(Source: Engadget) Don’t freak out or anything, but those wireless signals you bask in everyday could be watching you. Or at least they might, someday, if the work from a group of researchers at the University of Utah makes it beyond the lab. As Technology Review’s Physics arXiv blog reports, they’ve devised a means to modify a standard 802.15.4 wireless network (commonly used by home automation services like ZigBee) to actually “see” movement through walls, and with some degree of accuracy, no less. As you might expect, however, that’s not quite as simple as a firmware upgrade, and currently requires a 34-node network to keep watch on a standard living room, which is apparently enough to pin down moving objects within a meter or so. To do that, the system essentially bombards the space with an array of wireless signals and keeps watch on any changes in signal strength, building up a “picture” of the room in the process. No promises on a commercial version just yet, but the researchers see plenty of potential for it, and are even talking about a portable, GPS-equipped version that police or emergency responders could use before entering a dangerous area.

The 13th Annual Hollywood Film Festival and Hollywood Awards, presented by Starz, have announced that director Kathryn Bigelow will be honored with the “Hollywood Director Award,” Academy Award-nominated screenwriter Nora Ephron will be presented with the “Hollywood Screenwriter Award,” Disney/Pixar’s “UP,” directed by Peter Docter, will get the “Hollywood Animation Award,” and Paramount Pictures’ “Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen” and visual effects supervisor Scott Farrar will receive the “Hollywood Visual Effects Award” at the festival’s Hollywood Awards Gala Ceremony.

(Source: variety.com) In a sign that digital production is maturing as an industry, today marks the birth announcement for a new professional org: the Previsualization Society.

A nonprofit interdisciplinary group, the society was formed through an unprecedented collaboration among the American Society of Cinematographers, the Art Directors Guild and the Visual Effects Society.

All three orgs have a stake in the future of previs. Storyboards and animatics, the main precursors of previs, were the domain of the ADG. Computer-generated imagery tended to be lumped under visual effects. Cinematographers, for their part, have complained about previs sequences created without their input.

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