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Animation

Level-5's Ni no Kuni: The Wrath of the White Witch successfully recreates the hand-drawn l...

In a rare and brilliant move, Akihiro Hino (president of Japanese game developer Level-5) somehow convinced Studio Ghibli – Japan's most respected animation studio – to collaborate on a new video game. Even if Studio Ghibli's Oscar-winning director Hayao Miyazaki has been a vocal critic of the medium (nixing the possibility of his films being adapted to game consoles), and was not directly involved with Level-5's Ni no Kuni, it seems some of his magic still managed to rub off on it.  Read More

The quick body movements of sparring martial artists are tracked by The Captury's software...

Actors may soon say good-bye to those humbling Lycra body suits commonly used in the visual effects industry, thanks to a group of researchers from the Max Planck Institute for Informatics (MPII). They've formed a start-up called The Captury that is set to deliver its proprietary markerless motion capture software later this year. Their software can even capture a costume's surface detail in three dimensions, like the draping folds in a ballroom dress.  Read More

Realistically-rendered hair promised by AMD's TressFX technology will change the look of v...

The problems associated with rendering realistic hair has held video games back for years. When Nintendo first created the sprite for Mario in the original Donkey Kong, it gave him a hat because it was too difficult to animate his hair. When video games made the leap into the world of real-time 3D graphics, things didn't get much better. Today AMD is officially unveiling its solution, TressFX Hair, that will significantly improve the look of virtual hair beginning with the new Tomb Raider.  Read More

The Lynx A 3D modeling camera in Scene Modeling mode

It may look like a rather beefy tablet, but the Lynx A is actually a device that could make life easier for graphic artists, animators, architects, 3D printing enthusiasts, and potentially quite a few other people. Putting it simply, it’s a point-and-shoot camera that creates digital 3D models of whatever it’s pointed at.  Read More

Pas a Pas also happens to be a gorgeous piece of product design

Ishac Bertran's Pas a Pas is not only a device for teaching children the fundamentals of stop-motion animation (and a little geometry for good measure); it also happens to be a gorgeous piece of product design (which, Gizmag guesses, is with good reason). All in, it's a welcome reminder that sometimes all that compelling new technology requires is a little original thought.  Read More

The image of a prototype of the FlipBooKit, which designer and 'maker of things' Wendy Mar...

Fans of traditional flipbooks now have the opportunity to indulge their passion for miniature motion pictures with a new device being developed in Los Angeles, in the U.S. FlipBooKit, currently on the top fund raisers on KickStarter’s art projects, is a contemporary version of XIX century devices designed to create the illusion of movement. It is the brainchild of multi-media talent team Mark Rosen and Wendy Marvel.  Read More

A computer model (left) and a physical model of it, created using the new software

Take a look at all the Portal toys that are currently available, and you’ll realize just how much gamers like to own physical models of the digital characters that they know so well. When it comes to characters that are really physically “weird,” though, there can be a problem – goofy anatomy that works in a computer-generated world may not work in the real world. In other words, a physical model of a monster from a video game may be too top-heavy to stand up on its own, its arms may positioned in such a way that they can’t bend properly, or it may otherwise just be plain ol’ gimped. However, new software has been designed to solve those problems – it takes any three-dimensional computer character, and then uses a 3D printer to create a fully-assembled articulated figure based on it.  Read More

Valve is planning to release the Source Filmmaker to let gamers animate and record their o...

Valve has gained a reputation over the years not just for consistently putting out great games, but also for the slick trailers and promo videos that go along with them. But now the developer is turning the tables and handing over its own video-making tools to fans free of charge. With the Source Filmmaker, gamers will be able to direct, animate, and record their own videos as if they were shooting on location inside a video game.  Read More

Square Enix, developer of the Final Fantasy series, premiered an impressive tech demo at E...

Every E3 brings a fresh crop of video game trailers, each with more impressive visuals than the last. A new tech demo from Square Enix however may have blown them all out of the water in terms of graphics, and even give the KARA demo from a few months back some competition. The demo, titled Agni's Philosophy, was created with a new engine from Luminous Studios that depicts real-time graphics on par with pre-rendered CGI and will likely be used in a future installment of the acclaimed Final Fantasy series.  Read More

CG characters can be easily posed with Qumarion (Photo: DigInfo)

Comic book artists and animators often use posable mannequins or motion capture to help get tricky action postures just right, but transferring the figures to paper or computer screens still involves drawing or learning complicated animation and mo-cap software, not to mention all the cameras, hardware and people in funny suits running around. Last year, we reported on the efforts of a Japanese consortium to create what is essentially an action figure equipped with sensors at several joints that would allow real-time pose generation of on-screen CG characters. Still in development then, it's now called Qumarion and when it hits the market in a few months, it'll no doubt prove to be a major time saver for artists and animators alike.  Read More

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