SA animation wins in Brazil
South African animated 3D movie Adventures in Zambezia won the “best feature for children” award at the 21st Anima Mundi international animation festival in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil last week.
The award is the latest in a string of successes for the debut feature from Cape Town-based Triggerfish Animation Studios, which followed up with its second feature film, Khumba, earlier this year.
Last year, Adventures in Zambezia became the first African 3D feature animation to be nominated - for best music and best voice artist - for the Hollywood-based Annie Awards, the most prestigious in the animated movie industry.
It was also named best South African feature film at the 2012 Durban International Film Festival, and best animation at the 2012 African Movie Academy Awards.
According to the National Film and Video Foundation, the film has been sold to over 40 territories, and within 12 weeks of its release in five of those territories had sold over 1-million tickets, notably reaching number 2 at the box office in Russia and Germany.
On Wednesday, the film will be widely released - at 477 screens - in France, having been snapped up by a French distributor, along with Khumba, at the 2013 Cannes International Film Festival in May.
Adventures in Zambezia tells the story of a young falcon that leaves his home and his father in the desert to make a life for himself in the big city of Zambezia - only to find that surviving the urban jungle can be more difficult than living in the wild.
Directed by Wayne Thornley, it features an all-star cast including Abigail Breslin, Jeff Goldblum, Leonard Nemoy, Richard E Grant and Samuel L Jackson. [x]
A landmark three-dimensional digital reconstruction of a complete human brain, called the BigBrain, shows the brain anatomy in microscopic detail at a spatial resolution of 20 micrometers—smaller than the size of one fine strand of hair.
The reconstruction, published in the 21 June issue of the journal Science, exceeds the resolution of all existing reference brains presently in the public domain, and will be made freely available to the broader scientific community.
Britain’s Queen Elizabeth goes 3D for Olympics tribute
Britain’s Queen Elizabeth will use her traditional Christmas Day message, filmed in 3D for the first time, to pay tribute to the world’s athletes for delivering a “splendid summer of sport” at the London Olympics.
In her personal address to the nation, the monarch will pay tribute to the competitors’ “skill, dedication, training and teamwork”, her office said on Monday.
The 86-year-old head of state provided an Olympic highlight when she made a surprise comic turn with James Bond actor Daniel Craig in a short film for the opening ceremony.
"In pursuing their own sporting goals, they gave the rest of us the opportunity to share something of the excitement and drama," she will say, according to advance extracts.
Queen Elizabeth missed a church service at her country retreat on Sunday due to a cold, Buckingham Palace said. Her message was pre-recorded and will go out as expected.
It comes at the end of a landmark year for the royal family.
Queen Elizabeth marked 60 years on the throne with the Diamond Jubilee celebrations and her grandson Prince William and his wife Kate are expecting their first baby.
Prime Minister David Cameron issued his own Christmas message in which he talked of Britain’s “extraordinary year”.
"We cheered our queen to the rafters with the Jubilee, showed the world what we’re made of by staging the most spectacular Olympic and Paralympic Games ever and - let’s not forget - punched way above our weight in the medals table," he said.
The first Christmas broadcast was given by Queen Elizabeth’s grandfather George V in 1932. It has become a Christmas Day tradition for many families to watch it together after lunch.
Artist brings 3-D pavement art to Grand Canyon
Uninspired by modern art, Kurt Wennerset out to learn how European masters made architecture soar and figures float in ceiling frescoes.
What started off as two-dimensional chalk and pastel art on the streets of Rome decades ago, mimicking what Wenner saw in Renaissance classicism, morphed into an art form of his own — one that makes objects appear to rise from or fall into the ground in three-dimensional pieces. His latest piece unveiled just outside the Grand Canyon has visitors perched atop spires and starting down a winding trail that seemingly plunges into the depths of the massive gorge.
The piece, “Grand Canyon Illusion,” certainly is puzzling to the eye, blending the visitors who pose in it with a scenic, infinite backdrop. It’s the first semi-permanent display of Wenner’s work in North America and one that he hopes will help take pavement art to a higher level.
"You can do everything from fine art to publicity to a drawing demonstration or performance to what eventually is going to be a permanent form of art," said Wenner. "It isn’t really in a box. It doesn’t limit you to one particular venue. I’m not stuck with the gallery world or the publicity world. I can choose where I want to go with it."
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Origin PC claims its EON17-X3D is the world’s first laptop to sport two graphics cards in SLI mode.
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Pirate Bay to Offer Downloads of Real, Physical Items
Downloads do not have to be just files, they can be physical objects.
The Pirate Bay just announced a new category “Physibles”, which will allow users to download 3D printer files that will deliver physical objects as long as you own a 3D printer.
"We believe that the next step in copying will be made from digital form into physical form," a blog post at The Pirate Bay states. "We believe that in the nearby future you will print your spare parts for your vehicles. You will download your sneakers within 20 years."
At this time, there is not much in this category that can be downloaded. And there is quite some work to be done until, as the guys over that The Pirate bay envision, that you can download your lunch.
3D printers are not as expensive anymore as they once were. For example, MakerBot’s MakerBot Replicator was launched at CES earlier this month. The device is available for $1749 and features a build volume of 1.3 gallons using ABS and PLA materials.
Editor’s Note: Tea, Earl Grey, Hot, anyone?
Macedonian firm creates Hollywood magic
A special effects firm in Macedonia is making a name for itself in Hollywood. CNN’s Atika Shubert reports.