March 1, 2007

Autodesk Celebrates Academy Award-nominated Films Created with Autodesk Solutions

San Raphael, Calif. - Autodesk Inc. congratulates Industrial Light & Magic (ILM) and Animal Logic for their Academy Award-winning work in Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest and Happy Feet, respectively. Autodesk also congratulates ILM, LOLA VFX, Hydraulx, Laser Pacific Media Corporation, and Blue Sky Studios for their work on the Academy Award-nominated films Poseidon, The Black Dahlia, and No Time for Nuts.
"Congratulations to all the artists who won an Academy Award or were nominated for their stunning work. We salute you," says Marc Petit, Autodesk's Media & Entertainment vice president. "At Autodesk Media & Entertainment, we're dedicated to engineering the best digital tools for filmmaking. We are honored that so many of the nominees and winners trusted our technology."
Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest
For the Best Visual Effects Academy Award-winning film Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest, artists at ILM used the Autodesk Inferno system, as part of the SABRE visual effects system, to transport movie-goers into the world of Captain Jack Sparrow. In one of the scenes shaped with Inferno, Will Turner and the crew of the Black Pearl are held captive in a cage made of bones. The system was used to composite shots of the actors filmed against a bluescreen together with a waterplate and a digital matte cliff, as well as to add birds, mist, and footbridges to the scene. Artists at ILM rigged both Davy Jones and the Kraken seacreature's tentacles in Autodesk Maya 3D animation, modeling, and rendering software. ILM relied on its proprietary software "Hero" to animate the flowing movement of Davy Jones' tentacles, while Maya was used to animate more specific movements, such as holding a key.
Happy Feet
Australia-based Animal Logic relied on Maya to complete approximately 800 shots for the Academy Award-winning animated feature film Happy Feet. Maya was used to form the facility's complete rendering and lighting pipeline.  
ILM used Maya to create 140 shots for the Best Visual Effects Academy Award-nominated film Poseidon. The movie is a remake of the 1972 classic film about an 1100-foot-long luxury cruise liner that is capsized by a 200-foot wave. Due to the size of the ship and the level of detail desired, the cruise liner was computer-generated and modeled in pieces. In total, Maya was used to model 181,579 renderable pieces that were then fit together to create the ship. LOLA VFX also worked on 85 shots for Poseidon using the Autodesk Inferno and Autodesk Flame visual effects systems. The facility's sister studio, Hydraulx, helped shape the film as well, delivering 65 shots created with Inferno, Flame, Maya, Autodesk Combustion desktop compositing software, and Autodesk Burn background rendering software.  
The Black Dahlia
Laser Pacific Media Corporation used the Autodesk Lustre digital color-grading system to realize a unique look for the Best Cinematography Oscar-nominated movie The Black Dahlia. Colorist Mike Sowa used the system to finalize the film noir feel that had been envisioned by Oscar-winning cinematographer Vilmos Szigmond, ASC.
"I used Autodesk Lustre to add more saturation to the shot footage, as well as to create depth with color and contrast," explains Sowa. "For example, Scarlett Johansson's character was always white and illuminated; while Hilary Swank's dark character was always shown in shadows. The Lustre shape system and rotoscoping capabilities gave me a lot of freedom to play with the shadows in the film until we achieved what Vilmos Zsigmond was looking for."  
No Time for Nuts
Blue Sky Studios created the Oscar-nominated animated short film No Time for Nuts with Autodesk Maya. The software was used for pre-visualization, modeling, rigging, layout, animation, and some visual effects work. The facility also used Flame for compositing and paint touch-up work.