• Santa Monica - After the successful debut of its “Age of Mythology” cinematic (produced for Microsoft / Ensemble Studios), Fragment announced the official opening of its full service film, commercial and cinematic animation studio in Santa Monica, California. Fragment’s primary digital production strengths include character development, 3d modeling, motion capture, crowd simulation, animation and rendering. Fragment’s motto – “From Paper to Pixels” – reinforces its ability to deliver along the entire production spectrum, from pre-visualization to post-production.

    The immense complexity of the two-minute CG effort for the “Age of Mythology” PC game included full development of human and mythological characters, multiple crowd simulation scenes with casts of thousands, numerous modeling, skin, hair and other rendering challenges, a fiery eruption, and an ancient stone temple crumbling in an earthquake. With only an eight-person team, Fragment delivered the project on budget and ahead of schedule. Age of Mythology, the next installment in Ensemble's Age of Empire series, is coming out next month.

    Founder B. Ian Hayden launched Fragment in early 2000, deciding to create a unique computer graphics studio that would rival larger firms’ expertise and project quality, while giving clients superior, more personalized service. That concept appealed to former Digital Domain artist David Lo and former Digital Domain technical director Christian Aubert, who both joined Fragment in 2001.

     

    During 2000 and 2001, Fragment worked with high-profile clients doing research, development and production work, including character development for Electronic Arts’ James Bond “The World is Not Enough” and “Tiger Woods PGA Tour” titles. For “Age of Mythology,” Fragment set benchmarks that clearly answered Ensemble’s visual needs for a highly stylized computer graphics presentation. Fragment achieved the stunning result by building a proprietary crowd simulation software tool that populated a battlefield with thousands of realistic warriors and mythological figures. From a technical perspective, Fragment combines off-the-shelf and customized software solutions that satisfy each project’s demands.

    “We use the traditional CG project model of multiple software packages but prime it for efficiency by creating customized tool sets for each client,” says Fragment partner and lead animator David Lo. “This technical flexibility allows us to ramp up and deliver projects quickly while maintaining the exceptional quality a client would expect from a much larger production house, executed by a group of artists who are supremely committed to their craft and to the final result.”

    Their animation leadership experience and technical flexibility give Fragment one additional competitive advantage: the ability to offer their clients an unparalleled opportunity for creativity.

    “With decades of computer graphics experience, we’ve been able to solve a vast range of artistic and technical challenges,” says Ian Hayden. “That kind of expertise lets us deliver the best narrative solution. Our goal is to enhance each client’s creative journey, one that pushes their imagination.”

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