And the Oscar for Best VFX of 2006 goes to

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A Still from Night at the museum
Oops!!! There is still time for that. Well, there‘s still plenty evenings left for the big night but the excitement‘s already on with the announcement of the “long list” of nominees for the Oscar for best VFX. This year the list of front running studios in the race for one of the most coveted of VFX honours includes Rhythm & Hues, Industrial Light & Magic, Moving Picture Company, Weta Digital, Framestore CFC and Sony Pictures Imageworks. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has announced seven movies in consideration for the Best Visual Effects category and the India angle to it is that Rhythm & Hues, which has a strong facility in India, has been nominated for two features including Superman Returns and Night at the Museum. Other features nominated in the long list are Casino Royale, Eragon, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man‘s Chest, Poseidon, and X-Men: The Last Stand. On January 17th, these seven movies will be further short listed to a list of three official nominees for the Oscar at an annual event that takes place in Hollywood called the ‘VFX Bakeoff‘. This year the list of groundbreaking visual effects movies is truly spectacular and the bakeoff should be an exciting event!
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A Still from Superman Returns
Of late quite a few Indian studios have produced high quality VFX for both the domestic and international markets. These studios led by Rhythm & Hues, which works purely on Hollywood films, VCL, Frameflow, EFX, Prime Focus, Pixion and Anibrain have raised the bar of Indian VFX. Speaking to AnimationXpress.com, R&H India MD Prashant Buyyala shared his feelings, “We feel honored that the Motion Picture Academy has decided to recognize our hard work this year by including two of our movies in the ‘long list‘ of truly amazing VFX movies in 2006. Following up on last year‘s Academy nomination for our work in the Chronicles of Narnia, Rhythm & Hues is proud to be once again included amongst this decorated list of companies. Our colleagues in Los Angeles have been raising the bar in terms of the quality of Animation and VFX in the International arena for the past 20 years, and in 2006, after five years of growth, we in India are very proud to have made a significant contribution in helping Rhythm & Hues continue in its tradition of excellence. The contribution of our Indian artists went beyond our usual excellent compositing and camera tracking work, but also included some very high end modeling, character animation, and 3d lighting. Our artists are very proud to be able to achieve this memorable milestone in the Indian Animation and VFX industry.” The much talked about Superman Returns has already been praised for its Vfx work worldwide and should be a strong contender this year. Ben Stiller‘s comic hit Night at the Museum from Twentieth Century Fox is a new entrant to this list as it has only recently been released in the US. The movie opened as No.1 in USA domestic box office and in 11 days it has grossed $125.8 million. Releasing in India on 29Th December ‘06 in Hindi as Museum Ke Andar Phas Gaya Sikandar, the movie is a fun-filled, family oriented action adventure with amazing computer generated visual effects. Starring Ben Stiller, Robin Williams, Dick van Dyke and a cast of over 75 diverse computer generated creatures including a T-Rex skeleton, lions, ostriches, zebras, oryxes, and a “buddha dog”, the movie promises to capture the imagination of the Indian movie going audiences. Rhythm & Hues Studios was the lead Animation and VFX studio on this movie and had around 400 artists from both the Los Angeles and Mumbai facilities working on this movie for around one year. AnimationXpress.com will be bringing you more details on the VFX on this movie in an upcoming article! connect@animationxpress.com

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