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Autodesk Congratulates Visual Effects Oscar Winner King Kong

Eleventh Consecutive Year that Autodesk Clients Win Best Visual Effects Academy Award

SAN RAFAEL, Calif., March 6 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Autodesk, Inc. (Nasdaq: ADSK) congratulates visual effects facility Weta Digital, which crafted champion visual effects for the Oscar-winning film King Kong. Autodesk also congratulates Industrial Light & Magic and Sony Pictures Imageworks for shaping the Visual Effects category nominated films The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe and War of the Worlds. For the eleventh consecutive year, Autodesk technology was used to realize winning visual effect ideas for films in this category. In addition, Autodesk's Discreet Lustre system was used to digitally color grade Oscar-winning films in the Visual Effects, Documentary Feature and Foreign Film categories.

Weta Digital used the Discreet Lustre system to help create the distinctive look and feel of King Kong. "Autodesk's Discreet Lustre system was part of the entire visual effects color grading process while making King Kong. We used it to grade at the front end before the computer-generated elements were added, and also at the very end of our pipeline to grade the final images," explained Joe Letteri, senior visual effects supervisor at Weta Digital. "As the elements came in, the Discreet Lustre system helped us work out the look for complex environments like Skull Island and 1933 New York." Digital color grading is the process of altering or enhancing the colors in a movie using scanned copies of the original film.

For War of the Worlds, Industrial Light & Magic (ILM) used Autodesk Maya 3D animation software, Autodesk's Discreet Inferno and Discreet Flame visual effects systems, and Autodesk Burn background processing solution as part of ILM's proprietary SABRE visual effects system. ILM used the SABRE system to realize various concept-based effects in War of the Worlds, including the warring aliens and their Tripods -- which were crafted using Autodesk Maya software, as well as the Tripods' organic heat ray -- created in the Discreet Inferno system's 3D environment. The Discreet Inferno system was also used on the film's "Fleeing the Neighborhood" scene, in which Tom Cruise attempts to drive his family out of the city while destruction looms around them.

Sony Pictures Imageworks used Autodesk Maya software, as well as the Discreet Flame system and Autodesk Burn software, to reach new creative heights for The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. Autodesk Maya software was used to craft many of the film's talking animals, such as 3D wolves, beavers and foxes, as well as some of the film's mythical creatures such as Mr. Tumnus, a faun (half man, half goat). The Discreet Flame system was also used to create the right look for other magical elements in the film such as the White Witch's stone victims.

Furthermore, Autodesk's Discreet Inferno and Discreet Flame systems were used on the film as part of ILM's proprietary SABRE visual effects system. For the coronation sequence, in which Aslan and the children walked down an ornate hall lined with crowds of creatures, the SABRE system was instrumental in creating a believable scene involving the compositing of several hundred character layers.

Autodesk technology was also used to shape Oscar-winning and Oscar-nominated films in the following categories:

  • Animated Short Film: Autodesk products touched three of the five nominated films. Shane Acker used Autodesk Maya 3D animation software for modeling, lighting and rendering work on his film 9. Anthony Lucas of 3-D Films used Autodesk 3ds Max, Autodesk Maya and Autodesk Combustion software to create the nominated film The Mysterious Geographic Explorations of Jasper and Morello. Two-dimensional film Badgered was conformed and onlined by John Rowe, head of digital post-production at the National Film and Television School in London, using Autodesk's Discreet Flame system.
  • Documentary Feature: Autodesk's Discreet Lustre system was used by Eclair Laboratoires to digitally color grade the Oscar-winning documentary feature March of the Penguins.
  • Foreign Film: Post-production facility The Video Lab used Autodesk's Discreet Lustre system to digitally color grade the Oscar-winning film Tsotsi.

About Autodesk

Autodesk, Inc. is wholly focused on ensuring that great ideas are turned into reality. With seven million users, Autodesk is the world's leading software and services company for the manufacturing, building, infrastructure, wireless data services and media and entertainment fields. Autodesk's solutions help customers create, manage and share their data and digital assets more effectively. As a result, customers turn ideas into competitive advantage by becoming more productive, streamlining project efficiency and maximizing profits.

Founded in 1982, Autodesk is headquartered in San Rafael, California. For additional information about Autodesk, please visit www.autodesk.com.

NOTE: Autodesk, Discreet, Burn, Combustion, Flame, Inferno, Lustre, Maya and 3ds Max are registered trademarks or trademarks of Autodesk, Inc./Autodesk Canada Co. in the USA and/or other countries. Academy Award and Oscar are registered trademarks of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. All other brand names, product names or trademarks belong to their respective holders.

Contact: Brittany Bonhomme, 514-954-7419
Email: brittany.bonhomme@autodesk.com

SOURCE Autodesk, Inc.
03/06/2006
CONTACT: Brittany Bonhomme of Autodesk, Inc., +1-514-954-7419, or
brittany.bonhomme@autodesk.com
Web site: http://www.autodesk.com
(ADSK)