Autodesk at the Academy Awards
Autodesk production-proven technology helped shape Oscar-winning and Oscar-nominated films in the following categories:
Achievement in Visual Effects
“Avatar” — Academy Award Winner (also Best Cinematography)
James Cameron, together with Lightstorm Entertainment, pioneered new methods of virtual moviemaking to create “Avatar.” “When James Cameron conceived the idea for ‘Avatar’ 15 years ago, the technology wasn’t available. Over the past few years, with the help of Autodesk software, we were able to bring [Cameron’s] vision to life,” said Nolan Murtha, digital effects supervisor at Lightstorm.
The filmmakers were able create an innovative, groundbreaking film with the help of Autodesk Digital Entertainment Creation tools: the actors’ performances were applied onto pre-built digital characters and viewed in real time by both the director and actors with Autodesk MotionBuilder software; Autodesk Maya software was used to help create the digital characters and environments and Autodesk Mudbox software was used for digital sculpting.
“District 9” — Academy Award Nominee
District 9, a sci-fi drama populated by computer-generated (CG) characters and digital environments, proved that impressive effects can be achieved on a modest budget. Image Engine visual effects company used Maya and MotionBuilder to help create over 300 visual effects scenes as well as complex, believable alien creatures.
“Star Trek” — Academy Award Nominee
Artists at Industrial, Light & Magic (ILM) used a combination of Maya and Autodesk Inferno software, which is a part of ILM’s proprietary SABRE high-speed compositing system, to help create amazing visual effects and characters while remaining true to the original TV series. “The speed of Maya, its ability to iterate so easily and its seamless tie into our proprietary Zeno software platform make for a toolset that doesn’t inhibit creativity and was, in fact, a key to the success of the project,” said ILM Animation Director Paul Kavanagh.
Achievement in Cinematography
- Avatar” — Academy Award Winner
- “Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince” — Academy Award Nominee — Cinesite used Maya to help create dramatic visual effects and CG characters. ILM used Maya and Inferno to help create fluid simulations and crowd duplication.
- “Inglourious Basterds” — Academy Award Nominee — CIS Hollywood relied on Maya to help create visual effects sequences.
- “The Hurt Locker” — Academy Award Nominee — Company 3 and Encore Hollywood used Autodesk Flamesoftware and Autodesk Smoke software to help create over 70 visual effects shots on this winner of multiple awards.
Best Animated Feature Film
- “Coraline” — Academy Award Nominee — LAIKA, Inc. used Maya to help create a model of the Coraline puppet head and its surrounding pieces, and to help create the fluid facial expressions.
- “The Secret of Kells” — Academy Award Nominee — Walking the Dog used Autodesk 3ds Max software to create 3D scenes for the movie and Autodesk Combustion software for compositing.
Best Animated Short Film
- “Logorama” — Academy Award Winner — Mikros Image animation studio used Maya for 3D effects and rigging.
- “French Roast” — Academy Award Nominee — Fabrice O. Joubert used Maya for modeling and cloth simulation and Autodesk Softimage software for rigging, hair simulation, animation, texturing and rendering.
- “Granny O’Grimm’s Sleeping Beauty” — Academy Award Nominee — Brown Bag Films used 3ds Max and Smoke to help create Granny’s computer-generated world.
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