Recovering KyoAni Releases ‘Violet Evergarden’ Movie Trailer

Kyoto Animation has released a beautiful trailer for its upcoming feature project Violet Evergarden – Eternity and Auto Memory Dolls, its first major project since the arson attack which left 35 employees dead and as many injured. The resilient studio and its artists will see the movie hit Japanese screens on September 6 — less than two months after the fire.

The film is a side-story companion to the hit Violet Evergarden TV series which launched in 2018 (available for streaming on ”Netflix), and is promising to set a new artistic milepost for the franchise.

The movie centers on a young noblewoman, Isabella York, who is trapped in a picturesque but suffocating ladies’ finishing school. Resigned to a future confined by expectations, she does not greet her new manners teacher Violet with any warmth. Also involved in the story is Taylor Bartlett, a girl with no family who comes to pay Violet — a former soldier trying to find her place in society — a visit.

Series director Haruka Fujita helms the feature, which stars Minako Kotobuki as Isabella, Aoi Yuuki as Taylor and Yui Ishikawa as Violet.

A second Violet Evergarden movie from KyoAni is planned for 2020.

In news related to the fire, Kyoto police have issued a new warrant with an updated list of charges for arson suspect Shinji Aoba, who remains hospitalized with severe burns. The 41-year old is accused of 35 counts of murder, 35 counts of attempted murder, arson of an inhabited structure and a number of other offenses.

[Source: Sora News 24, Anime News Network]

Violet Evergarden - Eternity and Auto Memory Dolls

Violet Evergarden – Eternity and Auto Memory Dolls

Violet Evergarden - Eternity and Auto Memory Dolls

Violet Evergarden – Eternity and Auto Memory Dolls

Animation Magazine

U.S. News Releases 2019-2020 Top Hospitals List

July 30, 2019 — The Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN, claimed the No. 1 spot in the annual honor roll of best hospitals published today by U.S. News & World Report.

Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston holds the No. 2 spot this year in the magazine’s annual honor roll, which highlights hospitals delivering “exceptional treatment across multiple areas of care.”

Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore holds the No. 3 spot, while the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio is No. 4 on the list.

New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia and Cornell in New York City grabbed the No. 5 spot on the ranking. UCLA Medical Center, Los Angeles, and UCSF Medical Center, San Francisco, ranked No. 6 and No. 7.

Rounding out the top 10 (in order) are Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Los Angeles; NYU Langone Hospitals, New York City; and Northwestern Memorial Hospital, Chicago.

2019-2020 Best Hospitals Honor Roll

1. Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN

2. Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston

3. Johns Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore

4. Cleveland Clinic, Ohio

5. New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia and Cornell, New York City

6. UCLA Medical Center, Los Angeles

7. UCSF Medical Center, San Francisco

8. Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Los Angeles

9. NYU Langone Hospitals, New York City

10. Northwestern Memorial Hospital, Chicago

11. University of Michigan Hospitals-Michigan Medicine, Ann Arbor

12. Stanford Health Care-Stanford Hospital, Palo Alto, CA

13. Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston

14. Mount Sinai Hospital, New York City

15. UPMC Presbyterian Shadyside, Pittsburgh

16. Keck Hospital of USC, Los Angeles

17. University of Wisconsin Hospitals, Madison

18. (tie) Hospitals of the University of Pennsylvania-Penn Presbyterian, Philadelphia

18. (tie) Mayo Clinic-Phoenix

20. (tie) Houston Methodist Hospital, Texas

20. (tie) Yale New Haven Hospital, New Haven, CT

New Methodology

“In the three decades since U.S. News began evaluating hospitals, we periodically have revamped our measures to enhance the decision support our rankings and ratings provide to patients,” Ben Harder, managing editor and chief of health analysis at the magazine, said in a statement. “This year we revised the methodology to incorporate new measures of patient-centered care and to enhance how we account for differences in hospitals’ patient populations. The new model provides a more comprehensive assessment that is useful to patients, families, and their medical professionals.”

WebMD Health

Pixar Animation Studios Releases RenderMan 22

The Incredibles 2

The Incredibles 2

Pixar today released RenderMan 22, the highly anticipated new version of the Academy Award-winning 3D rendering software for animation and visual effects. This major release is focused on artist productivity, improved data management, and advanced new features. With version 22, RenderMan redefines production rendering by delivering photorealism with new artistic controls, enhanced interactivity, and robust scalability for feature film.

Major updates to the core architecture allow RenderMan to support “live rendering” at every stage of the pipeline, providing fluid feedback for fast artist iteration. These dramatic improvements to interactive workflows enable new kinds of collaboration throughout the filmmaking process, and will transform traditional pipelines. The latest release also includes advanced lighting technology used on Pixar’s own animated feature films, including Finding Dory, Cars 3, Coco and Incredibles 2. Pixar research and development provided important new features for producing superior imagery faster, and the latest version of RenderMan delivers the groundwork for USD (Universal Scene Description), a new technology for scene management also developed at Pixar Animation Studios.

RenderMan artist tools for Autodesk’s Maya, Foundry’s Katana, and SideFX Houdini have all been comprehensively updated for version 22. These upgrades make live rendering faster and more robust while also supporting entirely new kinds of interactive edits: modeling, animation, grooming, and more. Additionally RenderMan’s Preset Browser and library of materials will now ship with all bridge products for easy sharing of materials, lights, and textures. New Maya and Katana interfaces are available immediately, with Houdini integration available shortly.

“The new RenderMan technology is already changing our pipeline. We are moving to take full advantage of its interactivity and scalability. New workflow options will also open as we add direct RenderMan integration with Pixar’s Universal Scene Description. RenderMan will play a critical role during this rapidly evolving industry move to adopt USD.” –  Pixar CTO Steve May

“Artist freedom and productivity are both critical to large scale productions. MPC Film chooses RenderMan because it is always driven forward by the requirements of real productions, and the latest release reflects that. It is a platform that provides great artistic versatility, scalable productivity, and inventive technical solutions that support the team in delivering ground breaking visuals for major feature films.” — SVP Technology & Infrastructure, Production Services Damien Fagnou.

“RenderMan allows us to innovate in unique ways as a studio. It allows us to achieve a director’s vision more effectively as a result. Version 22 is an amazing evolution of what is, in my opinion, already the best tool for the job. We are excited to get our hands on it!” — Kevin Baillie, founder and VFX Supervisor at Atomic Fiction.

Pixar will be demonstrating the new version of RenderMan in a series of presentations at the upcoming ACM SIGGRAPH 2018 conference in Vancouver.

RenderMan version 22 is available for download today at for customers on maintenance. Individual licenses of RenderMan are available for $ 595, and $ 250 for yearly maintenance. This new pricing reflects market adjustments and Pixar’s increased investment in RenderMan development. Quantity discounts are available. Researchers, individual artists, and students creating non-commercial projects will have access the Non-Commercial RenderMan release shortly after SIGGRAPH.

Check out the new features here.

[Source: RenderMan]

The Incredibles 2

The Incredibles 2

Animation Magazine

California Releases Regulations for Marijuana Industry

By, Valli Herman The proposed rules and regulations that will govern the California cannabis industry were released Friday, July 13, 2018, marking the first step toward establishing permanent regulations for the burgeoning industry. The three state agencies that oversee the California cannabis market, the world’s largest, include the Bureau of Cannabis Control (BCC), the Department […]

Maryland Cannabis Policy Coalition Releases General Assembly Voter Guide, Grades Candidates’ Marijuana Policy Positions Ahead of June Primary

The Maryland Cannabis Policy Coalition released a General Assembly voter guide that documents and grades candidates’ positions on cannabis policy. The release comes exactly two weeks before early voting begins in the 2018 primary election (June 14).

The web-based voter guide can be found at In March, the Marijuana Policy Project released a separate guide to the Democratic gubernatorial primary candidates.

The General Assembly voter guide is based on a questionnaire that was sent to the 550 official House and Senate candidates contending in the June 26 primary. Candidates were asked for their positions on regulating and taxing cannabis for adult use and home cultivation, as well as for comments on the controversial implementation of the state’s medical cannabis program. The guide also notes whether candidates have previously co-sponsored bills to legalize and regulate cannabis for adults or refer the question to voters. Legislation that would have allowed voters to decide was debated in the General Assembly this year, but it did not receive a vote.

“Marylanders do not get to vote on legalization this year, but they do get to weigh in on the legislators who declined to put it on the ballot,” said Kate Bell, legislative counsel for the Marijuana Policy Project. “This is their chance to send a message to current and future lawmakers that legalizing, regulating, and taxing cannabis for adult use should be a priority for lawmakers next year. Most people recognize cannabis prohibition has been a costly failure and they want to know where their candidates stand.”

Sixty-four percent of likely Maryland voters support making cannabis legal for adults, according to a Washington Post-University of Maryland poll conducted in September 2016.

Advocates also expressed concern at the large number of candidates who have not responded to the questionnaire, which was sent out over a month ago. More than three out of four candidates have not responded yet, including more than 125 incumbents.

“Maryland’s cannabis policy affects everyone in the state, and it is receiving a significant amount of debate in the General Assembly,” Bell said. “Many voters care deeply about this issue, and they deserve to know where the candidates stand on it. It is disappointing to see so many candidates are still not on the record on cannabis policy, and we are encouraging voters in their districts to contact them directly to get them on the record.”

The post Maryland Cannabis Policy Coalition Releases General Assembly Voter Guide, Grades Candidates’ Marijuana Policy Positions Ahead of June Primary appeared first on MPP Blog.

MPP Blog

Reallusion Releases Free Platform Cloud Animator


Reallusion, the leading animation software company internationally recognized for its iClone and CrazyTalk Animator titles, now officially releases a fully online animation platform – Cloud Animator. Cloud Animator dynamically engages with web audiences using an interactive flow of information, motion graphics and animation delivered in a universal HTML5 experience that deploys user’s media on any device. This new animation platform takes a different approach to authoring and sharing from other cloud-based animation services, which are derived from Flash and use HTML5 and with feature video output.

“We envision generating online media marketing differently. With Cloud Animator, we have built a service which gives the best interactive experience for business, education and social media users. They can easily turn their ideas into interactive media, anywhere, in any device,” stated Charles Chen, Reallusion CEO.

Animation and Video blog owner David Arandle commented, “A short, shareable video presentation like this, is a great way to promote a product or service with direct links within the video to more information or the product’s online store page. As you would expect Cloud Animator can import video clips, gif animations, various image formats, audio and more to help you create a unique video presentation about almost anything.”

Cloud Animator features include:

1. Cross device – Focus on Instant Interaction

While navigating from one page to another, designers can link projects to another, or link to their own website via URL. Viewer contact is the key with Cloud Animator and features that allow viewers to directly call a phone number or ask questions via email or instant message templates.

2. Total Ownership – Businesses, Schools, Brands; Close Network, Self-Hosting, Offline Viewing (Digital Signage)

Business users can keep their assets from being held hostage on other vendors’ servers and fully access all projects anytime within Cloud Animator. Branding, privacy, and ownership is always a concern, and the files and projects generated with Cloud Animator are owned by the creator and fully customizable to incorporate any brand identity. By replacing the boring PowerPoint, you can remove the complexity of animation, and effectively aggregate all different media into a one-stop production service.

  • Design templates: use our professional layouts for business applications
  • Create Custom Media: directly drag to upload for in-place editing
  • Collaboration: share and control your projects among different team members

3. Download for Offline Viewing or Self-Hosting

Cloud Animator really serves users by allowing creators to download and host those interactive projects in their own service, or environment without WIFI.

  • Download Project: playback project without an internet connection
  • Offline Use: use script-defined autoplay sequences, and loop options on YouTube videos or your own MPEG4 videos with custom logos
  • Self Host: fully own your project with self-contained player and resource download, independent to any web component

Plans range from the Free version (500MB max storage) to Advanced ($ 5.75 monthly, 5GB max storage) and Business ($ 16.58 monthly, 50GB max storage). Full pricing and plan options available here.

[Source: Reallusion]

Cloud Animator

Cloud Animator

Animation Magazine

Double Fine Releases New ‘Psychonauts’ VR Game

Psychonauts in the Rhombus of Ruin

Psychonauts in the Rhombus of Ruin

Indie game development studio, Double Fine Productions launched the first-person mind-bending VR adventure game, Psychonauts in the Rhombus of Ruin for HTC Vive and Oculus Rift. Double Fine Productions is offering a 20% off promotion on the psychedelic puzzler (normally $ 19.99, now available for $ 15.99) from today through April 26 on Steam and Oculus Home.

Written and directed by Tim Schafer and led by VR veteran Chad Dawson, the standalone VR chapter chronicles the events between the first Psychonauts and the forthcoming Psychonauts 2. In this game, players assume the role of Raz, a young psychic and fully fledged member of the Psychonauts — an elite group of international psychic secret agents. Gamers use Raz’s various psychic powers to affect the world and solve puzzles. The power of Clairvoyance will allow players to see through the eyes of others, and explore the environment, whilst other abilities such as Telekinesis and Pyrokinesis will allow them to move things around with the power of their mind…or just set them on fire. Psychonauts in the Rhombus of Ruin launched on PlayStation VR in 2017.

Double Fine is the company behind award-winning titles such as Psychonauts, Brütal Legend, Costume Quest, Sesame Street: Once Upon a Monster, Broken Age, Headlander and remastered editions of Grim Fandango, Day of the Tentacle, and Full Throttle.

You can check the trailer for the game here.

You can find out more ns at

Psychonauts in the Rhombus of Ruin

Psychonauts in the Rhombus of Ruin

Psychonauts in the Rhombus of Ruin

Psychonauts in the Rhombus of Ruin

Psychonauts in the Rhombus of Ruin

Psychonauts in the Rhombus of Ruin

Animation Magazine

Delaware Task Force Releases Legalization Report

Earlier this month, the Delaware Adult Use Cannabis Task Force voted to release its final report. Thank you to the co-chairs, Sen. Margaret Rose Henry and Rep. Helene Keeley, and all the members of the task force who have worked tirelessly to thoroughly review the issue before presenting their findings.

Legalizing and regulating marijuana in other states has created jobs, generated tax revenue, and increased tourism. It also attracts new businesses and makes the state more appealing to younger professionals all while undercutting the illicit market. Considering a majority of Delaware voters support making marijuana legal, there is no reason for delay.

When the legislature returns from the break, it will be time to proceed with legislative consideration of HB 110, which would legalize, regulate, and tax adults’ use of marijuana. Marijuana is safer than alcohol, and adults who choose the safer option should not be punished. Instead, they should be able to support Delaware’s economy by purchasing safe, legal products from state-licensed businesses.

The post Delaware Task Force Releases Legalization Report appeared first on MPP Blog.

MPP Blog

Medicine Man Releases Three a Light Home-Grow Weed App for Apple Devices

If you’re thinking about starting a cannabis grow in your house but aren’t an expert botanist, don’t worry: There’s now an app for that. The first app to offer personal horticulture services specifically for weed launched on the Apple App Store at the end of January.

Three a Light, released by cannabis consulting firm Medicine Man Technologies, is based on the book of the same name that uses simple methods to teach regular people how to increase their yields — up to three pounds per light, thus the name of the book — from their cannabis plants. Adults 21 and up and medical marijuana patients in Colorado are allowed to grow anywhere from six to sixteen plants at home, depending on a variety of factors, including where they live and if they have a medical marijuana card.

Joshua Haupt, the chief cultivation officer at Medicine Man Technologies (a cannabis consulting firm owned by the same potrepreneurs behind Medicine Man dispensaries), first published the book Three a Light in 2015 after helping his friends in the Rocky Mountains grow for themselves. “I had a lot of friends with medical issues,” he says. “I made them a little pamphlet that was like, ‘Follow these steps,’ and everyone used it.”

His friends encouraged him to go bigger than a pamphlet, so Haupt wrote Three a Light, filling it with photos and illustrations explaining how to grow the plant to its full potential. There was a hole in the market for this type of book, according to Haupt, who believes there still isn’t literature available that explains the cultivation process from start to finish in a way that the weed-illiterate can understand.

After being out for a few years, he says, the book still maintains a high rating (it currently has a 4/5 rating on Amazon), so why the need to make an app? Shortly after the book came out, Haupt saw a need for customer service. And the most valuable piece of the app, he believes, is the interactive support it provides. The app holds much of the book’s content in a sleek design, with photos for each step of the cultivation process as well as a nutrient calendar and schedule for feeding. Users can sync their plants into the calendar and receive notifications for cultivation reminders.

But the coolest part of the app is the feature that lets growers talk with master growers.

For example, a grower struggling to identify a pest could upload a picture of it to the app and get a response during the company’s business hours. The master growers answering questions have all worked in grow facilities and have thousands of hours of experience working with Haupt.

“Essentially you just get the keys to the castle with the app in your hand,” Haupt says. “You get oversight from people who have been doing this on a much larger scale.” His goal is to help the cannabis industry become more successful and lower wholesale prices of cannabis, while also imparting necessary growing skills to people who need the plant for medical purposes and are choosing to grow at home to save money.

While both the book ($ 500) and app ($ 99.99) prices aren’t pocket change, they aren’t much compared to the startup costs of a home grow — or underperforming plants. “It’s a very expensive learning curve,” Haupt explains. “If you do something wrong, you could lose thousands of dollars.” He says he’s able to double the amount of cannabis yielded per plant through a combination of tactics, including a process called “schwazzing,” which involves defoliating the plants at specific times of the growing cycle.

“If you have a license to grow cannabis, you have a license to lose money — a lot of it,” Haupt says. “This is truly farming, so it’s not gonna be easy. You’ve got to earn every dollar.”

Toke of the Town

MPP Releases 2018 Strategic Plan

MPP is excited to be moving into 2018 at a time when marijuana policy reform has unprecedented momentum. While there are sure to be challenges ahead, MPP is confident that we will make great strides this year.

You can find the strategic plan here.

In a great sign of things to come, one of our goals is already on the verge of success. On Thursday, the Vermont legislature passed a bill that would make possession and limited home cultivation legal in the Green Mountain State! The bill is expected to be signed into law in the coming weeks.

The post MPP Releases 2018 Strategic Plan appeared first on MPP Blog.

MPP Blog

Montana Releases Proposed Changes for Expanded Medical Marijuana Program

The Montana Department of Health and Human Services (DPHHS) will hold a public hearing Nov. 30 to discuss their newly released medical marijuana (MMJ) rules and regulations for the state’s expanded program. Passed by the voters of Montana on Nov. 8, 2016, Initiative 182 authorized DPHHS to cultivate new rules and fees for the state’s burgeoning […]

O.penVape Releases New Line of Flavored Distillate Cartridges

One of Colorado’s largest hash manufacturers has added another product to its lineup. O.penVape, known for its pre-filled vaporizers cartridges, has rolled out ISH pens, a new line of distillate products geared toward novice cannabis consumers.

The pre-filled distillate cartridges come in Bavarian cream, blue raspberry and watermelon flavors. Similar to Evolab’s fruit-flavored vape pens released in July, the ISH pens aren’t flavored with terpenes or flavors associated with cannabis, instead focusing on sweet and fruit flavors from artificially and natural flavoring. However, unlike the Evolab pens, which are made with CO2 hash oil, the ISH line is made with distillate, a concentrate made by distilling solvent-run concentrates like wax and shatter into purer, more potent THC.

O.penVape isn’t new to the distillate world: Its Craft Reserve cartridges, released on the retail market in 2016, carry distillate with cannabis terpenes reintroduced for flavor. But with the ISH pens, O.penVape is targeting palates that appreciate dessert more than dank.

“We had lots of feedback that people wanted a flavored cartridge, as it appeals to a totally different market than say, the Craft Reserve,” says Chris Driessen, president of O.PenVape’s parent comany, Organa Brands. “Plus, the addition of flavoring sets it apart in this category. The customer is someone who is perhaps not a strain aficionado — someone looking for rich flavor, without a strong marijuana taste.

“I didn’t know how much I would love these flavors until I tried them, but once I did, I was really impressed with the work of our R&D team,” adds Driessen. “It’s not your typical cartridge, and is definitely a refreshing take on flavored distillate.”

The ISH line debuted in dispensaries last week and is available at most O.penVape retailers, a list of which you can find on the ISH webpage. Its suggested retail price is around $ 20 for 250-milligram cartridges, and $ 30 for 500-milligram cartridges, according to Organa Brands.

Toke of the Town

Texans for Responsible Marijuana Policy Releases State Voter Guide

To find out where Texas candidates for state senator and state representative stand on marijuana policy reform, we surveyed them, compiled their voting records, and put together a voter guide to make it easy for those of us who consider this issue a priority.s6v2cbfqzfoq695dmsrvg5zcwwvu9khspgdvm07hevsi-068qgifwmcxwibowjdbzh8pegs2048

There are two ways to view the results:

a. Enter your address and we’ll tell you which candidates are seeking your vote and where they stand on marijuana law reform.
a. This full-length document displays candidates’ responses to our survey, contact information for those who declined to respond, and incumbents’ voting records for the marijuana-related bills from last session.
This voter guide was compiled, published, and funded by members of Texans for Responsible Marijuana Policy, a broad coalition of organizations, activists, and community leaders dedicated to meaningful reform in Texas.
Texas NORML originated the guide in 2012, and we’d like to thank them for helping to put this year’s guide together.

Don’t forget: early voting starts in Texas on Oct. 24, and the general election will be held on Nov. 8!

The post Texans for Responsible Marijuana Policy Releases State Voter Guide appeared first on MPP Blog.

MPP Blog

VIZ Releases First Set for ‘Sailor Moon Crystal’


VIZ Media has officially released Sailor Moon Crystal Set 1 to the home entertainment market. Fans can bring home the first 14 episodes of this reboot based on Naoko Takeuchi’s classic shoujo manga (blus fun bonus features) on Blu-ray combo (available as Limited or Standard Edition) and DVD now. And yes, old school fans: The classic series is also available on disc from VIZ.

Produced by Toei Animation, Sailor Moon Crystal tells the story of Usagi Tsukino, an awkward teenage girl whose life is turned upside-down when she becomes Sailor Moon, guardian of justice and the Legendary Silver Crystal. With Tokyo under constant threat from the dark forces of Queen Metalia, Usagi’s arrival couldn’t have come at a better time. And luckily, she won’t have to do it alone! Other Sailor Guardians are awakening to join in the fight and help Usagi answer the biggest question of all: What power does the Legendary Silver Crystal hold?

The Sailor Moon Crystal Set 1 Limited Edition Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack is a four-disc collection (two DVDs & two BD), packaged with an exclusive chipboard box with specialty printing; seven full-color collectible art cards; and a premium 88-page full-color art booklet featuring episode summaries, exclusive interviews, character settings and more. Blu-ray bonus content includes series trailers, a digital art gallery and a special “Introduction to Sailor Moon Crystal” featurette with the English-language voice actors.

Limited Edition combo has an MSRP of $ 79.99 U.S. / $ 99.99 CAN; Standard Edition Blu-ray/DVD combo is $ 69.99 U.S. / $ 81.99 CAN; and the Standard Edition DVD carries an MSRP of $ 39.99 U.S. / $ 51.99 CAN.

Sailor Moon Crystal Set 1 Limited Edition

Sailor Moon Crystal Set 1 Limited Edition

Sailor Moon Crystal Set 1 Limited Edition

Sailor Moon Crystal Set 1 Limited Edition

Sailor Moon Crystal Set 1 Limited Edition

Sailor Moon Crystal Set 1 Limited Edition

Animation Magazine

Colorado: CDOT Releases Marijuana Driving Statistics

Showing an overall decline in the number of fatalities attributed to driving while high on narcotics, the Colorado Department of Transportation has just released statistics indicating that 546 fatalities were directly associated with driving while high on drugs during 2015. Representing a decrease of 60 drug-related traffic fatalities over the past 11 years, marijuana’s involvement […]