A Little Bit of Hollywood in Houston
Houston, TX - September 1, 2002 - Film and video audiences today have become accustom to watching dazzling special effects and incredible 3D animation from big budget Hollywood productions. So how is a smaller production company to compete with these visual extravaganzas? "Most of the film and video production companies we work with have much simpler needs, and we can usually help them work within a very limited budget," said Vic Cherubini, President of the epic software group. Cherubini and his team of artists, animators, and programmers have been adding a little bit of Hollywood to everything from safety shorts, training films, and corporate videos for the past 16 years.
Cherubini originally launched the epic software group, inc. to create multimedia presentations. He found that one way to differentiate epic's work from the competition was to offer his clients 3D graphics and animations when others were firmly fixed in 2D. Using 3D animations he could showcase a product or services in ways that were just not possible in traditional media.
"As more of our clients asked us to add video to their CD catalogs and presentations, we began to make contacts with the video production community," said Cherubini. "A producer would call and say 'Vic, we are working on a corporate video and want to lead-in with a really nice flying logo. We can do one ourselves, but we want something more dramatic - and of course this is an unbudgeted item."
For epic, these types of requests are not the exception, but the rule. The company has a well earned reputation of delivering quality work on time and within budget. A good example is an animation sequence epic produced for Dallas based Fusion Productions.
"We spent six months traveling around the country producing a training video for NASA's Space Shuttle Program. We needed a high quality 3D animation to tie the five sections of the video together," Todd Sims, President of Fusion Productions said. "Two weeks before the video was due for presentation to the funding committee the group we were working with told us they would not be able to deliver the animation in time for the final composite. I called Vic, he put his team on it, and he delivered the work a day early."
Fusion's video, titled Success in Process Control, went on to win a Telly Award. "We know the graphics created by the team at the epic software group really made a difference," said Sims.
In March of this year, epic received a call from Wyle Labs, a NASA subcontractor with a request to help out with a flying logo. It turned out to be what Cherubini described as 'a logo on steroids.' Eight companies developed an alliance to bid on a major NASA project. Known as the "Bioastronautics Team," their logo was comprised of the eight partner companies. The specifications for the flying logo called for each of the partner company's logo to fly in and build into the team logo. "We introduced the logo at Space Center Houston where we rented the facility for the evening, and showed it in the IMAX Theater," said Eric Gignac, the Graphics Director for Lockheed Martin, one of the primary partners on the Bioastronautics team.
"The Bioastronautics Team logo played flawlessly, and it was the hit of the evening," said Rita Harris the Event Coordinator for Wyle Labs. "The technical and esthetic challenges faced by Cherubini and his team were sizable, but they overcame each one. We are looking forward to working with epic on some future work we have planned."
The animators at the epic software group work extensively with LightWave 3D by NewTek. "It is simply the best value in 3D animation tools at the high end," said Cherubini. epic has built a library of 3D models over the years, and in many cases can pull models as needed, which saves both time and money. Many of these high quality models are available through 3D model vendors such as Viewpoint Datalabs and Turbosquid.
epic operates out of their own 4,000 square foot state-of-the-art animation studio located just north of Houston in The Woodlands, Texas. What does the future hold for epic? "The Film and Video Production industry in Texas is alive and poised to expand rapidly," said Cherubini. "We are positioning our company to serve those production companies that need an affordable high quality, local source for their 3D graphics and special effects work."