In many a ordinary buildings across Canada and especially in Vancouver, BC, there is an army of animators and artists creating the heart thumping movie images and screens that will take your breath away. Many of these companies are not household names but their end products are. Their creative content is the stuff of fantasy that becomes reality. It's estimated that around 90-95% of all big screen movies produced are computer enhanced to some degree.
Vancouver is the largest hot bed for visual effects work in the world. Many of the top visual effect movies have been impacted by the talent that resides in Vancouver. These artists are animators, modelers, riggers and texture artists. They have their hand in movies like Iron Man 3, Elysium, Man of Steel, District 9, Tron: Legacy and numerous others that have some form of connection to Vancouver studios. There are many others movie effects in production or ready for release in the coming months, like The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, Godzilla, Maleficent starring Angelina Jolie, X-Men: Days of Future Past, Fast & Furious 7 and Sin City: A Dame to Kill For, and numerous others.
According to the Government of British Columbia's Technology Strategy report, BC has more than 600 digital media companies, employing about 16,000 people and generating $2.3 billion in annual sales. By any measure, this is a significant sector. Here is a small sample of such studios that are producing movie magic.
Who can forget the spectacular visuals of G.I. Joes who crafted many of the vehicles and aircrafts from the HISS Tanks, Zeus Satellite to the Intercontinental Ballistic Missile? Or who can forget Tron: Legacy, Iron Man 3, Transformers and the Titanic? Since 1993, Digital Domain has worked on more than 100 movies. They have many other projects underway like Fast & Furious 7, X-Men: Days of Future Past and the Maleficent.
MPC (Moving Picture Company)
MPC has a global network of studios including Vancouver, Montreal, Los Angeles, New York and many others with talented people who create VFX experiences in movies like Harry Potter, Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, Prometheus and the Life of Pi. Their current production includes Godzilla, The Amazing Spider Man 2, Disney's Sleeping Beauty and others. The Vancouver office has grown to 400 talented people since they opened in 2007.
Image Engine has been in Vancouver for more than 15 years providing world-class visual effects for feature movies. They include films like Elysium, District 9, The Twilight Saga, Eclipse, Immortals, Battleship, Zero Dark Thirty, White House Down, The Thing and many others. In current production are projects like Child 44 and TMNT.
As the Vancouver visual effects sector continues to grow, there will be an ongoing need for talented artists. There is a very broad range of skills needed to provide the visuals effects that make today's movies possible. In part, they include concept design, 2D compositing, 3D/CG effects, animation and motion design along with many more. Individuals considering a career in this section will generally need a diploma in Animation, Art or Visual Arts with experience in software like Maya and Photoshop along with knowledge of 2D and 3D computer graphics techniques and a strong demo reel or portfolio.