Autodesk Technology Helps Artists Shape Movie Magic
SAN RAFAEL, Calif., Feb. 10 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- This year's most
celebrated movies feature groundbreaking work created by artists at movie
studios and visual effects boutiques all over the world. Throughout the film
production pipeline--from film set to theater screen--many of these artists
rely on Autodesk, Inc. (Nasdaq: ADSK) digital filmmaking tools. For the 14th
consecutive year, every film nominated for the Best Visual Effects Academy
Award was shaped with Autodesk technology.
The Third Floor
Valkyrie recently received the Visual Effects Society (VES) nomination for
Outstanding Supporting Visual Effects in a Motion Picture. The Third Floor
used Autodesk Maya and Autodesk Mudbox software extensively to design the
film's previsualization (previs) sequences. To help accurately model realistic
landscapes of wartime Germany, North Africa and Hitler's bunker, the studio
combined global positioning system (GPS) data, location photographs and 3D
assets in Maya. The software was used to provide real-time control over the
shots' look. "Autodesk software is the backbone of all our feature film design
work. We were very proud to be a part of Valkyrie, and we could not have done
it without Autodesk tools," stated Chris Edwards, previsualization supervisor
and CEO of The Third Floor.
Sony Pictures Imageworks
Valkyrie's lead visual effects (VFX) house, Sony Pictures Imageworks,
completed 600 "invisible" VFX shots. The studio's core VFX tools were Maya for
modeling, rigging and animation, and the Autodesk Flame system for interactive
compositing. "The highly interactive Flame toolset was the perfect solution to
seamlessly composite computer-generated elements," said David Takayama, senior
Flame artist at Sony Pictures Imageworks.
For computer-generated (CG) monolithic robots, inscrutable shape-shifting
spacecraft and vast swarms of ravenous nanobots, Weta Digital employed over
250 artists to produce more than 200 shots for The Day the Earth Stood Still.
Weta's CG new born Klaatu shot was recently nominated by VES for Best Single
Visual Effect of the Year. Compositing Supervisor Areito Echevarria described
a particularly complex sequence of swarming aphids: "Maya was our key tool for
modeling, rigging, animation and lighting and was used in conjunction with
in-house tools for the swarm particle effects. Maya allowed our artists to
control and direct the character performance while maintaining an organic
Using Maya for the bulk of the 3D work, The Orphanage created over 150
shots on The Spirit, a completely green-screen production. "I appreciated the
challenge of filling in the big, blank slate. Every frame needed to be both
beautiful and cool," stated Rich McBride, The Orphanage visual effects
supervisor. "Maya just works. It's the best tool for rigging and animation.
It's simple, straightforward and rarely has any hiccups."
VFX house Rising Sun Pictures completed 73 shots on The Spirit and over
150 on the epic Australia. Ian Cope, communication manager from the studio,
said, "We were brought onto Australia very early in the process. For our
previs on the film, Maya gave artists the ability to easily turn around
iterations and react to client feedback in a quick and straightforward
manner." To handle a complex sequence involving a drove of real and CG cattle,
the studio created Posse, an in-house proprietary crowd simulation tool that
worked fluidly with Maya. "This allowed us to intelligently reference and
manage the individual cow assets and the cow collisions. Developing Posse, and
knowing it can work seamlessly with Maya, strengthens our studio and is a
valuable asset for securing future projects."
Hollywood and New Yorkbased LOOK Effects has its work featured in The
Spirit, The Wrestler, Bedtime Stories and Yes Man. Henrik Fett, LOOK partner
and visual effects supervisor for Yes Man, explained, "The array of ideas that
our artists devise and develop requires tools that are as versatile as they
are dependable, which is why Maya has become LOOK's go-to 3D program."
EFILM Digital Laboratories
EFILM Digital Laboratories, using its proprietary EWORKS system for the
digital intermediate, applied the Autodesk Lustre digital color grading system
for some of this season's most celebrated films, including Milk, Frost/Nixon,
Defiance, Doubt, Bedtime Stories, Four Christmases and Yes Man. EFILM's graded
footage from 4K, 35mm and 16mm movies, as well as from the Genesis camera, and
even took its Lustre timing and color grading expertise out into the field on
Revolutionary Road. "The software-based Lustre technology really lends itself
to location work. Not having to ship a slew of gear, the remote unit retained
all the strengths with no compromise," said Michael Cooper, EFILM vice
president of business development. "In the digital era, we're really fixated
on picture quality. We love Lustre because it gives filmmakers the freedom to
tell the story they want and gives EFILM the flexibility to evolve quickly
with each new digital technology."
Autodesk, Inc., is a world leader in 2D and 3D design software for the
manufacturing, building and construction, and media and entertainment markets.
Since its introduction of AutoCAD software in 1982, Autodesk has developed the
broadest portfolio of state-of-the-art Digital Prototyping solutions to help
customers experience their ideas before they are real. Fortune 1000 companies
rely on Autodesk for the tools to visualize, simulate and analyze real-world
performance early in the design process to save time and money, enhance
quality and foster innovation. For additional information about Autodesk,
Autodesk, AutoCAD, Flame, Lustre, Maya, and Mudbox are registered
trademarks or trademarks of Autodesk, Inc. and/or its subsidiaries and/or
affiliates in the USA and/or other countries. Academy Award is a registered
trademark of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. All other brand
names, product names or trademarks belong to their respective holders.
Autodesk reserves the right to alter product offerings and specifications at
any time without notice, and is not responsible for typographical or graphical
errors that may appear in this document.
(C) 2009 Autodesk, Inc. All rights reserved.
Contacts: Rama Dunayevich, 415 547-2472/ Karen Raz, 310 450-1482
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org/ email@example.com
SOURCE Autodesk, Inc.
/CONTACT: Rama Dunayevich of Autodesk, Inc., +1-415-547-2472,
firstname.lastname@example.org; or Karen Raz, +1-310-450-1482, email@example.com,
for Autodesk, Inc./
PRN Photo Desk, firstname.lastname@example.org/
/Web Site: http://www.autodesk.com /
CO: Autodesk, Inc.; The Third Floor; Sony Pictures Imageworks; Weta Digital;
The Orphanage; Rising Sun; LOOK Effects; EFILM Digital Laboratories
IN: CPR STW ENT FLM
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9717 02/10/2009 08:30 EST http://www.prnewswire.com