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Pixar's Renderman now free for non-commercial use!
Posted by Andrzej, motionVFX Team
March 26, 2015, at 8:05 AM

Pixar has come up with quite an announcement: you can now download and use their RenderMan for absolutely no charge, as long as it’s for non-commercial purposes. No feature limitations, no watermarks, the free RenderMan will be fully operational. The official RenderMan webpage explains:

Non-Commercial RenderMan is functionally identical to the commercial version used by creative artists the world over, offering free and complete access to its capabilities. There are no limitations except that Non-Commercial RenderMan is node-locked and does not have a floating network license. Upon installation and acceptance of the EULA, Non-Commercial RenderMan should only thereafter be used for non-commercial purposes.

In case of any doubts about what falls into the non-commercial use category, please have a look at the extensive FAQ section dedicated to the free RenderMan version. In general, by non-commercial use, Pixar means ‘any usage that does not generate direct profits’ (‘direct’ is the key word here). The dedicated FAQ section also answers plenty of other questions, from general to very specific.

You’ll find the non-commercial RenderMan download link, as well as other useful information and links at pixar.com here. An additional piece of news from Pixar is that the Renderman's standard licence price has been lowered to $495.

Source: http://www.pixar.com

Free subscriptions for filmmaking workflow magazine Sound & Picture!
Posted by Andrzej, motionVFX Team
March 25, 2015, at 11:50 AM

If you haven’t heard about Sound&Picture magazine, it’s explained in their own webpage as a ‘crew-centric workflow magazine that features editorials in sound, cinematography, picture editing, visual effects, and the latest in gear and technology. From pre-production to post, our in-depth content is covering every perspective along the way’. With words Read. Learn. Share. written in bold at the bottom.

It appears, they’ve taken the sharing part to a higher level – as a  way to celebrate their 5th anniversary, they decide to give a monthly, digital only, lifetime subscription to anyone who signs up for it. The free subscriptions number is limited to … 50 000, and at the time of writing the offer is still open. So don’t hesitate, if you’d like to have access to some quality industry news.

In order to sign up, you’ll simply need to give your name and email address, along with a few other pieces of info. The subscription form can be found here. Once you subscribe, you’ll be able to read the magazine’s content online, or download it via app and read on Apple, Android and Kindle devices.

Source: http://soundandpicture.com

Top 10 VFX of the 21st century - a selection by Cinefix
Posted by Andrzej, motionVFX Team
March 20, 2015, at 9:04 AM

From time to time, Cinefix publishes list of Top 10s in different categories of cinematography, offering more than simply a selection of shots, usually some good insights or background knowledge - now they’ve prepared a new one on visual effects. The ‘Top 10 VFX Innovations in the 21st Century’ may be a bit hasty to judge the century on the basis of its first 15 years, but it certainly nails some trends in the filmmaking industry, that are likely to develop further and be more popular in the years to come.

Here’s the video:

A lot of attention in the video has been drawn to motion capture technology, and through examples we can see how it developed from 2001’s Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within to 2009’s Avatar. There’s every reason to suspect that motion capture and green screens will commonly be used for entire movies in the near future, leaving only actors' faces, and even generating these won't be that big of a deal.

Moving to the video description at YouTube, you'll find titles, directors and a short comments on each of the presented movies.

Source: https://www.youtube.com

Marvelous ad recipe: add ink into water, and shoot with with Phantom Flex 4K!
Posted by Andrzej, motionVFX Team
March 18, 2015, at 9:52 AM

Can you always tell the difference between CGI generated effect and a real shot? The ‘Emerald’ paint commercial may be a tough nut to crack in this respect. Have a look at the video first:

According to the article at digitalartsonline.co.uk, the ad has been made by Psyop and ad agency McKinney. This is what the text says about the making of:

The main tools used were a high speed arm and the Phantom Flex4k camera from Vision Research. Using 400 gallon tanks, the team injected paint into the water and moved the camera through the tanks with precise choreography. The team stitched the pieces together in post, creating a surreal journey of colour.

The very same idea, with the same camera has been presented by The Slow Mo Guys two weeks earlier (not judging who was first with the idea). It shows not only the results, but also the entire process of injecting ink into the water tank:

Source: https://www.youtube.com, http://www.digitalartsonline.co.uk 

YouTube adds 360 degree videos, VR is at hand!
Posted by Andrzej, motionVFX Team
March 17, 2015, at 9:45 AM

While Vimeo is a better platform for creatives and has a better overall performance, YouTube is clearly ahead when it comes to introducing innovations. 4K is already available for a good while, 60 fps videos are also there. Now it’s time for another trick in YouTube’s hat: the 360 degree videos.

If only you have access to a 360 degree camera (and there are already a good few available in the market), you can upload such a video to YouTube, and there are already a few 360 video uploaded. According to engadget.com, with the YouTube Android app you can see all the angles by moving your phone or tablet. It also works with Google Chrome – although the mouse control isn’t as handy (and realistic) as moving a mobile device. Reportedly, iOS support is on the way.

Here’s a playlist with a few 360 videos:

Of course all this is a foreplay for the VR googles; once these arrive in the viewers hands, the real strength (and popularity) of 360 video will be displayed.

Source: http://www.engadget.com

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