Sony Pictures Imageworks
|Type||Subsidiary of Sony Pictures Entertainment|
|Industry||CGI visual effects
|Headquarters||Culver City, California, USA|
|Number of locations||Albuquerque, New Mexico, US
Novato, California, US
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
|Parent||Sony Pictures Entertainment|
Sony Pictures Imageworks, Inc. is a visual effects and character animation company headquartered in Culver City, California, USA. SPI is a division of Sony Pictures Digital Productions, which oversees the digital production and online entertainment assets of Sony Pictures Entertainment.
The company has been recognized by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences with Oscars for their work on Spider-Man 2 and the computer-animated short film The ChubbChubbs!, and received many other nominations for their work.
SPI has provided special effects for many films, most recent include Watchmen, 2012 and Alice in Wonderland. They also provided services for several of director Robert Zemeckis' films, including Contact, Cast Away, The Polar Express, Monster House and Beowulf.
Sony Pictures Imageworks was founded in 1992 as a VFX company.
Its first independent animated effort was the 5-minute short The ChubbChubbs! directed by Eric Armstrong. In 2002, it won the Oscar for Best Animated Short. Early Bloomer, released in 2003, was the division's second short film and originally made as a storyboarding exercise.
SPI completed its first feature animation project in 2006 with the release of Open Season.
In 2007, SPI acquired the majority of the shares of FrameFlow, an Indian visual effects studio based in Atlanta with most of its work being done at its Chennai (Madras) centre. The company has been renamed to Imageworks India, and opened next year a state-of-the-art facility in Chennai. The same year SPI established new satellite production facilities in Novato, California and Albuquerque, New Mexico. In February 2012, it was reported that with July 2012 the Albuquerque studio will close due to the economic crisis and lack of alternative companies where employees would go in time of production gaps.
During 2009-2010 SPI made transition from traditional biased, multi-pass rendering system to a largely singlepass, global illumination system incorporating modern ray-tracing and physically based shading techniques. They have achieved that with Arnold Renderer, an unbiased stochastic ray tracer. Arnold, started in 1997 by Marcos Fajardo, was co-developed between 2004 and 2009 with SPI, where Marcos was employed, and is now maintained by Marcos' Madrid based company Solid Angle SL. Arnold was used on projects such as Monster House, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, 2012, Alice in Wonderland, The Smurfs, Arthur Christmas and is being used on all upcoming SPI's films.
Sony Pictures Imageworks has provided visual effects and digital animation for the following films:
- 50 First Dates
- Alice in Wonderland
- America's Sweethearts
- Anger Management
- Arthur Christmas
- Bad Boys II
- Big Fish
- Cast Away
- Charlie's Angels
- Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle
- Christmas with the Kranks
- City of Angels
- Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs
- Die Hard: With a Vengeance
- Early Bloomer
- Ghost Rider
- Green Lantern
- Harry Potter
- Hollow Man
- Hotel Transylvania
- I Am Legend
- I Spy
- In the Line of Fire
- James and the Giant Peach
- Last Action Hero
- Men in Black II
- Men in Black III
- Monster House
- Open Season
- Oz: The Great and Powerful
- Patch Adams
- Snow Falling on Cedars
- Spider-Man 2
- Spider-Man 3
- Starship Troopers
- Stuart Little
- Stuart Little 2
- Surf's Up
- Tall Tale
- The Amazing Spider-Man
- The Aviator
- The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian
- The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe
- The Chubbchubbs!
- The Ghost and the Darkness
- The Lord of the Rings
- The Matrix Reloaded
- The Matrix Revolutions
- The Polar Express
- The Smurfs
- What Lies Beneath
- Zathura: A Space Adventure
- IANS (2008-04-11). "Sony Imageworks opens visual effects studio in Chennai". SiliconIndia.com. Retrieved 2011-07-09.
- Tito A. Belgrave (2003-09-08). "Making Waves with Early Bloomer". CGSociety.org. Retrieved 2010-11-05.
- "Sony Pictures picks up 51% in FrameFlow" (Press release). FrameFlow via The Economic Times. 2007-02-20. Retrieved 2010-11-23.
- Stevens, Loralee (2007-01-29). "Sony gets toehold in North Bay". Barker Pacific Group, Inc. Retrieved 2010-11-27.
- "Albuquerque Studios Sees Special Effects of SONY Imageworks Deal in New Mexico" (Press release). Albuquerque Studios via PRWeb. 2007-05-20. Retrieved 2010-11-23.
- Kamercik, Megan (February 29, 2012). "Sony Pictures Imageworks to leave New Mexico". New Mexico Business Weekly. Retrieved March 1, 2012.
- Haines, Eric (2010-07-20). "Marcos and Arnold". Ray Tracing News. Retrieved 2010-11-24.
- "All Shows". Sony Pictures Imageworks. Retrieved November 4, 2012.