Watch: ‘Secret Life of Pets 2’ Exclusive Deleted Scene

With the globally beloved animal stars of The Secret Life of Pets 2 ready to make their DVD, Blu-ray and 4K debut on August 27, Universal Pictures Home Entertainment has given us a sneak peek at the special features in store on the release. Check out the deleted scene “Wake Up” form Illumination Ent.’s blockbuster sequel below!

The Secret Life of Pets 2 is out now on Digital.

Don’t forget to enter our online giveaway for a chance to win this furry frolic on disc!

Synopsis: Terrier Max (Patton Oswalt) is coping with major life changes after Katie’s marriage and the arrival of a toddler, Liam. Meanwhile, Gidget (Jenny Slate) tries to rescue Max’s favorite toy from a cat-packed apartment with a little help from her feline friend, Chloe (Lake Bell), who has discovered the joys of catnip. And Snowball (Kevin Hart) believes, despite the other pets’ teasing, that he’s a superhero after his owner starts dressing him in superhero pajamas. But when Daisy (Tiffany Haddish), a fearless Shih Tzu, shows up to ask for Snowball’s help on a dangerous mission, he’ll have to summon the courage to become the hero he’s been pretending to be. The voice cast also features Eric Stonestreet, Nick Kroll, Dana Carvey, Ellie Kemper, Hannibal Buress, Bobby Moynihan and Harrison Ford in his first-ever animation role: a farm dog named Rooster.

The Secret Life of Pets 2 is helmed by returning director Chris Renaud and co-director Jonathan del Val; produced by Chris Meledandri and Janet Healy.

Animation Magazine

Dwarf goats make the party scene in Los Angeles

(Reuters) – Spanky and Pippin are literally party animals in the Los Angeles nightlife scene.

The Nigerian Dwarf goats are professional party-goers, bringing their special brand of magic to city celebrations and starry soirees.

So-called goat mom Scout Raskin, a lifelong animal lover and former child actor, set up Party Goats LA in early 2017 and charges $ 99 an hour to bring her goats to a party or event.

One of the most popular interactions with the goats at parties is to have them jump onto revelers’ backs while they kneel on all fours.

Student Torian Mylott, 20, said the experience was fun and therapeutic.

“They’re so friendly and they’re just so nice to be around, because you can definitely tell they love humans and they are just a lot of fun,” she said.

Despite being the same breed and age, the goats have very different personalities, Raskin says.

“Usually people at parties have their favorites. Some people love Pippin because he’s really cute, but he’s the cute dumb one,” Raskin said. “And then some people really like Spanky because he’s more chill and quiet and they feel like they can connect with him more.”

The goats are unfazed by loud music and crowds of people, Raskin said.

“We’ve been to parties with DJs where there’s loud music and I myself was concerned about how they would react to it. Pippin fell asleep and was totally calm and chill and fine in that environment, and it didn’t really seem to hurt their ears or anything like that,” she said.  

Before hitting the town, Raskin dresses the goats in purple, lace-cuffed velvet jackets and neckbands and wraps their horns in brightly colored tape, for decoration and safety.

And then they’re ready for the party you’ve just got to goat to.

A goat stands on a woman’s back during a party in Los Angeles, California, U.S., September 26, 2018 in this still image taken from a video. REUTERS TV/ via REUTERS

Reporting by Jane Ross; editing by Bill Tarrant and Cynthia Osterman

Reuters: Oddly Enough

Chaos Group Packs Scene Intel, AI and 2x GPU Speed into V-Ray Next 3ds Max

V-Ray Next

V-Ray Next

Chaos Group has released V-Ray Next for 3ds Max, aligning the world’s most popular renderer with the benefits of smart tech. With automatic scene analysis, artists and designers can produce faster, cleaner renders with little to no input, removing unnecessary set-up time from the creative equation.

“Our latest R&D has helped boost overall rendering performance by up to 25 percent, giving users a much faster baseline,” said Vlado Koylazov, CTO of Chaos Group. “The speed gains from scene intelligence and a new GPU architecture make it even faster.”

A Smart Start
In the same way that machine learning makes choices based on what is learned about a specific problem, V-Ray has been adopting learning techniques for analyzing a scene as it is rendering. V-Ray Next builds on previous smart features with two new breakthroughs:

The new Adaptive Dome Light (ADL) automatically produces cleaner, more accurate image-based environment lighting that’s up to 7x faster. The ADL also removes the need to set up skylight portals at windows and openings, making it especially helpful for architectural interiors.

Scene intelligence also comes to the V-Ray Physical Camera, via point-and-shoot-style timesavers like Automatic Exposure, Automatic White Balance and a simplified UI. Now, a perfect render will be as easy as taking a snapshot.

“With 22 years in the business, V-Ray is still DBOX’s core renderer,” said Neil Griffiths, partner at DBOX. “With so many smart features coming to V-Ray Next, it’s safe to say that won’t be changing.”

Faster GPU Rendering
V-Ray Next marks the debut of Chaos Group’s fast new V-Ray GPU rendering architecture, which effectively doubles the speed of production rendering. Through a redesign of its kernel structure, V-Ray GPU offers a dual blend of high-performance speed and accuracy across interactive and production renders. The redesign has also prepared V-Ray for new improvements in GPU hardware, which will allow developers to incorporate new features without impacting performance. For instance, V-Ray GPU already tops previous generations of NVIDIA’s Quadro cards, running 47 percent faster on the new Quadro GV100.

Production artists will also enjoy GPU-accelerated support for environment fog, volumetric effects, and VRscans materials.

A Stylist’s Dream
The new Physical Hair Material produces more realistic-looking hair with accurate highlights. Building off a paper produced by Disney Research, Chaos Group has reduced look development down to a few sliders, giving artists full control over glossiness, softness, randomness and more. Easy-to-use melanin controls can quickly dial in any color from blonde to redhead. Hair dye sliders have also been added, so characters can rock a green mohawk, when the brief allows.

Other new features include:

  • NVIDIA Al Denoiser – Fast, real-time denoising based on NVIDIA OptiX AI-accelerated technology.
  • Denoise Render Elements – Artists can now denoise any render element used on a still or animation project, ensuring more control for compositors.
  • Lighting Analysis – Accurately analyze and measure the light levels in a scene with the help of heat maps and data overlays.
  • Layered Alembic Workflows – Supports Alembic 1.7 with layering, for faster, more efficient handling and updating of Alembic data.
  • V-Ray Switch Material – Easily switch between the multiple materials applied to an object for faster look dev and variation decisions.
  • V-Ray Plugin and Texture – Load any texture or material from any version of V-Ray into 3ds Max, including procedural textures and PBR materials for Unity and Unreal.

V-Ray Next will be available very soon for Windows. Every purchase of V-Ray 3.x made from today until launch will result in an automatic upgrade. A full Workstation license is priced at $ 1,180, with upgrades priced at $ 580. Annual rentals can be purchased for $ 470; monthly options are available as well.

Get a full tour and full pricing information at

[Source: Chaos Group]

V-Ray Next

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Animation Magazine

Weed Scene Elated as City Appears to Embrace Pot Shop Permits

Monday, August 7, 2017 at 6:03 a.m.

Weed Scene Elated as City Appears to Embrace Pot Shop Permits

File photo by Susan Slade Sanchez/L.A. Weekly

In a proposal that was widely panned by pot shops and legalization advocates, the city in June revealed possible regulations for Los Angeles cannabis businesses that would have continued the problematic policy of treating even the most legit enterprises with “limited legal immunity.

Many cannabis folks were up in arms. Voters in March approved Proposition M, which was pitched as an initiative that would finally grant licenses to weed sellers and producers. But the measure ultimately left the fine print up to City Hall. The groups representing collectives in town opposed the limited-immunity approach in proposed regulations forwarded as a way to implement M. This week, City Council president Herb Wesson submitted additions to those regulations that would endorse full licenses for pot businesses.

Wesson requested the changes in a letter to the city’s planning director. The proposed rule changes will be weighed by the Planning Commission in September before heading to the full City Council for its consideration. “After a complete and thorough review of the relevant legal issues, a licensing/permitting system as indicated in Proposition M that provides certainty under the zoning code is the best and only way to proceed toward regulating the commercial cannabis industry,” Wesson wrote.

“After carefully listening to Angelenos, we have requested adjustments to our draft ordinance that reflect the concerns voiced during the 60-day public comment period,” Wesson said via email. “We will continue to weigh different viewpoints in the coming months to regulate this emerging industry and protect city residents in the best way for Los Angeles.”

Marijuana business groups appeared to be elated.

“The members of UCBA [United Cannabis Business Alliance] are heartened by the thoughtful letter from council president Wesson,” Javier Montes, vice president of the trade association, said via email. “It is clear he has heard from the public at large and understands that a license is essential to a successful launch of the cannabis industry in Los Angeles.”

In a phone interview, leaders of the organization appeared to be confident licensing would become the law of the land for legit cannabis concerns in the city. “It’s a clear step forward,” Montes says.

Adam Spiker, executive director of the Southern California Coalition, the largest marijuana business organization in town, argues that the limited legal immunity approach established under voter-approved Proposition D in 2013 backfired for legit dispensaries because it created a legal gray area without protections for good actors. He said the number of fully illicit shops has mushroomed; many claim to be legal because the definition of “legal” is so murky. Some even proudly displayed tax certificates issued by the city before the City Council pulled the plug on issuing such documents to illegal storefronts last year.

“If you’re going to take their taxes, you also have to give them the same protections as other licensed businesses,” Spiker says. “We need to make it clear who are the legit operators under Proposition M and who aren’t, so that law enforcement and the City Attorney’s office know who to go after and treat like a regular licensee.”

Indeed, pot shop operators have long been hoping for a new day in which they could proudly flaunt licenses or permits that would repel police. California’s Medical Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act (MCRSA) originally contained what Gov. Jerry Brown called a dual-licensing system, where city permits would be required. That’s essentially how Proposition M, placed on the ballot by the City Council, was pitched to voters.

But the final version of those state rules nixed the local licensing requirement, and the June rollout of L.A.’s own proposed regulations reverted to the “limited legal immunity” model.

The Los Angeles rules were intended to allow not only medical marijuana shops but other businesses, including growers and product producers, to achieve legality in the city under the state’s own laws. It’s also expected that some if not most retailers will switch to recreational cannabis sales for the 21-and-older crowd, approved by voters under California’s Proposition 64 in November.

Wesson is proposing another change to allow “safe volatile manufacturing” in the city. June’s proposed regulations would have outlawed the predominant process for creating a concentrated marijuana products like dabs, wax and oils used in vaporizers. The products have rapidly gained in popularity at dispensaries and are responsible for 30 percent of sales statewide, according to one estimate. The rule would have essentially shut out the making of such products in L.A., critics said.

In recent years, there have been several explosions stemming from amateurs using butane to extract concentrated THC from marijuana. But industry experts say extraction can be done safely if it’s regulated like other industries that use volatile chemicals. Wesson agrees, saying in his letter, “I am confident that the city of Los Angeles has the inspection, safety and regulatory expertise to allow for safe volatile manufacturing.”

“It’s something we’ve been supportive of,” says Montes of the UCBA. “This type of manufacturing has been
done in various other industries for decades.”

Wesson is asking that the draft regulations be considered on an emergency basis so that city license applications will be available late in the year, ahead of the expected rollout of state licenses in January.

Toke of the Town

Clip: Deleted Scene from ‘Inside Out’ Blu-ray


The fun lovin’ folk at Walt Disney Home Entertainment have released a sneak peek at what fans can expect from the bushel of bonus content on the Inside Out Blu-ray 3D, Blu-ray Combo pack and On-Demand releases. Out next Tuesday, November 3, the set will feature deleted scenes like this hilarious animatic for “Take Your Daughter to Work Day.”

The film is available now for Digital HD download and on Disney Movies Anywhere.

Inside Out

Inside Out

Animation Magazine

Check Out Fear the Walking Dead’s Gruesome Opening Scene

The new Walking Dead spinoff, Fear the Walking Dead, premieres on AMC this Sunday, and the channel have posted the opening scene from the first episode. Check it out below:

Fear the Walking Dead is set at the very start of the zombie outbreak, and has been described by Walking Dead creator Robert Kirkman as a “companion” to the main show. In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Kirkman explained what will set the new show apart from The Walking Dead. “All our viewers, or at least most of them, will have seen The Walking Dead. They know the rules, they know what these people are up against,” he said. “Our characters do not and that creates a tension and a sense of dread in the viewing experience that I think is unique to our show, and very exciting.”

In addition, The Hollywood Reporter has stated that the streaming rights for Fear the Walking Dead in three European territories have been acquired by Amazon. Viewers in Germany and Austria will able to watch the first episode on Amazon Prime Video the day after the US broadcast. In the UK, the show will screen exclusively from August 31 on the new UK AMC channel, available only to subscribers of BT TV, and will come to Amazon in 2016.

The Walking Dead is based on Kirkman’s long-running comic book, and has been on air since 2010. Over the course of five seasons it has set viewing records for a cable show in the US, and returns to screens on October 11, 2015.


Pixar’s Universal Scene Description Going Open Source


Pixar intends to release its Universal Scene Description software (USD) as an open-source project by summer, 2016. The toolset addresses the need in the CG film and game industries for an effective way to describe, assemble, interchange and modify high-complexity virtual scenes between digital content creation tools employed by studios.

Pixar has been developing USD’s core abilities to compose and non-destructively edit graphics for nearly 20 years, going back to the production of A Bug’s Life. The USD techniques, such as file-referencing, layered overrides, variation and inheritance, were completely overhauled into a uniform design for Pixar’s in-house animation system, Presto. While still in active development for optimization, USD has been in use for nearly a year in production for Finding Dory.

The USD team hopes to build on the Alembic open-source project’s success with the VFX industry, which established the standardization of cached geometry interchange, by standardizing the “algebra” by which assets are aggregated and refined in-context.

“One of the key aspects of Pixar’s pipeline is the ability for hundreds of artists to operate simultaneously on the same collections of assets in different contexts, using separate ‘layers’ of data that are composited together at various production stages. USD generalizes these concepts in an attempt to make them available to any DCC application,” says Guido Quaroni, VP of Software R&D at Pixar.

USD distribution will include embeddable direct 3D visualization provided by Pixar’s Hydra GPU renderer, as well as plugins for several key VFX DCCs, comprehensive documentation, tutorials and complete python bindings. Pixar has already shared early snapshots with studios including MPC and Double Negative, and have called up vendors like The Foundry and Fabric Software to evaluate the technology.

More information on USD can be found at

Pixar's Universal Scene Description Going Open Source

Pixar’s Universal Scene Description Going Open Source

Animation Magazine

Star Wars Battlefront Blasts Back on to the Scene

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Officials order Ohio man to take down zombie Nativity scene

(Reuters) – A suburban Cincinnati man’s zombie-themed Nativity scene has caused quite a stir in his neighborhood, with some considering it a holiday treat. But others see a nightmare before Christmas.

Responding to two anonymous complaints, officials in Ohio’s Sycamore Township said on Tuesday they have ordered Jasen Dixon to take down his display by Friday because it violates local property maintenance codes.

Dixon, who manages a haunted attraction in Indiana, faces a $ 1,000 fine if he does not remove the 10-foot by 10-foot structure he built three weeks ago.

He said he made the models for the zombie Mary and three wise men and borrowed props to make the Joseph and Jesus zombie figures. The baby Jesus is pale with totally white eyes, while the other life-sized figures are partly skeletal.

Dixon said many people approve of the display, which is lit by red and green lights. A Facebook page he made for it has attracted 200 “likes.” He said that at around 2 a.m. on Tuesday, he discovered three women in his front yard taking selfies with the display in the pouring rain.

“I never suspected it to be this big,” Dixon said.

Greg Bickford, the township administrator, said the citation has nothing to do with the content of the display, which he called “comical.” Rather, the size and location are the issues, Bickford said.

“We’re complaint-driven,” Bickford said, when asked if other displays had been cited this season. “If we were to drive up and down every single street and try to find violations, we’d never get off a street.”

Dixon, who has lived in the neighborhood for 15 years and never received any other citations, was also cited for junk and debris on his property that he said was never an issue before. He said he is still considering what to do with the manger scene by the township’s Friday deadline, the day after Christmas.

“I haven’t decided,” he said. “I don’t really know what’s going to happen.”

(Reporting by Steve Bittenbender in Louisville, Kentucky; Editing by Mary Wisniewski and Will Dunham)

Reuters: Oddly Enough

WAC Winners Rep Global Animation Scene


Talented filmmakers from across the globe took home awards at the 2014 World Animation Celebration (WAC) held over the weekend. The event, presented by Animation Libation Studios and Animation Magazine, was held at the Los Angeles Film School on Nov. 1 and showcased animated shorts from over 40 countries in a number of categories during the newly revived festival.

WAC also featured acclaimed animator and Disney legend Floyd Norman as a guest speaker, and voice actor Michael-Leon Wooley (Beware the Batman, The Princess and the Frog) as guest host. Attendees were also treated to a panel on creating an independent animated short with James Lopez (creator, Hullabaloo), Pete Michels (supervising director, Rick and Morty), Mark Aguilar (animation director, Lalaloopsy), Rob Denovan (senior animator, Inside Out) and Lee Crowe (animator/storyboard artist, Family Guy).

The winners are:

Student Animation

Make It Yourself by Maryam Tabatabaei (Iran)

Experimental Animation

Land by Masanobu Hiraoka (Japan)

2D Computer Animation

Behind My Behind by David Chai (U.S.)

Traditional Animation

Guida by Rosana Urbes (Brazil)

Stop-Motion Animation

Two Ghosts by Amy Lee Ketchum (U.S.)

CG Animation

Juste de l’eau by Carlos de Carvalho (France)

World Animation Celebration

World Animation Celebration

Animation Magazine

DreamWorks Divulges ‘Dragon 2? Deleted Scene


Next week sees the release of the digital download of DreamWorks Animation’s How to Train Your Dragon 2 (the DVD and Blu-ray follow Nov. 11), and DreamWorks TV has debuted a deleted scene to whet your appetites.

The scene shows Hiccup when he first meets Eret, and comes up with a swashbuckling plan to teach him that dragons and people can be friends.

Here’s the scene, introduced by Dusan Brown:

DreamWorks TV is a YouTube channel featuring clips and original content.

How to Train Your Dragon 2

How to Train Your Dragon 2

Animation Magazine

Spain’s Cannabis Scene is Exploding While Keeping it Classy

When you consider the global scope of cannabis and how the plant can seamlessly assimilate into International societies, two words come to mind: class and subtlety. In Spain–namely, Barcelona–those are the most apt words to describe their Cannabis Social Clubs and surprisingly innovative industry.

If American’s emerging marijuana culture has one major issue, it’s that, just maybe, our stoners take their love a weed a little bit too far.

We are in your face about it. We will drop 1 gram dabs, smoke 1 pound joints, and build bongs out of legos (or anything else we can get our hands on). We post these insane (and sometimes vulgar) images and sensationalized landscapes of the cannabis culture all over the Internet and Social Media without much regard for our own industry’s future.

To an extent, it’s all fair game: we are how and what we smoke, as they say. And we do smoke a lotand in innovative ways–in the United States. But, at times, we’re prone to take things a tad too far, as we (sometimes) push the limits of legalization beyond where they need to be pushed. Embracing the culture is one thing–to caricature it is another, often senseless thing.

For every puff, there is a natural pull. And when we show weed being abused, it becomes unseemly, disturbing, and a little bit disgusting to the outsider and, in particular, the non-smoker. Like with alcohol (and any substance), the more you overtly display its negative effects (yes, even weed has them), the more haters will hate.

Which brings us to Barcelona, Spain, where Gil and the WeedmapsTV crew just spent over two weeks embedding themselves in the Mota.

While the Spanish culture certainly embraces their buds, it’s become clear that they do so in a far more discreet way. While I’ve never been in Spain, let alone a Cannabis Social Club, the two following videos showcase the Spanish way of weed.

The first video represents a tour through Barcelona’s Hemp Museum–and may be the first episode of WeedmapsTV that doesn’t include any inhalation of marijuana. While I’m sure an American museum like this exists (does it?) somewhere, the beauty of this museum is its historical and International scope. From 16th Century paintings of hash lounges to old Oils to, of all things, a NORML Texas license plate, this is a beautiful embodiment of cannabis culture:

Sure, the accent helps too. But there’s a sense of elevation present within the museum. You can sense the respect and courtesy they have for the Cannabis Sativa plant. There are no How High-like 30 foot bongs–it’s real history.

And then Gil visits the Choko Club, where two Spanish budtenders (motanders?) give him a tour. Again, it’s rather classy:

While the video doesn’t show the club in full action. these social clubs are what they sound like. They’re not bold festivals that turn into competitions on who can smoke more faster. They are simply casual venues (like in Amsterdam) where individuals can both purchase cannabis, smoke said cannabis, and relax with fellow cannabists.

In America’s defense, all we have is our festivals–we can’t smoke in dispensaries and BYOC clubs are not that enticing. The Spanish have a more free-flowing, loosely governed system.

But, just from watching these videos, you can tell it’s a more refined way of inhaling all that Mary Jane has to offer. While we should never take the fun out of our weed, sometimes, the entire scene is better toned down than turnt up.

Author Suri wins Britain’s bad sex award for ‘quarks’ and ‘superheroes’ scene

(Reuters) – Manil Suri has won the annual Bad Sex in Fiction award for a scene in his novel “The City of Devi” describing a sexual encounter in terms of exploding supernovas and streaking superheroes, Britain’s Literary Review said on Tuesday.

The prize, which has been bestowed by the magazine every year since 1993, aims to draw attention to “crude, badly written, or perfunctory use of passages of sexual description in contemporary novels, and to discourage it”.

Suri, a dual American and Indian citizen, joins an illustrious list of past winners including John Updike, Norman Mailer, Tom Wolfe and Sebastian Faulks.

The Literary Review said the judges were won over by the climax of an extended sex scene in The City of Devi involving all three main characters.

“Surely supernovas explode that instant, somewhere, in some galaxy. The hut vanishes, and with it the sea and the sands – only Karun’s body, locked with mine, remains,” wrote Suri, who as well as a novelist is a professor of mathematics.

“We streak like superheroes past suns and solar systems, we dive through shoals of quarks and atomic nuclei. In celebration of our breakthrough fourth star, statisticians the world over rejoice.”

The City of Devi is Suri’s third novel. He has previously won the Barnes and Noble Discover Prize, been shortlisted for the PEN/Faulkner Award and longlisted for the Booker Prize.

Based in the United States, Suri was unable to collect his award at a ceremony in London but a representative of Bloomsbury, his British publisher, accepted it on his behalf.

“In accepting this award we challenge everyone to make up their own mind … As Jane Austen observed: ‘One half of the world cannot understand the pleasures of the other.’ Which half are you in?” Bloomsbury said in a statement.

(Reporting by Estelle Shirbon)

Reuters: Oddly Enough

BitSummit Aspires to Demonstrate Japan’s Independent Development Scene Is Alive and Well


Digital distribution has given the independent games scene a major boost. No longer are publishers or shareware discs needed to get the creations of small developers with no marketing budgets or prowess into the hands of gamers. Over the last decade, we’ve seen the level of attention indie games receive in the media greatly increase, oftentimes approaching that of games from major publishers — perhaps not on par with the latest Call of Duty or Halo, but anyone who routinely reads a gaming website or magazine has likely seen the name Braid or Super Meat Boy pop up once or twice.

What we hear about much less often, at least in the West, are the games being made by independent developers located in Japan. There are, of course, exceptions, like Q-Games’ PixelJunk series making a name for itself, and the wonderful Cave Story now having made it to a handful of platforms in the U.S., but the key thing to note is these are exceptions. The number of independently developed games in Japan that we see released or even talked about here is not reflective of how many of these games there actually are. But with numerous hurdles in the way — language and time zones, for starters — most of them go unnoticed if they don’t have the good fortune of being developed by an especially prominent individual or company.

Friday Funnies: Medical Marijuana Scene From Half Baked

For this week’s installment of “Friday Funnies” we went back to last century and one of the iconic marijuana movies of all time, Half Baked.

Many of you have seen the clip below, but you know you want to see it again. And if you haven’t seen the movie, enjoy, and watch the entire movie as soon as possible. You’re welcome.

– Joe Klare

Filed Under: EntertainmentExclusive Web ContentFriday Funnies

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