MAXON Applauds Oscar® and Visual Effects Society Awards Winners and Nominees

Marvel’s The Avengers – Oscar Nominee for Best Visual Effects

Cantina Creative, a design and visual effects studio located in Culver City, Calif., was called on to realize numerous 2D and 3D elements that appear throughout the blockbuster superhero film, Marvel’s The Avengers. Stephen Lawes, Cantina co-founder and creative director, Sean Cushing, Cantina co-founder and VFX producer, and Venti Hristova, Cantina VFX supervisor, assembled a talented in-house VFX team that included Jayse Hansen, a film and television screen and UI designer/animator (2012, Rise of the Planet of the Apes and The Avengers), and Navarro Parker, an Emmy-winning motion graphics, 3D animation and visual effects artist (Iron Man, The Transformers and The Avengers) – both acclaimed CINEMA 4D artists – for the job.

Director Joss Whedon wanted new visual concepts for the Heads-Up-Display (HUD) in the new Iron Man Mark VII suit and challenged the Cantina team to design and animate a massive amount of computer screen displays for both Tony Stark and S.H.I.E.L.D. – the fictional espionage and law enforcement agency in the film that deals with superhuman threats. Most of these screen displays were featured on the 'Helicarrier,' the aircraft carrier that travels on water and in the air.

“CINEMA 4D played a vital role in designing 3D elements during various phases of the design process, from early draft screenshots to final delivery,” said Hansen. “We used the software to provide 3D volumetric representations of the Iron Man suit, and also for designing several HUD widgets in the new modes for Diagnostic, Battle and Flight.

“For the various scenes, in particular the ones where a missile threatens Stark Tower and all of New York City, CINEMA 4D’s tight integration with Adobe After Effects and the City Kit plug-in from Greyscalegorilla was the creative advantage that let us quickly deliver changes and pull off the final stereo shots,” Hansen said.

Parker explained that CINEMA 4D was also instrumental in visualizing a multi-dimensional city-map HUD widget that allowed Tony Stark to track his location, the location of the other Avengers, and incoming threats: “CINEMA 4D's Cel Renderer helped the team create extremely fast and exceptionally clean razor-thin wireframe renders.”

Men in Black 3 – VES Award Nominee “Outstanding Models in a Feature Motion Picture”

Perception

Visual effects artists at New York-based Perception teamed with Columbia Pictures Men in Black 3 Director Barry Sonnenfeld, Production Designer Bo Welch, and VFX Supervisor Ken Ralston, to create various interface effects and design elements seen throughout the film. Utilizing an early iteration of CINEMA 4D's stereo camera rig, the Perception team created stereo interface animations with the MIB headquarters, as well as the plot-pivotal time-jump device.

“CINEMA 4D became a crucial part of our workflow on Men In Black 3, allowing us to add layers of dimensionality to otherwise flat imagery, making the MIB technology and gadgets far more advanced than we have seen in past films,” said John Lepore, creative director, Perception.

Sony Pictures Imageworks

Multiple Oscar-winning visual effects and animation studio  Sony Pictures Imageworks (SPI) is nominated again this year by the Visual Effects Society for its feature film contributions on Men in Black 3, The Amazing Spider-Man and Hotel Transylvania. For Men in Black 3, visual effects legends, Ken Ralston and Jay Redd, lead a team in creating extensive, stylized and otherworldly visual effects sequences. MAXON's BodyPaint 3D was used to texture paint numerous assets in the film including several of the main characters, Jay, Kay and Boris, the monocycle, Shea Stadium, Lunar Prison, Saturn V rocket, Chinatown, Bogladite (alien ships), pterodactyls, satellite and others.

“The most challenging aspect of working on Men in Black 3 was the sheer number and numerous layers of assets that required painting,” commented Tom Quach, senior texture painter, Sony Pictures Imageworks. “But luckily for me, I was very familiar with BodyPaint and its tight integration with Adobe Photoshop allowed me to work very efficiently without affecting quality. I managed to paint all assigned assets on time and contributed in keeping our texture department under budget. I wouldn't have been able to work so quickly without the BodyPaint 3D toolset.”

Halo 4 – VES Award Nominee “Outstanding Real-Time Visuals in a Video Game”

The recently released hit video game, Halo 4, one of the most successful franchises in game history, was nominated for a VES award for 'Outstanding Real-Time Visuals in a Video Game.' The Sequence Group, the Vancouver, BC-based creative studio, in partnership with the Halo franchise team at 343 Industries, Redmond, Washington, relied on CINEMA 4D to build, texture, animate and render scenes that produced over twenty minutes of original animated content in the game, including eight “Terminal” animations – hidden content within the game that players can access providing detailed backstory about the characters and the new Halo world.




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