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LOS ANGELES, Calif. November 16, 2009 – Sony Online Entertainment (SOE) and Mass Animation today announced the DC Universe™ Online (DCUO) Animation Contest. The DCUO Animation Contest is version 2.0 of the acclaimed Mass Animation Facebook® application and will give DC Comics fans, gamers and animators a chance to animate heroes and villains from the DC Universe Online game currently in development by Sony Online Entertainment, and to collaborate in creating a CGI trailer and in-game character animations. The DCUO/Mass Animation contest is scheduled to launch on December 7, 2009.
“The DCUO/Mass Animation contest takes a part of the game out of the development studio and puts it in the hands of fans, an empowering opportunity for our community,” said John Smedley, president of SOE. “Players will have a chance through qualified contest submissions to be involved with the game’s development at a deeper level than ever before by animating actions for in-game heroes and villains.”
All the tools that animators will need to collaborate on this project, including a special edition of Autodesk Maya 3D Animation software, storyboards, designs and fully-rigged 3-D models will be provided to contest entrants and accessed through the Mass Animation application on the DCUO Facebook fan page. Participating animators will upload their contest submissions back to the application for viewing, voting and sharing with their friends. New to the contest this year will be the Mass Animation iPhone app, which gives people a new way to view and vote on submissions. Qualified contest winners will receive cash or other prizes. Each week, voters and a panel of judges will help determine what shots qualify as the “best” and will be eligible for voter prizes.
”This new project really gives us the opportunity to expand Mass Animation into the online game sector, where gamers have already been creating in-game customized assets for some time,” said Yair Landau, founder of Mass Animation. “In 2.0, we are opening the animation process to traditional animators as well as gamers and inviting artists to animate some of the coolest most classic characters on the planet such as Superman, Batman, The Joker and Wonder Woman. By opening up the contest to gamers and involving them in asset creation, there will be a real sense of connection to the game before it even launches.”
Mass Animation’s first collaborative animation project, Live Music, is scheduled for theatrical release on November 20th with “Planet 51.” Inspired by Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet” and early CGI films, the story follows Riff, a rock ‘n’ roll guitar, falls in love to the wrong song but ends up with Vanessa, the classical violin of his dreams. A global story told through the universal language of music, the instruments are brought to life through original compositions and familiar rock tunes played principally by legendary guitarist Steve Vai as Riff and acclaimed violinist Ann Marie Calhoun as Vanessa. 51 animators from 17 different countries collaborated in the making of this unique and wonderful film which introduced Mass Animation to the world.
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