Get Pixar's rendering software behind 'Toy Story' absolutely free

Pixar's award-winning, in-house rendering software, RenderMan, will be free starting in August. All you have to do is sign up. The Emeryville studio has announced that it will offer the $500 rendering software for free, provided it is used for noncommercial purposes. The animation giant has also stated that the "free non-commercial RenderMan is exactly the same as the commercial version." This is pretty awesome news for aspiring digital artists.

The free version of RenderMan will be released with its commercial counterpart sometime in August. You can sign up here to get notified once it goes live. … Read more

Court: Workers can sue Apple, Google, others in wage dispute

Apple, Google, Adobe, Intel, and other companies will have to battle a class action lawsuit from around 60,000 disgruntled workers.

Late Tuesday, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld last October's ruling by U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh that paved the way for a lawsuit against companies accused of conspiring to fix wages by agreeing not to poach employees. The appeals court's decision affirms the right of the workers to pursue their lawsuit as a group, according to Reuters.

If successful, a class action lawsuit can saddle the defendants with a higher penalty than … Read more

Review: Create extremely basic photo albums with PhotoPixar

PhotoPixar is a limited photo album program that seems primarily designed to add unwanted extras to your desktop. It offers no editing tools and just drops your selected images onto one of several backgrounds. It starts off poorly and never offers any compelling reason to keep using it.

Even if you're paying attention during the install and unchecking the box to change your browser's home page to the publisher's site, you'll still get desktop links to two online tools, Repair my PC and Boost My PC. You'll also need to supply your name and e-mail … Read more

iPad app makes kids the stars of interactive 'movie'

Speech recognition is a tough computing problem, but Toy Talk thinks it has cracked the code -- at least for kids.

Today, the San Francisco startup launched the latest version of its iPad app, known as The Winston Show. The app is built around the idea of kids having a spoken conversation with a cartoon character known as Winston and immediately incorporating the discussion into various animated skits. It's as if Apple's Siri was the front end for a variety show.

The Winston Show launched in Apple's App Store in September, and it already featured a variety … Read more

Judge OKs class action wage suit against Apple, others

A federal judge has given the green light on a class action suit in California that accuses tech juggernauts of conspiring to eliminate the competition for employees by fixing wages and agreeing not to actively recruit from each other.

US District Court Judge Lucy H. Koh granted the plaintiffs' motion late Thursday night to certify the lawsuit against Adobe, Apple, Google, Intel, Intuit, Lucasfilm, and Pixar, according to a court document. The plaintiffs, former employees of the named companies, accuse the companies of carrying out this "interconnected web" of agreements between 2005 and 2009.

"We have always … Read more

No Pixar film in 2014 due to reported production issues

Pixar won't be putting out a movie in 2014, the first time since 2005 it will miss its annual production cycle.

Thanks to what the Wall Street Journal said are production problems on "The Good Dinosaur," which was supposed to come out next year, Pixar has decided to delay the film's release until 2015.

Though Disney wouldn't confirm the film's production problems, it did tell CNET that "The Good Dinosaur," which had an original opening date of May 2014, is now slated for a November 2015 release. That also means that Pixar'… Read more

Dinosaurs and the inner mind: Pixar's future looks bright

ANAHEIM, Calif. -- What if the asteroid that ended the age of the dinosaurs actually missed Earth?

That's the central "what if" at the heart of Pixar's "The Good Dinosaur," the hit animation studio's next film, which will be released in May 2014.

At the D23 Expo, Disney's fan-fest, on Friday the entertainment giant unveiled the most details yet on "The Good Dinosaur," as well as its summer 2015 film, "The Inner Mind," and fall 2015's "Finding Dory."

If the teasers Pixar showed during the … Read more

Pixar inspires graphic comment on NSA surveillance

Living in the emotional Switzerland of my blissful neutrality, as I do, it's warming when people are inspired to create art to express dissent.

So here is a very simple piece of animation, designed to emote a certain frustration with goings-on in the secret areas of government.

It was delivered to me in an anonymous e-mail -- address snowdenhatesrussianfood@gmail.com -- that seemed to have been encrypted by goats.

However, I understand it was first posted to Reddit and has now taken on a life of its very public own, with almost 1 million views on YouTube.

It … Read more

The home stretch: How Pixar wrapped 'Monsters University'

EMERYVILLE, Calif. -- It's early April, and there's just over two months before Pixar's newest film, "Monsters University," hits theaters. For years, the filmmakers at this hit factory have been working like crazy, taking what was once a mere idea for a prequel to 2001's "Monsters, Inc." through every step on the way to the silver screen.

Thirty-two miles away, some of the "MU" team is still toiling away, mixing the film's sound at Skywalker Ranch, but here at the studio's headquarters, inside the Steve Jobs Building, it'… Read more

Judge nixes class action suit in employee poaching case for now

A federal judge has decided not to elevate an antitrust lawsuit over non-poaching agreements to class action status. But the ruling is far from final.

In a decision announced today, U.S. District Court Judge Lucy Koh said there was not yet enough evidence to turn a present civil suit against seven technology companies into a class action lawsuit, according to Reuters.

The case refers to a civil suit filed in 2011 by five workers against Google, Intuit, Apple, Intel, Adobe, Pixar, and Lucasfilm, claiming that the companies tried to keep down wages through non-poaching agreements.

Six of the companies … Read more