Tag Archives: CGI

Girl of the Alps, Heidi Returns to TV!

9 Dec

By Ed Sum (The Vintage Tempest)


Belgian production house Studio 100 are certainly busy bees these days. Not only have they licensed Maya the Bee Movie to Shout! Factory to fly into North America next year, but also they have the simply titled Heidi getting ready to bring her charm to the world in an all new animated television program that will be aimed for young girls when the series finally launches in 2015. Products from toy manufacturer Famosa will also be made available in most European markets.

The novels Heidi’s Years of Learning and Travel and Heidi Makes Use of What She has Learned are amongst the best known works of Swiss literature written by novelist Johanna Spyri. Over 50 million books were sold and translated into other languages. These stories have been adapted into other forms of media over the years and this CGI update will only further interest. Hopefully Shout! Factory and Studio 100 will continue their relationship and work together to bring this title to North America.

Amongst anime fans, she is known as the Girl of the Alps, Heidi (アルプスの少女ハイジ), which saw release back in 1974. This series is notable because of the work put into it by many notable anime pioneers, including Studio Ghibli founders Isao Takahata and Hayao Miyazaki. The updated version by Studio 100 pays homage to this fond favourite and it really shows in the trailer. The series has not started broadcasting yet, but it will most likely see release in Europe first, premiering on Austrian public broadcasting channel ORF, before showing up on other speciality channels.

Maya the Bee Movie Buzzes into North America 2015!

5 Nov


Maya the Bee Movie will be buzzing into young North American hearts in 2015 thanks to Shout! Factory. This diminutive character perhaps became very popular due in part to the Japanese animation of the same name back in 1975. Since then it has been translated to many languages for airings in other countries. An updated CGI version returned to its fictional roots by animation production company Studio 100 in 2012. This series run lasted for 78 episodes and a film followed afterwards. Both are based on the book of the same name by German children’s author, Waldemar Bonsels.

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Thunder is arriving soon, in a House of Magic near you

3 Sep

By Ed Sum (The Vintage Tempest)

THOM_gallery-3Arriving Sept 5th in select theatres across the States is Thunder and the House of Magic, a wonderful family film about a ginger cat just needing some love. But when he stumbles into a “haunted house” occupied by a misanthropic rabbit, a scrappy mouse and other talking animals (along with some strange robots that look like they can easily belong in a Tim Burton film), maybe what he needs more is a new family. The movie begins suggesting the feline is abandoned by his human owners. The reason why suggests that they have moved and at their new home, wherever that may be, there is no room for Thunder.

To rain on his parade includes meeting a human antagonist intent on selling the abode that this cat has found. But to find out more, perhaps the curious will have to head either to New York, Los Angeles, Atlanta, Boston, Houston, Miami/Ft. Lauderdale, San Francisco and Washington, DC to see it on the big screen, search this title out at Wal-Mart or hit VOD to watch this movie. Shout! Factory is handling the distribution of this product from Studiocanal. Brainstorm Media will be handling the online distribution.

In Canada, there will be some form of release planned for later in the year.

Thunder and the House of Magic is written by James Flynn, Domonic Paris and Ben Stassen, based on an original story idea from Ben Stassen. The film is produced by Caroline Van Iseghem and Ben Stassen, executive produced by Olivier Courson and Eric Dillens, and features original music by Ramin Djawadi. The 85-minute film is produced by nWave Pictures in association with Studiocanal and Anton Capital Entertainment. The voice cast includes Murray Blue, Doug Stone, George Babbit, Danielle Gray and Grant George.


The Future of CGI Films: Creating True Photo-Realism

15 Aug

By Ed Sum


If keen observers of video game cinematics and CGI films think the computer graphics look great now, especially in how cloth material and hair are rendered, the next wave is going to be amazing.

The science behind how these surfaces are rendered have been restudied and restructured in such a way, where if there was a real world analogy: the way any type of thread is weaved on a loom in specific patterns is what the team of computer engineers from the Jacobs School of Engineering/UC San Diego looked at, but at a microscopic level. What they have discovered is a simpler method which matches this real world analogy and the ‘virtual threads’ are more cylindrical.

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