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Autodesk Makes Movies Come to Life

Autodesk's CAD technology helps artists turn stories and fairy tales into movie magic. Recent blockbuster films reflect how far the technology has really come.
 
For the fourteenth year in a row, every film nominated for the Best Visual Effects Academy Award was shaped with Autodesk technology and filmmaking tools. Here are some big movie examples of how it was done.
 
Valkyrie
 
Valkyrie, starring Tom Cruise in 2008, received the Visual Effects Society (VES) nomination for Outstanding Visual Effects in a Motion Picture. Autodesk Maya and Autodesk Mudbox software were used to design the film's pre-visualization sequences. In order to model realistic scenes from wartime Germany, Hitler's bunker area, and North Africa, the Third Floor Studio combined Global Positioning System (GPS) data, photographs from the location, and three-dimensional assets in Maya software. Maya provided "real-time control" over how the shots would look. Third Floor's CEO and pre-visualization supervisor, Chris Edwards, stated, "Autodesk software is the backbone of all our feature film design work. We were very proud to be a part of Valkyrie, and we could not have done it without Autodesk tools."
 
Australia
 
Rising Sun Pictures, a visual effects house, completed over 150 shots on the epic film Australia, starring Hugh Jackman and Nicole Kidman. Studio communication manager Ian Cope said, "We were brought onto Australia very early in the process. For our previs [pre-visualization] on the film, Maya gave artists the ability to easily turn around iterations and react to client feedback in a quick and straightforward manner." One scene from Australiainvolved a drove of real and CG cattle. In order to handle the complex nature of the sequence, Rising Sun Pictures combined their own crowd-simulation tool (Posse) with Maya software. "This allowed us to intelligently reference and manage the individual cow assets and the cow collisions. Developing Posse, and knowing it can work seamlessly with Maya, strengthens our studio and is a valuable asset for securing future projects," Cope said.
 
For more information about Autodesk's movie-making capabilities, visit www.autodesk.com.

By Adam Herschkowitz
Get CAD Jobs, Contributing Editor

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