Never Give up

John Lasseter Taking Six-Month Leave from Pixar due to Harassment Allegations


21st Century Fox Shares Soar on Report of Disney Sale Talks

Disney, Fox and Paramount could lose the rights to their CGI characters

Marvel Studios and Lucasfilm owners Disney – as well as 20th Century Fox and Paramount – are caught up in a lawsuit over MOVA, software that captures actors’ facial expression to create realistic CGI models.

Rearden LLC, which claims to own the rights to MOVA, has been suing a Chinese company for stealing the technology, which was then used by the studios in their films, says The Hollywood Reporter. The plaintiff is now suing for the rights to characters created with the tech.

The Hobbit Law may change


VES to Present Georges Méliès Award to Joe Letteri


VES Hall Of Fame

Digital Domain Holdings Reports $64 Million in Losses

Digital Domain Holdings, the Hong Kong-based visual effects and virtual reality group, saw losses in 2016 more than double to $64.3 million.

The core Digital Domain 3.0 business provided VFX for films including “Beauty and the Beast,” “Deadpool” and “X-Men: Apocalypse” during the year.

Revenues across the group increased 45% from $68 million (HK$527 million) in 2015 to $98.5 million (HK$763 million) last year. Net losses, which totaled $23.1 million (HK$179 million) in 2015, reached $64.3 million (HK$498 million) in 2016.

The company pointed to content development and research and development costs for virtual reality content and games, 360° and virtual humans, and a more than fourfold increase in amortization of intangible assets, as causes of the financial pain.

No Hollywood Ending for the Visual-Effects Industry

3D TV is officially dead

1- Not enough content. DirecTV and ESPN stopped broadcasting their 3D channels in 2012 and 2013.

2- The glasses needed for 3D were clunky and annoying, and they made people feel self-conscious while wearing them.

3- 3D TVs were and are perfectly good 2D TVs, so 3D features weren’t often used.

4- 3D movies were closely associated with Blu-ray Discs as movie streaming started to gain traction.

5- 3D TVs need careful calibration and can cause eye strain.

6- Maybe it was always a gimmick. Ask yourself: Have 3D effects ever really impressed you or affected your viewing experience?

Bike courier wins contractor economy employment rights case

Chaos Group V-Ray Wins Academy Award


Photorealistic production renderer used on more than 150 feature films since 2002, including recent hits like ‘Doctor Strange,’ ‘Deadpool,’ and ‘Captain America: Civil War,’ to be honored for advancing the use of fully ray-traced rendering in motion pictures.

Autodesk announces new products to replace 123D

We’re incredibly proud of these products, and even more proud of what you all have MADE with them. But we recognize that the portfolio has become complex. We are making some changes to simplify our Autodesk portfolio and workflows for people everywhere who love to make things. We are consolidating these tools and features into key apps such as Tinkercad, Fusion 360, and ReMake.

Today, we are sharing the news that in early 2017, after we complete this consolidation, we’ll be shutting down

Peta Jackson VFX Company is Bout Immersive Filmmaking


Why CG Sucks (Except It Does not)

weta – Why Putting In 110 Per Cent Pays Off

Lucasfilm is opening a ‘secret’ lab with Magic Leap

Commercial Postproduction in China – Part Three: Talent Crisis‏


Hollywood Execs Talk Gender Pay Gap, Dealing With Box Office Flops

How is Saudi Arabia dealing with the oil crash

Sony Joins Blue Sky in Settlement of Hollywood Studio Antitrust Lawsuit

Sony has become the second Hollywood studio to reach a settlement in a class-action lawsuit alleging that it and other studios violated antitrust laws by conspiring to suppress the wages of animation and VFX artists via non-poaching agreements…

…in 2011, a class-action lawsuit was brought against Pixar, Lucasfilm, Apple, Google, Adobe and Intuit. The first two companies settled claims for $9 million while the other companies have gone to an appeals court after Koh rejected a $325 million settlement as insufficient.

Comcast Buys DreamWorks Animation in $3.8 Billion Deal


Autodesk announces the purchase of Arnold developer Solid Angle


James Cameron against Peter Jackson backed Screening Room movie service

Blue Sky Reaches Settlement in Hollywood Studio Antitrust Lawsuit

Blue Sky Studios has reached a settlement in a class-action lawsuit, Variety reports, alleging that the animation studio behind last year’s The Peanuts Movie and the Ice Age franchise and other companies violated antitrust laws by conspiring to suppress the wages of animation and VFX artists via non-poaching agreements.

The suit contends that the roots of the anti-poaching agreements go back to the mid-1980s, when George Lucas and Ed Catmull, the president of Steve Jobs’ then-newly formed company Pixar, agreed to not raid each other’s employees. Other companies later joined conspiracy, the suit alleges, including Sony ImageMovers, Lucasfilm and Walt Disney.

The plaintiffs have been seeking class certification. Their proposed settlement class includes certain animation and visual effects employees who worked at Pixar from 2001 to 2010; Lucasfilm from 2001 to 2010; DreamWorks Animation from 2003 to 2010; the Walt Disney Co. from 2004 to 2010; Sony Pictures Animation and Sony Pictures Imageworks from 2004 to 2010; Blue Sky from 2005 to 2010; and ImageMovers from 2007 to 2010.

The man who made the worst video game in history – Howard Scott Warshaw on ET


Every Best Visual Effects Winner to 2015

Analyzing Pixar First Box-Office Disaster – The good dinosaur


Unionisation drive at MPC


steven spielberg predicts implosion of film industry

Cinesite and Image Engine Join Forces


Autodesk buys Tweak Software makers of RV


Japan’s Animation Industry Isn’t Just Tough, It’s “Illegally Harsh” Says American Artist


RIP Leonard Nimoy


Best piece of advice I ever got was from John F Kennedy when I was driving a taxi in and out of the Hotel Bel-Air. He was a senator then. I was just out of the army and I needed to make some money, so I got to talking about the difficulty of making a living as an actor. And he said, “Just keep in mind, there’s always room for one more good one.”

Former Rhythm & Hues Owners Sued for Having Pillaged Oscar-Winning VFX House


DreamWorks Will Shut Down PDI/DreamWorks Studio


Disney, DreamWorks and Sony Hit with New, Consolidated anti-poaching and wage-fixing Lawsuit

Sony Hack Reveals VFX Industry Wages



Hollywood Salaries Revealed, From Movie Stars to Agents


Are the best directors tyrants?

Silhouette of man yelling trough a megaphone in sunset

“When a film has got problems”, he says, “they’re usually little problems, but they build and build incrementally, and by the time you’re finished, there’s not much you can do about it. But if you’re like Fincher and you iron out these problems as you go along, it can save you. If you’ve got the money and the strength to do 50 takes, then do them.”

Japan – SoftBank in Talks to Acquire DreamWorks Animation


Scott Ross – VFX Has Gotten Worse


Studios Hit with New Class-Action Lawsuit


John Bruno – on realism, restraint, and adventure


Who’s doing things right these days? What excites you right now?

Well, I’m prone to the work done by Weta [Digital]. The best thing I’ve seen this year is [Dawn of] the Planet of the Apes.  It’s staggering. I called Joe Letteri at Weta and just said, “In the world of visual effects you are Caesar and I am but a chimp.” I swear to God I said that to him. The visual effects were so tactile, I don’t even know how to explain it. It was just immersive. That is so hard to do.

Meritocracy and the Peter Principle


The Peter Principle is a special case of a ubiquitous observation: Anything that works will be used in progressively more challenging applications until it fails.

Applied to humans, the selection of a candidate for a position is based on their performance in their current role rather than on their abilities relevant to the intended role.

Visual Effects Giants Prime Focus World, Double Negative to Merge


Autodesk buys Shotgun Software


Why do we stay in jobs that are bad for us


Sony Imageworks Moving HQ to Vancouver



(To be sung to the melody of Piano Man)

It’s nine o’clock on a Friday

We’ve been here 40 hours straight

the client wants 10% more mystery

and then sent a 600 frame plate

They say “It looks great! Here’s a thousand notes

And the producers want this red thing less blue

And my niece likes cats

So we need some of that

And the deadline’s on Sunday at 2:00″

Render a frame, you’re the renderman

Render a frame tonight

Well, we’re all in the mood to be going home

so this time please render it right

Now, John over there is an industry vet

He’s been at it for 20 odd years

He’s a whole lot of fun

When the work day is done

But tonight he is almost in tears

He says, “Bill I belive this is killing me.”

As wires danced across someone’s face

“Well, I’m sure I would slap this damn movie star

If I could get out of this place.”

Now Paul is a VFX generalist

Who never saw his children or wife

And he’s talking with Scott, who’s still on that shot

And probably will be for life

And the interns are fixing up camera tracks

As the freelancers mutter and curse

And the boss says “You’re getting paid overtime

It could be marginally worse”

Render a frame, you’re the renderman

Render a frame tonight

Well, we’re all in the mood to be going home

so this time please render it right

We’re all still here on a Friday night

As the coffee pot starts a new brew

Mark eats a pannini

John’s crashing Houdini

And Jim waits for his renders to queue

And explosions erupt on our monitors

And the workstations smell like a zoo

And the kitchen’s asunder

And we sit and wonder

How the hell to make red things less blue

Render a frame, you’re the renderman

Render a frame tonight

Well, we’re all in the mood to be going home

so this time please render it right

Sony Pictureworks layoffs


Softimage Last Release Announcement


We regret to inform you that the upcoming 2015 release will be the last one for Autodesk® Softimage®, which is expected to ship on April 14, 2014. Autodesk will continue to offer product support until Apr 30, 2016. We will also provide any necessary hot-fixes and service packs to all customers, at no cost, until Apr 30, 2016. We understand that you will now need time to re-evaluate your production capabilities.

To help you, we are offering Autodesk® Subscription customers special no cost options to migrate to either Autodesk® Maya® or Autodesk® 3ds Max® while continuing to use Softimage in production. These options will be available until Feb 1, 2016. Upgrade paths are also available for customers who are not on Subscription. Although this decision is a difficult one, we do believe that by focusing our efforts we can better serve the needs of the media and entertainment industry and provide customers with better products, faster. Autodesk wants to continue its relationship with you into the future. We regret any inconvenience that this may cause, however we believe you will find our new transition product offerings very attractive.

MPAA latest anti-piracy move accidentally, completely screws Hollywood studios‏


“Congress has given the ITC broad authority to protect U.S. industries from unfair acts in importation,” said spokeswoman Kate Bedingfield, adding that if the government doesn’t recognize digital products as imports, “American businesses lose an important protection, which puts them at a significant international disadvantage.”

“In other words, emboldened by the MPAA’s filing, the (U.S.A.) visual effects workers are now in a position to use the big studios’ own arguments to compel the government to slap trade tariffs on those studios’ own productions in high-subsidy countries. Those arguments will be especially powerful because the MPAA made them to the very same governmental agencies that will process the visual-effects workers’ case.”


Union appeals to VFX employers to improve working conditions A recent survey amongst VFX staff found high levels of dissatisfaction amongst this skilled group over working hours, workloads and work/life balance. Responding to the survey: 77 per cent of people knew someone who had recently left the industry over workloads, overtime and poor working conditions;81 per cent of people had felt pressured or bullied into working overtime for free on films;83 per cent of people said it was difficult, or very difficult, to raise a family whilst working in VFX What does the Charter call for? All overtime to be voluntaryAll overtime to be paidWorking Time Regulation opt-outs to be handled responsiblyRespect for caring responsibilitiesStatutory rights to daily rest to be met (eg 11 hour break between turns of duty)Statutory rights to weekly rest to be met (eg no to working on 12 consecutive days)Better care for night workersRespect for the rights of trade union members.

John Knoll on VFX industry

DS:  You cannot talk about visual effects these days without talking about the rough business climate. There seems to be a tug of war between the studios and the visual effects houses, with considerable finger pointing and frustration.  Are there any answers? Is there much more shake out to come?  Where do you see things headed?

JK: All in all, the picture is a little grim right now.  Unfortunately, there are a lot of companies that engage in really foolish and short sighted business practices.  You can’t just blame the studios for wanting to pay less and less for the work.  What’s happening is that when a low target number goes out, somebody says, “Yes.” A lot of times companies are saying “Yes” to a number that they know is going to be below their cost.  They know they are going to lose money, for a variety of reasons.  Sometimes they don’t know that’s what they are doing.  They completely misunderstood what it is they are bidding on and their bid is based on a wrong assumption.  They are going to take it in the shorts because of their naivety.  Sometimes they are doing it for strategic reasons, thinking, “We will buy this first one and then…”

I’m Phil Tippett, stop-motion animator, director, dinosaur supervisor.


LA Animator:

What, in your opinion, is broken in the current VFX workflow? What things would you like to most see change?

Endless revisions?

Disconnect between Director and artists/VFX facility?

Bidding process? etc?

Phil Tippet:

In the olden days, producers knew what visual effects were. Now they’ve gotten into this methodology where they’ll hire a middleman – a visual effects supervisor, and this person works for the producing studio. They’re middle managers. And when you go into a review with one of them, there’s this weird sort of competition that happens. It’s a game called ‘Find What’s Wrong With This Shot’. And there’s always going to be something wrong, because everything’s subjective. And you can micromanage it down to a pixel, and that happens all the time. We’re doing it digitally, so there’s no pressure to save on film costs or whatever, so it’s not unusual to go through 500 revisions of the same shot, moving pixels around and scrutinizing this or that. That’s not how you manage artists. You encourage artists, and then you’ll get – you know – art. If your idea of managing artists is just pointing out what’s wrong and making them fix it over and over again, you end up with artists who just stand around asking “OK lady, where do you want this sofa? You want it over there? No? Fine. You want it over there? I don’t give a fuck. I’ll put it wherever you want it.” It’s creative mismanagement, it’s part of the whole corporate modality. The fish stinks from the head on down. Back on Star Wars, Robocop, we never thought about what was wrong with a shot. We just thought about how to make it better.

Scott Ross Masterclass – Imaging the Future 2013


Pixar Canada shuts its doors in Vancouver

VANCOUVER, B.C.: JUNE 20, 2012 -- Mayor Gregor Robertson (R) and Amir Nasrabadi (L) of Pixar, June 20th, during a tour of Vancouver's digital media industry.Pixar is located in Vancouver's Gastown. (Ward Perrin / PNG) (For story by NEWS/The Province  NEWS/Vancouver Sun)       00062289A  00062297A [PNG Merlin Archive]

RIP Tom Clancy dies aged 66


Is the Australian VFX industry on borrowed time?

greenscreen tv studio

With foreign tax subsidies under scrutiny in the US, is Australia’s VFX industry in danger of losing its biggest clients? Lee Zachariah investigates.

Lucasfilm will combine video games and movies to axe post-production process

UK games developer Blitz Games Studios shuts down


Indian animation industry caught in cleft stick


There are 20 big and 250-300 smaller players in the animation industry in AP. But 35-40% of studios call it quits every year with quality work being lost to China, Malaysia and Indonesia. Problems faced by the industry * Capital intensive: High production costs, thanks to expensive software and equipment, high VAT and service taxes * Power woes: Unhindered power supply difficult due to state’s power crunch * Lack of talent: Youths don’t see the gaming and animation industry as a viable career option * Govt not GAME for it: The government’s Gaming, Animation, Media and Entertainment (GAME) policy has been in the proposal stage for long

global vfx industry 2013 whitepaper


The press release:

The white paper:


Feasibility Study on Subsidies to Film Production and Visual Effects


Finaled means nothing


Visual Effects Working Conditions Survey


Animation Fraud In India


Happy feet no longer tapping as animation studio sells up


The State of the VFX Industry and where do we go from here

RIP Ray Harryhausen

Fact Checking Rumors & Misconceptions about Guilds and Unions

Interview with Luma Picture’s Payam Shohadai


“I had employees to care about. I never wanted to let them down”

ILM Considers London for ‘Star Wars’ Work


Steven Soderbergh – state of cinema address


UK Passes "Instagram Act"


“The UK govt passed the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Act which effectively makes so-called ‘orphaned’ content posted on social media sites public domain. Corporations now only need to have made a “diligent search” to find the owner of the content before use. From the article: ‘The Act contains changes to UK copyright law which permit the commercial exploitation of images where information identifying the owner is missing, so-called “orphan works”, by placing the work into what’s known as “extended collective licensing” schemes. Since most digital images on the internet today are orphans – the metadata is missing or has been stripped by a large organization – millions of photographs and illustrations are swept into such schemes.’”

ILM to Pact With China’s Base FX


The 40 Hour Work Week

In my experience, a 40 hour work week is a benchmark of the most effective teams.  They have work-life balance.  They have buffer to respond to opportunity and to deal with crunches.

Mike Monteiro – F*ck You. Pay Me.

Union Seeks to Organize U.K. VFX Workers


Disney Shuts Down LucasArts


To The Members Of The VES From Jeffrey A. Okun


It has been just over one month since our industry reached what I called a “tipping point,” which intensified on the heels of the Oscars.  In an effort to be responsive to a beleaguered community and sincerely offer our leadership, we issued an open letter calling for increased subsidies in California and a public VFX Congress. In the days and weeks since then, visibility on the changing visual effects industry has increased dramatically.  And during that time, we have received a good deal of feedback on our suggestions – both positive and negative.

Given what we have learned, I want to underscore a few important points:

VFX Crossroads- Causes & Effects Of An Industry Crisis


VFX Union


VFX Town Hall on Pi Day

What’s going on with the troubled VFX industry?


The buzz around the state of the visual effects industry reached a fever pitch this winter when prominent effects house Rhythm & Hues filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in mid-February.

The movement has spurred supporters to change their Facebook and Twitter profile photos to a green box, representing the green screen that would appear in movies were it not for VFX.

Lawyers to Laid-off Digital Domain Freelancers – Pay Us or We’ll Sue