For the 15th consecutive year, every Oscar-winning movie for Best Visual Effects was created with the help of filmmaking tools from Autodesk. Autodesk Digital Entertainment Creation software was also used to help shape this year’s nominees and winners for Achievement in Cinematography, Best Animated Feature Film, and Best Animated Short Film.
“This year’s Academy Award honorees have developed groundbreaking ways to turn their visions into reality,” says Marc Petit, senior vice president, Autodesk Media & Entertainment. “We’re honored that many artists integrated our interactive and immersive tools into their production pipelines and Autodesk software helped raise the digital filmmaking bar. Autodesk also congratulates the original developers of Autodesk Lustre software for winning a Scientific and Technical Achievement Award.”
The original developers of Autodesk Lustre software were honored with an Academy Award. On February 20, 2010, Mark Jaszberenyi, Gyula Priskin, and Tamas Perlaki received the award for design and development of Lustre software for digital color grading for film and television. This marks the fifth time that a technology development from Autodesk is recognized and honored by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
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,” says 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 Autodesk 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,” says 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 Autodesk Maya and Autodesk Inferno to help create fluid simulations and crowd duplication.
The Hurt Locker (Academy Award Nominee): Company 3 and Encore
Hollywood used Autodesk Flame software and Autodesk Smoke software to help create over 70 visual effects shots on this winner of multiple awards.
Best Animated Feature Film
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.