It would seem that sometimes even when you win, you lose. If Ang Lee’s Life of Pi cleaned up at the box office and then swept the Oscars, this was in no small part due to the movie’s masterful mix of live action and digital effects. These were created by veteran effects firm Rhythm & Hues which, despite its evident expertise, last week filed for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy and fired 250 employees.

A worrying situation and yet when VFX supervisor Bill Westenhofer tried to mention the plight of the studio during the Oscars ceremony he was abruptly cut off. Since he was about to finger the studios for their increasing use of overseas effects firms, silencing him before an audience of a billion was perhaps not an accident. The Computer Graphics World site provides a detailed explanation of the digital wizardry behind the making of the film.

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