Sunday, February 8, 2009

Oscar Nominees for Visual Effects (VFX)

Eric Barba of Digital Domain, Paul Franklin of Double Negative, and Ben Snow of Industrial Light & Magic are not names known to many outside the film industry but they helped design the visual effects for three of the top films of the year.

The 2009 Visual Effects Oscar nominees are:
* Eric Barba, Steve Preeg, Burt Dalton and Craig Barron, visual effects supervisor for “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button."
* Nick Davis, Chris Corbould, Tim Webber and Paul Franklin for “The Dark Knight”
* John Nelson, Ben Snow, Dan Sudick and Shane Mahan for “Iron Man.”

This is the first Oscar nomination for Barba and Franklin, and the third for Snow (“Star Wars –Episode II: Attack of the Clones” and “Pearl Harbor”). Industrial Light & Magic is George Lucas' production company.

For the film, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, several design companies took on different tasks. Digital Domain created a modeled, animated, lit, rendered, tracked, and composited, CG (computer graphic) version of an aged Brad Pitt using Brad Pitt’s performance as a basis for the animation.

Benjamin has a digital head during every shot in the first 52 minutes of the film using 325 head replacement shots in all. Another effects company, Asylum, created several watery environments. Lola “youthenized” Pitt and Cate Blanchett. Matte World Digital created establishing environments and changed existing locations to give the film the correct period details.

Click on the heading above to see the Computer Graphics Society's coverage of the nominees.

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