Owners of more recent Macs with fast video cards were given an extra speed advantage on Monday with a new set of Adobe Creative Suite 4 plugins.

The suite includes four plugins from third parties and centers on Elemental Accelerator 1.2, a video processing add-on. Those using Mac Pros with a Quadro FX 4800 video card can use the general-purpose computing feature of these graphics chipsets to accelerate video encoding for H.264-formatted videos well beyond what would be possible with the processor alone. NVIDIA estimates that the task can run 11 times faster than it would without the plugin.


(Source: news.awn.com) Dr. Ed Catmull, President, Walt Disney and Pixar Animation Studios, has been selected by the VES Board of Directors as the recipient of the “2010 Georges Melies Award.” The award will be presented at the 8th Annual VES Awards, which will be held at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza Hotel in Los Angeles on February 28, 2010.


(Source: latimes.com) Warner Bros. has emerged as the only bidder for Midway Games Inc., all but assuring that it will take control of the bankrupt video game publisher previously owned by Viacom Inc. Chairman Sumner Redstone and become a major force in the video game industry.

Midway had hoped that the film studio’s $33-million offer, made in late May, would spark a bidding war that would boost its price. A Chicago investment group and several game publishers kicked the publisher’s tires, according to a source familiar with the discussions, but none pulled the trigger.

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(Source: MarinIJ) In today’s terrible economic times, it is rare to hear of any employer seeking to grow his business. George Lucas’ readiness to complete the final phase of the master plan for Lucasfilm, Ltd. – which was approved in 1996 – is a welcome counterpoint to the news of layoffs and businesses leaving Marin.

Lucas’ desire to execute this final phase of the plan is truly a vote of confidence for Marin County’s sustainability.

Instead of criticizing the design of a private complex, we should be applauding the benefits it will bring to our community.



(Source: AnimationGuildBlog) Here’s the way the visual effects industry goes:

1) Big Fat Conglomerate puts most of the work on its new, $200 million effects-laden blockbuster out for bid.

2) Effects houses from far and wide bid on the project, busily low-balling one another.

3) BFC picks the cheapest price among the houses, gives a few high-end “money shots” to a prestigious effects studio in San Francisco, and hands off wire removal and other mundane chores to Mumbai, India (which is even cheaper!)


(Source: realfilmcareer.com) A sweetening of the film and television tax credits in the province of Quebec has yet to cause a stir in British Columbia, as the industry here will monitor the impact the move will have on this province’s fortunes.

In fact, the changes in Quebec could actually bolster one segment in B.C. — the visual effects industry.

On June 12, the Quebec government changed the tax credit for foreign production companies shooting in the province from 25 per cent of labour costs to 25 per cent of total budget expenses in the province. This means that an American studio could write off not only one-quarter of wages paid to Quebec workers, but also one-quarter of other costs incurred in the province, including studio rental, equipment acquisitions and rentals, building materials, software and catering.



[Editor's Note: It's comforting to know that my work is being used in support of human rights abuse. Makes me feel all warm and squishy inside]

(Source: cinematical.com)  Time Magazin has a piece from an anonymous Iranian resident reporting that the government is using film to try and quell public unrest. “In normal times, Iranian television usually treats its viewers to one or two Hollywood or European movie nights a week. But these are not normal times, so it’s been two or three such movies a day. It’s part of the push to keep people at home and off the streets, to keep us busy, to get us out of the regime’s hair. The message is ‘Don’t worry, be happy.’”

All television channels in Iran are owned by the state, so the government is choosing its films very carefully. One of their offerings has been a Lord of the Rings marathon, ostensibly picked because its length and epic content will keep people glued to their television. “We’re glued to the trilogy. We are riveted. A child in the room loudly predicts that Lord of the Rings will put an end to the nightly shouts, that people will not take to the rooftops and windows because this film will keep them occupied.”



(Source: baltimoresun.com) The wizardry of computer graphics has become so other-worldly that it’s easy to imagine the army of specialists that worked on Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen hidden in some underground laboratory-bunker, scurrying like super-intelligent lab rats to create “sights no one has ever seen before” under the excruciating pressure of a hugely expensive franchise picture.

But the role of visual effects supervisor isas hands-on and real-world as jobs come. Industrial Light and Magic’s Scott Farrar has performed it to perfection on both Transformerspictures. His work begins long before the shooting starts, when producer-director Michael Bay and his colleagues begin brainstorming with Farrar and his colleagues on how far, this time out, they can push the art of the impossible. It ends when the film lands in the theaters.



(Source: news.awn.com) Lucasfilm Ltd. and G4 are joining forces for a milestone in San Diego Comic-Con’s 40-year history — the first-ever, exclusive television broadcast of a presentation from pop culture convention. The Star Wars Spectacular! will air Saturday July 25th at 2:00 pm ET/PT only on G4, and will feature never-before-seen footage, breaking news, surprise announcements, guest stars and more. In addition, G4 will present three hours of live coverage from the Comic-Con floor, beginning at 4:00 pm ET/PT.

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