Projects on shortlist for PM's design award

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Projects on shortlist for PM’s design award

12 JUNE 2008

Two projects in a West Yorkshire town have been put forward for a prestigious design accolade by the Prime Minister.

A pedestrian footbridge and an Environment Agency project enabling more fish to navigate an impassable weir on the River Aire in Castleford have been shortlisted for the Prime Minister’s Better Public Building Award 2008.

Organisers said the 21 shortlisted projects were examples of design which were helping regeneration.

The annual award, sponsored by the Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment (CABE) and the Office of Government Commerce (OGC), recognises high-quality design, economic and social value and sustainability.

The footbridge is part of the Castleford Project, which is said to have unlocked urban renewal and sparked new confidence in the former coal-mining town.

The design of the 430ft (131m) bridge allows people to sit above the centre of the river and has played a key part in removing restrictions to the town centre.

The award judges said that the Environment Agency’s fish pass was “an ecological necessity elegantly executed” and had provided “social and economic benefits through a more diverse and sustainable fishery”.

The winner will be announced at a ceremony on 8 October.

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Fireworks as Olympic footprints revealed as 3D graphics

12 AUGUST 2008

An audience of more than three billion people watched in awe as giant footprints outlined in fireworks proceeded through the night sky from Tiananmen Square to the Bird’s Nest stadium – except they weren’t fireworks, the audience was watching a 3D computer graphics sequence that took almost a year to produce.

It even featured fake “camera shake” to mimic the effect of filming from a helicopter and added haziness to reproduce the polluted Beijing skyline. The scam was revealed by China‘s Beijing Times.

Speaking to the paper, Gao Xiaolong who was responsible for the animation said he was pleased with the result.

“Seeing how it worked out, it was still a bit too bright compared to the actual fireworks. But most of the audience thought it was filmed live – so that was mission accomplished.”

The olympic organisers said that the footprint fireworks were there for real, but thought it unsafe to try to film them – so they recreated them instead.

The ceremony has also been strongly criticised by architect Ai Weiwei, who helped design the Bird’s Nest stadium alongside Swiss architect firm, Herzog and de Meuron.

Writing on his blog, Mr Ai described the ceremony as “a recycling of the rubbish of fake classical culture tradition; a sacrilegious visual garbage dump and an insult to the spirit of liberty; low class sound play that’s just noise pollution.”

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Winners revealed in 3D architectural wonder contest

3DAllusions is proud to announce the winners of the Architectural Wonder II Contest!

Grand Prize Winner
Neha Kakkar with Teotihuacan Rejuvenated inspired by the famous archaeological site in the Basin of Mexico with its pyramidal structures, residential complexes, well preserved murals, and the “street of the dead”.

Paulo Barrelas with Cathedral Street: inspired by the contest’s theme, architectural wonder, in particular the inspiring atmosphere created within great gothic cathedrals.

Honourable Mention
Alan Klys with
(the alternative name for the legendary city of Troy) is a structure inspired by the interplay between the three main groups of Homer’s Iliad, the Trojans, Achaeans, and the Gods.

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Rome rebuilt in a day with new 3D software

July 21, 2008 – Zurich, SwitzerlandRome is to be reborn at this year’s SIGGRAPH.

A spectacular 3D recreation of ancient Rome in AD 320 which uses new graphics technology to create the complex virtual urban environment is to be unveiled at the event.

Pascal Müller, CEO of Procedural Inc, the company behind the software said: “Cities are huge, richly detailed artefacts that are often required in digital productions, and modelling them with existing tools can take several man years.

“The CityEngine offers several procedural modelling tools for generating large-scale urban layouts, as well as a unique shape grammar for the efficient creation of detailed building models.”

The company’s graphics experts have created a radically different 3D application that allows the modelling of cities up to 10 times faster than previous solutions, which can be used for automatic digital city creation, the production of video games, feature films and TV series, architectural visualisations and applications for the emerging 3D internet.

“The CityEngine is a perfect match for the Rome Reborn project,” says Bernard Frischer, director of Rome Reborn.

“Our project involves the complete virtual reconstruction of the city at its zenith under Emperor Constantine, when it had about one million residents. To build by hand the corresponding 7,000 apartment buildings, family houses, public buildings and temples would have taken us forever; but CityEngine’s power and flexibility made the process amazingly quick without sacrificing detail or quality.

“After the Rome building designs had been specified in the CityEngine, generating and exporting the entire city model took exactly 1 hour and 55 minutes,” continues Müller. “Thus, Rome actually WAS built in one day… or, at least its digital counterpart was!”

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Free 3G software group Blender announces conference date

The Blender Conference 2008 is to return to Amsterdam again this year. The event, which runs from 24-26 October 2008 will be held at the 15th century Waag building in Amsterdam. Registration for the conference will open at the end of July.

Blender is also running a 4-day course in the studio of the Amsterdam Blender Institute on how to use its 3D software, for people little experience of Blender or other 3D tools. The course, on 20-23 October 2008 includes a ticket for the Blender Conference 2008.

This will be followed by a five-day advanced course at the same venue on 27-31 October 2008, for people who have experience of Blender, but who want to improve their modelling, design, lighting, rendering and animation skills and includes a ticket for the Blender Conference 2008.

Participants will be supported by renowned Blender artists.

Blender is a free 3D animation application. Features include modelling, UV, skinning, animating, rendering, unwrapping and texturing. It features advanced simulation tools, and embedded scripting and works with various operating systems.

For more information visit

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Win $15,000 in prizes for 3D image design

E-on software, in association with Softimage, Pixologic, 3D Total, 3Dconnexion, Wacom, 3D World magazine and Cornucopia3D has launched its Vue 3D Environment Competition 2008 with a total prize package topping $15,000!

The judges are leading experts in the 3D entertainment industry, and the competition offers a showcase for up and coming talent, as well as a chance to win more than $15,000 in prizes!

Competition brief

The task is to create an environment image using your application of choice, using any version of Vue (Easel, Esprit, Pro Studio, Infinite or xStream), including the free Personal Learning Edition.

Images can be in any style and genre, realistic or imaginary, as but the Vue environment must be dominant. You can import objects and figures, but the judges main focus will be the quality of the Vue landscape.

The competition is open to everyone, from amateurs to professionals.

In the first stage of the competition, e-on’s Picture of the Day contest team will select 12 finalists whose images will be displayed on the e-on website, with links to their personal website/gallery. In the second stage, our judges will choose the winners.

Submitting a picture

  • Submission period: July 1 – 31, 2008.
  • Finalists announced: August 3, 2008.
  • Winners announced: Siggraph 2008, August 12 – 14, Los Angeles.

For rules and a guide on how to submit a picture, click on the link below. The closing date for submissions is July 31, 2008. Submissions will not be available to view until August 1, 2008.

Competition rules and submission guides>>


The Vue 3D Environment Competition 2008 judges are all leading figures in the world of 3D graphics, film, gaming, media, broadcast and architecture industries. The judges are:

  • Paul Huston – Digital Matte Supervisor, Industrial Light & Magic
  • Youngil Pyo – Lead Digital Artist, Digital Domain
  • Eran Dinur – Compositor and Matte Artist, LucasFilm Animation Singapore
  • Stephane Belin – Senior Concept Artist, Electronic Arts
  • Susumu Yukuhiro – Senior Matte Artist, Whiskytree
  • Tom Greenway – Editor,
  • Jim Thacker – Editor, 3D World magazine
  • Jeff Mottle – President and Founder,

The winner will receive the following prizes totalling more than $6900

  • Softimage XSI Essentials ($2995) … 3D Total Mega Bundle (>$1300) … Vue 6 xStream ($995) … Pixologic Zbrush 3.1 ($595) …1 3Dconnexion SpacePilot ($399) … 1 Wacom Intuos 6×11 Tablet ($369) … 1 year subscription to 3D World magazine ($150) … $100 voucher for Cornucopia3D content

The first runner up will receive the following prizes totalling more than $4300

  • Softimage XSI Essentials ($2995) … Vue 6 Infinite ($695) … 1 3Dconnexion SpaceExplorer ($299) …1 year subscription to 3D World magazine ($150) … 1 year subscription to 3D Creative and 2D Artist magazines ($81.2) … $75 voucher for Cornucopia3D content

The second runner up will receive the following prizes totalling more than $4000

  • Softimage XSI Essentials ($2995) … Vue 6 Infinite ($695) … 1 year subscription to 3D World magazine ($150) … 1 3Dconnexion SpaceNavigator ($99) … 1 year subscription to 3D Creative and 2D Artist magazines ($81.2) … $50 voucher for Cornucopia3D content


Each of the finalists will receive a $25 voucher at Cornucopia3D.

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Designers, win a 3D model and $500 of 3D printing

Designers, you still have time to enter Shapeway’s 3D design competition. is looking for the most inspiring 3D object that can be made. It could be anything: a necklace, a spaceship, 3D art, furniture, a figure – the possibilities are endless!

But the judges will be using just one criteria to pick the competition winner – how inspiring is your design?

The top ten finalists’ designs will be printed in 3D by Shapeways and exhibited at SIGGRAPH 2008 in Los Angeles After thousands of designers have seen your work we will ship your model to you.

The community will then vote on the finalists to determine which one is our grand prize winner. This person will win an additional prize of $500 in free 3D printing from Shapeways.

Entries close on 7 August 2008, after which the judges will select the top ten to go to SIGGRAPH on the 15th August 2008 where the grand prize winner will be announced. The Grand Prize winner will then receive an additional prize of $500 in 3D printing.


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Fireman Sam in CGI!

30 JUNE 2008

HRTv has been commissioned by HIT Entertainment to create a new series of the much-loved animated children’s TV programme, Fireman Sam in CGI to be aired in 2009.

HRTv has completed 52 episodes using software that significantly speeds up pre production by using CGI aided storyboarding and automating digital layout set-upLenora Hume, Executive Vice President Production and Programming, HIT Entertainment, said: “We are delighted to be working with HRTv again on the beloved and iconic character new series, bringing it to life in CGI.”

HRTv director, Jerry Hibbert, said: “Fireman Sam is such an iconic character in children’s TV that the thought of updating him with CGI may seem like sacrilege to some. But we have tried to ensure that all the original charm remains while making the most of the new technology.”

HRTv’s head of production, Charlotte Loynes, said: “Under HRTv’s supervision Xing Xing producing fantastic work for us.”

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3D designers chance to win $5000

1 JULY 2008

Line of Site’s 2008 online design competition is now in progress and entries are invited for its latest briefs – City Transportation Interchange, and The Meeting Point.

Designers of all ages and disciplines are encouraged to enter for a chance to win. The overall winner will receive $5000 in prize money, the Line of Site title and trophy, and a flight and accommodation to London.

The overall winner will receive $5000 in prize money

Line of Site

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Put your city on the 3D map

Google is extending its Cities in 3D program to include Europe. Governments in the UK, Germany, France, Italy, Spain and The Netherlands

Local government, community groups, schools colleges and universities will be invited to share 3D data with the public by adding a model of their city to Google Earth, complete with buildings, landmarks and the landscape around them.

Westport, Ireland has already launched its own 3D landscape to promote the town as a world-class tourist destination and business location and help preserve its rich heritage.

Council leaders in scenic Westport wanted to boost its image as a world-class tourist destination and business hub as well as providing a planning tool to help preserve the character of the town.

To market the city to an international audience, the local town council commissioned a 3D digital city model from AMT3D that anyone can explore using Google Earth.

Westport chose to host the 3D model on Google Earth, where visitors to the virtual town can turn on the 3D Buildings layer and view 3D models of the city’s landmarks with high resolution textures.

“While the original idea of producing Westport3D was to aid in town planning, the advent of Google Earth opened up a whole new opportunity for the virtual visitor not only to see where in the world Westport is, but also to walk up and down our streets and become enticed to plan a visit,” said Hynes.

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