The Untold Story of Pixomondo’s Global Visual Effects Production Process for Amazing Spider-Man

As the summer’s blockbuster season comes to an end, we were pumped to help bring some of the coolest and most complex visual effects (VFX) shots in Amazing Spider-Man to a theater near you. While the film showed a different side of Peter Parker, on that same story telling note, I thought it would be interesting to tell the story of how our customer, Pixomondo, worked with Sony Picture ImageWorks to seamlessly integrate CG character animation with live-action stunt work into enchanting digital environments.

The Amazing Spider-Man was one of the first native stereoscopic 3D films for Sony Pictures Imageworks, who developed a new stereo pipeline and toolset especially for the film. They enlisted Pixomondo, to produce the winter trailer. Sony fell in love with Pixomondo’s work and hired them again, along with other visual effects studios, to work with Jerome Chen, the VFX supervisor on the film, to help develop some of the more intricate VFX shots in the movie. Pixomondo artists created 272 complex shots for the film including the well-known Williamsburg Bridge sequence, scenes transforming human characters into lizards, arm replacements and other environment and creature-driven animation.

 Amazing Spider-Man images belong to Sony

The film was truly an around-the-clock global effort by Pixomondo. For instance, the team in Los Angeles created the bridge sequence, Toronto focused on the arm replacement, Frankfurt transformed Dr. Connors into The Lizard and changed the SWAT team from lizard men back to humans, Berlin worked on the burning cars, Burbank did cloth simulations for Dr. Connors’ arm and CG shots featuring a realistic spider. Additionally, Beijing, Shanghai and London helped out with modeling and matte paintings.

Amazing Spider-Man images belong to Sony

So, how does a global company overcome the challenges of a dispersed team working on different shots of the same film and deliver them on time? An efficient, reliable and global IT infrastructure backed by 24/7 support from Dell to empower and support staff wherever they are and in whatever time zone.   Pixomondo uses a complete end-to-end Dell solution comprised of high-performing and dependable Dell Precision tower workstations, including the latest high-end T7600, Dell PowerEdge servers, Dell EqualLogic and Dell PowerVault storage and Dell PowerConnect switches for its visual effects production. This flexibility is at the heart of Pixomondo’s success, enabling the business to do more by responding quickly to the changing needs of customers, delivering visual effects on tight timescales and maximizing efficiency.

Stay tuned for more behind-the-scenes stories about CG animation in blockbusters powered by Dell.

About the Author: Efrain Rovira