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We are finally back online after being MIA for a month. A lot of stuff has happened in August and here is a summary of it, so let's begin with the biggest one! I think that the most highly anticipated moment of the year so far, was the announcement of ZBrush 4R7. Everyone had their fingers crossed for 64-bit version and Pixologic definitely delivered and then some! The addition of polygon modeling was a bit of a surprise and while we see it as a nice functional upgrade, "regular" polygon modeling as we know it will still continue to be used. But of course, there will be people who will now have everything that they need in 4R7 -- modeling/sculpting/rendering (thanks to the Keyshot bridge) all in one.
Hans Rudolf "Ruedi" Giger (5 February 1940 – 12 May 2014) was a Swiss surrealist painter, sculptor and set designer. He was part of the special effects team that won an Academy Award for Best Achievement for Visual Effects for their design work on the film Alien. He was named to the Science Fiction & Fantasy Hall of Fame in 2013.
If you haven't seen this yet, on Thursday, Pluralsight (who are also in the business of online training) bought Digital-Tutors for $45Million USD. This was pretty shocking news, primarily because this is proof that quantity really trumps quality (Eat3D, GNOMON, CMIVFX and others..must be hard pill to swallow). On the other hand, we nonetheless congratulate Piyush Patel on building Digital-Tutors to what it is today. Hell, we remember when he first started posting learning videos on the Alias Community for free .. and that was over 11 years ago. It's anyone's guess, the future of DT under Pluralsight...a company who's logo is the default *play* button. We wish the people at DT all the best!
This week's flashback is none other than the famous "Bingo" character and animation, which was the brainchild of Chris Landreth, a guy well known for doing fairly unusual animated shorts, to say the least... Anyway, "Bingo" was produced concurrently with the development of Maya 1.0. Word on the street was that this initiative was all kinds of crazy difficult and that it was never going to happen again (that A|W was going to develop software AND produce an animated short). While this was before my time, one only need to imagine the hours required to work on the creating assets, characters, blendshapes, animations, simulate particles, render and composite -- AND -- have computers for writing the tools (the point of "Bingo" was to use Maya out-of-the-box)...all the while using what was essentially unstable software. FUN TIMES FOR SURE! Well, as you can see, all of Landreth's films since that time have been made using student-labour and Toronto studios! Have a look at the press release on "Bingo" below :)
Spelle aka Gleb Alexandrov uncovers a hidden function in Blender 2.70 that will make setting up toy scenes much easier. Learn how to make a teddy bear from a cube in just a handful of clicks, using this lesser known add-on.
Here is undoubtedly one of the most loved shirts in all of A|W tshirt history... the Anatomy of a Pod Racer! This one features scribbles and notes from Habib Zargarpour, who was Computer Graphics Supervisor on Star Wars: Episode I "The Phantom Menace" in 1999. And yes, those pod racers were the bomb back in the day. The whole pod racing sequence in fact!! Anyway - Habib is not so much in the spotlight these days, as he was as one of the big names out there for dynamics and particles effects work. Nowadays he's a Creative Director of Microsoft Game Studios, but I found this copied & pasted interview with him, as he was the recipient of the first Maya Masters award (along with a few other guys). It was on the Maya Masters site on aliaswavefront.com but that's long gone now... anyway, nice little read below!