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3D DIRECT • October 11, 2000

Puff the Magic Pixel

by Abby Albrecht

Raindrops on My Tires

Geomagic Studio software from Raindrop Geomagic has been selected as a featured technology in motorsports. Richard Childress Racing (RCR) announced that it will open an 8000-square-foot Okuma Technology Center at its Welcome, N.C., complex. The center will be fully operational by the beginning of the 2001 race season. RCR is the NASCAR and Busch racing team whose stable of racers includes seven-time Winston Cup champion Dale Earnhardt. Okuma is a world leader in computer numerical control (CNC) machine tool technology. Geomagic Studio digital duplication software will join Okuma machining equipment, Parametric Technology Corp.'s CAD/CAM software, and Hewlett-Packard computer and printing hardware as the key technology tools used in the center.

RCR uses Geomagic Studio in its cylinder head porting process, which is critical to gaining horsepower in a race car engine. Working with Parametric Technology Pro-NC package, Geomagic Studio has helped reduce the time it takes to complete a pair of cylinder heads from 80 hours to 12 hours. The software allows RCR engineers to take output from 3D scans, capture the texture and shape of the cylinder heads, and transform this information into models that can be used over and over again, saving days in production time.

Sculpture Makes a Hit

3D animation studio digital-Sculpture created the main title sequence and visual effects for the new film, Below the Belt, about a college wrestling team. The title sequence graphics are key elements from the opening scene. After failed attempts to produce mechanical visual effects during production, the film's production company chose digital-Sculpture to create digital effects due to the difficulty and amount of time involved in creating the effects through traditional realtime methods. Graphics and effects were created using Adobe After Effects and Maxon Cinema 4D XL. Below the Belt has been entered in the 2000 Sundance Film Festival.

NetImmerse Joins the Xbox

Numerical Design Ltd. NetImmerse 3D game engine has received an official license from Microsoft to provide game developers with NetImmerse for its Xbox. NetImmerse is a comprehensive set of software tools that includes optimization tools that combine high visual quality with an efficient use of computing resources, the C++ run-time API, and plug-ins that let developers import content from some 3D modeling packages.

Spying on Games

Postproduction digital lab Spy Post recently put the final touches on television spots for three new video games for Kid vs. Kron and Get Raymanized by Ubi Soft and Unlikely Olympian by Eidos. Working with agencies Swirl, Inc. and Duncan/Channon, Spy Post performed the conforming, compositing, and color-correction.

Management Moves

Apple announced that Mitch Mandich, senior vice president of worldwide sales, will be retiring from Apple at the end of December. The company has a search underway for Mandich's replacement. Tim Cook, Apple's senior vice president of operations, will assume Mandich's responsibilities until a replacement is named.

Legal and record industry veteran Daniel Lugo was appointed general counsel at SMA Realtime, Inc., a full-scale production/postproduction house with video, audio, and film capabilities. Lugo will advise and counsel SMA's senior executives on all legal and business matters, contract negotiations, and corporate practices; draft and review all legal agreements; and develop business strategies. In addition, Lugo will supervise SMA's internal employment practices and the company's compliance with regulatory issues, as well as develop and execute SMA's plans for business expansion. Lugo will also supervise the dissemination of all SMA corporate communications including publicity and marketing. In his position as the label's general counsel and general manager, he will be responsible for the coordination of all business and legal transactions between SMA and its artists, producers, distributors, promoters, and merchants.

Ron Geller has been appointed senior vice president for Sony Pictures Digital Entertainment (SPDE)-Europe, with responsibility for expanding SPDE's online and interactive entertainment assets for European markets. Based in London, Geller will concentrate initially on the U.K. audience while seeking to identify additional market opportunities for SPDE on the European continent. Geller will focus on developing and distributing interactive and enhanced television as well as SPDE's original online entertainment content and games. Geller also will be responsible for cultivating relationships with major European ISPs and Web sites, and will work with various Sony Pictures Entertainment divisions in California to deliver dynamic online promotional and marketing opportunities with European carriers.

Abby Albrecht is the Web editor for 3Dgate. She thinks will never see this season's Stargate SG-1 episodes because of the unending baseball season. (Why can't they be kind and strike again?) Beyond that, she's looking for more press releases. You can reach her at [email protected].