FOAM Digital Triples in Size

So it’s been a few months since my last blog and it’s been a very busy few months.  FOAM Digital has tripled in size and we’ve added a few new departments to accommodate our evolving VFX pipeline. We now have the following departments:
ANIMATION (All things animated)
CREATURES (Character face and body modelling, cloth and hair modelling and simulation, associated texture and shader design, skinning and muscle systems)
MODELS (Hard surface and non-deforming models, associated texture and shader creation)
PREVIZ (Animatic and storyboards)
MOTION EDIT (Motion capture cleanup and processing)
RIGGING (Rig creation and Mo-cap integration)
CONCEPT (Shot, character, building, clothing, prop and environment design)
VFX (Particle and dynamic effects simulation and rendering)
ENVIRONMENTS (External Environmental design and building e.g.mountains, forests, caves, associated shader writing, concept look-dev, lighting and rendering)
PRODUCTION (Managing and scheduling the project)
DOCUMENTARY (Filming behind the scenes footage for documentary content)
COMPOSITING (All 2d comp work)
Here is a list of all our present industry partners:
Shotgun Software Inc. –  Film Industry online asset management, scheduling review and tracking software; as used by many VFX and film production companies. They have agreed to lets us partner with them, allowing us to use their software for the duration of the project. We will be testing and feeding back to them as we integrate it into our pipeline.
VICON – World leaders in Motion Capture hardware and software, provided the free loan of 8 of the latest motion capture cameras (worth £120,000) for the duration of our shoot in August. The hire cost of these cameras would have been in excess of £30,000. Vicon have also offered free software training and technical support during the project lifecycle.
The Foundry – Providing free software licenses and development support for compositing and project management. They are working with us to develop a new software tool for managing the assets in a CG film pipeline.
Image Metrics – Providing us with the latest industry Facial capture software technology FACEWARE
Solid Angle – We are on the beta development program for a piece of rendering software called ARNOLD, an as yet unavailable commercial product, but used exclusively by Sony DreamWorks in their latest feature: GREENLANTERN. They have also offered us educational licenses for the project at a reduced cost. We are currently in negotiations as to final costing.
Red Rabbit Films – A local charitable film company provided £2500 of audio and video
cabling, audio mixing equipment, facial mask making equipment and production consumables.
Rabbitskin Ltd. – A multimedia production company who provided the loan of 4 facial capture systems worth £2000 for the shoot.
On the finance side of things we are still in negotiation with Faculty about a yearly budget. Talks are currently focused around ironing out the legal issues surrounding student Intellectual property rights as regards the film content.  As the project now has a proven track record in providing industry related experience and software skills (that are being utilised on quite a few different degree courses), we are confident the money will be forthcoming soon. Hopefully more news on this next month.
That’s all for now,

Paul

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