Movie vfx studio compares


Sometimes movie sequels or related movies don’t have the same vfx studios for their effects or characters as the original ones do. Here are examples.

The Mummy films

The Mummy and The Mummy returns
Studios: Industrial Light and Magic

The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor
Studios:Rhythm and Hues, Digital Domain

The first two Chonicles of Narnia films

The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe
Studios: Rhythm and Hues, Sony Pictures Imageworks, Industrial Light and Magic

Price Caspian
Studios: MPC, Framestore CFC, Weta Digital, Scanline


 The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe 
 Studio:Rhythm and Hues
   Software: Modeling and Animation = Voodoo
                  Fur = Voodoo 
                  Rendering = Wren

 Prince Caspin
 Studio:Framestore CFC
   Software: Modeling and Animation = Maya
                  Fur = fcFur
                  Rendering = RenderMan

The Smurfs films


The Smurfs
Studio: Tippett Studio
Software: Modeling and Animation = Maya
               Fur = Furator
               Rendering = RenderMan

The Smurfs 2
Studio: Sony Pictures Animation
Software: Modeling and Animation = Maya
               Fur = Kami
               Rendering = Arnold

Marvel Cinematic Universe

The Hulk

The Incredible Hulk
Studio: Rhythm and Hues
Software: Modeling = Maya
               Animation = Voodoo
               Hair = Voodoo
               Rendering = Wren

The Avengers
Studio: Industrial Light and Magic
Software: Modeling = Zbrush 
               Animation = Maya
               Hair = Zeno
               Rendering = RenderMan


And your point is?


Nothing, I just want to do a comparison.


But you’re not doing a comparison, you’re just making a list.


Some of these films are almost a decade apart…


One could also mention Star Trek 2, 3, 4, and 6 being ILM with ST5 being Associates and Ferren.

And STar Trek: FC being ILM, Star Trek: I being R&H and Star Trek: N being DD.


It makes no sense to me why the same people don’t just work on the same franchises for ever and ever - when they made King Kong in 1933 it was Willis O’Brien who did the effects. When they made it again, 43 years later in 1976 it was Carlo Rambaldi. When they did it yet again in 2005 it was Weta. I mean, what gives? Where the hell was O’Brien? I guess he made so much money from the original he was probably messing around on the beach for 72 years or something instead of looking after business…


Yeah, like when they made that movie in 1969 about going to the moon by going to the moon. Why don’t they still shoot all space movies in space?


I, for one, was rather upset at the fact that some other guy is playing Dracula in that new flick, instead of Bela Lugosi.

Come on Hollywood, let’s have a little consistency.


But…but…Bela Lugosi’s Dead!


Ah, but of course, Bela Lugosi would have wanted too much money now to appear yet again as Dracula. :smiley:

Kidding aside, to the OP: Most of these changes are treated by the majors in a manner quite similar to swapping out subcontractors working from house to house.

You cannot expect the same people or company to always get to continue with a series - unless they themselves were its originators.


Bela Lugosi would not have made as good a particle emitter as this ‘new’ Dracula apparently.
Ease down on the bat swarms already.


The effects from the original Robocop movies were done by Tippett Studio and the effects for the new Robocop movie were by Framestore and Method Studios.


Thatswhutaamseyin! And if they’d use real light sabres, they’d save tons of roto work and stuff.


I think we’re forgetting a really obvious one here:

Star Wars: Episode IV-VI
Studio: ILM
Software: Proprietary/hand-coding
Fur: Taxidermy and/or slaughterhouse
Rendering: Mechanical/Electro-chemical

Star Wars: Episode I-III
Studio: ILM
Software: Evil Corporation + proprietary
Fur: Talented shader writers
Rendering: Talented rendering TDs


See - now your not even paying attention.
Phil Tippett did the stop motion FX for Ed-209 for Robocop (1986).
He had no idea about CGI until he was confronted with it while making Jurassic Park (1991).

You get an F.


I was talking about the studios, not the effects.


The point of the matter is Visual Effects and Special Effects groups are treated as swappable subcontractors. The only possible point of confusion is you perhaps thinking there would be some sense of loyalty/continuity with a film series’ look-and-feel by retaining the same team members.

It does happen, but mostly due to connections, and frequently doesn’t happen due to costs and competition.

Yeah. But have you seen the medical and fire insurance premiums for those? Your producer would throw a fit. It’ll cost more than hiring 5 Brad Pitts!

P.S.: Oh and that new Dracula guy may be a particle emitter, but Bela Lugosi remains as the Dracula with the best hair shader. :stuck_out_tongue:


Could always get Martin Landau.



INSURRECTION wasn’t R&H; mainly Santa Barbara Studios for the space stuff, VIFX/BlueSky (way before the R&H merger) for the rest, and a teeny bit from POP. The miniature work for the reshot end sequence involved HGI, Innovation Art and Stirber, with OConnor FX doing the model pyro.

ILM farmed out a fair amount of stuff on their shows, to VCE (which also worked on 5) on 2 & 6, to Matte World and Illusion Arts on 6, GEN & FC. Santa Barbara did a couple of major sequences on GEN as well. I forget who did the vulcan lander in FC.