(Source: vfxworld.com) Pixar Animation Studios today announced the release of RenderMan Studio 3.0 and RenderMan for Maya 4.0. Both new versions offer substantial gains in performance, enhanced workflows, and new state-of-the-art technologies for rendering visual effects and animation.

RenderMan for Maya 4.0 provides any user of Autodesk’s Maya with fast and easy access to the core rendering technology developed by Pixar and used to create the stunning visual effects seen in the majority of today’s feature films. This latest release delivers significant increases in performance from a host of core optimizations to the internal renderer, including the addition of unlimited threading. Additionally, RenderMan for Maya 4.0 includes enhanced interaction with Maya’s Render Layers, a new unified interface for RenderMan Controls, and support for Maya Fluids.

(Source: Variety) Darren Aronofsky will direct the Mandalay Pictures adaptation of Max Barry’s Machine Man, reports Variety.

The project, to be scripted by Mark Heyman (who co-wrote Aronofsky’s Black Swan alongside John McLaughlin) will adapt Barry’s story, which originally appeared on the author’s website in serial form with a single page released each day as it was written.

Machine Man, not to be confused with the Marvel Comics character, concerns a tech engineer who, tired of going through life average and unnoticed, replaces parts of his body with titanium upgrades of his own design. He then discovers that he isn’t the only one with plans for his new body.

(Soucre: modernghana.com) Craig Barron, Lisa Zeno Churgin, Caleb Deschanel, Randal Kleiser and Alex McDowell have accepted invitations to join the Science and Technology Council of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

Barron, an Oscar®-winning visual effects specialist (“The Curious Case of Benjamin Button”), is head of Matte World Digital, where he has created effects for such films as “Titanic,” “The Green Mile,” “Zodiac” and “Alice in Wonderland.” In 1992 he earned an Academy Award® nomination for “Batman Returns.” Barron is an Academy governor representing the Visual Effects Branch and has been an Academy member since 1994.

(Source: nytimes.com) Warner Brothers agreed to keep Peter Jackson’s production of “The Hobbit” in New Zealand after the government promised to change local labor laws and offered extra financial incentives, Prime Minister John Key said Wednesday.

The deal came after two days of talks between Mr. Key and other government officials and executives from Warner and its New Line Cinema unit.

Filming of the two “Hobbit” movies, which is expected to start in February, had been threatened by a dispute over whether a New Zealand branch of an Australian union could engage in collective bargaining on the Hollywood films, which they have not been able to do in the past.

    
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