This Week in Animation: August 18

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Who will win the render war? Arnold, Octane, and others fight for supremacy

In the early days of Cinema 4D, your render selection was pretty much limited to the software’s own in-built capabilities. But over the past few years, choices like Arnold, Octane, Redshift, Cycles, Corona, and Maxwell have all vied for rendering attention.

In a recent piece on Motiongrapher, Sekani Solomon discusses the options currently available with Greyscalegorilla’s render guru Chad Ashley. They talk about each renderer’s speed of convergence, image quality, production features, strengths, and weaknesses.

“While ultimately beneficial to the end user, choosing the right render tool can be a bit confusing for a newer artist and studios in general,” says Solomon.

 

VFX world gears up for 2017 animago Award & Conference

In a few weeks’ time, the world of VFX will descend on Munich, Germany for the 2017 edition of animago Award & Conference. This two-day event is expected to attract 1,000 participants, with 33 international projects competing in 11 categories.

The final nominees were whittled down from almost 1,000 submissions and came from countries including China, Taiwan, Ecuador, Costa Rica, and Spain.

This year’s conference will hear from artists responsible for the post-production and visual effects on films such as Independence Day: Resurgence, The Incredibles, and Finding Nemo, as well as advertising productions by Adidas, VW, and Red Bull.

 

Adobe and Czech Technical University unveil ‘stylised facial animation’

At Siggraph 2017, Adobe and Czech Technical University released an AI-powered algorithm that can animate faces into different styles of art and illustration. For example, it can take a picture of an oil painting or bronze statue and transfer the style to a video of someone talking.

As the team at Czech Technical University explain: “We introduce a novel approach to example-based stylisation of portrait videos that preserves both the subject’s identity and the visual richness of the input style exemplar.”

Known as ‘FaceStyle’, a cut-down demo of the technology is available here.

 

Kosovo’s Anibar Animation Festival champions community and culture

It might not seem like the most obvious place in the world for an animation festival, but the week-long Anibar Animation Festival in Kosovo is providing this landlocked Balkan country with community empowerment and cultural substance.

Started by a group of teenagers in the mid-2000s, the festival is celebrating its eighth edition with the theme “Reclaiming the City” in order to encourage local involvement.

“We are mapping all of the empty public buildings around the city that can be used as art centres,” says festival co-founder Vullnet Sanaja. “We believe that when the communities become engaged, we can be able to start using the abandoned spaces and buildings for the benefit of the many.”

 

Jumbla exploits 2D strengths with latest showreel

Not long after Jumbla unveiled its 2017 showreel, the creative team set to work on another highlights package, only this time for 2D animation projects.

Featuring a wide variety of different styles, from hand-drawn illustrations to abstract art, Jumbla’s 2D animation showreel demonstrates the creative and versatile strengths of this technique.

“2D animation can generally be applied to any video,” reveals Kane on Jumbla’s 2D animation showreel blog. “The simplicity of 2D animation means that it works really well with story-driven projects and character animation.”

 

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