The Road to the Oscars: Digital Domain tells a

LOS ANGELES, March 25, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — As the 2021 awards season draws to a close with this weekend’s Oscars, acclaimed visual effects studio Digital Domain today looks back on a groundbreaking year that included work on blockbuster films and episodes, several major accolades, sustained growth across multiple offices, and innovations that spanned multiple industries. And with a slate of major projects underway for film, episodes, commercials, games, digital humans and more, 2022 is about to be even bigger.

“Digital Domain has a long and impressive history stretching back nearly three decades, but over the past few years we have evolved and reached a new level, and 2021 was our biggest yet,” said John Fragomeni, President Global Digital Domain. “It’s all part of a positive, bottom-up outlook that we know of, and we expect that to continue into 2022 and beyond.”

Awards and nominations
For work that appeared in both feature films and episodic content over the past calendar year, Digital Domain recorded its highest number of awards and nominations for the company in more than 20 years.

This weekend, the best and most accomplished movies of the year will be honored at the 94th Annual Academy Awards. Digital Domain will be there in full force, having received nominations for three of its VFX supervisors in the prestigious “Best Visual Effects” category, for their work at both Marvel Studios and Sony Pictures. Spider-Man: No Coming Home and 20th Century Fox free guy. The studio also contributed significantly to the visual effects of a third film in the running for the award, Marvel Studios. Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings.

In addition to its two nominations, Digital Domain also earned multiple spots in the Academy Award VFX Bake-Off, an event where the top ten VFX films of the year have the opportunity to showcase behind-the-scenes insight into the work being done on each film, tailored to the assembled group of visual effects professionals. The five best chosen films then become finalists for the Oscar and receive official nominations. During this year’s Bake-Off, Digital Domain worked on four of the 10 films.

Digital Domain also received a BAFTA “Special Visual Effects” nod for its work on 20th Century Fox’s free guy. This high-profile nomination joins a previous Emmy recognition in the category of “Outstanding Special Visual Effects in a Season or a Motion Picture” for Digital Domain’s intricate work at Marvel Studios. Wanda Visionwhich included help in creating the White Vision character, and featured a superhero battle like no other, as the two versions of Vision battled each other.

In addition to its many nominations, Digital Domain picked up several accolades for its work in 2021, including a Visual Effects Society (VES) award for Marvel Studios’ Episodic Series. Loki (Digital Domain also received a second VES nomination for Lokiand another for his work on Marvel Studios Black Widow as well as). The studio also received the “Outstanding Visual Effects” award from the Hollywood Professional Association (HPA) for Black Widowwhich included the destruction of the flying fortress Red Room, leading to a memorable escape through a field containing thousands of pieces of debris, all created by the artists of Digital Domain.

Beyond its acclaimed film and episodic projects, Digital Domain has received several accolades for its technical work, including a prestigious Lumière Award for its Digital Human Group, for the Masquerade 2.0 facial capture system. Digital Domain’s Advertising & Games group also received three Telly awards, including a Gold for its work on the Ghost of Tsushima “A Storm is Coming” cutscene and two silver medals, one for the perfect dark “Official Announce Trailer” and the other for the NFL Super Bowl LV commercial, “As One”. The NFL coin also earned Digital Domain a silver Clio award.

Pioneering digital humans
Although Digital Domain’s history is deeply tied to traditional visual effects, it has quickly become the world’s leading expert in the creation and development of digital, virtual, and autonomous humans. Led by its pioneer Digital Human Group, the studio has come a long way since 2008 The Curious Case of Benjamin Button and the highly publicized creation of the 2012 Tupac hologram for Coachella.

In February 2021, Digital Domain’s DHG and New Media Groups teamed up with the NFL and famed advertising company 72andSunny to create a 3D model, a virtual human and hologram version of legendary – and deceased – coach Vince Lombardi. Created with the blessing of his estate, Digital Domain used existing reference material, including black and white SD footage, to create a digital facsimile of the trainer. A performer with roughly the same build and mannerisms was then brought in to record the movements, and Digital Domain’s proprietary tools swapped the performer’s face for Lombardi’s photorealistic, CG face. The coach then gave the gathered fans in attendance for Super Bowl LV, as well as the millions of fans watching around the world, an original message of hope and unity.

The work on Lombardi was created thanks to recent advancements in facial capture and face swapping pioneered by Digital Domain. Aspects of the same technology have also helped create a digital copy of Dr. Martin Luther King reciting his iconic ‘I Have a Dream’ speech, adding decades to David Beckham for an international advertising campaign designed to call on the world to make “Malaria No Plus” and helped Digital Domain get an Oscar nomination in 2019 for Loan player one.

New tools
For its work on visual effects and digital humans, Digital Domain has also created several cutting-edge tools, like the award-winning Masquerade 2.0, an evolution of the technology that made Thanos possible in the Avengers films. Masquerade features the most emotive and photorealistic CG faces on the market.

Joining it is Charlatan, a neural network-powered facial capture tool that’s fast becoming the industry standard for face swapping and aging/aging artists. Charlatan gives filmmakers and character designers from all walks of life the ability to take the performance of a real person and analyze the facial mannerisms and nuances of their performance, then create an original, photorealistic CG version of that person. . This CG face can then be transposed and augmented onto the face of an existing live action performance or CG avatar. “Momentum” is a new software tool created using proprietary Charlatan technology. The Momentum Live system goes even further and allows face swapping in real time.

Digital Domain is also working on several methods of streamlining the virtual production pipeline, including using remote tools to give filmmakers around the world the ability to continue their work safely, regardless of location or restrictions. sanitary.

Business growth
In 2019, Digital Domain expanded its North American footprint to include a new art studio in Montreal with plans for expansion. While operating under all pandemic restrictions, the office has grown to employ over 150 artists and staff. Digital Domain’s Vancouver site has also grown exponentially to over 500 employees and continues to grow.

In total, Digital Domain now employs more than 1,500 people in nine offices.

To look forward
After a hugely successful 2021, Digital Domain has plans for the years to come, including the long-awaited release of the blockbuster from Sony Pictures Morbiusfollowed soon after by Warner Bros. Fantastic Beasts: Dumbledore’s Secrets. His work will next appear in Marvel Studios Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madnessas well as the Marvel series Ms. Marvel and She-Hulk. The VFX studio has also contributed VFX for the upcoming fourth season of stranger thingsWarner Bros. black adam and several other projects to be announced soon.

While alongside its feature films and episodic work, Digital Domain also has several major projects in the works for 2022 that go beyond traditional live-action work. It helped deliver and even redefine what facial capture can do in games for the recently announced Supermassive Games title, The careerand its Advertising group will see the launch of several advertising campaigns throughout the year.

Additional announcements for projects slated to debut in 2022 and 2023 – including massive international blockbusters, major episodic projects, advances to digital humans and more – are expected soon.

About the digital domain
Digital Domain creates genre experiences that entertain, inform and inspire. Over the past quarter century, the studio has established itself as a leader in the cinematic visual effects industry, expanding to encompass episodes, commercials, and game cutscenes, while embracing preview and production. Virtual. Digital Domain has also become a digital human and virtual reality pioneer, adding to a rich legacy of hundreds of blockbuster feature films for every major studio, thousands of commercials, music videos, game cutscenes and digital content by world-renowned directors and directors. brands.

A creative force in visual effects and premium content, Digital Domain has brought its artistry and technology to films such as Titanic, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button and blockbusters Ready Player One, Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame . Staff artists have won over 100 major awards, including Oscars, Clios, BAFTAs and Cannes Lions.

Digital Domain has offices in Los Angeles, Vancouver, Montreal, Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzhen, Hong Kong, Taipei, and Hyderabad. Digital Domain Holdings Limited is listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange (stock code: 547).

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