The Villager - Virtual World
3D animation company wows clients with Hollywood-style graphics
by Deborah Rowe
December 1, 2005, The Woodlands, Texas - The renowned Woodlands 3D animation and multimedia studio company, epic software group, helps clients advertise and get their messages across with the creation of stunning, state-of-the-art 3D graphics, using the same programs used by the most elite Hollywood animation companies.
According to Vic Cherubini, president of epic software, his company is the largest 3D and multimedia production studio in Houston. The company's inception was in 1990, and recently celebrated its 15-year anniversary. The company also produces broadcast-quality animation, dynamic multimedia presentations, professional video production and captivating Web sites.
"What started out 15 years ago in a one-room office, now occupies a 4,000 square-foot studio on four acres of land," he said.
"With the advent of the Internet and explosion of the Word Wide Web in 1995, companies felt the pressure to begin marketing their products and services over the Internet," Cherubini said.
"As computers became more powerful, we began to offer 3D graphics and animations. Why just read a brochure or watch a video when you can create an interactive presentation that engages the prospect in the story?" he said. "The 3D animations worked very well for the oil field service companies who needed to illustrate what was happening "down-hole" (in the formation). We were proud to count Pennzoil, Shell oil and Tenneco as some of our first clients."
Cherubini explained that 3D graphics can provide realism and depth to an application, and capture the attention of an audience.
"Industrial products are often found in environments that are less than photogenic," he said. "We can recreate a virtual world using CAD drawings or photographs, Photorealism is our specialty. If someone can dream it, our artists and animators can create it."
3D animation is different than 2D animation, Cherubini said, 2D is like the cartoons that appear on television, like "SpongeBob SquarePants," or the "Looney tunes" series.
The 2D animation involves individual cells that are drawn by hand and photographed. After that, voice over and music are added" he explained. "By putting these 20-30 frames together in a one-second time period gives the illusion of motion. This is the traditional type of 2D animation."
But the newer 3D animation examples include movies like "Toy Story," "Antz" and "Monsters, Inc."
They have richer scenes. With 3D animation, we do a lot more with the depth of the characters. They aren't flat, like with 2D. To create a character we use LightWave, a complex animation program," he said, The programmers start out with a virtual "block" of clay inside the computer. Just like a sculptor, they work with it until they get the shape they desire."
The next step is to add textures and colors, he said. "If we decided to bring the character "to life," we have to build a type of skeleton using "bones"," Cherubini said. "The animators tell the particular bone exactly what to do and how to move, like moving a character's arm forward. The bones need a set of instructions. From there, the process continues to build until we have a finished product."
Today the artists, animators and programmers at epic stay busy with work from the energy and financial services industry. The company is located at 701 Sawdust Road and their clients include 3M, Baker Hughes, CocaCola, Compaq, Dow Chemical, EXXON, NASA and the Woodlands Development Company.
For more information about epic software group visit www.epicsoftware.com.
Category: Animation, News,