Special and Visual Effects : Rate the special effects companies working today.

Rate the special effects companies working today.

Here is how i rate them:

) ILM - Still the biggest and the best. They will own summer 2009 with
Star Trek, Terminator Salvation and Transformers 2, although their
work on Indiana Jones 4 was nothing groundbraking.

2) WETA - Hasn't done anything note worthy since 2005's KING KONG, but AVATAR
will put them back on the map big time. Also doing THE LOVELY BONES
and TIN TIN and we can look forward to some nice destruction scenes

3) DIGITAL DOMAIN - Cameron's former company is making a nice come back. Their
the art, and next year they have big projects like JI JOE
and Roland Emmerich's 2012.

4) SONY PICTURES IMAGEWORKS - The worst among the majors their work on
SPIDERMAN 3 and HANCOCK just wasn't awe inspiring.
Next year they better deliver with WATCHMEN and

5) RHYTHM AND HUES - The baby amongs the FX companies, their Oscar for
THE GOLDEN COMPASS was really undeserved. Few would argue
Nothing special about their work on MUMMY 3 and THE

Re: Rate the special effects companies working today.

Totally agree. Even more - you're like reading my own thoughts. Just one little personal amendment - I prefer Weta over ILM. The first reason is that ILM mostly works cooperatively - frequently with Digital Domain and/or Rhythm and Hues as well as other studios - Gentle Giant, Asylum, etc. Weta House (Workshop, Digital) usually does the whole body of work by themselves - with other companies (same Asylum or R&H) doing only additional visual effects - without making any contributions to the main material.
There are few other points which can be considered positive or negative:

1. Size and history. ILM is older and much-much bigger. Weta is a young studio - and money began to flow into it only after LotR trilogy - so it had little time to develop. Still it makes significant competition to ILM.

2. Overall quality of projects (again taking size into account). Weta doesn't have a single flaw - every project they've made is perfect. But! They don't try to take too much at once - they have (as far as i know) only two or three projects in the process of making plus another 3-4 in consideration or pre-production simultaneously. At the same time ILM has tens of projects on different stages of production - and sometimes it affects the quality.

But anyway - both this studios can't be even distantly compared to SPI or R&H.
R&H (absolutely agree with you about TGC oscar - I know, fur is hard to make, and visual effects specialists make a choice, but do they have CGI-monkeys-crush or something?) R&H is a baby - fast-growing, steroid-enhanced, but still a baby. Work they've done on this years Hulk looks miserable when compared to ILM Hulk, that was made... for a second... 5 years ago.

SPI is my personal "favorite" - I justt don't get it - how can a studio that big make effects that bad? I mean, I can understand problems with cgi people or animals or fire, water etc. - but metal and dust! These guys fail to make convincing metal and dust (metal-dust-collision-destruction etc. :)) effects in a major movie with 150mil budget. (I won't even speak about SM3 with its 258mil spent on nothing).

And finally Digital Domain. They specialise in making water effects, right? But they also make great effects without adding any water - I, Robot (with the help of Weta, but still impressive). Still they're somewhere in-between SPI and ILM. (Stealth was horrible) - but at least i can see some evolution - Zodiac has amazing "seamless" CGI.

Re: Rate the special effects companies working today.

ILM and WETA still the best today! The most prestigious FX houses!

Re: Rate the special effects companies working today.

WETA Digital is without a doubt number one right now. They can do what ILM can't--and that's emotion-capture and simul-cam motion-capture. Although, when it comes to the latter equipment, I think that has more to do with the director of the film than the lack of tech or software that ILM has.

Industrial Light & Magic is a very close second. They've been kicking it up in the mo-cap department as of late and they also have some of the best key-animators in the biz. If it weren't for WETA basically rewriting the codes on how do to emotion-capture, ILM may just be the number one VFX house in the biz. Anyway, I'm really eager on seeing what they come up with for 'Pacific Rim'--hopefully that can be the project that restores the company to the tradition that it once was and removes the tarnishing stains of Transformers and Battleship.

Image Engine, which depending on some upcoming future projects they're working on, could really start to challenge the top two dogs in the VFX biz. The jury remains out until I see what they deliver in the next couple of years, though.

Re: Rate the special effects companies working today.

I don't see how Transformers and Battleship are "tarnishing stains" for ILM. Sure, they were bad movies, but the VFX work was solid.

Courage is being scared to death and saddling up anyway.

Re: Rate the special effects companies working today.

'Battleship' had terrible CGI--especially considering its budget.

The effects work in the first 'Transformers' was excellent--but beyond that, the two sequels actually regressed a bit in terms of photorealism--especially ROTF.

It's ok, though, ILM is about to make up for all that with 'Pacific Rim', I hope.

Re: Rate the special effects companies working today.

It's ok, though, ILM is about to make up for all that with 'Pacific Rim', I hope.

Didn't ILM do a good chunk of effects for THE AVENGERS? I thought that looked amazing. I know WETA did great work on it as well.

Re: Rate the special effects companies working today.

ILM did do a lot on the 'Avengers'--but again--as you pointed out--WETA's work was incredible. In fact, I think they contributed the best shots in the entire film. You can check em' here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wIvxjE0bT-E

Honestly, I think WETA is just killing it right now. I don't see how anyone could objectively rank ILM ahead of them anymore.

Re: Rate the special effects companies working today.

Industrial Light & Magic
Image Engine

Volker Flenske: (While torturing David) I don't know why you're doing this to yourself!