Autodesk Congratulates Academy Award Winners & Nominees

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, LaserPacific Media Corporation and Blue Sky Studios for their work on the Academy Award-nominated films Poseidon, The Black Dahlia and No Time for Nuts. From visualizing early concepts to finishing and color timing the final pixels, artists rely on Autodesk solutions to achieve their creative vision.

“Congratulations to all the artists who won an Academy Award or were nominated for their stunning work. We salute you,” said 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 wayward 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 blue screen together with a water plate and a digital matte cliff, as well as to add birds, mist and foot bridges to the scene.

For birds-eye-view shots of the port and island, digital artists at ILM used Inferno to remove modern cues such as phone poles and motor boats from the filmed footage, as well as to composite a digital matte of the village. The pirate Ragetti’s wooden eye and empty eye socket were also created in Inferno. The system was used to give the eye a dry wooden texture, as well as to light and animate it.

Furthermore, artists at ILM rigged both Davy Jones and the Kraken sea creature’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. Rhythm & Hues completed additional animation for the film. Maya was used to adapt Animal Logic’s 3D models for use in Rhythm & Hues’ proprietary 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
LaserPacific 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,” explained 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.

About Autodesk
Autodesk, Inc. is the world leader in 2D and 3D design software for the manufacturing, building and construction, and media and entertainment markets. Since its introduction of AutoCAD in 1982, Autodesk has developed the broadest portfolio of state-of-the-art digital prototyping solutions to help customers experience their ideas before they are real. Fortune 1000 companies rely on Autodesk for the tools to visualize, simulate and analyze real-world performance early in the design process to save time and money, enhance quality and foster innovation. For additional information about Autodesk, visit

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