(Source: VFXWorld) Weta Digital is planning a branch dedicated to advanced computer graphics research called Transfx, reports VARIETYVFXWorld reported in April that Sebastian Sylwan had joined Weta as head of research and development, and now he will oversee the new arm, which hopes to bridge the gap between R&D and production. Previously, Sylwan worked for Autodesk as senior industry manager for film and TV.

Transfx will get some New Zealand government support, but most of the funding will come from Weta. The team will consist of 20 researchers and students. Sylwan will do recruiting at SIGGRAPH and SIGGRAPH Asia. Already working with Transfx are visiting professors UC San Diego’s Henrik Wann Jenson, University of British Columbia’s Robert Bridson; and Columbia’s Eitan Grinspun

As far as I know, Victorian morality plays are rarely difficult to decipher and tend to avoid too much irony. But the pending arrival in the Santa Fe Railyard of a special train designed to promote a film remake of the Charles Dickens’ classic A Christmas Carol is bringing fuzzy morals and irony.

First, the pure absurdity of our story: Amtrak engines will pull a custom-built, Victorian-themed train—significantly longer than a Rail Runner—into the Railyard. The movie it is promoting, Disney’s A Christmas Carol, stars Jim Carrey and is directed by Robert Zemeckis. Early press bills it as a “multi-sensory thrill ride” shot using “performance capture” and projected in 3-D. Zemeckis, inexplicably, has said, “We are doing A Christmas Carol the way Charles Dickens originally envisioned it.”

Adult Swim has ordered nine episodes of Titan Maximum, a new comedy series from the creative team behind its hit Robot Chicken; it’s a stop-motion animation series about robots, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Titan will launch in September and was created by Robot co-head writer/producer Tom Root and co-creator/executive producer Matthew Senreich.

Robot co-creator/exec producer Seth Green will voice the show’s villain and executive-produce with Root and Senreich.

The voice cast of the series also includes Robot players Breckin Meyer, Rachael Leigh Cook, Dan Milano and Eden Espinosa.

(Source: marinij.comFilmmaker George Lucas is seeking permission to build a 262,728-square-foot building to house a digital film production studio and other amenities at the former Grady Ranch in Lucas Valley.

The proposed building would be built in the Mission style resembling St. Vincent’s School for Boys, with two 85-foot-tall towers. It would include administration offices, a restaurant, a general store, a wine-tasting room, screening rooms, costume storage, dressing rooms, 19 guest suites and basement parking. The project calls for 223,770 cubic yards of excavation and the creation of a knoll for a vineyard.

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