IdN Turns 15 By Ko Maruyama We are all connected. International Design celebrates our diversity and the familiar threads that join us all together. Every year I meet up with Laurence Ng to discuss the hottest sights at SIGGRAPH and catch up. This year, the upcoming magazine's 15th Anniversary will a milestone for them. To celebrate IdN is sponsoring a designer's contest. ...Read More »
TUX PAINT By Ko Maruyama While looking around for some sub-$100 illustration applications, I found Tux Paint, a free, open source project started by Bill Kenrdrick and his band of tux'ers. (Notably Martin Fuhrer for his Mac OS X build). Because it''s open source, it has several future possibilities. But the great thing about Tux Paint is that it's giving children inspiration to create digital imagery. Can your child or student hold a stylus or click a mouse? Check it out. ...Read More »
EazyDraw By Ko Maruyama EazyDraw software upped the ante with its new version of its vector drawing application for the Mac platform. Showing off its wares at MacWorld, EazyDraw boasts new transformation tools, including shears, skew, stretch and rotate. Despite all of these new features, and a set of interesting elements and tools, the software comes with limited finite definition or any brush control. ...Read More »
SIGGRAPH: Autodesk Announces Maya 8 and 3ds Max 9 By Frank Moldstad Autodesk's professional 3D animation applications are now both 64-bit ready for Windows (and Linux for Maya), with 32-bit compatibility for users not on 64-bit platforms. They've also been optimized for large datasets, one of the most crucial features for high-end film, broadcast and game users. Other enhancements have been added in areas such as productivity, pipeline efficiency, rendering and file exchange capabilities with other programs. ...Read More »
Seagate 500GB eSATA external hard disk drive By John Virata The Seagate 500GB eSATA hard drive is an external serial ATA drive solution targeted at those in the digital media space (such as video editors, DVD authors, audio pros and 3D animation artists) who need a faster, external, high capacity solution than what is provided via USB 2.0 or FireWire. ...Read More »
LightWave 9.0 First Look Part 1 By Stephen Schleicher The long awaited update to NewTekís LightWave 3D v9 is now available. No major interface changes this time, but rather a ton of new features and speed improvements that should have other 3D applications a little nervous. In this first look review, Digital Media Netís Stephen Schleicher gives you a peak at what you can expect. ...Read More »
MAXON PRESETS #001 By Jamal "Nimpsy" Qutub Sometimes the best way to learn something is to deconstruct a completed project. In this series of presets, a team of DMN readers got together to make some CINEMA4D textures. While the materials are mostly based on simple parameters, it may help you to understand how a texture is made. ...Read More »
Performance Enhancement! By Ko Maruyama By now youíve had time to play around with Adobe After Effects 7. What you may not know is that there is a powerful new plug-in by GridIron Software called Nucleo that dramatically reduces render and preview times for After Effects on multi-processor computers. ...Read More »
DMN Announces Avid Professional Channel The Avid Professional Channel ( focuses on the informational needs of media professionals working with Avid-based video, broadcast, audio, animation and asset management tools. Its content includes reviews, tutorials, trends, and profiles of projects and people in the Avid community. ...Read More »
CosmicBlobs Steals the Show By John Virata The SIGGRAPH 2005 exposition was markedly smaller than year's past, but the focus was greater than ever. The lack in size, more the trend in trade shows as of late, was more than compensated in the number and quality of folks attending the show and vendors showcasing their wares. ...Read More »
Lucky Sevens for Maya and MotionBuilder By Frank Moldstad Last year at SIGGRAPH, Aliasí focus was on its acquisition of Kaydara, developer of the character animation package MotionBuilder, a deal which literally was finalized at the show. The purchase came on the heels of Aliasí buyout from former parent company SGI. The ensuing year was a busy one for Alias developers, with the introduction of MotionBuilder 6 and Maya 6.5, and at SIGGRAPH 2005, Maya 7 and MotionBuilder 7. Both of the new versions are slated for August availability. ...Read More »
Mac vs. PC VI: Boxx 7400 Dual Opteron 275 Workstation By Charlie White (6/13/05) Boxx Technologies is now shipping its first dual processor, dual-core AMD Opteron workstation, the Boxx 7400 ($5669 as tested). Itís equipped with two Opteron model 275 processors, each using AMDís newest dual core technology and running at 2.21 gigahertz. Since we now have the newest PC and Mac machines in the same place at the same timeóboth so fresh that they still have that new-car smellówe decided to pit them against each other in the sixth edition of our ongoing series, Mac vs. PC. If youíre one of the Mac faithful, the results might surprise you. ...Read More »
Coming Soon: RenderMan for Maya By Frank Moldstad With the release this summer of RenderMan for Maya, Pixar is turning its focus toward a broader market for its renderer, which up to now has been aimed at high-end studio applications. Chris Ford, Pixar's business director - RenderMan, explains this shift and how RenderMan for Maya differs from the newly released RenderMan Pro Server version 12.5. ...Read More »
Red Giant Software at NAB By Ko Maruyama Red Giant Software from San Francisco, California held a press conference on April 19 at the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) to announce its three new products. More importantly, Red Giant Software presented with press conference partners, Sony Vegas/DVD, nVidia and Green Parrot Pictures to give some interesting looks at the capabilities of their new offerings and explain the technology behind the next generation of Red Giant tools. ...Read More »
Videobox Raises the Bar By Ko Maruyama Video Box Studios in West Hollywood, California recently completed video wall projects for Harrah's new bar, 'Masque' which opened in New Jersey's Atlantic City at the Showboat Casino. Producer Susan Beth Smith and Video Box Studio's Jason Hearne talk about some of the unique tasks that LCD delivery projects present. ...Read More »
Mac vs. PC IV By Charlie White Since we last tested an Apple Power Mac G5 nearly a year ago (May, 2004), Apple upgraded the processors inside to 2.5GHz, and added an innovative liquid cooling system to make sure the super-hot chips stay cool. Other than that, the computer is identical to the one we tested last year. Itís still an excellent machine in every way. However, those who think itís faster than any PC might want to take a look at our benchmark tests. For Adobe After Effects users, itís now an even closer call when trying to choose between Mac versus PC. ...Read More »
Gird Your Grid By Frank Moldstad Gridironís new X-Factor software extension for Adobe After Effects is designed to produce dramatic speed increases in the two production bottlenecks where accelerated performance is most needed: rendering of previews and the final render out of composited video. The technology is called grid computing, and it allows the After Effects render engine to take advantage of multiple computers on a network. According to Gridironís Vice President of Marketing Gord Watts, the speed increase is linear, meaning previews are roughly twice as fast using two computers, three times faster with three, and so on. ...Read More »
LightWave[8] Reviewed By Stephen Schleicher If you have followed my writings over the last several years, you know I am a huge fan of NewTekís LightWave 3D. Version 7.5 delivered many needed features, but still lacked some of bang animators desired. With the release of LightWave[8] have these issues been addressed? ...Read More »
Techno Babe Struts as SIGGRAPH Attendees Get Soaked in Tech By John Virata As SIGGRAPH wound down on Thursday it became apparent that there is a lot more technology than can be seen in just a few days of cruising the show floor. This is always the case, more so when the show is local and you have to fight through L.A. traffic each day to get to the show. ...Read More »
Collaboration and Choice at SIGGRAPH 2005 By John Virata SIGGRAPH 2005 in Los Angeles may mark the turning point for desktop visual effects. While 64-bit desktop solutions are beginning to come into their own, the 800lb gorilla 64-bit desktop operating system for all the 64-bit processors that are available is still in beta. But this hasn't stopped the march of the desktop computer. ...Read More »
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