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3D Recap April 2012

The Month's Top CG Artwork and Industry News

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Look at that! Another month gone by, which means it's time for our monthly recap.

April brought us some great visuals and a few important pieces of news, but have no fear—tomorrow is May 1st, which means the end of box-office doldrums and the beginning of summer blockbuster season!

Marvel's The Avengers is already pulling in some fantastic reviews, and the rest of the summer slate is looking terrific! So farewell April, and hello summer!

Here are some of the biggest news stories and best artwork from the past month:

1. News

  1. Google is Selling SketchUp - The search giant has decided to sell off their free modeling platform, SketchUp, to Trimble Navigation Ltd. Full PR here.

  2. FumeFX is coming to Maya! - Maya users can finally rejoice in the knowledge that the ever impressive simulation engine, FumeFX, is finally going cross-platform. Read the release announcement from developer Sitni Sati.

  3. EA Voted Worst Company In America - I know it's just a meaningless web-poll, but it really says something about the level of customer satisfaction in the game industry when a developer is more reviled than perennial do-wronger, Bank of America (BoA was second in the Consumerist poll).

  4. No Yeti Fur for US Artists - Between Samsung, Apple, Oracle, and Google, 2012 will go down in history as the year of the patent troll. Unfortunately, the patent wars have trickled down into the CG arena, as Peregrine Labs, the developer of the excellent Yeti Fur plugin has been forced to settle in a suit with rival developer Joe Alter. Peregrine offers relatively little additional information in their press release, but feel free to check it out here.

  5. Blender 2.63 Final Release - The Blender development team has made it quite clear that they're not messing around, and this release is no different. The most notable new feature-set is BMesh, which allows for stable n-gon modeling. Color me interested.

2. Visuals

  1. Digital Domain Resurrects Tupac - You either loved it or you hated it, but you can't say Digital Domain didn't do a great job on the visuals. Dr. Dre comissioned the Benjamin Button studio to create a computer generated hologram performance by the late Tupac Shakur for this year's Coachella music festival.

  2. Reset Trailer - Check out this fantastic trailer for Reset, an upcoming (independently produced) game from Theory Interactive. Everything you see is directly from the game engine, which is pretty darn impressive considering the production team consisted of a mere two artists.

  3. Beautiful Facial Rigging Demo Reel - I know relatively little about rigging compared to most of the other CG disciplines, so the techniques being demoed in this video look like pure magic to my eyes. The reel belongs to Ozgur Aydogdu, and received an overwhelmingly positive reaction from around the CG community.

  4. The Flying Circus - Simon Blanc - Simon's recieved a (much deserved) CGChoice award for his latest toon image. The beautiful illustration was adapted from a concept by Olivier Derouetteau and was created in 3ds Max, Zbrush, Vray and Photoshop.

  5. Rue de Seine - Viktor Fretyan - This really needs to be seen to be believed. Some of the most detailed modeling I've seen in ages, plus a wonderful dose of surrealism adds up to one incredible image.

  6. Mass Effect 3 Interview - OK, I know a lot of folks were underwhelmed with the conclusion to Bioware's epic RPG series, but the art was as impressive as ever. Pixologic sat down with ME3 character team for an extensive interview and show & tell.
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