Monday, August 22, 2011

GOOGLE BUMPED OUR ART SHOW!!!! Submission deadline extended!


SUBMISSION DEADLINE EXTENDED FOR CELL-A-BRATION!!!
Due to the almighty Google bumping our Art Show originally scheduled for Sept. 2, we are now moving the show to Oct 1.  That means more time to get your submissions in!!  Now all pieces must be submitted no later than Wednesday, Sept 28.

Please download a copy of the submission form below:

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Lucasfilm and Sony Pictures Imageworks Release Alembic 1.0

Press Release from Sony Pictures Imageworks

Vancouver, B.C. – August 9, 2011 – Alembic 1.0, the open source project jointly developed by Sony Pictures Imageworks and Lucasfilm Ltd. was released to the public today, it was announced at ACM SIGGRAPH conference in Vancouver, British Columbia.

Alembic is the computer graphics interchange format developed by the two entertainment giants last year and focused on efficiently storing and sharing animation and visual effects scenes across multiple software applications. It was designed to handle massive animation data sets often required in high-end visual effects and animation, which are routinely developed and produced by companies such as Lucasfilm’s Industrial Light & Magic and Lucasfilm Animation Ltd and Sony Pictures Imageworks. The studios each saw the need for a tool like Alembic, something that would fit within existing pipelines and allow for customization at the facility level without impeding the ability to share work.

In addition to the features announced at last year’s SIGGRAPH, Alembic 1.0 includes automatic data de-duplication. The software automatically recognizes repeated shapes in complicated geometry and only writes a single instance to disk. This makes Alembic 1.0 use dramatically less disk space than promised without requiring any extra steps on the part of the user and can improve both write and read performance as well. In the case of hero deforming humanoid characters, including hair, shot caches have been reduced by more than 70%. For complex, deeply hierarchical and mostly rigid assets like the Transformers characters, tests have shown cache reduction in the order of 98%.

The code base for Alembic is available for download on the project’s Google Code site and more information can be found online at: http://www.alembic.io

Joint development of Alembic was first announced at last year’s Siggraph by Lucasfilm’s visual effects company Industrial Light & Magic and Sony Pictures Imageworks. The companies joined forces when it became apparent that they were independently developing software designed to solve a problem universally faced by the visual effects and animation production community: how to easily share complex animated scenes across a variety of disciplines and facilities regardless of what software was being used.

Alembic includes tools that allow collaboration while working with a generic, extensible, data representation scheme. In essence, it distills complex and often proprietary, animated scenes into application-independent files with baked geometric results. These baked results can be fully re-importable across the range of supporting software.

“Alembic addresses a fundamental issue in a world where assets are shared across many companies. Alembic’s production-ready ability to seamlessly translate shapes across a wide variety of applications saves time and resources,” said Rob Bredow, CTO of Sony Pictures Imageworks. “By releasing Alembic as an Open Source project, users have the opportunity to improve the software based on their needs and experience. We're really starting to feel the positive effects of Open Source, as a community of visual effects and animation professionals come together to solve problems more effectively today than ever before.”

“Alembic is giving us space efficiencies beyond our most optimistic expectations and at effectively the same time cost as before. This is sure to have a significant impact for anyone who uses the format and we are excited to be able to share this with the Open Source community,” said Tommy Burnette, Head of Global Pipeline at Lucasfilm Ltd. “Previously each facility had to produce their own unique solutions to the problem of efficient caching and scene handoff, but the beauty of Open Source is that with strong collaborative efforts we can effectively provide solutions for everyone.”

Both studios have made strides with open source software and recognize the importance of such initiatives, ILM with the industry standard OpenEXR format and Imageworks with OSL, Open Color I/O, Maya Reticle, Field3D, Scala Migrations and the newly release PyP.

Alembic is being offered via the New BSD License and is written in C++ and Python, leveraging the boost and HDF5 C/C++ libraries heavily, as well as OpenEXR.

For more information visit: http://opensource.imageworks.com/ or http://www.alembic.io/

About Sony Pictures Imageworks
Sony Pictures Imageworks is the Academy Award® winning visual effects and animation unit of Sony Pictures Digital Productions known for live-action visual effects and character animation, all-CG animation, and stereoscopic 3D imagery. The company is currently in production on OZ: THE GREAT AND POWERFUL, THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN, MEN IN BLACK III, and the animated features ARTHUR CHRISTMAS (3D) and HOTEL TRANSYLVANIA. Other recent credits include the hybrid live-action/animation film THE SMURFS (3D), THE GREEN LANTERN (3D), ZOOKEEPER, ALICE IN WONDERLAND (3D), and CLOUDY WITH A CHANCE OF MEATBALLS (3D).

For more information, please visit http://www.imageworks.com/.

About Lucasfilm Ltd.
Lucasfilm Ltd. is one of the world's leading film and entertainment companies. Founded by George Lucas in 1971, it is a privately held, fully-integrated entertainment company. In addition to its motion-picture and television production operations, the company's global activities include Industrial Light & Magic and Skywalker Sound, serving the digital needs of the entertainment industry for visual-effects and audio post-production; LucasArts, a leading developer and publisher of interactive entertainment software worldwide; Lucas Licensing, which manages the global merchandising activities for Lucasfilm's entertainment properties; Lucasfilm Animation, which is currently producing content for film and television, including Star Wars: The Clone Wars, a CG-animated half-hour television series; and Lucas Online creates Internet-based content for Lucasfilm's entertainment properties and businesses. Additionally, Lucasfilm Singapore, produces digital animated content for film and television, as well as visual effects for feature films and multi-platform games. Lucasfilm's motion-picture productions include three of the 20 biggest box-office hits of all time and have received 19 Oscars and more than 60 Academy Award nominations. Lucasfilm's television projects have won 12 Emmy Awards. Lucasfilm Ltd. is headquartered in San Francisco, Calif.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Career Coach: Hot Tips for Conferences, Festivals and Conventions

Need a new direction for your animation career.  Coach Pamela Kleibrink Thompson shares some hot tips on attending conferences, festivals and conventions.

Published on AWN By Pamela Kleibrink Thompson: Thursday, August 4, 2011 at 12:44 pm

Hobo Stew by Beejay Hawn


About Beejay (from her blog)


At age 5, I already had an extensive collection of Mickey Mouse, potato head, and mermaid doodles. By age 12, I already had 14 years experience drawing quick sketches, my own comic books, and gift illustrations. I’m currently thirty-mmmhuh years old and am starting both my 10th season in retail caricatures with Kamans Art Shoppes at Worlds of Fun.

In recent years I’ve joined the National Caricature Network (NCN) which went international in 2010 and is now known as the International Society of Caricature Artists (ISCA).

I’ve competed in the 2007 minicon and the 2007, 2009, and 2010 ISCA conventions. At the 2009 ISCA competition I placed in the top 11 in the speed competition. Then in the 2010 ISCA competition I took second place in the 3D technique category with my mixed media cut outs, and was in the top 8 of the speed competition.

I have also competed at the 2008- 2011 Cripple con competitions. I won the 2009 CCN best theme piece then in 2011 I won third place best theme piece and the second place in the sick and twisted category.

I wear clean socks every day, quilt, love BLTs, and perform Broadway musicals in my shower for standing room only audiences. My hobbies include growling at my Chipotles, stealing paint chips from the hardware store, and over-zealously yelling “I’m debt free!” along with my AM favourite radio program.

Until the rise of the zombies, I can be found in Kansas City, Missouri along with my 2 beautiful daughters.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

New Comic Strip by Featured Artist Beejay Hawn this Friday!

A new comic series from Northmoor artist Beejay Hawn starts this Friday on http://www.kcanimators.com/  Tune in at 7:00 AM for Hobo Stew!
About Beejay (from her blog)

At age 5, I already had an extensive collection of Mickey Mouse, potato head, and mermaid doodles. By age 12, I already had 14 years experience drawing quick sketches, my own comic books, and gift illustrations. I’m currently thirty-mmmhuh years old and am starting both my 10th season in retail caricatures with Kamans Art Shoppes at Worlds of Fun.

In recent years I’ve joined the National Caricature Network (NCN) which went international in 2010 and is now known as the International Society of Caricature Artists (ISCA).

I’ve competed in the 2007 minicon and the 2007, 2009, and 2010 ISCA conventions. At the 2009 ISCA competition I placed in the top 11 in the speed competition. Then in the 2010 ISCA competition I took second place in the 3D technique category with my mixed media cut outs, and was in the top 8 of the speed competition.

I have also competed at the 2008- 2011 Cripple con competitions. I won the 2009 CCN best theme piece then in 2011 I won third place best theme piece and the second place in the sick and twisted category.

I wear clean socks every day, quilt, love BLTs, and perform Broadway musicals in my shower for standing room only audiences. My hobbies include growling at my Chipotles, stealing paint chips from the hardware store, and over-zealously yelling “I’m debt free!” along with my AM favourite radio program.

Until the rise of the zombies, I can be found in Kansas City, Missouri along with my 2 beautiful daughters.

Stock Footage Sale!!!

 

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