Meeting Summary May 1999

We've been settling into our new home at AFI ( We do need to pay for this room, but so far we've been fortunate to have vendors sponsor all or part of our fees; this time around, Pixels3D paid for half our costs - thanks!!!

As always we began our meeting with a Q&A, the main topic being what was new at NAB (Final Cut being on top of many lists). There was also some discussion of frame rates and motion blur angles. Chris and Trish also talked about their "VideoSyncrasies" problem solving tape (, one of which was donated for the end-of-meeting raffle along with several other tapes from Desktop Images.

The first presenter of the evening, and the sponsor for the first half, was Pixels. Their program, Pixels3D, has grown into a powerful stand-alone application from its roots as an add-on for Pixar's Showplace. Pixels' Michael Alverez gave us a detailed overview of Pixels3D modeling, rendering and animation. Complex IK, organic modeling, object instancing and powerful procedural texturing features were demonstrated. Pixels ( also offered MGLA members a very special deal of $299.00 for Pixels3D 3.0.

Next up was co-host Lucky Westfall with a demonstration of the aFraktal Absynth shader for ElectricImage from TripleD Tools ( Lucky covered the methods this shader uses to create and apply fractal-based textures to objects. One of the features that makes this shader particularly unique is that it can take into account the altitude and/or slope of the object to which it’s being applied. This, for example, would allow you to place "snow" on the top of mountains, or "grime" on only the flat areas of an object.

After the break, Trish showed a sampler tape of ArtBeat's new "Liquid Ambience" CD - a gorgeous collection of slow moving abstract water textures ( ArtBeats is extending their NAB discount to MGLA members for this CD; a separate email with all the special deals offered at the meeting has already been sent.

Next David Hutchins (The Picture Mill, Hollywood) gave a stellar presentation of the process he and others used to create a film-rez logo animation for Spyglass Entertainment, a new film production company. His tools included ElectricImage, Form_Z, After Effects, Commotion and Cinema4D. David described each step in the production process including storyboarding, early motion tests and pre-vis, matching 3D animation to motion control photography, motion tracking and stabilization, keying and matting, compositing, creating CG water in ElectricImage and producing a finished animation for different film formats.

After David we jumped into another set of excellent demo reels. Co-host Lucky Westfall of Quiet Earth Design ended his nearly two-year procrastination by finally showing his reel. Contact information for the reel presenters is at the end of this meeting summary.

The last presentation of the night was co-host Trish Meyer. Trish showed us Cycore’s Cult Effects Vol. 1 ( plug-ins for After Effects she previewed at the April meeting. They bring the all-important capability of painting directly into After Effects, plus feature a few other very useful effects, including some very useful edge treatments and a great Lightning plugin that finds alpha channel edges very attractive. (Cycore are the Swedish company that developed the Final Effects Complete plugins, now sold by ICE.)

Those who stayed until the end enjoyed a great raffle, with Cult Effects, copies of four different Desktop Images videotapes, Cult Effects, and even a copy of Amorphium from Electric Image/Play (thank you, Peter!) given away. Maxon and Artel contributed shirts and hats for our demo reel artists.

Next month we’re planning on having Commotion 2.0, the Primate keyer, Atomic Power Tsunami, and a few projects. We hope to see you there!

Lucky, Trish and Chris
your MGLA co-hosts


May demo reel presenters:

Lucky Westfall - Quiet Earth Design
Electric Image, After Effects, Form_Z
tel: 818-348-7502
fax: 818-346-8578

Glenn Takakjian - TAK Productions West
Cinema 4D, After Effects
(818) 951-8393
(213) 427-8278 Pager

DNA Corp (new company; check out their web site)
Tel: 310-823-0162
Fax: 310-823-0192

Fat Cat Post
Computer-Generated Imagery
Phone (818) 762-4950
Fax (818) 762-5707

Adam S. Hawkey
(310) 860 9470 hm
(310) 860 9471 fax
(310) 344 0201 cell