Sony Pictures Imageworks: SIGGRAPH 2007

'Spider-Man™ 3,' 'Surf's Up' and 'Beowulf' Highlight Company's Innovation and Creative Distinction


Sony Pictures Imageworks, the award-winning digital production studio and innovator, is set to showcase its diverse range of CG work and digital effects at SIGGRAPH 2007, the 34th annual international conference on computer graphics and interactive techniques.

The company will show its astonishing work from Spider-Man™ 3 and Surf's Up, two vastly different projects, each with a distinct look and opportunity for breaking boundaries into new realms of visual effects and CG animation, and preview its upcoming work on Beowulf.

"Imageworks has a 15-year history of providing technological ingenuity and creative solutions to the movie industry, enabling filmmakers and performers to fully explore their creative vision," said company president Tim Sarnoff. "SIGGRAPH is always a highlight for Imageworks and this year is no exception. We are proud to present our work on Spider-Man 3, Surf's Up and Beowulf, three projects that we know the SIGGRAPH audience will appreciate for their creativity and groundbreaking visuals."

In addition to these critically acclaimed films, Imageworks executives also will be on hand to discuss its current slate of announced projects which include I Am Legend, Hancock, Sony Pictures Animation's Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs and three recently announced Imagemotion™ performance capture films -- Maximum Ride, Neanderthals and the untitled feature from Jerome Chen, the Academy Award®-nominated visual effects supervisor on The Polar Express and Beowulf.

Imageworks is participating in every aspect of the conference including the prestigious Electronic Theater program, Animation Theater, panels, courses and special sessions.

On the Show Floor

In its tenth consecutive year, Imageworks will present its popular life drawing class "Master Life Drawing and the Art of the Dynamic Pose" with Master Instructor Karl Gnass, author of "Spirit of the Pose: Sketchbook 1" in the Imageworks booth #1414. Gnass has been teaching drawing for over 35 years and has worked with Imageworks for the past 10 years instructing artists at the facility each week in his life drawing class. Topics will include:

  --  Figure Drawing
  --  Musculature
  --  Dynamic Pose
  --  Spirit of the Pose
  --  Path of Action
  --  Action and Rhythm

"Sony Pictures Imageworks is dedicated to educating and developing talent for visual effects and animation," said Sande Scoredos, executive director of training and artist development at Imageworks. "Every year at SIGGRAPH we share our dedication to the arts and offer these extraordinary classes to attendees of the show."

Electronic Theater

This year, Imageworks has been honored with three pieces for screening in the jury-selected Electronic Theater: "Spider-Man 3: VFX Highlights" (visual effects supervisor Scott Stokdyk), "Surf's Up: A Practical Guide to Making Waves" (visual effects supervisor Rob Bredow) and "Beowulf" (visual effects supervisor Jerome Chen).

Animation Theater

"The Birth of Sandman" sequence from Spider-Man 3 will be a featured presentation in this year's Animation Theater program.

  Special Session
  "Spider-Man 3 - Triple Play"
  Wednesday, August 8
  1:45pm - 3:30pm (Room 6DE)

Digital Effects Supervisors Peter Nofz and Ken Hahn and Animation Supervisor Spencer Cook will participate in a special session panel that will discuss how for the first time Imageworks produced fully articulated, performing CG characters entirely from dynamically generated particles and fluids for Spider-Man 3. These digital characters, which embodied key-framed performance animation, interacted with each other and with live-action characters in real and synthetic environments throughout the film.

  "Surf's Up: The Making of an Animated Documentary"
  Monday, August 6
  8:30am - 12:15pm (Room 1AB)

Presented by Rob Bredow, Animation Director David Schaub, CG supervisors Daniel Kramer and Danny Dimian, and effects animation supervisor Matt Hausman. This session will offer a detailed look at the making of the animated documentary Surf's Up and the live-action camera implementation, character animation, wave effects, and rendering techniques that contributed to the film's unique look and style.

  "The Oasis"
  Wednesday, August 8
  8:30am - 10:15am (Room 6DE)

  "Levelsets in Production: Spider-Man 3"
  Daniel P. Ferreira
  Jonathan M. Cohen
  Doug Bloom
  Chris Allen
  Sho Hasegawa
  Cory McMahon

  "Effects for the Birth of Sandman"
  Christoph Ammann
  Doug Bloom
  Jonathan M. Cohen
  John Courte
  Lucio Flores
  Sho Hasegawa
  Terrance Tornberg
  Laurence Treweek
  Bob Winter
  Chris Yang

  "Rendering Tons of Sand"
  Chris Allen
  Doug Bloom
  Jonathan M. Cohen
  Laurence Treweek

  "How to Build a Sixty-Foot Man of Moving Sand"
  Jamie Pilgrim
  Terrance Tornberg

  "Let's Get Physical"
  Wednesday, August 8
  3:45pm - 5:30pm (Room 3)

  "Dynamic Execution of Tracing of Physical Simulations"
  Jonathan M. Cohen

  "Bend and Stretch"
  Thursday, August 9
  8:30am - 10:15am (Room 1AB)

  "Musculo-Skeletal Shape Skinning"
  Erick Miller
  Joe Harkins

  "Go With The Flow"
  Thursday, August 9
  3:45pm - 6:00pm (Room 6DE)
  "Wave Displacement Effects for Surf's Up"
  Deborah Carlson

  "Surf's Up Beach Break"
  Tom Kluyskens

  "Making Waves for Surf's Up"
  Erick Miller
  Rob Bredow
  Daniel Kramer
  Matt Hausman
  Deborah Carlson
  Peter Shinners
  John Clark

  Additional Appearances
  Imageworks artists will also be participating in educational panels and
  presentations in various booths including:

  Autodesk Booth # 703
  August 7, 8 - 2:00pm
  August 9 - 10:30am
  Character Pipeline Supervisor Chuck McIlvain will present material from
  Spider-Man 3 and discuss how Maya was used in the making of the film.

  Maxon Booth # 617
  August 7, 8
  12:00pm and 3:00pm
  Dave Bleich, matte painting supervisor on Surf's Up, will discuss how
  Cinema 4D was used during the making of the film.

  Side Effects Booth # 127
  August 7, 8, and 9
  11:30am and 1:00pm
  Jonathan Cohen, FX R&D Lead on Spider-Man 3, will discuss how Houdini was
  used for the film.

About Sony Pictures Imageworks Sony Pictures Imageworks Inc. is an Academy Award® winning, state-of-the-art digital production studio dedicated to the art of visual effects production and character animation. The Imageworks production environment facilitates four diverse pipelines including live-action visual effects and character work, Imagemotion™ performance capture, all CG animation and Imageworks 3D stereoscopic.

The company's achievements have been recognized by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences with Oscars® for its work on Spider-Man™ 2 and the CG animated short film The ChubbChubbs!™. In addition, two of Imageworks' most highly regarded projects, the all-CG animated feature Monster House and Superman Returns were nominated for Academy Awards in the Best Animated Feature and Outstanding Achievement in Visual Effects respectively in 2007. With these two nominations, Imageworks became the first studio to be recognized in the same year in these distinct areas, an indication of the diversity and quality of the company's capabilities. Other Oscar® nominated projects include The Chronicles Of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, Spider-Man™, Hollow Man, Stuart Little and Starship Troopers, for a total of nine nominations.

Most recently, Imageworks completed production on Spider-Man™ 3 and the all-CG animation feature Surf's Up. Among movies currently in production are Sony Pictures Animation's short The ChubbChubbs Save XMAS as well as the features I Am Legend, Hancock and Robert Zemeckis' Beowulf, which also is in 3D stereoscopic production simultaneously.

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