time ever the whole team from RealFlow are coming to London for an exclusive RealFlow 2013 Preview. This event will be the first time that the RealFlow team has previewed the advanced alpha version of this software in public and will be a unique opportunity for you to see first-hand what to expect from RealFlow 2013.
PipelineFX, makers of Qube! have announced the release of render farm management tool Qube! 6.4. With additional features including new tools for smart farming, MobileView access for supervisors via a free smartphone app, the ability to set priorities limits and control of how much of your workstation is available to the render farm with QBLocker, all with a single click of a mouse.
The 2012 IBC Conference & Exhibition is now in full swing in the buzzing city of Amsterdam. Let’s just say, you’re not going to find a hotel room very easily right now! Jason Jenner and I from the Escape Studios technology team are here to represent our partners in the world of tech. We’re here all week, so if you want to get in touch, please drop us a line.
We are sad to have to tell you that due to our demand for such a massive amount of beef for our BBQ, Argentina has told us that they don’t have enough cows.
Another year another SIGGRAPH and what a packed in week it was. This year, LA didn't just give us earthquakes, heat waves and the biggest burritos known to man but also a full week of presentations from some of the biggest and newest studios plus an exhibition hall packed with the latest technology from around the world.
Here is a quick summary and a few favourites from last week. These are just some of the things to check out:
There are just 14 days before the Assimilate and Escape Studios BBQ Round Two…not that we are counting!
That gives you only 14 days to nab yourself a spot at our exclusive BBQ event and after the success of the first event, places are limited. This second round BBQ will be taking place at The Shepherd’s Bar, Shepherd’s Bush on Thursday the 23rd of August and that is a date for your diary if I ever did see one!
It has been announced this week that MAXON will be releasing CINEMA 4D R14 in September this year. MAXON have almost 20 years of programming innovation under their belts and CINEMA 4D is one of the best known and most successful 3D motion graphics, painting and rendering software applications around.
Ladies and Gentlemen, prepare yourselves and dust off your knives and forks as we are happy to announce round two of the Assimilate and Escape Studios Technology BBQ!
On Thursday the 23rd of August at the Shepherd’s Bar we are hosting a second BBQ with Assimilate and HP, but this time we have also partnered up with NVidia and Red Digital Cinema Professional to showcase a SCRATCH turnkey package exclusive to Escape Studios Technology.
Some of you may, or may not, know that V-ray is currently celebrating it’s 10 year anniversary. So, to mark the occasion, what could they be doing? Are they throwing a week long wild party? A massive shopping spree for all employees? Or maybe a month's extra holiday time to all...
Last night we fought off the threat of rain, heated up the barbies and started cooking for our Assimilate, HP and Escape Studios BBQ in the Shepherd’s Bar and we are so proud that it was a huge success! A big thank you to everyone who made the journey down to Shepherd’s Bush for this very special event.
This is your last chance to get your name down for the Assimilate, Escape Studios and HP BBQ tomorrow!! It looks like the weather is going to hold out so expect steak, sunshine and cervezas.
We are pretty excited to have HP as the event’s sponsor as we now have the HP Z Family available on the Escape Studios Tech Store. The Z1 is a pretty spectacular all-in-one model with all the HP technology built into a 27 inch, LED monitor, all of the power minus the tower.
To celebrate our collaboration with Assimilate, Escape Studios are hosting a BBQ event with our friends at Assimilate. This is a hugely exclusive event to introduce the London VFX scene to Assimilate’s post-production toolkit SCRATCH and SCRATCH Lab. And we'd like to invite you! But this is no ordinary BBQ folks, vegetarians beware and if you are expecting a Birds Eye burger think again... this is an Assimilate 'steak extravaganza'.
At Escape Studios we are always looking to keep informed with different products that we can help you lovely folks increase your performance and streamline your workflow. Of late we have been very interested in the increase in project management software being used to boost productivity. So here is one you may not have heard about just yet…
IKinema has been the go to plug-in for Autodesk Maya when it comes to creature and model animation especially after their performance on smash hit films like Wrath of the Titans and X-Men: First Class. With the release of IKinema Action 2 in April there was a bit of a buzz around the newest features included in the latest version (check out my previous blog for more details!)
Adobe has created Creative Cloud, a hub for creative pros to access all their Adobe software for a $49.99 monthly subscription fee. Adobe’s Creative Cloud is the newest feature to the Adobe range which allows the subscriber on the go access their Creative Suite, 20GB storage and immediate access to new software versions for a fraction of the “in the box” price.
We would like to be one of the first to congratulate Assimilate for their success at the Cannes Festival 2012. Although the winning films are yet to be announced, several films on the competition's roster have been created using SCRATCH, Assimilate’s digital workflow and post-production tools. SCRATCH has been used on recent screen successes like The Artist, Thor and Underworld: Awakening as well as the films nominated at Cannes 2012.
The Foundry returned triumphant from this year’s NAB show in Las Vegas. For them, this was by far their biggest and most successful NAB, as they exhibited their most advanced portfolio yet. Showcasing the latest versions of NUKE, NUKEX, HIERO, KATANA and MARI they had crowds gathering throughout the event to check out live demos of all these products, as well as the incredible line-up of speakers invited to share their experiences using each of the products above.
Our friends at Hoxton Redsox recently completed a very fun job for one of their clients, Fox. This is the viral video for the upcoming release of Ridley Scott’s latest feature, Prometheus. Happy Birthday David was designed and directed by Johnny Hardstaff and shows the unboxing of Weyland Industries robot David 8, played by Michael Fassbender. A great addition to a range of teasers produced for the lead up to this film, we recommend you all take a look.
Since its official release last month, HIERO 1.0 has been wowing the post-production industry as it is introduced to top studios here in the UK and worldwide. This is the new project management, conform and review application from The Foundry, and like their other tools, this software is going to dramatically change the way you work, for the better.
Adobe CS6 is due for release very soon, and for those of you who haven’t already purchased an Adobe Creative Suite 5.5 or a Creative Suite 5.5 component, we recommend you look to do something about it now. Adobe is currently running a promotion that entitles anyone who has upgraded to or purchased CS5.5 between March 26th and May 6th, 2012 to a free CS6 upgrade. The advantages to this are that you pay the current price for the Suite and can request an upgrade to CS6 at no additional cost. If you wait until CS6 ships, you’ll have to pay the CS6 upgrade price, which could be significantly higher.
Industry proven among some great names in the VFX industry, SCRATCH has played a significant role for an impressive list of film and documentary titles. Developed by software vendor, ASSIMILATE Inc., it is the highly flexible and comprehensive tool for digital workflows, giving you a range of features at your disposal. SCRATCH can manage dailies, versioning, conform, colour grading and finishing all within one application. Often referred to as a ‘post-house in a box’, this tool has a great many qualities to impress.
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.
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.
Attention all gamers, developers and insomniacs… TIGA, the trade association representing the UK games industry, are running a GameHack event on the 28th and 29th April, 2012 at Pinewood Studios. This is an overnight 'hackathon' where participants have 24 hours to develop an original game concept. Working within a team this is a great opportunity for participants to network with peers as well as some of the best developers in the UK games industry. As an added bonus, there are some really awesome prizes up for grabs. Check out the range of prizes and more about the event here.
Wednesday 29th of February marks the official release of HIERO, a VFX tool we’ve been lusting over for the past 6 months. Following rigorous beta testing this product is now ready for integration with VFX pipelines around the globe. To give this product the welcome it deserves, The Foundry are hosting launch events in LA, Toronto, Vancouver, New York, London, Paris, Hamburg, Munich and Sydney. Escape Studios are teaming up with The Foundry for the launch in London, an event we hope you can all attend. The event is on Tuesday, 6th March at the VUE Leicester Square, running from 7-9pm, followed by drinks. Registrations will start at 6:15pm so try to get there early to avoid queues.
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.
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.
Attention all Adobe After Effects users, today may be your lucky day. The Foundry are running a massive discount on CAMERATRACKER, where you can save over 40% if you purchase a nodelocked version today. This offer is for a limited time, running over the course of January 24th only. The promotion will close at midnight tonight, where ever you are in the world.
This is possibly the moment many of you have been waiting for… HIERO, The Foundry's latest software project, has gone to beta. A closed beta ran over a short period of time for few individuals who got their name on a waiting list nice and early, and from what I’ve heard, they really enjoyed putting it to the test.
Digital artist Kelly Richardson recently completed an artist’s residency at the Pixel Palace, a new digital media arts programme of the Tyneside Cinema in Newcastle upon Tyne. During her time there, she began initial research and production into an ambitious new three projection video installation entitled ‘Mariner 9’. During her residency, the Pixel Palace commissioned a short film about the work being developed where she explains some of her processes and ideas behind the new installation.
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.
I wonder how many of you have heard or Esri? Before I go on to explain why I am writting about them today, here is a quick introduction to this very interesting company.
The news is travelling fast that The Foundry have a new product in development. This product is called HIERO and is thought to be the 'missing link' in shot management system for VFX pipelines. Designed specifically to help increase output and manage multiple jobs, this tool is said to be a game changer for the post production community.
The MARI vs. Photoshop webinar held on November 2nd 2011 was hugely successful. Registrations were record breaking and there was an encouraging attendance on the day. For what is becoming a popular topic at the moment, The Foundry are certainly paving the way for the future of compositing pipelines with products like NUKE and MARI.
As a creative professional, we hope you’re going to find the information below as exciting as we do. Last week, 14th November 2011, NVIDIA announced the arrival of NVIDIA Maximus, a technology that is set to revolutionise the way we all work. Delivering significantly increased speed and productivity to any pipeline with a single system that allows you to achieve a range of compute-intensive and graphics-intensive tasks simultaneously, you may start to wonder how you ever managed without it.
Back in September, Escape Studios and The Foundry joined forces to run a series of free MARI tutorials. To start with, there were two training programmes on offer, but due to an overwhelming demand we scheduled in a third. The aim for the tuition was to introduce professional artists working in the industry to some key features available in MARI, that are fast becoming an integral part of the modern pipeline.
The latest version of OCULA has arrived. Last Thursday, 3rd November 2011, The Foundry announced their release of OCULA 3.0, a leading live action, stereo-3D correction and integration toolset for compositors. A production proven tool, OCULA is a plug-in that has been used extensively on major productions such as Avatar, TRON: Legacy, Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides and Transformers: Dark of the Moon. For these films, working in stereoscopic 3D had many undiscovered challenges. Over a course of trial and discovery, OCULA has developed into a reliable tool that meets the demands of artists to mend polarisation issues in photographic plates or correct common stereo-3D defects with precise speed and ease.
SIGGRAPH is the worlds leading conference on computer graphics and interactive techniques. Each year they welcome thousands of artists, research scientists, gaming experts and developers, filmmakers, students and academics to Vancouver from 74 countries around the world.
Are you a MARI user or have an interest in MARI, then you may be keen to know that a group of artists are getting together on November 24th in London, Soho for a few beers. The venue is currently top sectret but will be released soon.
Mingle and network with fellow MARI users over a drink. There are a few special gifts up for grabs too.
I've also heard that some of the MARI engineers should be attending, which is a great opportunity to ask those all important questions! Should be quite a geek fest.
Yesterday afternoon The Foundry announced the release of KATANA 1.0, the much anticipated look development and lighting tool. In addition to this, The Foundry also shared the news that Industrial Light & Magic (ILM), a Lucasfilm Company, have purchased a licence of this latest version with the hope to boost their production pipeline across their ILM and Lucasfilm companies.
There’s a new tool on the market that is taking the industry by storm. MARI is the magnificently user friendly 3D paint package that lets an artist spend more time painting and less time battling tech issues. It offers a great many solutions that until now have been missing from comparable applications. Photoshop continues to be an invaluable tool to compositors and motion graphic artists, but MARI has the time saving functionality currently missing.
Last month Henry South, lead texture artist at Framestore, kindly shared 23 MARI tips via twitter over 23 days. For those of you who followed these feeds over the 23 days, thank you for your positive feedback. Your encouraging messages let us know that these little projects are welcomed and necessary.
The UK has a flourishing VFX industry that is attracting business from all over the world. In terms of film production in this country, we’re securing huge business. The standard of work being produced here is world class, and it’s impressive to see how this industry is flourishing right across the United Kingdom. For those of us who work in London, sometimes we risk embracing the city as being the centre of the universe, paying far too much attention to what’s going on locally, rather than what’s happening countrywide. Granted Soho is a hub for post-production, but if we were to look beyond the M25 and further North, East or West, we would find an amazing number of talented companies working on some fantastic projects.
IKinema are a relatively young company based in the UK with a very special product that is improving the workflow among VFX departments. For anyone lucky enough to have worked with this programme they will know that the IKinema technology is a powerful plug-in and a real asset to any project working with motion capture and animation. It’s an incredible tool with advanced solver settings and a flexible constraint system. It's no wonder Framestore, one of the top VFX companies in Europe, are taking full advantage of this tool by integrating it into their motion capture pipeline.
Pixar, renowned for their cutting edge animation, know better than anyone the advantages of saving time where possible. The technical directors and supervisors on Cars 2 were faced with the challenge of building locations for this feature length animation. Those of you who have seen the sequel will remember that the lead character, Lightning McQueen, is being sent around the globe to race in the world Grand Prix. The challenge for the Pixar creative team was to build recognizable cities, on a very broad scale.
The UK attracts worldwide attention for the high standard of post-production being undertaken by facilities around the country. London houses a number of such companies, but this talent stretches up and down the country. Mere Mortals Moving Image, based in Newcastle, is a company growing from strength to strength, while adopting new technologies like Nuke X and Pro Tools HD.
MARI is a relatively new piece of software, and is becoming more popular with artists as its reputation for efficiency and adaptability becomes more widely known. As with any piece of new software there is a period of trial and error before you really get to know its full capability. It is in light of this that Henry South, lead texture artist at Framestore, is offering to share his top 23 tips when working with MARI.
I’ve been looking at the latest version of IKinema, and I reckon those of you out there who work on game animation might want to take a look at it. If you don’t know what IKinema is, the official marketing description is “A full-body animation technology that allows effortless run-time control of characters during game play to achieve full adaptation to a scene giving users a new game animation experience”.
I met up with Jon Wadelton at The Foundry a few days ago and we had a chat about what's new in NUKE 6.3. Here's what he had to say.
We’re going to be hosting an event with The Foundry and Hewlett Packard called An Evening with NUKE and MARI in London on August 18th. The event is designed for professional artists who want to take a peek at the new features of NUKE, NUKEX and the newly launched bridge between NUKE and MARI. It will definitely be exciting to see first hand all that’s new in these products.
The Foundry just released NUKE 6.3 and there’s a lot of new stuff in the product. They’ve taken product development in a direction that allows users in all VFX industries to partake in the benefits of the product. NUKE is no longer just built for artists in the film industry, it is built to create highly visual commercials with the functionality that it now has.
Most compositors out there want to be using NUKE, and those who are would love to be using NUKEX. Now's the time to update your workflow and take advantage of these special promotions by The Foundry for their award winning NUKEX and MARI products.
Thanks to everyone that attended out mocha Pro Event in Soho last Tuesday evening.
If you are a professional looking to really understand PFTrack 20011, join Pixel Farm and the Escape Studios’ team on Wednesday, June 8 for and exclusive demonstration in London.
Autodesk and Escape Studios are hosting an evening event at the Academy Award winning Aardman Studios in Bristol.
Just wanted to make you all aware that we have two new case studies available. They describe how mocha Pro was used in both Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows and Black Swan. The details are interesting and worth the read.
The latest version of PFTrack has just been released, and it looks like The Pixel Farm dev team have been quite busy, packing in a lot of new features, Python scripting and even a new architecture in this latest release. The full list of features have yet to be released but here are just some of the things you can expect in PFTrack 2011...
Lately I’ve been seeing a lot of new plug-ins and products starting to emerge. Some good, some not so good. But a few of them have really caught our eye, so we’ve decided to add them to our Techstore range. It means that there’ll be a lot of new additions for you to check out over the next few days.
Last night I caught up with Stuart Howard, the Managing Director of a start-up VFX studio that’s doing some great work.
FxFactory Pro's plug-ins are brand new to Escape Studios, and we are pretty excited about adding this clever package to our software range. FXFactory Pro is basically a bundle of 170 plug-ins which have been developed by Noise Industries specifically for CG artists who work with Final Cut Pro, Motion, Final Cut Express and Adobe After Effects.
Constructing a whole city spread out over 385 square kilometres in just 4 weeks seems like a tall order. Base Productions faced this very dilemma when creating 6 CGI sequences for National Geographic's Mega Cities, to create the large Taiwanese city of Kaohsiung. They managed to get around it by using CityEngine to procedurally generate buildings, and only concentrate on a few hero buildings to recreate the huge city. You can check out the opening sequence to see the final result, and although the buildings aren’t very detailed, it gives you a great feel for the density of the city and its size.
I have to admit I’m fond of iPad apps and games, and have always wondered how developers go about creating them. So, when I got a chance to get the inside scoop from Qurios, an iPad games developer, I jumped at it.
It’s always interesting to see how CityEngine can help studios complete new projects. I caught up with Simon Röjder, the Managing Director of Swedish arch viz studio, Studio01, to get the inside scoop. Studio1 have some great projects to their credit. They are unrivalled in Sweden for their unique ways of using game technology in visualisation work, which enables them to produce an amazing level of interactivity in their 3D-visualisations. Impressive stuff. Here’s the low down on CityEngine…
So many people were impressed with The Foundry’s Mari presentation at our recent Bristol event, that I decided to find out a little more about the new product. For those that haven’t come across Mari before, it’s a new 3D creative texture-painting tool that was originally designed by Weta Digital for painting high-resolution textures on 3D models in King Kong and Avatar.
Ever thought how hard it would be to design all the different buildings for a Medieval town and then deal with the layout and terrain?... Wow what a headache! Well, not such a headache any more. You can now create realistic looking medieval dwellings and villages that look like they have just come out of an episode of Merlin using CityEngine.
Wow! Steam have announced that they've hit the 30 Million user mark last week. That's a phenomenal number of people they can deliver games direct to. And now with over 1,200 games in the catalogue to chose from, that's a very impressive market reach. I reckon we may see a lot more developers/publishers using this as a platform to deliver games over the coming years as digital distribution products seem to be increasing in demand. What do you all think?
Over the last few days Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo have been strutting around like peacocks displaying their new technology at Tokyo Game Show (TGS). Even though the technology on display is extremely impressive and I personally can't wait for The Last Guardian to be released on PS3, my attention has been focused on Apple's new £99 Apple TV.