Image Engine VFX company
talking about its trip in the industry
Based in Vancouver BC, Image engine is an independently owned and operated company, led by a team of creative and passionate individuals who are committed to furthering the art of visual storytelling, and helping our exceptionally talented crew to push the boundaries of artistic and technical achievement at the studio.
Well known for our Academy Award Nominated work on Neill Blomkamp’s District 9, Image engine gone on to create numerous incredible creatures, epic environments and extraordinary digital effects for films.
Visual Effects Executive Producer & Partner
Image Engine creates great work across many different projects. What is behind the success and how Image Engine started its trip in the VFX industry?
It's true that although Image Engine is primarily known for being "a creature shop" in fact we have worked on a very diverse portfolio over the years. Albeit with some "themes" it seems - we happen to have done a lot of war films, for example. What's behind our success is really the people that have driven these projects.
We might talk about how the studio strives to achieve technical proficiency, creative exuberance and management excellence. But it's the people behind our various internal agendas - R&D, supervision, management, culture - that enable this level of achievement.
Image Engine reel
Do you have a special three projects that you could claim to be the 'best of all the time projects' that IE has worked on, and why?
Of course, "District 9" is our DNA. And will always remain one of our top projects due to the nomination for the Academy Award and everything that came together for that film - it really put Image Engine on the map. Following that, it's really hard to choose simply because many projects were experienced by different crews we assembled to achieve them. That being said, I would say that being involved in films like "Zero Dark Thirty", or "American Sniper" have been really special experiences. It's not every day that Clint Eastwood shows up to the studio to have a chat about your work! "Chappie" was a great project simply because of how prominent our work was in the film - over a thousand shots of the hero character in the film. That's an amazing thing for a studio of our size.
What do you think will be the next advanced in the VFX industry over the next 2-3 years?
Ha! Whenever I read one of these questions I am amazed by how many aspects of the methodologies of visual effects today are more or less the same as ten years ago! Especially when you consider feature films and television. But, there are significant advancements within aspects of production that relate to efficiency in disciplines such as lighting and simulations that are vastly different than just a short time ago. Calibration of lighting and look development environments is something that Image Engine has really focused on recently and I expect to continue to improve and become more efficient over time resulting in more standardized predictable results in asset creation.
Our ability to maintain consistency across shots and assets via in-house tools like Gaffer which is built on the foundation of our open source project Cortex will also continue to develop and contribute efficient sophistication to the production floor. These are tools that are active today, but will continue to break new ground. Furthering data acquisition techniques during films, taking advantage of the GPU, using existing visual effects pipelines to generate content ready for virtual reality experiences -- are all things that come up frequently for me when asking about advancement in visual effects. But, we should be careful to not leave out the next round of development on the production management side of life too -- software like Shotgun I feel are ready for another leap into something much more fluid and powerful.