|San Francisco (March 4, 1998) Compliments of Xaos Tools' Paint AlchemyŌ , impressionism traveled beyond the realm of the paintbrush on the popular Ally McBeal series, which airs Monday nights at 9 p.m. PST, on Fox Broadcasting Network.|
Paint Alchemy, a painterly effects engine, allows the user to customize any digital or scanned image with 101 brushstroke effects and/or 36 brush styles. Paint Alchemy works within any host application that supports the standard Adobe PhotoShop API.
In the episode that aired on February 27, Ally McBeal, the title character, visits an art studio abound with impressionist works of art, to meet with a world-famous painter.
According to Peter Politanoff, production designer, the scene required 30 impressionist portraits representing the same women at different periods in her life. Concern was voiced about two key issues: time (30 portraits) and cost. According to Politanoff, estimates for a painter, albeit a fast one, were $25,000 - far in excess of the budget.
He then suggested casting an extra, about 65 years old, for a photo session. She was to provide photos of herself spanning the previous 30 to 40 years. These photos would then be scanned, manipulated digitally and have them printed on canvas by a service bureau. Estimated cost was $10,000. – within budget.
Politanoff scanned images of his wife and tested them with another product. Faux Van Gogh, and faux Pointillist. His comment was, "Although the results were interesting – they seemed too mechanical. Then I tried Paint Alchemy. First image was great, tried another filter and got even better results."
The following day he brought the sample "portraits" into the office. Politanoff said, "The results simply knocked everybody out. This definitely was the way to go."
Using Paint Alchemy, Politanoff created 30 portraits in three days. The project required an additional four days for printing and cost just $7,000. (This included the printing, photo shoot and miscellaneous materials.) His comment was, "Without Xaos Tools Paint Alchemy we neither could have afforded or created 30 portraits in our two week time frame."
Politanoff also used Paint Alchemy to create new art for the walls of McBeals' 'Cage/Fish Office Complex'. He plans to create more "art" using Paint Alchemy in future 'Ally McBeal' shows.
Xaos Tools, (pronounced "ka-os") was founded in 1990 to bring industry-leading professional digital effects to Windows, Macintosh, and Silicon Graphics workstation users at affordable prices. Based on special effects technology developed for XAOS Inc., one of the world's most respected computer animation facilities, Xaos Tools' products are used by most of the world's leading broadcast and print designers, animators, and digital artists. The company's mission is to deliver advanced digital imaging effects to the widest possible audience. Xaos Tools is headquartered in San Francisco, CA and is privately held.