News from AU
March 11, 2020

Making Screen Magic: AU Resources for Media & Entertainment Professionals

The film awards season is a wrap for this year. From the Golden Globes and the Oscars to the BAFTAs and the Césars, it was a great year for movies—and a groundbreaking year for digital effects.

Film animation
Film animation created in 3ds Max. Image courtesy of Hangzhou Xuanji Science & Technology Information Corporation.

Dramatic features like 1917 and The Irishman used digital effects to create new levels of realism while effects-driven blockbusters like Avengers: Endgame and The Lion King transported us to new worlds of fantasy, and animated features like Toy Story 4 and Missing Link created their own worlds entirely. Across all the genres, filmmakers and their digital effects teams continued to push what’s possible in cinema.

Autodesk tools like Maya, Arnold, Flame, and Shotgun played key roles in making the magic on screen. ADSK News has the details.

Ready to give your own skills a boost? Check out this related AU learning.

Stop-motion animation

Oregon-based LAIKA Studios has produced a series of groundbreaking stop-motion animation features over the past decade, including Coraline, The Boxtrolls, and last year’s Missing Link. They use a distinctive process, first modeling their characters digitally, then 3D printing components like character faces to shoot in stop-motion. Finally, they take their footage back into the computer to layer on other effects and create the final film. The look they achieve is unmistakable.

The LAIKA process is complex to manage, needless to say—there are millions of tasks and assets to keep track of. In Shotgun for Production Management in LAIKA’s Animated Features, Tony Aiello of LAIKA shares how his team uses Shotgun to track production data and manage the media pipeline.

Production on a budget

Autodesk tools are used on the biggest of big-budget productions, but they can also be effective when budgets are tight. In his class, Using Maya for Low-Budget 3D Animation in Emerging Markets: A Case Study, Marcio Goncalves shares how he used Maya to produce a 3D-animated pilot, Dragao de Aco, for Brazilian TV on a limited budget.

Digital meets physical

Film production is often about blending digital creations with the real world. In their class, Design, Camera, Action: Set Design with Point Clouds, Revit, and 3ds Max for Films, Ryan Salvador and Taura Rivera, two architects who now work in film, share how they use ReCap, Revit, Civil 3D, and 3ds Max to capture real locations, alter them, then turn them into both digital assets and physical sets to meet production needs.

Talking tech

Creating great effects requires the right software, but also the right hardware, infrastructure, and workflows.

There’s always more to learn, and Autodesk University has hundreds of classes for Media & Entertainment professionals. When you’re ready, we’re ready.