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 CG EDITOR'S CUT
Jeff Rowe
Jeff Rowe
Jeffrey Rowe has more than 40 years of experience in all aspects of industrial design, mechanical engineering, and manufacturing. On the publishing side, he has written well over 1,000 articles for CAD, CAM, CAE, and other technical publications, as well as consulting in many capacities in the … More »

Back To The Future at AU 2014

 
November 26th, 2014 by Jeff Rowe

Next week, along with what is expected to be over 9,000 attendees, we’ll be in Las Vegas for Autodesk University (AU). Yes, it’s an Autodesk vehicle, but it’s also much bigger than that. Think of a “Back to The Future” moment.

AU is analogous to a big box store (ironically, it starts on Cyber Monday – December 1) with one-stop shopping for technical software for a broad range of industries – manufacturing, media/entertainment, GIS, AEC, and so on.

If you’re coming to Las Vegas for AU, it’s always a good idea to know your objectives for attending and what you hope to get out of it. In other words, come with an agenda based on asking the following questions on behalf of yourself and your company looking ahead five years:

  • What are you working on now and what do you want to be working on?
  • What will be the core competencies of our company and our competitors?
  • What technologies are our competitors acquiring and implementing, and are they new or complementary?
  • What technologies will emerge and be vital to our business?
  • Will our company be able to use methods and technologies from other industries?
  • Will our company grow strictly by organic means, or through partnerships, mergers, and acquisitions?
  • How will our company’s staff differ from todays and what skill sets will be required?
  • How will we deal with data – interoperability, legacy, management, etc.?

These are all important questions, because regardless of position today, no CG  company can afford to remain complacent if they hope to remain competitive and innovative.

Autodesk 2014 Showreel

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Autodesk Sparks Big Investment In 3D Printing

 
November 6th, 2014 by Jeff Rowe

A lot of people associate 3D printing and related technologies with product design and manufacturing. Not as many realize that it’s also becoming quite pervasive in the CG and entertainment arenas, as well.

Many in the CG and entertainment production communities will be interested to know that Autodesk, Inc. announced it will invest up to $100 million in 3D printing and related technology companies over the next several years through its Spark Investment Fund. This first of its kind program will be operated within Autodesk, and will invest in entrepreneurs, startups, and researchers pushing the boundaries of 3D printing technology and its adoption in markets that include CG and entertainment.

Check out the video below from May 2014 at the MakerCon Bay Area event where Carl Bass, the president and CEO of Autodesk, announced the company’s first venture into digital fabrication hardware and supporting technologies:

Autodesk Spark Presentation By Carl Bass, Autodesk CEO

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ShareCG 2015 Editorial Lineup

 
October 28th, 2014 by Jeff Rowe

Since it’s almost November with just two months left of this year, it’s not too early to start thinking about what ShareCG will be covering in 2015. The calendar below reflects what we think are some of the most important CG topics today, as well as from feedback from our readers and other supporters.

The main theme for each month will be covered in an extended article or series of articles so that the topic can be covered in a more comprehensive way. We’ll also be covering some of the major CG events throughout the year, reporting what we see and hear from vendors, partners, and attendees.

If you have any thoughts of topics you would like to see covered in 2015, feel free to contact me at jeff@ibsystems.com or 719.221.1867.

We look forward to an exciting 2015 and providing you with the CG content you want most for improving your design and production processes.

Keep ShareCG.com your source for all things CG. It’s going to be a great year!

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When CG Meets The Factory Floor, Expect the Unexpected

 
October 22nd, 2014 by Jeff Rowe

Since I handle two publications for IBSystems, MCADCafe and ShareCG, I attend a number of conferences and trade shows during the year for each publication. The markets for these events couldn’t be more different with regard to content, markets, audience, technologies, end products, and so on. The more I think about it, though, are they really that different?

Obviously, both entertainment and manufacturing employ a number of the same technologies, such as digital design methods, 3D scanning, 3D printing, project management, etc. – just with different end results – one physical, and one virtual.

This commonality really hit home in the past couple of months after attending two gigantic conferences and exhibitions – SIGGRAPH for ShareCG and IMTS for MCADCafe.

SIGGRAPH 2014 : Technical Papers Preview

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What HP’s Split Might Mean For CG

 
October 9th, 2014 by Jeff Rowe

If there has ever been a company that has struggled to reinvent and find itself and its former stature in consumer and commercial technology, it’s HP.

There was a time when HP had no equal in several product segments, such as test & measurement, calculators, pocket PCs/personal assistants, etc., but those days are long gone. Sure, the company reigns in printers, and their desktop and mobile workstations are utilitarian (although the HP Z1 is a notable exception), but not nearly as competitive as in the good old days.

In an attempt to return to its former glory days, HP said Monday that it will split into two public companies with one side focusing on its cloud and enterprise market (Hewlett-Packard Enterprise), and the other on personal systems (computers) and printers (HP Inc.). The company also plans to cut another 5,000 jobs.

Although it’s a couple years old, check out HP’s CEO, Meg Whitman explain her plans for reviving HP:

Interview with Meg Whitman, HP CEO – The Plan to Revive HP

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CG: Fantasia to Today

 
October 2nd, 2014 by Jeff Rowe

We returned from SIGGRAPH 2014 in August trying to figure out all that we had seen and heard, and what it all really meant.

Over the years, I’ve seen SIGGRAPH and the CG industry become more oriented toward technology and sensationalism and less toward art and humanities. I’m not saying that this observation by itself is good or bad, just an observation. We’re increasingly seeing CG technology take over as rendering farm airflow, resolution, FPS, pipeline issues, etc. as becoming more important than real people being people – in other words, acting.

However, I do personally question the proliferation and predominance of movies that are 100% CG. What is happening to real actors (people) being seen and heard as characters as opposed to CG animated (artificial) characters that are created to be seen, but still require human voices to be heard?

While hardly the first animated feature file, 75 years ago Disney’s Fantasia started a trend with artists manually drawing characters that has evolved to today’s CG-generated characters.

Fantasia consists of eight animated segments set to pieces of classical music conducted by Leopold Stokowski.

Fantasia: Clair De Lune

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CG Market Forecast To Be ~$150 Billion By 2017

 
September 16th, 2014 by Jeff Rowe

At SIGGRAPH 2014 last month we saw and heard many interesting things that greatly influence the computer graphics market – hardware, software, and services. We were invited to a luncheon sponsored by our friends at Jon Peddie Research that included a presentation on the CG market, entitled “Expectations, Fact, and Fantasy.”

As usual, Jon’s comprehensive presentation covered many aspects of the CG market, but the most telling facts were his forecast that the CG market will enjoy at least 5.5% annual growth for the next few years, and that he thinks the CG market as a whole will exceed $149 billion by 2017.

Interview With Jon Peddie Research and Dreamworks Animation

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SIGGRAPH Product Showcase: MAXON CINEMA 4D Provides Versatile CG Tools

 
September 4th, 2014 by Jeff Rowe

During SIGGRAPH 2014, we talked to a lot of attendees and exhibitors. One of the CG software developers we spent time with was MAXON, whose flagship product line is CINEMA 4D.

CINEMA 4D is a 3D modeling, animation and rendering application developed by MAXON Computer GmbH (Friedrichsdorf, Germany). It is capable of procedural and polygonal/surface modeling, animating, lighting, texturing, rendering, and common features found in 3D modeling applications.

We spoke with Paul Babb, President and CEO of MAXON for the Americas. He said that CINEMA 4D is an animation product used for motion graphics for broadcast television, visual effects, scientific/medical animation, video game graphics, and architectural and engineering visualization.

At their SIGGRAPH 2014 exhibit, MAXON employed a wide range of artists at the booth showing what CINEMA 4D can do, such as game developers, visual effects artists, and motion graphics experts. Also exhibited at the booth were demonstrations showing integration with the Arnold renderer and the Houdini graphics engine.

What is CINEMA 4D?

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Autodesk at SIGGRAPH 2014: Does Absence Make the Heart Grow Fonder?

 
August 27th, 2014 by Jeff Rowe

SIGGRAPH 2014 was held this year in Vancouver, British Columbia, a venue that was great, but one that was guaranteed to have a smaller draw than when the annual computer graphics conference is held in Los Angeles. By smaller draw, I mean not only fewer attendees, but also fewer exhibitors.

This year’s most noticeable absence on the show floor was Autodesk, a giant in media and entertainment (M&E). However, was it really that surprising? On one hand, yes; but on the other hand, no.

Autodesk 3ds Max at SIGGRAPH 2014

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ShareCG To Share SIGGRAPH 2014 Experience

 
August 21st, 2014 by Jeff Rowe

As the new editor of ShareCG, I just returned from SIGGRAPH 2014 in Vancouver, British Columbia — an exhausting, but exciting look into the future of CG and interactivity.

SIGGRAPH (short for Special Interest Group on GRAPHics and Interactive Techniques) is the name of the annual conference on computer graphics (CG) convened by the ACM SIGGRAPH organization.

SIGGRAPH is widely recognized as the most prestigious forum for publishing and disseminating computer graphics research and development.

The conference also hosts the international SIGGRAPH Computer Animation Festival, showcasing works from the world’s most innovative and accomplished digital film and video creators. Juried and curated content includes outstanding achievements in time-based art, scientific visualization, visual effects, real-time graphics, and narrative shorts. The Computer Animation Festival is always a “must see” at SIGGRAPH!

SIGGRAPH 2014 Computer Animation Festival

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