Iloura News

Iloura Takes Two of AACTA’s Four Noms for Best VFX Award

The Australian Academy of Cinema Television Arts (AACTA) announced the nominees for its 7th Annual Awards yesterday, and Iloura was thrilled to see two of its projects, the HBO series “Game of Thrones” and the Lionsgate feature “Deepwater Horizon” among the four nominees for Best Visual Effects. 

Iloura’s Glenn Melenhorst, Ineke Majoor, and Josh Simmonds are nominated along with Joe Bauer and Steve Kullback for the “Game of Thrones” season seven “The Spoils of War” episode. To help Daenerys and her Dothraki horde engage the Lannister army in a fiery fray, artists relied on their crowd pipeline and in-house tools built to handle enormous datasets for the previous season’s Emmy®-Award-winning “Battle of the Bastards” sequence. They drew on that expertise to augment film elements or, in some cases, create full CG shots, including some with thousands of soldiers in hand-to-hand combat. Artists also created extensive set extensions as well as CG smoke and fire, and seamlessly composited sequences with assets from multiple vendors. 

Iloura’s Jason Billington and Linda Luong are nominated along with James Whitlam for work on Lionsgate’s “Deepwater Horizon” which was also nominated for a VFX Academy® Award. Iloura artists created the massive engine explosion that ignites the fire on the namesake oil rig; designing, building and animating the full CG engine interior, as well as a CG version of the engine room that is engulfed by fire; adding CG flames, embers, mud, explosions and fireballs, seamlessly blending shots with practical and digital elements.  

Winners of the VFX Award will be announced at the AACTA Industry Luncheon on Monday, 4 December, presented by Foxtel events at The Star Event Centre in Sydney. Congrats to our teams!

Posted: 31/10/2017

Iloura’s Jason Billington Invited to Join the Academy

Huge congratulations to imagery wizard Jason Billington on being invited to join the VFX branch of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Jason was Oscar nominated for “Deepwater Horizon” VFX, done at Iloura. Congrats too to Nordin Rahhali at sister company Method Studios, who was also invited into the Academy’s ranks. Nordin recently supervised Method’s work for “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2.”

Posted: 30/06/2017

Iloura Returns to Battle for Game of Thrones “The Spoils of War”

Ahead of the season seven conclusion, the action in HBO’s Game of Thrones increasingly intensified with rapidly advancing storylines featuring escalating threats, new alliances and much-awaited reunions. In episode four of season seven, “The Spoils of War,” Daenerys and her Dothraki horde engaged the Lannister army in a fiery fray brought to life with help from visual effects by Deluxe’s Iloura. Reteaming with VFX Supervisor Joe Bauer and  VFX Producer Steve Kullback, Iloura VFX Supervisors Glenn Melenhorst and Josh Simmonds led Iloura artists in crafting the visuals.  Melenhorst was recognized with an Emmy Award for VFX work on season six’s “Battle of the Bastards” episode.

“We created digital doubles for the Dothraki at high resolution, knowing that we might need to drop them anywhere in a frame. This was not a case of throwing CG extras in the back of the horde, rather they are often front and center – something you’d never imagine trying to achieve in a typical TV show. ‘Game of Thrones’ is such a special phenomenon; we’re thankful to Joe and Steve for allowing us to be a part of it, and proud of the incredibly talented team at Iloura for rising to meet every challenge,” Melenhorst said.

Having honed its crowd pipeline and in-house tools for handling the enormous datasets required for large scale scenes featuring mounted riders and infantry for “Battle of the Bastards,” Iloura artists were able to draw upon that expertise in augmenting filmed elements or, in some cases, creating full CG shots, including some with thousands of soldiers in hand-to-hand combat. Iloura also created extensive set extensions as well as CG smoke and fire, and composited sequences with assets from multiple vendors to seamless effect.

“Not only did the CG smoke and fire require many terabytes of simulation data, but we also had to integrate with primary live action plates and separately shot elements, which meant massive practical and CG explosions in the same shot. Our aim was to ensure an exciting and unified sequence that stayed true to the renowned ‘Game of Thrones’ aesthetic,” said Simmonds.

To achieve the required detail and scope of the crowd work, Iloura built tools to enable custom animation for close ups and tightly choreographed action with full cloth and hair simulations. The enhancements also helped artists refine assets without having to continually rebuild, and achieve several epic aerial shots, passing through clouds of FX smoke and revealing vignettes of the battle from the vantage point of Daenaerys mounted on her dragon, Drogon, an asset animated by Image Engine. In many cases, the aerial shots, which served to provide a clear view of the unfolding stuggle below, were created from scratch using set scans and matte paintings as a base. See a behind-the scenes video showing Iloura’s work on “The Spoils of War” here.

 Game of Thrones “The Spoils of War” episode aired in the US August 6 on HBO and in Australia August 7 on Foxtel’s showcase channel. 

Posted: 13/09/2017

Iloura Swings Into Action for ‘Spider-Man: Homecoming’

To help tell the story of young Peter Parker in “Spider-Man: Homecoming,” Iloura crafted 153 VFX shots that lend authenticity to everything from Spider-Man’s suit to crucial environments. Collaborating once again with sister company Method Studios, and working closely with director Jon Watts, VFX Supervisor Janek Sirrs, and Method VFX Supervisor Matt Dessero, Iloura’s team of 80 artists was led by VFX Supervisor Dan Bethell.

“Our work was quite varied but the creative brief was always to serve the story and the context of the scene,” said Bethell. “From our CG environment work, to digitally augmenting Spider-Man’s suit and face, everything we did aimed to sell the believability of the scenes and to support Tom Holland’s performance.”

The bulk of Iloura’s work focused on the Department of Damage Control sequence, in which artists digitally transformed a barren warehouse set into a 3D environment filled with containers, rafters, and other elements. Attention to detail was key, from the textural qualities of the walls to flares on the overhead lights to serial numbers on each container. Iloura fortified its workflow for full CG environments, ensuring that when artists made even small changes to the warehouse, it updated across all shots to maintain complete continuity.

In the same sequence, Spider-Man swings in a hammock – a look Iloura achieved by combining the CG environment and FX, practical Spider-Man stunt photography and CG suit augmentation. In translating the practical footage, artists also needed to animate a fully CG head for Spider-Man and augment his suit, taking care to match the reflective and sparkly qualities of the practical suit material. The Iloura team pushed its lookdev and shaders to ensure texture and lighting matches with Spider-Man’s complex suit materials. Iloura’s Asset Supervisor Greg O’Connor was invaluable for handling the very technical work of matching CG Spider-Man to live action Spider-Man. Iloura artists also created various distinct CG webs that Spider-Man gets to test out as he swings through the facility. 

“Spider-Man: Homecoming,” from Marvel Studios and Sony Pictures, is in theaters now.

Posted: 18/08/2017

We hope to see you in London!

Posted: 01/05/2017

Why VFX Is Like Building a Car While You Are Driving It: Iloura’s Glenn Melenhorst Shares Insights with CG Society

Having helmed Iloura’s VFX work for both Sony’s “Ghostbusters” and the epic “Battle of the Bastards” episode of “Game of Thrones” over the past twelve months, it’s safe to say that Iloura VFX Supervisor Glenn Melenhorst is enjoying one of his best years yet.

On the awards circuit, Glenn’s work on “Battle of the Bastards” earned top honors from the Primetime Emmys, Hollywood Post Alliance, Visual Effects Society, the Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts, and Australian Production Design Guild. Glenn recently spoke with CG Society about the realities of being a supervisor at a prominent VFX studio along with some of words of wisdom. Read the full story here.

Posted: 29/03/2017

Iloura Artists Take Home Two VES Awards

Artists from Iloura were among those celebrated in Hollywood this month for creating the year’s most outstanding work at the 15th Annual Visual Effects Society (VES) Awards held February 7 held in the iconic Beverly Hilton Hotel.

Iloura VFX Supervisor Glenn Melenhorst was among the recipients of the evening’s top honour for TV work – Outstanding Visual Effects in a Photoreal Episode, for Game of ThronesBattle of the Bastards, sharing the trophy with Joe Bauer, Steve Kullback, Matthew Rouleau and Sam Conway.

Iloura’s team of Dominic Hellier, Morgan Jones, Thjis Noij and Caleb Thompson also received the Award for Outstanding Compositing in a Photoreal Episode for Battle of the Bastards at the event, which was hosted by comedian Patton Oswalt.

Iloura’s work and artists on the episode was also nominated for Virtual Cinematography and Effects Simulations awards, and artists from our sister VFX company, Method Studios, were nominated for Outstanding VFX for a Special Venue Project for Voyage of Time: IMAX Experience. The evening honoured Marvel Studios’ Victoria Alonso with its VES Visionary Award, and VFX pioneer Ken Ralston with its Lifetime Achievement Award.

Congratulations to all of the winners, nominees and honorees! Full list here.

Photo Credit:

Left to Right: Iloura’sThijs Noij, Dominic Hellier & Glenn Melenhorst, host Patton Oswalt, Iloura’s Glenn Melenhorst, Caleb Thompson, Thijs Noij and Dominic Hellier

Posted: 14/02/2017

VES Award Nominations Recognise Iloura Artists/Game of Thrones; Method Artists/Voyage of Time

The Visual Effects Society (VES) announced nominees for the 15th Annual VES Awards today.

We’re honoured that our VFX colleagues have recognised the work of artists from Deluxe’s Iloura and Method Studios with nominations for achievement in visual effects for work on “Game of Thrones” and Terrence Malick’s “Voyage of Time.” For “Game of Thrones” “Battle of the Bastards” episode, Iloura’s Dominic Hellier, Morgan Jones, Thijs Noij and Caleb Thompson were nominated for Outstanding Compositing in a Photoreal Episode; Kevin Blom, Sasmit Ranadive, Wanghua Huang and Ben Andersen were nominated for Outstanding Effects Simulations in an Episode, Commercial, or Real-Time Project; and Glenn Melenhorst was nominated for Outstanding Visual Effects in a Photoreal Episode (shared with Joe Bauer, Steve Kullback, Matthew Rouleau and Sam Conway).

Method’s Dan Glass and Brian Delmonico earned nominations for Outstanding Visual Effects in a Special Venue Project on “Voyage of Time: The IMAX Experience” (shared with Brett Harding, Tom Debenham and Matt Pullman).

Awards will be presented at the VES Awards show gala on February 7, 2017 at the Beverly Hilton hotel. Congrats to all the nominees! The full list can be viewed here.

Posted: 11/01/2017