CANTINA CREATIVE GIVES IRON MAN 3 A ‘HEADS UP’ WITH MAXON CINEMA 4D

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CANTINA CREATIVE GIVES IRON MAN 3 A ‘HEADS UP’ WITH MAXON CINEMA 4D

3D Software Solution Animates CG Graphical Displays That Guide Iron Man’s Vision

NEWBURY PARK, CA  — (May 22, 2013) —  MAXON, leading developer of professional 3D modeling, painting, animation and rendering solutions, today announced that Cantina Creative, the design and visual effects studio located in Culver City, Calif., relied on its popular CINEMA 4D software to generate more than one hundred 2D and 3D visual effects shots that appear throughout the blockbuster Disney/Marvel Studios superhero sequel, Iron Man 3.

Iron Man 3 pits star Robert Downey Jr. (Tony Stark/Iron Man) the “…brash-but-brilliant industrialist against an enemy whose reach knows no bounds. When Stark finds his personal world destroyed at his enemy’s hands, he embarks on a harrowing quest to find those responsible…” (source Marvel Studios).  In its opening weekend on May 3, the film earned the second-best box-office opening weekend in the U.S. of all time behind The Avengers and continues to ‘wow’ audiences worldwide.

The Cantina Creative VFX team members, including Cantina Co-founder and Creative Director Stephen Lawes, Co-founder and VFX Producer Sean Cushing, and Cantina VFX Supervisor Venti Hristova, worked directly with Marvel Studios’ Iron Man 3 Visual Effects Supervisor Chris Townsend and Visual Effects Producer Mark Soper. Cantina Creative was tasked with designing the elaborate 3D head-up displays (HUDs) – a virtual graphical interface that Iron Man sees from within the helmet environment of his armored suits that communicate essential data and statistics ranging from his physical condition to weapon and navigational diagnostics – with an emphasis on the new ultra-high-tech Mark 42 suit.

Lawes explains that Cantina Creative designed HUD and interface graphics using  CINEMA 4D for Iron Man 2 and for Marvel’s The Avengers. Due to major engineering advances in the Iron Man 3 suits, including the ability for Stark to access the suits via remote control coupled with delivering shots in 3D stereo, the VFX team needed to step up the evolution of the HUD 3D graphics to augment Stark’s on-screen identity and action-packed performance.

Townsend provided creative input and suggested aiming the new HUD design towards a more 3D photo-real, holographic approach as opposed to the design language of the previous films – 2D graphic elements in 3D space. This new design direction emphasized the beauty of the volumetric lights projected into space using optical flares (a design motif drawn from the ‘External HUD’ hologram in the movie) and the textured reflections generated by the light interaction of the HUD widgets from the ambient environment. This took the graphics away from a purely text-functional level to a more organic holographic world,” Hristova says.
To meet the sheer technical complexities and stereo workflow requirements in the film head-on, Cantina Creative developed an advanced stereo rig, similar to the one used in The Avengers, built in Adobe After Effects, and then exported into CINEMA 4D for animating 3D objects such as the suit, helicopters, and dimensional navigation graphics seen within the HUD.

Marvel provided us with VFX plates of Robert Downey Jr.’s performance as Iron Man in the suit,” Lawes adds.  “His head movements were motion tracked to help define the motion and action beat needed in each sequence and then composited into all our graphics sequences so that we could mirror Downey’s moves as accurately as possible.

The beauty of using CINEMA 4D is that its built-in stereo capabilities let us work fully in three-dimensional space so that we always knew how far the HUD graphics needed to be from Stark’s head to successfully push the boundaries of his point-of- view (POV) beyond the helmet,” Lawes says. “We were able to import left and right eye cameras from After Effects into CINEMA 4D and create multi-layered lighting and textural HUD effects that could be rendered out quickly in various passes. CINEMA 4D’s powerful Sketch and Toon non-photorealistic rendering tools also gave us creative latitude to do things like vary line weights in space to communicate more depth and dimensionality than in the previous Iron Man films.

For Hristova, one of the most significant creative challenges was the initial Mark 42 boot-up sequence. “Many of the elements, including a miniature version of the suit and the holographic helmet, were generated and rendered from CINEMA 4D. These graphics had true 3D depth, which heightened the stereo viewing experience as well as the interactive light qualities that are both photo-real and immersive.
Other artists and designers working with Cantina Creative on Iron Man 3 included Alan Torres, Leon Nowlin, Matt Eaton, Aaron Eaton, Lukas Weyandt, Jon Ficcadenti, Johnny Likens and Jayse Hansen.

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Source: http://www.maxon.net/en/news/singleview-default/article/cantina-creative-gives-iron-man-3-a-heads-up-with-maxon-cinema-4d.html

Wacom’s New 13-Inch Multitouch Tablet Won’t (Quite) Break the Bank

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Wacom's New 13-Inch Multitouch Tablet Won't (Quite) Break the Bank

If you love the idea of pretending to be a hipster graphic designer with one of Wacom’s beautiful Multitouch Cintiq tablets but can’t quite stretch to the $3,7o0 price tag, good news. The company has just announced a cute—and much more wallet-friendly—13-inch version.

The Cintiq 13HD offers up a 13-inch HD pen display and a new Pro Pen. Fine details aren’t fully confirmed yet, but the pen provides 2,048 levels of sensitivity and tilt recognition, and the display provides the same ExpressKeys and Rocker Ring as its bigger brother. Perhaps most importantly, it costs $1,000—making it a little more accessible for the hobbyists of this world. It’s also worth noting that its size actually makes the Cintiq platform vaguely portable, so it’ll no doubt be tempting for those who travel a lot, too.

Dislike Adobe’s Creative Cloud subscriptions? Tough beans

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Adobe will adjust its subscription plans to appeal better to photo hobbyists, but it won’t restore what many critics want — an option to buy perpetual licenses to new versions of its software.

 

David Wadhwani, general manager of Adobe’s digital media business, touts the Creative Cloud at the company’s Max conference in May 2013.

(Credit: screenshot by Stephen Shankland/CNET)

Anyone disappointed with Adobe Systems’ switch to sell most of its software exclusively through subscriptions will have to remain disappointed.

The San Jose, Calif.-based company will make some changes to its $50-per-month Creative Cloud subscription to accommodate photography hobbyists and those who need access to files after they stop paying monthly fees, David Wadhwani, general manager of Adobe’s digital media business, said in an interview Tuesday. But it won’t turn back the clock to sell perpetual licenses to its software alongside the subscriptions, he said.

“We understand this is a big change, but we are so focused on the vision we shared for Creative Cloud, and we plan to focus all our new innovation on the Creative Cloud,” Wadhwani said.

The subscription, which grants access to Adobe’s full suite of software as well as some online services, costs $600 per year with a full-year commitment. Customers who want it for a shorter period can pay $75 for a single month, and Adobe also sells subscriptions to individual titles such as Photoshop or After Effects for $20 per month. Gone are the days when it sells a perpetual license that lets a customer use a version of the software for as many years as desired.

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