Monday, August 31, 2009

Olympus E-510Image via Wikipedia

Olympus makes E-600 entry DSLR official AUG 31 2009 EDIT THIS Olympus took the wraps from a new entry-level digital SLR that should help it fight rivals like the Nikon D3000. The E-600 is very similar to the 12-megapixel E-620 but makes key choices to drop the price: it removes the backlighting from the buttons and scales back a handful of software features, including the aspect mask control, a double-shot exposure mode. Half the art filters have also been removed and limit the E-600 to three of the live visual effects.

Outside of these changes, the Four Thirds camera is virtually identical to the more expensive model and has a swiveling 2.7-inch LCD, 7-point autofocusing, ISO sensitivity between 100 and 3,200 and continuous shooting of 4 frames per second. Image stabilization is built into the body, and photographers can load either CompactFlash or xD cards for storage.

The E-600 should cost just $600 in a kit with a 14-42mm f3.5-5.6 lens, or about $100 less than an E-620 with the same optics. Shipments don’t start until November.

link: Electronista | Olympus makes E-600 entry DSLR official

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Saturday, August 15, 2009

Animation World Network - The site for anyone the least bit interested in animation

The Animation World Network is the largest animation-related publishing group on the Internet, providing readers from over 151 countries with a wide range of interesting, relevant and helpful information pertaining to all aspects of animation. Covering areas as diverse as animator profiles, independent film distribution, commercial studio activities, licensing, CGI and other animation technologies, as well as in-depth coverage of current events in all fields of animation, AWN gives its readers an easy to navigate, visually and intellectually creative mechanism to electronically access a wealth of information previously unavailable anywhere in the world.

If you are the least interested in animation, either as a producer or simply a consumer, this site is a must. Here is a long list of the content you can find on the site:

Just some of the exciting and informative content you'll find on AWN:

AWNtv — AWN's innovative media portal brings animated shorts, commercials, trailers and clips right to your computer. AWNtv is filled with hundreds of easily searchable animated and visual effects short films, trailers and clips, broken into an array of categories and playlists. With new content being programmed every week, AWNtv will certainly fulfill your need for animation. Ranging from top independent shorts to classic webisodes and behind-the-scenes videos, AWNtv's extensive categorization will guide you right to high-quality video to suit any mood. Branded channels showcase productions from Icebox and fxguide, along with the short films and commercials featured in Stash DVD Magazine. Moreover, weekly playlists bring content together in fun ways, highlighting the best videos AWNtv has to offer.

Animation World Magazine — the first and only electronic publication dedicated to the art, craft and industry of the international animation community. On average, AWN publishes 3-5 new articles a week giving an in-depth look into the vast arenas of the animation community. In addition, each month's worth of articles are compiled into an Acrobat edition and is made available on the site for download.

VFXWorld — a portal site that provides a wealth of information resources dedicated to the diverse fields of visual effects, 3D animation and computer graphics. VFXWorld provides targeted, in-depth perspective and insight into these dynamic industries through an entertaining and informative assembly of viewpoints, tutorials, news and imagery.

Animation Industry Database ( — the ultimate resource for the professional animation community. Use the database and free downloadable directories to find animation, visual effects and related companies located throughout the world. Choose from more than 8,000 companies in more than 80 categories ranging from animation production to distribution, from advertising agencies to trade commissions. The AIDB functions as a buyer's guide, a way to find clients, get work and obtain the products and services you need.

Animation Blogspot — AWN's active blog community offers professionals and fans of animation and visual effects to create their own personalized web presence. Animation Blogspot provides users with the tools to broadcast their take on the industry or share their artistic vision with the world. Specifically geared toward the world of animation and visual effects, this easy-to-use blog community ranges from professional blogs to personal student profiles. Featured Blogs give readers a unique professional point of view, providing movie reviews, in-depth event coverage, tutorials and editorial commentary. Animation Blogspot is a perfect location to find provocative discussion, as well as artwork from emerging and established artists.

AWN Forums — AWN's forums allow animation and visual effects professionals an opportunity to connect with other artists on a variety of topics whether they need help with a current project or want feedback on their latest work. This vibrant community brings pros and novices from around the globe together to network, share, teach and learn, allowing users a chance to exchange information about animation techniques, the industry, trends or just about anything else that is on their minds.

The AWN Showcase — a collection of galleries showing off the imagery of AWN's main publications, Animation World Magazine and VFXWorld, renowned animators and selected showcase gallery members from around the world. Visitors will be able to browse images from films to paintings both traditional and digital. Featured artists include Bill Plympton, Peter Chung, Raoul Servais, Frédéric Back, Michaël Dudok de Wit, Georges Schwizgebel and Priit Pärn. AWN Showcase Member Galleries are dedicated to exhibiting and celebrating the artistry of independent animators from around the globe.

AWN Headline News — the premier daily animation news site provides top stories from around the world. Find out the latest in the world of animation features, video, television, business, commercials, awards, events, calls for entries, and much more.

Animation Flash, AWN Spotlight, VFXNewswire and Spotlight on AWNtv Newsletters — AWN's subscription-based weekly e-mail newsletters keep people up-to-date on the latest animation industry news from around the world. The Animation Flash is the news and nothing, but the news. The AWN Spotlight and the VFXNewswire deliver news headlines, event and job listings, plus site and affiliate news to some 40,000 professionals and enthusiasts. Spotlight on AWNtv shines a light on the latest and greatest video content arriving on AWN's animation video portal.

Career Connections — AWN's recruiting section offers free postings and access to animation professional's résumés as well as recruitment advertisements.

AWN School Database — AWN's Animation School Database provides readers a fast, easy-to-use system for researching and finding information on more than 900 animation education programs in 42 different countries. You can search Schools by name, location, program types, degrees offered, and even do a keyword search through the entire database!

Calendar of Events — this database contains listings for animation and visual effects related events from around the globe.

Student Corner — a special section providing fast and easy access to AWN's entire array of education-related resources.

AWN Book Corner — a section dedicated to books that have everything and anything to do with the animation and visual effects community.

Theatrical Release Database — this database has all the up-to-date information on upcoming theatrical releases both animated and visual effects.

The AWN Store — available online for sale, an exclusive selection of videos, books, magazines, original animation art, limited editions and other merchandise.

fxguide — This AWN affiliate website provides vfx and CG industry news, features, podcasts, application tips and tricks and online forums. It is a leading information source for high-end visual effects professionals. fxguide prides itself on its consistent delivery of original content, providing insight behind developments in the industry. fxguide produces the weekly fxguidetv podcast in HD, featuring the hottest news, tips and interviews from around the vfx community.

XSI Base — This AWN affiliate website is the premier web destination for SOFTIMAGE|XSI users. Featuring in-depth articles, tutorials and discussion forums, XSI Base provides information to the user from professionals working in the field of CG animation and visual effects. Moreover, the site's job board helps XSI users put their skills to work in the ever-expanding industry.

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Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Stanford University provide free iPhone development course CS 193P on iTunes U!

Stanford Universitye

iTunes U

Stanford University re offering a free iPhon development study course via iTunes U. It will cover the following topics:

•Application design patterns
•View controllers
•Displaying data Table views
•Dealing with local & remote data
•Text input
•Address Book and other system integration

You can read more about and download the actual materials from their site at:
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Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Realmac Software's LittleSnapper 1.5 updated


LittleSnapper has been updated to version 1.5 and is available now. LittleSnapper is a screen-capture application with plenty of built-in features including:
  • Snap areas - to quickly and accurately select any part of your screen
  • Multi-window snapping - lets you capture a window and its title as part of your library
  • Tagging - makes tagging your snaps real easy
  • Easy cropping - now much quicker
  • Built-in Ember support - Realmac's online sharing service
  • Library - to organise your snaps
  • Metadata - add metadata and annotations to your snaps
  • Quick Look - preview your snaps at lightening speed
  • Full web-page capture - the whole page, not just what is visible on screen
  • Element snapping - using built-in DOM feature so no more cross-hairs
  • Collections - keep your library organised
  • Non-destructive tools - edit using vector based tools
  • Highlight ad blur - draw attention to specific areas of your snaps
  • Text and Callouts - full annotations built-in including numbered callouts
  • Flickr and FTP support - upload to Flickr or your own server using built-in publishing
Made for the Mac (Leopard only). FREE DOWNLOAD from here:
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Monday, August 03, 2009

Blender 2.49 proves itself as one of the best 3D applications (and its free!)

Blender is the free open source 3D content creation suite, available for all major operating systems under the GNU General Public License.

  • Revolutionary non-overlapping and non-blocking UI delivers unsurpassed workflow
  • Flexible and fully configurable window layout with as many screen setups as you prefer
  • Undo support on all levels
  • Anti-aliased fonts with international translation support
  • Any window space can be easily switched to any window type (curve editor, NLA, 3D view etc)
  • Built-in text editor for annotations and editing Python scripts
  • Graphical user interface for Python scripts
  • Custom themes
  • Consistent interface across all platforms


  • Fast skeleton creation mode
  • Interactive 3D paint for vertex weighting
  • Fast envelope based skinning
  • Automatic Skinning that really works (heat equilibrium based)
  • Mirror editing (bone creation and weight painting)
  • Double Quaternions reduce shrinking and other bone deformation errors
  • Volume deformer uses a mesh cage to deform complex meshes with great results
  • Bone layers and colored groups for better rig organization
  • B-spline interpolated bones; forget about elbow twists
  • Constraint stack for IK solver setup and other constraints
  • PyConstraints; if you need something not yet implemented code it in python with real time feed back, no compiling needed


  • Armature (skeleton) deformation with forward/inverse kinematics with pole target support
  • Auto IK allows posing FK chains easily
  • Non-linear animation editor for mixing individual actions created in Action editor
  • Automated walkcycles along paths
  • Animated constraint system
  • Vertex key framing for morphing, with controlling sliders
  • Edit and create new blendshapes from existing targets
  • Character animation pose editor
  • 'Ipo' system integrates both motion curve and traditional key-frame editing
  • Audio playback, mixing and editing support for sound synchronisation
  • Timeline offers fast acces to many playback functions, autokey, help markers
  • Python scripting access for custom and procedural animation effects

UV Unwrapping

  • Conformal and Angle Based unwrapping methods
  • Interactive transform of UV maps by vertex pinning
  • Proportional falloff editing of UV maps for smooth transformations
  • Seam based unwrapping
  • Cube, Cylinder, Sphere, View projections
  • Catmull-Clark subdivition of UVs for less distortion
  • Minimize stretch tool allows to reduce area distortion
  • Multiple UV layers

Demo Movie

Physics and Particles

  • Particle system can be atached to any mesh object. Control methods include weight painting, textures, curve guides, wind and vortex effects. Particles can be deflected by moving geometry
  • Hair strands can be created by a static particle system, supporting all particle control methods
  • Fluid simulator with fully animated inflow, outflow, obstacle and fluid objects. Gravity and viscosity settings can also be animated. Supports vector blur and is integrated with the particle system
  • Realtime soft body solver integrated in mesh, lattice, curve and text objects. Supports collision detection and particle field effects like Wind or Vortex, soft bodys can also be baked for faster playback/rendering
  • Game engine rigid body physics can be easily baked into animation curves

Realtime 3D/Game Creation

  • Graphical logic editor for defining interactive behavior without programming
  • Collision detection and dynamics simulation now support Bullet Physics Library. Bullet is an open source collision detection and rigid body dynamics library developed for Play Station 3
  • Shape types: Convex polyhedron, box, sphere, cone, cylinder, capsule, compound, and static triangle mesh with auto deactivation mode
  • Discrete collision detection for RigidBody simulation
  • Support for in-game activation of dynamic constraints
  • Full support for vehicle dynamics, including spring reactions, stiffness, damping, tyre friction etc
  • Python scripting API for sophisticated control and AI, fully defined advanced game logic
  • Support all OpenGLTM lighting modes, including transparencies, Animated and reflection-mapped textures
  • Support for multimaterials, multitexture and texture blending modes, per-pixel lighting, dynamic lighting, mapping modes, GLSL vertexPaint texture blending, toon shading, animated materials, support for Normal Maping and Parallax Mapping
  • Playback of games and interactive 3D content without compiling or preprocessing
  • Audio, using the SDL toolkit
  • Multi-layering of Scenes for overlay interfaces


  • A range of 3D object types including polygon meshes, NURBS surfaces, bezier and B-spline curves, metaballs, vector fonts (TrueType, PostScript, OpenType)
  • Very fast Catmull-Clark subdivision surfaces with optimal iso-lines display and sharpness editing
  • Full multiresolution sculpting capabilities with 2D bitmap/3D procedural brushes (Paint, Smooth, Pinch, Inflate, Grab) supporting symmetry
  • Modifier stack deformers such as Lattice, Curve, Armature or Displace
  • Mirror modifier with middle vertices clipping and automatic deletion of inner faces
  • Non destructive real time Boolean and Array modifiers
  • Mesh modeling based on vertex, edge and/or face selection
  • Smooth soft selection editing tools for organic modeling
  • Python scripting access for custom tools


  • Very fast inbuilt raytracer
  • Oversampling, motion blur, post-production effects, fields, non-square pixels
  • Tile-based and fully threaded
  • Render layers and passes
  • Render baking to UV maps and object to object baking (full render, ambient occlusion, normals, textures)
  • Render engine tightly integrated with the node compositor
  • Halo, lens flares and fog effects
  • Vector motion-blur post-process effect (using node compositor)
  • Realistic defocus (DOF) post-process effect (using node compositor)
  • Edge rendering for toon shading
  • Interactive preview rendering panel in any 3d view
  • Ambient Occlusion
  • Radiosity solver
  • Export scripts available for external renderers such as Renderman, Povray, Virtualight, Lux, Indigo and V-Ray - See Resources for a full list.


  • Diffuse shaders such as Lambert, Minnaert, Toon, Oren-Nayar, Lambert
  • Specular shaders such as WardIso, Toon, Blinn, Phong, CookTorr
  • Node editor for creating and mixing complex materials
  • PyNodes: write your own Python shaders with realtime feedback, no need to compile
  • Material previews rendered by main render engine
  • Fast, realistic subsurface scattering
  • Blurry reflections and refractions
  • Tangent shading to give any shader an anisotropic effect
  • Versatile procedural textures system
  • Reflection maps
  • Normal, displacement and bump maps

Imaging and Compositing

  • Compositor tightly integrated and aligned with the rendering pipeline
  • MultiLayer OpenEXR files allow to store and reuse raw renderlayer and passes data
  • Complete list of composite node filters, convertors, color and vector operators and mixers including Chroma Key, Blur, RGB Curves, Z Combine, Color Ramp, Gamma Correct
  • Preview panel to define the portion of interest. A composite then only happens on this part
  • Threaded and memory efficient (up to 8 processors)
  • Near realtime sequencer can edit hours of video
  • Waveform and U/V scatter plots
  • Open and write many audio & video file formats using ffmpeg
  • Can render using frameserver-support directly into foreign applications
  • Supports float images as well as regular 8 bits images
  • Curves tool allows you to create a mapping from the float range to a displayable result (for HDR images)


  • Save all scene data in a single .blend file, even images, sounds or fonts can be packed for easy transportation
  • Powerful built-in database system allowing instances, scene management, and dynamic linking multiple project files
  • .blend format supports compression, digital signatures, encryption, forwards/backwards compatibility and can be used as a library to link to from other .blend files
  • Read and write support for many other 2D and 3D formats
  • 2D
    TGA, JPG, PNG, OpenEXR, DPX, Cineon, Radiance HDR, Iris, SGI Movie, IFF, AVI and Quicktime GIF, TIFF, PSD, MOV (Windows and Mac OS X)
  • 3D
    3D Studio, AC3D, COLLADA, FBX Export, DXF, Wavefront OBJ, DEC Object File Format, DirectX, Lightwave, MD2, Motion Capture, Nendo, OpenFlight, PLY, Pro Engineer, Radiosity, Raw Triangle, Softimage, STL, TrueSpace, VideoScape, VRML, VRML97, X3D Extensible 3D, xfig export

Supported Platforms

  • Windows 2000, XP, Vista
  • Mac OS X (PPC and Intel)
  • Linux (i386)
  • Linux (PPC)
  • FreeBSD 5.4 (i386)
  • SGI Irix 6.5
  • Sun Solaris 2.8 (sparc)
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