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Greg Shimp Makes Curious gFx His Software of ChoiceNew 16-bit paint and roto tool delivers consistently great results (November 23, 2004)
Special effects artist Greg Shimp, whose credits include all three Matrix movies, has become a firm advocate of Curious Softwares new 16-bit paint and roto tool, Curious gFx Pro+, thanks to its ability to deliver consistently great results.
Over the last 12 months, Shimp has used the software on a number of major film projects including Ladykillers and Catwoman. His knowledge and expertise with Curious gFx Pro has recently landed him a position at CIS Hollywood, a Los-Angeles based visual effects company, which is currently looking at the possibility of implementing the software as a non-SGI alternative to Matador.
Launched in 2002, Curious Softwares Curious gFx was specifically designed to meet the needs of the television, post-production and film industries. It includes a powerful paint engine for moving images, a sophisticated new roto-matte system and a range of features for wire and rig removal or content restoration. The software also offers the intuitive ease-of-use familiar to users of other Curious products such as Curious World Maps.
Greg Shimp first came across Curious gFx when he was working on the Matrix sequels at San Francisco-based visual effects specialist, ESC.
?At first I didnt have the chance to delve into it because of time constraints on finishing the Matrix sequels, he explains. ?But once they were completed I had the perfect opportunity to see what Curious gFx was capable of when our other software fell short on an extremely difficult paint shot for Ladykillers. I needed a PC software that allowed me to have subpixel accuracy when lining up a second layer to paint from. Despite the difficulties inherent in getting to know any new software, I was able to complete the task within deadline using Curious gFx. That success on such a difficult shot inspired me to continue experimenting by using the software on all types of shots.
Although Curious Softwares founders have a long and impressive track record in creating special effects software for the film industry, the company itself is viewed as a relative newcomer and is best known for its innovative broadcast mapping software, Curious World Maps. With the launch of Curious gfx, the Curious team were keen to work closely with the industry to ensure that the new software offered exactly what end users wanted.
Greg Shimp says this ability to incorporate end user feedback was one of the main reasons why he was so impressed by the Curious Software team.
?I was impressed that somebody was finally attempting to develop a stand-alone paint/roto software and that they were eager to seek my input on how to improve it, he says. ?It's great to have a new software dedicated to just doing paint/roto work, with a development team implementing suggestions for improvement quite quickly in updated versions. This is a major advantage because these days most paint/roto softwares are no longer being supported for added improvements.
Shimps enthusiasm for Curious gFx eventually resulted in Circle S purchasing the software when he was hired to work from home on Catwoman. Because of budget constraints he was only allowed one piece of software, so he chose Curious gFx.
He explains: ?I liked what I saw in Curious, especially with the immediate upgrades utilizing suggestions for improvement, and I felt fairly confidant about my chances on completing work in a timely manner using gFx. Thankfully, my instincts were correct. I was able to finish 30 mid to difficult bungee chord removal shots in just under three months for Catwoman and I was very pleased with the results I achieved.
Shimp adds that everything he has produced using Curious gFx has worked easily in other software as rendered out images.
?It's a decent piece of software, although, like most developing software it has it's annoying little bugs that need to be ironed out, he says. ?Yet, there is a team at the ready to help eliminate all those problems and that makes all the difference. To date, I have not come across a single shot that I could not finish using Curious and, in time, I think it could be the standard paint/roto tool for the industry.
Greg Shimp is currently using Curious gFx on two new movies that are being graphically enhanced by CIS Hollywood.
?Im using it for everything from simple roto and tracking marker removal to difficult wire/rig removals and complex roto of multiple moving people in one shot, he says.
About Curious Software
Curious Software is an innovative software company with a great pedigree.
Founded in May 1999, Curious Softwares aim is to make the highest quality professional information graphics available to everyone creating content for the television, post-production, Internet and corporate graphics industries.
Curious Software products provide all the tools required to create stunning animations and presentations in easy-to-use and affordable packages. Our series of professional products are all based on a generic multi-layered animation engine, designed to accelerate the creation of the highest quality graphics.
For more information about Curious Software and its products please visit www.curious-software.com.
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