Digital Artistry Will Be the Big Oscar Winner

Category: News
SAN FRANCISCO – Great movies are defined by great stories and, increasingly, great storytelling is being empowered by digital technology.

Autodesk media and entertainment staff and software played a starring role in the creation of many of this year's Academy Award nominees across many categories and were recognized by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences with two Scientific and Technical Achievement Awards (Sci-Tech Awards).

"This year has been especially gratifying. Not only is it the 19th consecutive year Autodesk software has enabled Academy nominated filmmakers to push the boundaries of what is possible by enabling them to tell stories that just would not be possible practically – whether it's creating the weightlessness of outer-space or the ice-locked beauty of a frozen world," explains Chris Bradshaw, Autodesk senior vice president. "But Autodesk staff were also recognized by the Academy for two of the technologies they developed, and were instrumental in helping Mark Gill bring 'The Voorman Problem,' to the big screen. We are delighted to be such an integral part of innovative filmmaking." 

Every year, the Academy hosts a special awards ceremony two weeks before the Oscar ceremony to recognize the "discoveries and innovations [that] have contributed in significant, outstanding and lasting ways to motion pictures." In a press release, Richard Edlund, Academy Award-winning visual effects artist and Scientific and Technical Awards Committee Chair wrote, "This year's honorees have in a myriad of ways enabled today's moviegoing experience...their efforts have advanced not only the art and science of motion pictures, but the work of countless global industries."

The Academy honored Autodesk Mudbox, 3D sculpting software, with an Academy Certificate for its powerful new design capabilities and its contribution to multi-resolution digital sculpting. Additionally, the Academy awarded FiLMBOX, the foundation of Autodesk MotionBuilder, with an Academy Plaque for its innovative architecture that was the basis for the development and evolution of virtual production. Autodesk scientists, designers and technologies have been similarly recognized five times in the past Scientific and Technical awards ceremonies.

Get A Horse. ©2014 Disney

As a favor to an old friend, Mark Gill, writer and director of "The Voorman Problem," three artists in the Autodesk London office volunteered their post-production expertise for the Oscar-nominated best live-action short, which is available on iTunes, Amazon and Pay-Per-View. The whimsical dark comedy, about a man who believes he's a god, stars Martin Freeman ("The Hobbit" and TV's "Sherlock") and Tom Hollander ("Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest"). 

"Working with the Autodesk team on the Flame program is like nothing I've ever experienced before. I didn't know you could do stuff like this. That's the great thing about filmmaking, it's a constant collaboration," said Mark Gill. Autodesk's Darren Brooker, the post-production supervisor on the short added, "All we set out to do was help Mark make this film as good as it could possibly be." More than 45 festivals worldwide have played the film, which also received a BAFTA nomination for Best Short Film in 2013

In the Best Visual Effects category, all five film nominees –"Gravity," "The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug," "Iron Man 3," "The Lone Ranger and "Star Trek Into Darkness" – used Autodesk software to bring their stories to life. Together, these five movies contain over 7,000 computer-generated visual effects shots, created by thousands of artists working at 42 visual effects studios in 10 countries, a testament to the power of technology, not only to create what has never been seen before, but to bringing great talent, from around the world, together toward a single creative goal. 

The Hobbit ©2013 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures Inc.

Autodesk software also played a role in the creation of a number of other movies nominated this year including – Best Animated Features: "The Croods," "Despicable Me 2," "Frozen," and "The Wind Rises." Best Animated Shorts: "Get a Horse," "Mr. Hublot," and "Room on the Broom." And eight of the nine movies nominated for Best Picture: "12 Years a Slave," "American Hustle," "Captain Phillips," "Gravity," "Her," "Nebraska," "Philomena," and "The Wolf of Wall Street."

Room on the Broom ©2001 Julia Donaldson, Alex Scheffler

Mr. Hublot ©ZEILT PRODUCTIONS, Arte, Watt Frame

Autodesk congratulates the following studios that used Autodesk software to contribute movie magic into this year's Academy Award-nominated films: Atomic Fiction, Bot & Dolly, Cantina Creative, Cinesite, Crafty Apes, Crazy Horse Effects, Digital Domain, Double Negative, Dreamworks Animation, The Embassy, Framestore, Furious FX, Halon Entertainment, House of Cool, Illumination MacGuff, Industrial Light & Magic, Lola Visual Effects, Luma Pictures, Magic Light, Method Studios, Moving Picture Company, New Deal Studios, Nvizible, One Man Army, OOOii, Passion Pictures, Pixomodo, Prime Focus World, Prologue Films, Proof, Rising Sun Pictures, Scanline VFX, Studio AKA, Studio Ghibli, Technicolor, The Third Floor, Trixter, Union Visual Effects, Walt Disney Animation Studios, Weta Digital, Zeilt Productions and Zero VFX.



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