Internet of Things: Google to Buy Nest Labs for $3.2 Billion

Google is making a run for the connected home. On Monday, the company announced it is acquiring Nest Labs, a maker of smart smoke alarms and thermostats, for $3.2 billion. This is Google’s second largest acquisition to date, behind the 2012 purchase of phone maker Motorola Mobility. Nest Labs is considered a poster child for the Internet of Things movement, a key focus of last week’s CES in Las Vegas, where companies showcased sensor, communication, and computing tech to make everyday life easier.  Continue reading Internet of Things: Google to Buy Nest Labs for $3.2 Billion

New Animation Technology to Save Production Time and Cost

A team from Disney Research Zürich led by Wojciech Jarosz has developed a new rendering technique that is expected to save animators significant time in the editing process of feature films. The new computational algorithm, which is being presented at this week’s ACM SIGGRAPH Asia conference in Hong Kong, can reduce rendering times for scenes that are affected by light — like those with water and smoke — by a factor of up to 1,000. Continue reading New Animation Technology to Save Production Time and Cost

Autodesk: Smoke for Mac Strikes Balance Between Cost and Performance

  • Low-cost software tools are driving the democratization of the post industry, suggests Digital Content Producer, and one result has been the availability of editing and effects services from some new players.
  • However, some professionals realize there’s more that impacts the bottom line than price.
  • “Rather than solely building a business on Apple’s Final Cut Studio or the Adobe Creative Suite,” suggests the article, “a number of new producers have found that Autodesk’s Smoke for Mac OS X has struck the right balance between cost and performance.”
  • Digital Content Producer profiles several companies that are currently using Smoke to attract and maintain their clients (including Boogie Studios, Glyph Corp. and VODA Studios).
  • “Autodesk’s Smoke for Mac OS X is a relatively new product, but it brings a level of finishing to the Mac platform that has been out-of-reach in the past,” indicates the write-up. “Thanks to a heritage of years of Irix and Linux development, the product starts as a seasoned offering, complete with a very high brand appeal among clients. These ingredients have given the early adopters a definite creative and business edge.”
  • “Clients have really responded well to our offering of finishing services,” explains Sebastian Dostie of Montreal’s Boogie Studios. “It’s great to have the audio mix on Pro Tools and video finishing on Smoke under one roof, because everything can get done in the same day at the same facility, including any last minute changes. We love that Smoke is on the Mac platform, because it makes it easy to bring in the offline editor’s FCP edit list or to use Photoshop on the same computer as Smoke. Performance and reliability has been great and clients feel very comfortable when they hear that you are using Smoke.”