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Thursday - August 9, 2001
- President of Pixar to be Honored
- Disney Expands Use of Houdini
- Betty Boop's New Vegas Gig
- News Link of the Day - Cartoon Network Slashes Up Another Winner with `Samurai Jack'

To Infinity and Beyond!President of Pixar to be Honored
(by On August 12, Dr. Edwin Catmull, president of Pixar Animation Studios, will be honored by the New York Institute of Technology for the innovative work accomplished by Pixar.

"The New York Institute of Technology recognizes leaders who broaden the potential of art and technology through innovation, curiosity and learning," said Dr. Edward Guiliano, president and CEO of New York Institute of Technology. "Dr. Catmull's numerous contributions in these areas, which span more than a decade, have been widely recognized by his colleagues. We hope that this medal communicates how honored we are that he is part of the proud history of computer graphics at our institution."

The medal will be presented to Catmull at a champagne reception held at the Wilshire Grand Hotel on August 12 in coordination with the SIGGRAPH 2001 trade show in Los Angeles.

"I am honored that New York Institute of Technology has decided to recognize my work in an environment that boasts so many gifted minds," said Catmull. "NYIT created much of the foundation work for the field of computer animation, and I thank them for bestowing me with this special award."

Dr. Catmull is also a co-founder of Pixar.

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Disney Expands Use of Houdini
(by Walt Disney Feature Animation has extended and expanded its working relationship with animation software maker Side Effects. Under the agreement, Walt Disney Feature Animation will make a significant purchase of software licenses while further integrating Houdini (3D animation software) into its production pipeline.

Houdini has been used in several projects at Disney, including Fantasia 2000, Tarzan, and visual effects in Gone in 60 Seconds. Houdini will be fully integrated into the Disney production pipeline to assist artists and animators in the production of visual effects for Disney and Disney's Secret Lab.

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Betty Boop's New Vegas Gig
(by New Betty Boop casino games are almost ready for Vegas, complete with several animated scenes produced by DMA Animation.

A core group of six DMA animators under the direction of Tony Caio and Bryan Cox completed the Betty Boop project for King Features in less than six months. Two Animo
Systems were used to create new character animation for Betty and the game’s ancillary characters. Backgrounds were designed in Adobe Painter 6.0 and imported into AfterEffects 4.1.

The new Betty Boop game starts off with images of Betty in her dressing room, asking players to help her pick her next movie role. She points to three posters on the wall that illustrate her choices Circus Extravaganza, Daredevil Betty or Game Show Sweetheart.

After the player makes a selection, Betty is transported to the movie set. In the daredevil sequence, for example, Betty is loaded into a cannon as her pal Bimbo begins his duties as master of ceremonies. Betty nervously reminds Koko the Clown not to use too much gunpowder. Koko lights the fuse and the crowd watches as Betty sails through the sky, flying over her intended target.

“We worked very closely with King Features to make sure Betty looked beautiful,” says Caio. “King Features Syndicate has very high standards for its licensed properties. Animo allowed us to portray Betty in her traditional look and style, which is very important on a project of this scope.”

DMA is using Cambridge Animation Systems’ Animo software to create the high-end graphics and animation.

The new casino slot games will be unveiled in Vegas later this year. Click here to see a clip from the game.

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News Link of the Day - Cartoon Network Slashes Up Another Winner with `Samurai Jack'

According to the Kansas City Star:

"I'm not what you'd call a cartoon devotee. Oh, I get giggly over Scooby Doo, have a crush on Bugs Bunny and want to be one of the Powerpuff Girls. There are several preschool shows that put animation to admirable use, and there's no show to touch SpongeBob SquarePants.

But much serious cartoon work leaves me as cold as all those anime heroines with their absent eyes. Frankly, I just don't get it..."

Click here for the full story.

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