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News Bytes: ‘Wonder Park’s BO Track, ‘Legend of Vox Machina’ Smashes Crowdfund Goals, Arnold 5.3 Enters Public Beta & More

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News Bytes: ‘Wonder Park’s BO Track, ‘Legend of Vox Machina’ Smashes Crowdfund Goals, Arnold 5.3 Enters Public Beta & More

Tom Hatten Dies: Former ‘Popeye and Friends’ Host Was 92
News of the former actor, announcer and KTLA host was shared by the Los Angeles TV station on Saturday. Hatten joined the station as an announcer in 1952. He went on to host the children’s show Popeye and Friends from 1976 to 1988, and KTLA’s Family Film Festival from 1978 to 1992.

Sunny Days for Dingle Animation as Native Son John Rice Returns with Festival
After seeking his toon fortunes in Los Angeles, the Kerry-born artist discusses his career, inspirations, and homecoming with Animation Dingle — kicking off its seventh edition next weekend.

“We thought that there could be something you know, if you were to do it properly and focus on animation. We didn’t know what the colleges are doing and they didn’t know what the industry was doing. That’s kind of where it started. It started off with maybe 25 people. Now there’s 700 people. Student tickets go overnight, pretty much. A student described it on Twitter the other day as a ‘Glastonbury for animation … I think you have to be kind of niche these days when you’re in a festival. We borrow a bit from Sundance in that the harder it is to get to, the harder it is to leave. It’s small and perfectly formed and we just take over Dingle.” — John Rice.

Cape Town International Animation Festival and Comic Con to Partner in 2020
The two events will form a brand new fandom event, Comic Con Cape Town. The alliance was announced during the 8th CTIAF, which was held March 8-10 welcoming international luminaries including Oscar winners Aron Warner and Peter Ramsey (Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse).

“The year-on-year growth of the festival has happened thanks to the loyal support of our sponsors, partners and the industry. The news of the partnership With Comic Con is immensely exciting as we take the next step of growth into the future. The presence of Comic Con in Cape Town will have a huge impact on pop-culture enthusiasts in the City.” — Dianne Makings, festival director.

Introducing Arnold 5.3 with Arnold GPU in Public Beta
Autodesk has moved the highly anticipated release into the next phase, providing artists with a first taste of GPU rendering for a set number of features which will add speed and interactivity to everything from look development to lighting. New features include: Major improvements to quality and performance for adaptive sampling, helping to reduce render times without jeopardizing final image quality. Improved version of Randomwalk SSS mode for more realistic shading. Enhanced usability for Standard Surface, giving users more control Improvements to the Operator framework, including a new Include operator and more artist-friendly way to apply them. Better sampling of Skydome lights, reducing direct illumination noise. And updates to support for MaterialX, allowing users to save a shading network as a MaterialX look.

Critical Role’s ‘Vox Machina’ Animated Series Finds $7.5 Million in Kickstarter Loot
The Legend of Vox Machina, inspired by the popular table-top gaming entertainment brand Critical Role, scored 10 times its funding goal in less than two weeks (having met the goal within a mere 40 minutes of the campaign launch).

“It’s beyond our wildest expectations. We hoped we might be able to raise maybe enough to make a two-part introductory pilot. It very quickly became apparent that fans had other plans for us. We’re over the moon with the results but have to figure out how many episodes we can make now.” — Sam Riegel, voiceover director and Critical Role cast member.

Box Office: ‘Captain Marvel’ Conquers Again; ‘Wonder Park’ Opens at No. 2
Paramount Animation’s Wonder Park failed to top box office power puncher Captain Marvel, which brought in $69 million for a first place finish in its second weekend. However, the imaginary amusement park adventure came in ahead of industry expectations and scored second place ahead of all other new releases, picking up $16 million from 3,800+ locations — the family flick will need to stay strong to make good on its near $100 million production costs, however.

Tom Hatten

Tom Hatten

Maya

Maya

Wonder Park

Wonder Park

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