If you are someone who is interested in a career in visual effects and 3-D animation, or if you are just an aspiring industry insider like us and want to know the business behind the blockbusters, then you can start by getting to know a few of the top VFX studios in Hollywood (and which movies or animated features have made them successful). The following information will provide you with top-tier visual effects and animation studio list. However, these are just a sample of the many excellent VFX studios throughout the world.
DreamWorks SKG first began in 1994 under the direction of media giants David Geffen, Jeffrey Katzenberg, and Steven Spielberg. As a team, they were successful in gathering talented people in both the music and film industries. The popular animated movie ‘Shrek’ was released in 2001. It won the Academy Award that year for the best-animated feature film.
DreamWorks Animation SKG Studios, later in 2004, became its own company and was under the direction of Jeffrey Katzenberg. This well-known studio has since created many popular animated features. It also continues to receive a variety of accolades from the visual effects and 3-D animation industry.
DreamWorks Studios are located in Glendale, California. The scenic grounds of the studios are beautiful enough to be visited by tourists, but behind the scenes is a different story. There are tons of animators and other professionals working away at some of the best monitors for video editing, special effects hardware and VFX software money can buy.
See this short piece by CNN Business for a little insider view of the studios:
Dreamworks specialize in television and feature animation films and also have a variety of online virtual games. Some of the notable films include the ‘Shrek’ franchise, the ‘Trolls’ franchise, and the ‘How to Train Your Dragon’ franchise. Besides winning the Academy Award in 2001 for the animated feature for ‘Shrek’, DreamWorks also received an Academy award in 2005 for ‘Wallace and Gromit’. In addition, the company has received numerous other Golden Globe and Academy Award nominations.
Industrial Light & Magic
Industrial Light & Magic (ILM), was founded in 1975 by George Lucas. It was basically a component of his production company, LucasFilm. It really is incredible how important this particular studio became. For example, perhaps you have heard of one of their more popular movies called ‘Star Wars’.
The company has been in existence for decades and has produced well-known movies such as ‘Jurassic Park’ and ‘Terminator 2’. Both ILM and LucasFilm were purchased in 2012 by the Walt Disney Company. The studios are located in Presidio of San Francisco, California.
Notable achievements include dozens of Academy Awards for visual effects (VFX) and an unbelievable amount of nominations for both Academy and Golden Globe Awards. Some of their more notable films include ‘Capt. America’, ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ franchise, and ‘Star Wars’ episodes.
Pixar Animation Studios
Pixar Animation Studios have provided countless computer-animated features. The animated film industry is where it is today because of the creativity of this amazing studio. A group of talented creators began Pixar when they developed a field of computer-generated animations. Many of their feature films and short stories have either been nominated for or have earned countless awards. Today, the RenderMan software developed by Pixar is the computer graphics industry standard.
Pixar is located in Emeryville, California. Some of the its more notable achievements include the 1988 Academy Award for ‘Tin Toy’. ‘Tin Toy’ became the very 1st computer-animated film to receive an Academy Award. The first computer-animated feature film was ‘Toy Story’. Notable films for this well-known company include the ‘Finding Nemo’ franchise, the ‘Incredible’s’ franchise, and the ‘Toy Story’ franchise, just to name a few.
Walt Disney Animation Studios
Walt Disney Animation Studios has a storybook history that is both long and important. It began by producing the 1st fully animated movie in 1937 called ‘Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs’. This well-known studio has produced some of the biggest animated films ever to be released.
The studio is located in Burbank, California and has received numerous Academy and Golden Globe Awards. Some of their more recent notable films include ‘Frozen’, ‘The Lion King’, and ‘Zootopia’.
Sony Pictures Animation
In 2002, Sony Pictures Animation came onto the scene. It has a close association with its sister studio. The first animated feature film that it produced was called ‘Open Season’. The studio is located in Culver City, California. It won the best animated short film Academy Award in 2002 for ‘The ChubbChubbs’. In 2007, it received an Oscar nomination for ‘Surf’s Up’. Some of the company’s more notable films include ‘The Smurfs’, ‘Hotel Transylvania’, and ‘Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs’.