Middle-earth Strikes Back - Article by Joe Fordham
In The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, the second installment in the epic live-action film adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkien's trilogy, director Peter Jackson ramps up the action as the fellowship continues to battle the forces of darkness threatening Middle-earth.
Academy Award-winning effects facilities Weta Digital and Weta Workshop again partnered with Jackson to produce some 800 visual effects shots for the film, running the gamut from elaborate creature effects and miniature work to sophisticated character animation.
Lending a hand in the proceedings was Sony Pictures Imageworks.
Spy Kids: Working at the Speed of Thought - Article by Jody Duncan
With the success of Spy Kids and its equally popular sequel, Spy Kids 2, independent filmmaker Robert Rodriguez proved that high production values and a multitude of slick effects need not require a nine-digit budget.
Offering up his recipe for success, Rodriguez provides an insider's view of the guerrilla-style tactics that he and his team of innovative effects vendors relied upon to achieve remarkable results working outside the traditional Hollywood infrastructure.
XXX: Shaken and Stirred - Article by Christian Carvajal
Director Rob Cohen and action star Vin Diesel reunite for XXX, a new breed of spy film whose secret agent - a career never-do-well recruited from the fringe culture of extreme sports - relies on death-defying feats of athleticism as his modus operandi.
Special effects supervisor John Frazier staged numerous live effects on set, while Digital Domain handled the bulk of the visual effects work required to place Vin Diesel squarely in the midst of the action.
Additional effects support was provided by Illusion Arts, Digiscope and Gray Matter.