The digital revolution has made comic book publishing a thing of the past. See and learn how virtual computer technology will revolutionize this field and allow every artist to have their fifteen minutes of fame.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Fox draws toon talent

FOX Studio launches new animation departments

Fox Broadcasting Co. and 20th Century Fox TV are searching for the next generation of animation hit shows by launching two departments dedicated to toon development and production.

Fox and 20th jointly created the Fox Inkubator program to develop a range of shortform animated content working with animators and writers. Their goal is to allow creators to work out ideas and concepts in short films, rather than just write scripts. They hope that some of the short films will show promise and be the basis for a number of series.

Fox and its sibling studio have owned the primetime animation biz for the past 20 years with "The Simpsons," "King of the Hill," "Family Guy," "Futurama," and "American Dad." Both the network and the studio's top brass want to ensure that it stays that way for at least the next 20 years.


© 2008 Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Sunday, May 04, 2008

New Architecture

While visiting New York in 2005, Nita, the wife of Mr. Ambani, was in the spa at a New York hotel, overlooking Central Park. The contemporary interiors struck her just so, and prompted her to inquire about the designer.

After consulting architectural firms Perkins + Will and Hirsch Bedner Associates based in Dallas and Los Angeles, respectively, plans were drawn up for the world's largest and most expensive private home: a 550 feet high 27-story skyscraper built over six stories of parking lots at a cost of $2 billion dollars, says Thomas Johnson, director of marketing at Hirsch Bedner Associates.

The architects and designers are creating as they go, altering floor plans, design elements and concepts as the building is constructed.

Antilla's shape is based on Vaastu. Down dual stairways with silver-covered railings the large ballroom has 80% of its ceiling covered in crystal chandeliers. It features a retractable showcase for pieces of art, a mount of LCD monitors and embedded speakers, as well as stages for entertainment. The hall opens to an indoor/outdoor bar, green rooms, powder rooms and allows access to a nearby "entourage room" for security guards and assistants to relax.

The only remotely comparable high-rise property currently on the market is the $70 million triplex penthouse at the Pierre Hotel in New York, designed to resemble a French chateau, and climbing 525 feet in the air.

See Pictures: Inside The World's First Billion-Dollar Home

by Matt Woolsey - Copyright © 2008 Yahoo! Inc. All rights reserved.

Thursday, May 01, 2008


MOCAP as it is now called, is one of the great new frontiers in the world of digital movie making. Although it has had its resistance in the film community, it is becoming a crucial tool in complex digital effects and, as it turns out, it has become a completely different medium in which to capture entire feature films.

Robert Zemeckis is probably best known for pioneering this new technology. The three films he produced entirely using mocap were Polar Express, Beowulf and A Christmas Carol. Peter Jackson, Steven Spielberg, James Cameron and George Lucas have also experimented with and used this technology in their productions.

Early attempts at motion capture often yielded non-realistic plastic-looking facial movements and dead eyes. The technology was continually pushed forward and improved over the last decade. It is now opening the doors to this new and exciting future way of seeing and making films. Steve Perlman of San Francisco’s Mova ( refers to this as “Volumetric Cinematography.”


MOCAP is a conversion of live-action movement into 3D data. This data is then used to drive 3D animated characters.

It's not that easy to describe how this is accomplished. It often pushes computer technology to the limit and spans the spectrum from single perspective pattern tracking interpolation, mechanical armature exoskeletons and radio frequency triangulation to the more commonly used multicamera optical marker-based triangulation systems. There are a couple of system out there employing the use gyro-based inertial sensors and sonic sensing using time of flight triangulation for positional information.


Heath Firestone, a producer/director based in Denver, has a strong background in advanced 3D digital effects and compositing. Reach him at

Copyright 2008 COP Communications, Inc. All rights reserved.