Tuesday, August 03, 2010

News and Links From the VFX World

Since posting my highlights from SIGGRAPH this year and some of the comments it generated, I thought that it may be helpful and of interest to post the latest news and goings on of the VFX world on the blog for your perusal and review. So, in the same vein as the favorite Linkfest posts provided by our favorite Business Rep, here are some of the latest headlines that have popped up:

The folks at the VES have published the long awaited Handbook of Visual Effects. It is billed as the handbook for everyone who wants to learn or needs to know about visual effects. CGW describes it below in their announcement:

Written by 89 top leading visual effects practitioners and edited by VES Chair and leading VFX Supervisor Jeffrey A. Okun, as well as VFX Producer Susan Zwerman, The VES Handbook of Visual Effects: Industry Standard VFX Practices and Procedures covers everything about visual effects from pre-production, production, and post-production, making it a complete depository for visual effects techniques and best practices available today. The book outlines procedures and solutions VFX artists, producers, and supervisors need to know and it is filled with hard facts and methods learned from research, trial and error, and practical experience.

As was pointed out in the SIGGRAPH review post comments, Walt Disney Animation Studio and The Foundry have proudly announced symbiotic collaboration on software usage. As written in the article:

Following Walt Disney Animation Studio's groundbreaking deal to license Nuke compositing software from The Foundry, the two companies have struck a more far-reaching agreement that marks the first time the Mouse House has licensed its proprietary animation software to an outside company.
WDAS is licensing Foundry's Nuke compositing software and parts of Paint3d, Disney's proprietary 3d texturing tool, will be integrated into Foundry's Mari.

In the wake of all this Nuke talk, Eyeon Software takes Fusion to 6.1. The CGW article describes the updates like this:

Fusion 6.1’s extensive supercomputing approach uses the powerful, low-cost GPU to create assets and layers in real time. The tool set that imports scenes from 3D animation packages is intended to provide a tightly integrated workflow between departments and applications. It also offers industry support for technologies such as RenderMan and RED Camera MYSTERIUM X.

Eric Alba, a New York based Visual Effects Supe, posed a question on his Twitter feed that asks about the start of everyone's vfx career. It goes to the heart of the internship posts we've put up in the past (that you can find on this link and on this link) regarding how internships can be educational and beneficial as long as the rules are followed. The responses are not surprising and a bit disheartening.


Anonymous said...

The VES book is rather lazy. Got a copy from VES directly, looked forward to learning a thing or two, but was sadly disappointed. Geared primarily towards post production, it tends to promote the organizations self interested yet limited contributions to the process of film design. Ever wonder why 99% of vfx films look EXACTLY the same and are visually confusing to watch? This book explains it all.

There are many talented visual effects artists in the animation business. But VES's self aggrandizing appropriation of the the film making process is laughable at best, disingenuous at worst.

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