February 25, 2008


Framestore CFC (www.framestore-cfc.com) created the huge and heroic polar bear, Iorek, his evil arch-enemy, Ragnar, and a host of supporting bears. The studio also created the icy CG environments in which they live. The award was accepted on behalf of the Framestore CFC team by VFX supervisor Ben Morris, who is one of the four recipients of the award.

“When Chris Weitz and Mike Fink (director and VFX supervisor) said that they regarded Iorek as a true co-star and expected an accordingly strong performance from him, we knew we'd got our work cut out for us,” recalls Morris. “That we achieved this - and to Oscar level - is the greatest thrill imaginable. We're all completely knocked out."

Cinesite was also recognized for their contributions to the film. The studio delivered 400 shots to the production, including photorealistic CG daemon animal characters and the spectacular battle sequence at Bolvangar, as well as 3D vehicles, digital matte paintings and various composites.

Daemon characters created by the studio include a chameleon, owl, raccoon, rat, raven, spaniel, panther, praying mantis, and several dogs. All were created using Cinesite’s in-house character animation pipeline. Specially written fur, feather and muscle systems were also called on. The spectacular battle sequence at the Bolvanger detention center was created using digital matte paintings and environments.

The film beat out both Transformers and Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End for the award. The other winning nominees on The Golden Compass team included Bill Westenhofer of Rhythm & Hues, special effects supervisor Trevor Wood and VFX supervisor Michael Fink.

PHOTO: Cinesite created digital matte paintings, as well as characters for the film.