MAXON Congratulates 9th Annual Visual Effects Society (VES) Awards Winners and Nominees for the 83rd Academy Awards®

Inspired Visual Effects and Animated Sequences in Alice in Wonderland, Iron Man 2 and Boardwalk Empire Benefit from MAXON's CINEMA 4D and BodyPaint 3D Technology

Newbury Park, CA, February 24, 2011 – MAXON Computer, a leading developer of professional 3D modeling, painting, animation and rendering solutions, today congratulates customers using its CINEMA 4D and BodyPaint 3D software solutions whose work is nominated for Academy Awards® for outstanding achievement in the visual effects category. The company also salutes the creative team at Crazy Horse Effects who were honored with the 9th Annual Visual Effects Society (VES) Awards in the “Outstanding Supporting Visual Effects in a Broadcast Program“ category on the HBO series, Boardwalk Empire.

During the course of 2010, MAXON’s CINEMA 4D and BodyPaint 3D were essential assets in digital filmmaking and television production. From the high-tech gadgetry used in Iron Man 2 to the historically accurate and inspired exterior set extensions of a bustling seaside boardwalk in Boardwalk Empire, and the visionary underground landscapes in Alice in Wonderland, the company’s 3D solutions continued to help artists create many of the year’s most acclaimed and imaginative characters, backgrounds and environments.

“We are honored that this year’s Academy Award nominees and VES winners continue to use one or more MAXON software solutions in the visual effects creative storytelling process," said Paul Babb, president, MAXON USA. "Our customers continue to set the highest standards in 3D artistry and we salute their efforts in being recognized for creating entertainment of the highest caliber.“

The Academy Awards for outstanding film achievements of 2010 will be presented on Sunday, February 27, 2011.

Boardwalk Empire –Crazy Horse Effects – VES Award Winner “Outstanding Supporting Visual Effects in a Broadcast Program

Paul Graff, visual effects supervisor/owner at Crazy Horse Effects, is a winner of this year’s VES Award for “Outstanding Supporting Visual Effects in a Broadcast Program“ (shared with Robert Stromberg, Dave Taritero and Richard Friedlander) for his studio’s work on the HBO dramatic series Boardwalk Empire. Set in Atlantic City during the Prohibition era, Graff supervised in-house visual effects for the pilot episode of Boardwalk Empire. Working closely to interpret the vision of production designer Bob Shaw, the Crazy Horse creative team, together with VFX Supervisor Robert Stromberg and matte painter Steven Messing, drew upon historical references and photography and leveraged CINEMA 4D to create elaborate, cinematic style 3D environments of the practical boardwalk set constructed for the show, including building exteriors, docks and piers, sandy beaches and ocean water to give viewers the very first glimpse of the glittering 1920s boardwalk.

“The outdoor boardwalk set constructed for Boardwalk Empire required scores of elements to create a historically accurate portrait of the planked walkway and bustling seaside resort city,” Graff explained. “CINEMA 4D gave our team the flexibility to work quickly and lock down the general layout of each shot and build 3D matte paintings that injected period realism and poetic license to provide a more detailed representation of the times. Assets were textured and lit and then rendered out in perspective using CINEMA 4D’s new Global Illumination engine and painted over in Adobe Photoshop while the Projection Man module in CINEMA 4D allowed us to move and manipulate dozens of final rendered projection layers efficiently.”


CINEMA 4D helped the creative team at Crazy Horse Effects quickly build 3D matte paintings on Boardwalk Empire that injected period realism and gave viewers the very first glimpse of the glittering 1920s boardwalk.

Boardwalk Empire – Imaginary Forces

In addition to receiving honors from the Visual Effects Society, Boardwalk Empire, which debuted on HBO in September 2010, has also won recognition at the Writers Guild of America Awards, SAG Awards and the Golden Globe Awards. At leading creative studio and digital agency Imaginary Forces, MAXON technology was instrumental in shaping the creation of the main title designs on Boardwalk Empire.

“CINEMA 4D is one of our primary 3D packages and was a key software tool in helping us produce title sequences that evoked the Prohibition Era of the 1920s and the Atlantic City boardwalk where the series takes place, and introduce viewers to the main characters,” said Jeremy Cox, VFX supervisor and compositor at Imaginary Forces. “In conjunction with Autodesk Maya and Adobe After Effects, we modeled and rendered elements to insert into shots that had originally only been planned as live action composites. Being primarily a compositor and 2D animator, CINEMA 4D gives me incredible freedom to create exactly what I need without requiring an additional 3D artist.”

Alice in Wonderland (Sony Pictures Imageworks) – Visual Effects Academy Award Nominee

Multiple Oscar®-winning visual effects and animation studio Sony Pictures Imageworks (SPI) is nominated again this year for an Oscar in the Visual Effects category for its phantasmagoric work on the 3D fantasy adventure, Alice in Wonderland.

Visual effects artists Steven Messing, Dylan Cole and Robert Stromberg created many of the vivid and colorful environments in Underland, where the Alice in Wonderland story takes place. Relying extensively on the Global Illumination engine and intuitive MoGraph module in CINEMA 4D, the artists produced roughly 300 pieces of concept art – including initial sketches – and over ninety 3D matte shots for the film, including the elaborate White and Red Queen’s castles, the Tulgey Woods and Mushroom Forest set extensions.


Visual effects artists Steven Messing, Dylan Cole and Robert Stromberg relied extensively on the Global Illumination engine and Mograph module in CINEMA 4D to create many of the vivid and colorful environments in Underland, where the Alice in Wonderland story takes place.

“CINEMA 4D remains our top choice software for matte painting and it was a ‘no-brainer’ to incorporate the software into the production pipeline on Alice in Wonderland,” said Messing. “Its unparalleled projection mapping toolset allowed our team at SPI to project multiple high-resolution textures on very dense geometry in real-time, while the displacement modifiers in MoGraph and 64-bit software support allowed us to ‘crank out’ full 3D shots within a matter of days.” Messing, who also used CINEMA 4D on Avatar and 2012 is currently leveraging the software on Prometheus, currently in pre-production. “I would not be able to achieve the incredible results I get using CINEMA 4D with any other package in such a short time frame.”

Iron Man 2 (Perception and Pixel Liberation Front) – Visual Effects Academy Award Nominee

Visual effects artists at Perception in New York City and Pixel Liberation Front (PLF) in Venice, CA were among the numerous filmmaking teams that benefitted from the use of CINEMA 4D in their workflow on Iron Man 2.

Perception

Perception’s involvement with Iron Man 2 began during principal photography when Marvel Studios asked them to create a fully animated video sequence that plays in the background as billionaire Tony Stark/Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.) is giving a presentation that is projected in the film on an 80-foot screen. Marvel tapped Perception’s creative team to expand its role to create visual style frames showing various treatment options for graphic sequences in Iron Man 2, which ultimately led to the delivery of more than 125 shots in four months, ranging from vintage logo animations and mock broadcast packages to futuristic designs and bedroom mirror and TV monitor display graphics. Perception is also credited with creating many of the super high-tech gadgets used throughout the film by Stark, including his eye-catching and transparent cell phone and glass coffee table that doubles as a touch screen computer and monitor. Well known for its expertise creating real world broadcast sports packages using CINEMA 4D, Perception also created an on-screen graphics package for the pivotal Monaco Grand Prix action sequence in the film.


The scope of Perception's work on Iron Man 2 included the use of CINEMA 4D in the creation of more than 125 shots ranging from vintage logo animations and mock broadcast packages to futuristic designs and interfaces for Tony Stark's smart phone, glass coffee table, bedroom mirror and TV screens.

“The greater part of our workflow at Perception relies on CINEMA 4D’s mind-blowing arsenal of creative tools that are fully integrated with Adobe After Effects,” said John LePore, Perception’s associate creative director. “CINEMA 4D gave us exceptional creative latitude to experiment and create elaborate 3D animated sequences and high-tech gadgets in line with Iron Man 2 director Jon Favreau’s vision that looked futuristic yet believable – all prepared to conform to a feature-film VFX pipeline, while remaining flexible as the film was sculpted into its final form.”

Perception - Iron Man 2 reel: http://www.perceptionnyc.com/Clients/Perception/IM2/IM2_VFX_Montage.mov

Pixel Liberation Front

Creating attention-grabbing views from inside the masks of Iron Man and other characters in Iron Man 2 was the major challenge for Stephen Lawes, director and VFX supervisor at Cantina Creative, working at the time as creative director at Pixel Liberation Front (PLF). Under his supervision the PLF team created nearly 100 head-up displays (HUDs), and 30 monitor displays in CINEMA 4D taking advantage of its shaders and Sketch and Toon modules.


The creative team at Pixel Liberation Front created close to 100 head-up displays and 30 monitor displays in CINEMA 4D taking advantage of its shaders and Sketch and Toon modules.

“We aimed to push the film’s visual effects as far as we could go design-wise, creatively and technically to come up with HUD and monitor designs that looked futuristic but didn’t go beyond the bounds of believability,“ says Lawes. “CINEMA 4D was instrumental in helping us project complex animations created in Adobe After Effects that were overlaid onto the actor’s face so that the display and actor‘s face could be visible at the same time, which gave the shots a distinctive quality and permitted us flexibility in conveying fine detail. The tight integration between these two programs allowed us to easily pass 3D data back and forth which made for an extremely efficient working environment.”

About MAXON Computer

MAXON Computer is a developer of professional 3D modeling, painting, animation and rendering solutions. Its award-winning CINEMA 4D and BodyPaint 3D software products have been used extensively to help create everything from stunning visual effects in top feature films, TV shows and commercials, cutting-edge game cinematics for AAA games, as well for medical illustration, architectural and industrial design applications. MAXON has offices in Germany, USA, United Kingdom, France and Japan. MAXON products are available directly from the Website and its worldwide distribution channel. Specially priced learning editions of the company’s software solutions are also made available to educational institutions. For additional information on MAXON visit www.maxon.net.

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