Friday, October 24, 2008

Autodesk Signs Agreement with Avid Technology to Acquire Softimage

Acquisition to Accelerate Autodesk’s Games Strategy; Complements Digital Entertainment and Visual Communications Offering; Lets Artists Choose their Passion.
SAN RAFAEL, Calif., Oct. 23, 2008 — Autodesk, Inc. (NASDAQ: ADSK) and Avid Technology, Inc. (NASDAQ: AVID), announced that they have signed a definitive agreement for Autodesk to acquire substantially all of the assets of Avid’s Softimage business unit for approximately $35 million.
Softimage was founded in 1986 by Daniel Langlois and is headquartered in Montreal, Canada. Softimage develops 3D technology for the film, television and games markets. Its flagship product is SOFTIMAGEXSI, an extensible 3D animation software solution used by leading media and entertainment companies, including Digital Domain, Ubisoft, SEGA Corporation, CAPCOM, Animal Logic and The Mill. Autodesk Media & Entertainment provides animation, visual effects, editing/finishing and color grading solutions for the 3D market, including entertainment and design industries.
Upon completion of the acquisition, Autodesk intends to continue developing and selling Softimage’s core product line, while integrating certain Softimage technology into future versions of Autodesk solutions and products. Autodesk plans to acquire and continue developing the following Softimage products:
• SOFTIMAGEXSI: Including XSI Essentials, XSI Advanced, XSI Academic, XSI Mod Tool and the XSI software development kit. XSI is production-proven 3D animation software for games, film and television. It offers a complete 3D modeling, animation, rendering and development environment for visual effects and custom tools.
• SOFTIMAGEFace Robot: A complete software solution for easily rigging and animating 3D faces. Face Robot enables studios to create life-like facial animation at incredible speeds.
• SOFTIMAGECat: This advanced character animation system is a plug-in for Autodesk 3ds Max software. It is intended to be integrated into the 3ds Max product line.
• SOFTIMAGECrosswalk: This interoperability solution is intended to be integrated with Autodesk’s own interoperability technology.
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Autodesk, Inc. is the world leader in 2D and 3D design software for the manufacturing, building and construction, and media and entertainment markets. Since its introduction of AutoCAD software in 1982, Autodesk has developed the broadest portfolio of state-of-the-art digital prototyping solutions to help customers experience their ideas before they are real. Fortune 1000 companies rely on Autodesk for the tools to visualize, simulate and analyze real-world performance early in the design process to save time and money, enhance quality and foster innovation.

Monday, October 20, 2008

The potential of the Indian Animation and Gaming Industry

Animation, simply put ‘the fine art of taking a pencil for a walk’, has today reached stupendous dimensions in its maturity and emerged as a niche industry clocking revenues of USD 80 Billion in FY 2007-08. The potential of the Indian Animation and Gaming industry is touching revenues of USD 550 Million in Animation and USD 161 Million in gaming in FY 2007-08, at a time when the world is looking towards Asia as an upcoming provider for this segment.
Few can argue against India’s potential as an Animation and Gaming hub, especially against today’s backdrop of a fast developing sector, the penetration and potential for this segment - both for cinema and television in India is very encouraging. It promises new developments in gaming and new surprises with screening in 3D and making of Hollywood VFX blockbusters.
With an objective of creating a platform to discuss, debate and preempt industry trends, NASSCOM is pleased to announce the 6th edition of its ‘Animation & Gaming India 2008’ from November 6-7, 2008 at the Hyderabad International Convention Center, Hyderabad. Over the years this event has become a premier event for this emerging sector in India, attracting the industry leaders, analysts, observers and media.
This is the opportunity for an organization to participate in one of the biggest animation events, spread over two days. Participants get a chance to interact with luminaries from the industry, listen to experts debate on topical issues and trends, witness interesting case studies and see the best of animation and gaming previews, in addition to introductions to the latest animation and gaming technologies, most of the time before it is out in the market.
The target audience for this event includes animators, producers, program directors, broadcasters, production units involved in media & entertainment, art & design schools, IT companies, investors, VC’s, government officials from Films Division/ Information and Broadcasting Departments, media etc. It will provide an ideal platform for Indian animation, gaming, electronic media, mobile and console players to participate at the event and demonstrate their competencies, strengths and capabilities.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Prime Focus' VFX adds zing to Bisleri TVC

Gone are the days of bottled mineral water. With new entrants banking on the 'Himalayan origin' factor, Bisleri has released its latest 40-seconder that positions the brand as mountain water, courtesy Prime Focus, Ambience Advertising and White Light Motion Picture. The ad escaped the normal routine of storyboard-to-post production and was treated more like a piece of art. The director's vision filled in the gaps. Reading straight out of the duo's brief to Prime Focus: "Treat water like the elixir of life. The ad must go through the stages of birth, assimilation, generation, celebration and return to source. Use graphics as a connect between traditional beliefs and today's newer value system".Only the water body by the mountain and the droplets are CG, rest of the water movements were shot and further enhanced. Prime Focus Senior Manager (Business Development), Kunaal Saigal added, "A lot of experimentation went into making this commercial as the script was open ended. There were days when we thought we have wrapped it up, but the very next day we would go back thinking no, let's add something to it."The important dance and gushing water sequences were shot at high frame rates 500 or 1000 fps. "We now have a huge library of shots of water," added Jayant, "as water in every form, droplets, bubbles, flowing was either used as the main focus or in the background."

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Autodesk Animation Academy

Autodesk® Animation Academy 2009 is an immersive, curriculum-based offering that delivers four powerful 3D applications for one affordable price. The bundle includes full versions of Autodesk® 3ds Max® 2009, Autodesk® Maya® Unlimited 2009, Autodesk® MotionBuilder® 2009 and Autodesk® Mudbox™ 2009. Students can create engaging 3D digital imagery, visualizations, scenes, and visual effects with 3ds Max or Maya and then easily animate and preview animations in real time with MotionBuilder and create detailed models with Mudbox. Introduce Autodesk Animation Academy to your classroom and watch your students reach their creative potential.
Autodesk Animation Academy includes a modular curriculum designed to help educators captivate students. Educators can expose them to the creative―and fun―aspects of animation technology while reinforcing a variety of core academic subjects. The innovative, project-focused Animation Academy curriculum encourages teamwork, planning, and thoughtful execution. Students can use the visual communication toolsets in 3ds Max, Maya, MotionBuilder and Mudbox to explore specific topics and present what they have learned. This standards-based, cross-discipline curriculum was developed specifically for secondary institutions by experienced educators and technical experts.
Autodesk Animation Academy Brochure (pdf - 119Kb)
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