Los Angeles (CA) - Tom's Hardware Guide has established an ongoing relationship with Academy of Entertainment and Technology (AET) at the Santa Monica College in the Los Angeles area. Brant Looney and Tim Ryan of AET's tech support staff kept a diary of what they saw at Siggraph and products they would love to get their hands on for use in AET's programs.
AET trains students to work in various sectors of the entertainment industry in such areas as game design, graphic design, visual effects, animation, post production and web design. All of these applications require high powered workstations outfitted with the latest 2D and 3D software and graphical input and output technologies. High speed networks support rendering farms of workstations that speed the creation of the kinds of complex graphics that AET students must produce for their courses.
Alias' booth was buzzing, with around the clock demos of their new MAYA 7 and MotionBuilder 7. Maya 7 has new fullbodyIK, unwrapUVs and tons of new tools. MotionBuilder7 has new rig extensions, constraints and can transfer between other 3D applications with ease.
My only two gripes about Massive 2.0 is that it is only available for Red Hat 7.3, 9.0, Fedora Core 2, and it is expensive at $18,000 plus $4000 per year for updates and support. When questioned about when a Windows version would be available, I was told "It's in the pipeline."
In Previous years, Siggraph, appeared to be more of a delight to the senses, with the sexier elements like Motion Capture, 3D scanning, and rapid pro-typing that was demonstrated prominently in the front spaces. This year a lot of this prime real estate was taken up by colleges and studios displaying nothing more than brochures and small monitors showing current work. Bring back the glitz!
The motion controller SpacePilot by 3D Connexion also caught my eye. This one took a little more getting used to. But soon I was enjoying the feel of the controls, and seeing the potential benefits of this tool.