Over the past few weeks, the animation and VFX industries have banded together to face the challenges we are all confronting in these difficult times. As businesses close and those who are employed transition to working from home, while schools cancel classes and whole families endure lockdown protocols around the world, companies and organizations from across many sectors of our industry are offering solutions and gestures of solidarity to consumers and professionals alike.
In this post, we’ve collected the “good news” announcements Animag has had the privilege to share with you over these uncertain days, and some of the latest updates we’ve just received. We hope that you can join us in appreciation of how our favorite business is taking care of business, and find the perfect way to crush both your project goals and your boredom.
Of course, you can always catch up with Animation Magazine issues you may have missed or re-read about your favorite titles, creators and events by taking advantage of our stuck-at-home special offer for a free digital subscription — with access to prior issues — and special print rates, available on our Subscribe page (click here to subscribe outside the U.S./Canada) using the promo code MHOME20, or by visiting the free online Archives of select print-first stories.
KIDS’ CONTENT & FAMILY RESOURCES
(March 20) YouTube has launched a Learn@Home educational hub, packed with recommended educational channels, playlists and supplementary content for parents and kids stuck at home. Featured sections include Daily Activity Schedules to help plan your day, provided by Khan Academy; Family Learning Resources covering a variety of curricula; and quick guide to approved “EduTuber” content for kids 12 and under blending both lesson content and ideas for indoor activities.
Where to Find LAIKA’s Oscar-Nominated Flicks (U.S./Canada/U.K.)
EARLY DIGITAL RELEASES
WFH TECH AND RESOURCES
(March 24) NVIDIA is expanding its free virtual GPU software evaluation from 128 to 500 licenses for 90 days to help companies support their remote workers with their existing GPU infrastructure. NVIDIA vGPU software licenses – including Quadro Virtual Workstations used by content creators – enable GPU-accelerated virtualization so that knowledge workers, designers, engineers, researchers, data scientists and students can continue their work.
STUDIOS & ORGS TAKE ACTION
(March 24) Scanline VFX announced that as of Monday, all 650 of crew across its Los Angeles, Vancouver, Montreal, London, Munich, Stuttgart and Seoul studios are working successfully from home, transforming Scanline into a completely remote visual effects studio for the time being — making the studio independent of local government restrictions and lockdowns while providing a safe and healthy working environment for all crew. Shows in the pipeline will continue as normal, and Scanline is open for new projects and can expand home setup capacity as needed.
The rapid transition to home setups was made possible due to Scanline’s extensive decade-long experience with Teradici’s PCoIP technology, which forms the infrastructure backbone of all its studios. This technology transfers moving screen pixel data from the employee’s workstation in Scanline’s data center directly to their monitors at home, representing one of the highest security standards in the industry. Employees working from home experience the same performance and playback as they would in a physical studio setting.
Part of Scanline’s business strategy is to enable a global decentralized VFX production workflow, in part due to the ability it gives to hire the best talent from around the world. Scanline’s proprietary “Eyeline Next” video conferencing technology nurtures this vision by providing collaborative meetings, training sessions and secure reviews integrated with Shotgun, uniting its teams worldwide.
(March 20) Patreon is responding to creators in crisis by launching the What the Fund. The grant program will benefit select artists who are being impacted during the COVID-19 pandemic, with recipients chosen by a board of fellow creators. Patreon is kicking off the grant by donating $10K, and is accepting contributions from anyone who can help. The patronage platform kicked up fundraising with a Weird Stream-A-Thon last week, raising more than $30K — mostly from direct community donors (you can watch a replay here. Applications are open until April 14 at 11:59 p.m. PDT; apply or contribute to the fund here.
(March 24) interfilm festival is presenting an online celebration of cinema, CoronaKino. On offer are four entertaining programs for these challenging weeks of cultural deprivation, two for (so-called) adults, one for teenagers aged 12 and over, and one for children aged 6 and over. Renting or buying one (or more) of these cool short film collections will not only help interfilm navigate these difficult times, but will also lighten your burden of boredom.
The programs are Neighborhood Madness, exploring the lunacy of the supposedly everyday; Home Sweet Home, full of humor, bizarre characters and a bit of tragedy; TeenScreen Meets CoronaKino, diving into the unpredictable realm of short film from freaky animation to phat beats; and kids fest KUKI at Home, a fun and fascinating collection of short stories and diverse filmmaking styles.
(March 24) In light of the cancellation of the 2020 NAB Show next month, Maxon will be hosting a virtual NAB presence on C4DLive.com, featuring an incredible line-up of presenters. Monday, April 20 through Thursday, April 23, the artists originally slated to appear in Las Vegas will share production tips, techniques and inspiration featuring Maxon’s Cinema 4D, Red Giant and Redshift product lines. CEO Dave McGavran will kick off the virtual show April 20 at 8:30 a.m. PST with the latest news about Maxon’s merger with Red Giant, product releases and new developments.
Presenter Highlights: Penelope Nederlander, recently named one of the 10 Women of Title Design, will breakdown her latest end credit animation for Birds of Prey. Esteemed filmmaker Seth Worley will walk through some of the visual effects shots from his latest short film, Darker Colors. Doug Appleton will share the creative processes behind creating the technology for Spider-Man: Far From Home. Jonathan Winbush will demonstrate how easy it is to import C4D scenes into Unreal Engine for rendering or VR/AR output. Veronica Falconieri Hays will share how she builds cellular landscapes and molecular structures in order to convey complex scientific stories. The amazing line-up of artists also includes acclaimed 3D industry influencers Mike “Beeple” Winkelmann, Stu Machwitz, EJ Hassenfratz, Chris Schmidt, Angie Feret, Kelcey Steele, Daniel “Hashi” Hashimoto, Dan Pierse, Andy Needham and many more.