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02/12/2004

Top graphics artist names Curious gFx as his software of choice

Special effects artist Greg Shimp, whose credits include all three 'Matrix' movies, has become a firm advocate of Curious Software’s 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 Software’s 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 didn’t have the chance to delve into it because of time constraints on finishing the Matrix sequels,” he said. “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 Software’s 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.”
Shimp’s 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 continued: “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.”
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