Founded by George Lucas in 1975 to create the special effects for his space epic Star Wars, no other facility of its type existed at the time. Now with locations in San Francisco, Vancouver, London, Singapore, and Sydney, ILM remains one of the leading effects companies in the world, serving the motion picture commercial production and attraction industries.
From its astounding innovations in the original Star Wars trilogy to its groundbreaking CGI work in blockbusters like Jurassic Park, Star Trek, and The Avengers, ILM has changed and expanded the possibilities of what a film can be.
With so many technical and creative innovations, ILM has been a constant force propelling the evolution of visual effects. Beginning with a mastery of the traditional arts of blue-screen photography, matte painting and model and miniature construction, ILM advanced the art of optical compositing and pioneered the development of motion control photography, digital compositing, and numerous other advances in effects technology. Since the 1980s, ILM has led the way in the use of computer graphics and digital imaging in feature films, developing breakthrough techniques such as morphing, enveloping and film input scanning technology. Most recently ILM unveiled its StageCraft real-time virtual production platform and StageCraft LED Stages which allow storytellers the ultimate flexibility in how they plan, develop and capture their vision.
Today, ILM features one the most comprehensive and advanced digital effects production pipelines in the entertainment industry, from the earliest creation of wholly computer-generated characters in The Abyss, Terminator 2: Judgment Day and Jurassic Park to the startling digital breakthroughs in films such as Twister, Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace and The Perfect Storm. ILM’s ability to merge photo-realistic digital images with live-action footage is renowned throughout the industry
Critical to ILM’s success are its Visual Effects Supervisors, who combine technical expertise with creative vision. They are joined by a global team of some 1,200 employees that includes producers, art directors, computer graphics artists, software engineers, editors, and technicians. This effects team works within ILM’s proven production management system, known for producing superlative results on time and on budget.
Working closely with filmmakers to assure their vision is realized on screen, ILM’s departments handle end to end virtual production, research and development, concept art, creature design, fully articulated animatics, a mixture of computer graphics effects, models and miniatures, digital matte paintings, and state-of-the-art animation procedures. The artists that staff these departments represent the true brain trust at ILM, and their creativity has driven new technologies into the movie moments that continue to thrill and transport audiences globally.
Industrial Light & Magic is a Lucasfilm Ltd. company serving the digital needs of the entertainment industry for visual effects. ILM has been awarded 3 Emmy Awards, 15 Academy Awards for Best Visual Effects, and received 33 Academy Awards for Scientific and Technical Achievements that have had an indelible impact on the art of filmmaking.
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