Marvel Studios’ “Iron Man 2” — Autodesk Software Key to Integrating Previsualization Into Movie Production

The Third Floor Uses Autodesk Technology to Improve Storytelling While Saving Time and Money — A Creative Win-Win

SAN RAFAEL, Calif. — (BUSINESS WIRE) — June 28, 2010 — With help from technology created by Autodesk, Inc. (NASDAQ: ADSK), previsualization has become an integral part of modern moviemaking. For Paramount Pictures’ and Marvel Entertainment’s summer blockbuster “Iron Man 2,” Los Angeles–based previsualization studio The Third Floor used Autodesk Maya and Autodesk MotionBuilder software to help create a highly detailed previsualization that allowed the filmmakers realize their creative vision. With a worldwide gross exceeding $600 million, “Iron Man 2” kicked off the summer movie season on a record-breaking number of screens.

Blockbuster movies are increasingly complex with bigger budgets, more elaborate visual effects and ever-accelerating post-production schedules. Filmmakers have always relied on storyboards, concept art and physical models to visualize their movies. Over the last 25 years, however, digital previsualization (previs) has become an integral part of moviemaking. Today, filmmakers often hire previs companies to create a digital representation of characters and environments using advanced computer animation techniques.

The Third Floor worked hand in hand with “Iron Man 2” director Jon Favreau and various filmmaking departments to create nearly 700 shots, each requiring three to four iterations, making for a total output of several thousand shots. The previs process helped the filmmakers throughout production to visualize the movie, strategically plan production and realize their creative vision.

“Iron Man 2” Previsualization Supervisor Nicholas Markel of The Third Floor said, “Ideally, previs empowers filmmakers — from director, production designer, cinematographer, visual effects supervisor, editor, and art director — with more creative freedom. Maya is the backbone of our previs pipeline, with MotionBuilder as a perfect complement for virtual moviemaking. Using Autodesk FBX technology, we were able to transfer assets between Maya and MotionBuilder. This provided flexibility for the filmmakers to manage both their vision and budget, ultimately creating the best film possible.”

The primary Autodesk software tools used by The Third Floor on “Iron Man 2” are available as part of the Autodesk Maya Entertainment Creation Suite 2011, which offers Maya 2011 software with both MotionBuilder 2011 and Autodesk Mudbox 2011 software. Maya 3D animation, modeling, visual effects, rendering, and composting software offers artists a near end-to-end creative workflow. MotionBuilder provides a real-time animation engine for more interactive creative feedback and efficient handling of large amounts of animation data. Mudbox helps artists sculpt highly detailed models more quickly and intuitively. The complementary toolsets enable artists to expand creative capacity while improving production quality and efficiency. For more information, visit The Autodesk suggested retail price for the Entertainment Creation Suite is US$4,995.*

* International pricing may vary.

About Autodesk

Autodesk, Inc., is a world leader in 2D and 3D design, engineering and entertainment software for the manufacturing, building and construction, and media and entertainment markets. Since its introduction of AutoCAD software in 1982, Autodesk continues to develop the broadest portfolio of state-of-the-art software to help customers experience their ideas digitally before they are built. Fortune 100 companies -- as well as the last 15 Academy Award winners for Best Visual Effects -- use Autodesk software tools to design, visualize and simulate their ideas to save time and money, enhance quality and foster innovation for competitive advantage. For additional information about Autodesk, visit

About The Third Floor

Since 2004, The Third Floor Previs Studio has helped many productions maximize their creative content and save money throughout production and post. Some of the company’s feature film credits include: “Valkyrie,” “Cloverfield,” “Star Trek,” “Avatar” and Tim Burton's “Alice in Wonderland.” The studio also works with video game developers to design detailed cinematics for titles such as: “Starcraft II,” “Diablo III,” “Resident Evil 5,” “Need for Speed” and the “Command & Conquer” series. The Third Floor’s veteran previs teams know how to interface with directors, production designers and VFX supervisors to deliver a cohesive animated blueprint for the most challenging creative projects. For more information about the previs process, and for extensive examples of The Third Floor’s work, please visit: Watch a video about The Third Floor and how Autodesk tools form the basis of its production pipeline, The Third Floor video interview.

Iron Man 2 Stills: © 2010 MVL Film Finance LLC. TM & © 2010 Marvel Entertainment, LLC & its subsidiaries. All rights reserved.

Autodesk, AutoCAD, FBX, Maya, MotionBuilder and Mudbox are registered trademarks or trademarks of Autodesk, Inc., and/or its subsidiaries and/or affiliates in the USA and/or other countries. Academy Award is a registered trademark of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. All other brand names, product names or trademarks belong to their respective holders. Autodesk reserves the right to alter product and services offerings, and specifications and pricing at any time without notice, and is not responsible for typographical or graphical errors that may appear in this document.

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