Catwoman, Spider-Man 2, Around the World in 80 Days and Other Summer Blockbusters Bring Down the House with Discreet's Visual Effects Technology

Jun 21, 2004, 01:00 ET from Discreet

    MONTREAL, June 21 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Catwoman, Spider-Man 2 and
 Around the World in 80 Days are just a few of this summer's feature films
 created using tools from Discreet, a division of Autodesk, Inc. (Nasdaq:   ADSK).
 Major film studios and post-production facilities relied on Discreet's visual
 effects, colour grading and 3D animation systems and software to deliver
 mesmerising motion graphics that catapult viewers into fantasy worlds.
     (Logo: )
     Among the summer feature films shaped by Discreet clients using Discreet
 systems and software are:  Around the World in 80 Days (Rhythm & Hues,
 Cinesite), A Cinderella Story (Digital Dimension), Catwoman (Frantic Films),
 Spider-Man 2 (Zoic Studios), The Bourne Supremacy (Industrial Light & Magic),
 Exorcist: The Beginning (Digital Dimension), King Arthur (Cinesite), Garfield
 (Rhythm & Hues), The Chronicles of Riddick (Rhythm & Hues), Harry Potter and
 the Prisoner of Azkaban (Industrial Light & Magic, Cinesite), Troy (Cinesite),
 Van Helsing (Industrial Light & Magic), and The Day After Tomorrow (Dreamscape
 Imagery Inc., Industrial Light & Magic, Ring of Fire Studios, The Orphanage,
 Digital Domain, Zoic Studios).
      Zoic Studios used Dicreet's visual effects flame(R) system and
 combustion(R) software for multiple wire and rig removals in Spider-Man 2, in
 theatres June 30, 2004. Steve Meyer, Zoic Studios' senior compositor said, "On
 Spider-Man 2, the use of flame and combustion's paint, tracking and warping
 tools often allowed us to completely clean the rigs out of a scene. For more
 difficult shots, elements were recreated, and then composited back into the
 scene using flame." Already the owner of three Discreet flame systems, Zoic
 Studios recently added 10 combustion workstations, and is benefiting from the
 compatibility between Discreet products.
      Additionally, the Spider-Man 2 game, which will be released by publisher
 Activision on the movie's opening day, was developed by TreyArch using
 Discreet's 3ds max(R) animation software.
     Rhythm & Hues produced more than 500 live-action shots for Garfield. The
 work included creating computer-generated fur, and texturing and animating the
 main character -- Garfield (voiced by Bill Murray). According to Rhythm & Hues
 visual effects supervisor Dan Deleeuw, "We took advantage of Discreet's
 inferno(R) system in the 3000-frame opening shot that shows Garfield growing
 up in stages through photographs. With the quick turnaround that inferno gave
 us, we were able to integrate the scanned photos into the motion picture
 photography, create virtual reflections to simulate the pictures in glass
 frames, and then show different versions to the creative team in the timeframe
 they needed."
     Rhythm & Hues also used Discreet's inferno system for some key scenes in
 the 50 shots it created for Around the World in 80 Days, a film based on the
 novel by Jules Verne and starring Jackie Chan. The inferno system was used to
 integrate period vehicles with computer-generated and live-action air and
 water plates. Derek Spears, the film's visual effects supervisor, noted, "We
 used Discreet's inferno system for the big steamship at sea sequence as well
 as the flying machine. We chose inferno because of its interactivity in
 complex scenes." UK-based post house Cinesite also used the inferno system on
 10 shots for Around the World in 80 Days.
     Rhythm & Hues produced more than 130 shots for The Chronicles of Riddick,
 starring Vin Diesel as a hunted man caught in the middle of a galactic war.
 Rhythm & Hues used the inferno system to create the wispy cloud formations
 dubbed "sky tendrils" in a series of 15 shots. Visual effects supervisor Mike
 Wassel observed that the inferno system's toolset "was particularly well
 suited to animating the tendrils."
     Digital Dimension completed 50 shots for A Cinderella Story, including the
 opening shot that is 100 percent computer-generated. Benoit Girard, president
 and CEO at Digital Dimension, said, "3ds max software's flexibility and tight
 connection with mental ray(R) allowed us to write our own shaders, and
 increase productivity and realism." mental ray, a ray-tracing and scanline
 rendering package, is available as an integrated rendering solution within
 Discreet's 3ds max animation software.
     Frantic Films provided more than 250 pre-visualisation (pre-viz) shots and
 63 post-production shots for Warner Bros.' Catwoman with Discreet's 3ds max
 animation software. Chad Wiebe, pre-viz supervisor at Frantic Films, said,
 "What impressed me most about Discreet's 3ds max software was its ability to
 model, animate and render upwards of 250 shots in less than a week, as was
 necessary for pre-viz production on Catwoman. 3ds max's scanline renderer
 enabled us to render numerous shots on a daily basis, ensuring a quick
 turnaround and prompt feedback from the director."
     3ds max software was also used by Digital Dimension on 80 shots for
 Exorcist:  The Beginning, in which a priest leads an archeological excavation
 of a mysterious Byzantine church and confronts evil.
     Digital colourist Peter Doyle digitally graded both Catwoman and Harry
 Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban with Colorfront technology that forms the
 foundation of Discreet's lustre(R) colour grading system. Harry Potter and the
 Prisoner of Azkaban is the third installment of the Harry Potter novels by J.K.
 Rowling. In the film, boy wizard Harry must protect himself from serial
 murderer Sirius Black. Post-production house Industrial Light & Magic (ILM)
 used Discreet's inferno system, as part of SABRE, to suck Harry's soul out of
 his body in the opening train scene.
     ILM's compositing sequence supervisor Dean Yurke said, "The opening train
 scene required 61 takes to perfect. The movements of Harry's body as his soul
 is being sucked were designed with the inferno system's 3D geometry, cone
 vortex, particle and displacement mapping tools. Using the inferno system as
 part of SABRE let us create the 'extreme' look that helps make Harry Potter
 and the Prisoner of Azkaban the scariest of the three Harry Potter films."
 Cinesite also used Discreet's inferno system for 13 of the film's shots.
    ILM also worked on 507 shots for Van Helsing -- a film about Gabriel Van
 Helsing (actor Hugh Jackman), who must rid the world of evil creatures like
 Dracula. Discreet's inferno and flame systems are an integral part of ILM's
 proprietary SABRE visual effects and compositing system, and were used on 170
 shots, including the scene in which Van Helsing walks through a mirror portal
 in Dracula's castle. As Van Helsing penetrates the mirror, it crystallizes and
 wraps around his body.
     Said Alex Tropiec, SABRE artist at ILM, "The toolset in Discreet's inferno
 system allowed us to quickly and cost effectively deliver the scene. We knew
 we needed to craft a unique visual, but we weren't nailed down to a specific
 concept. inferno allowed us to experiment.  Ultimately, inferno is an artist's
 tool -- you can materialize your vision at lightning speed, and what you see
 while building the shot is what you get when you render it."
     ILM also applied the inferno system's paint, touch-up and morphing tools
 in fight scenes between Dracula and Van Helsing. During the fights, Van
 Helsing morphed between human and werewolf forms depending on the position of
 computer-generated cloudbanks over the moon.
     "Whether it's bringing a favorite comic book character to life, or turning
 the world into an arctic wasteland, today's digital artists are pushing the
 boundaries between imagination and digital reality harder then ever before,"
 said Martin Vann, vice president of sales and marketing for Discreet. "As a
 result, more of a studio production's revenue is being generated from
 digitally created assets: from the movie itself to after-market distribution
 such as DVDs and TV distribution. Discreet solutions play a critical role in
 empowering our clients to create and modify massive amounts of digital media,
 while enabling creativity and ensuring longevity of the production asset."
     About Discreet
     Discreet empowers media professionals to realise the visual experience and
 transform their most evocative and ambitious visions into reality. Discreet's
 award-winning solutions are designed for digital media creation, management
 and delivery-across all disciplines from film and television visual effects,
 colour grading and editing to animation, game development, web/interactive,
 and design visualisation.  Discreet is based in Montreal, Quebec and is a
 division of Autodesk, Inc, the world's leading design and digital media
 creation, management, and distribution company.  Product and corporate
      Discreet is a division of Autodesk, Inc. Autodesk, Discreet, 3ds max,
 inferno, flame, lustre, combustion and mental ray and are either trademarks or
 registered trademarks of Autodesk, Inc./ Autodesk Canada Inc. in the USA
 and/or other countries. All other brand names, product names, or trademarks
 belong to their respective holders.
     CONTACT:  Roohi Saeed, Manager of Corporate Communications,
 +1-514-954-7296, or, mobile, +1-514-961-7296, or

SOURCE Discreet