Blue Sky Studios Directory
During this time, Dr. Eugene Troubetzkoy, Michael Ferraro and Carl Ludwig developed proprietary software called CGI Studio that would become (and still is) perhaps the most advanced rendering software used in production. Finally, one year in and with all the initial money gone, Blue Sky booked their first client on the strength of a one-frame test image that took two and a half days to render on all three of their computers.
Over the next ten years. Blue Sky became a leader in high quality special effects and computer animation for brands such as Gillette, Bell Atlantic and Braun. Their innovative, photo realistic commercial work soon caught Hollywood’s eye and Blue Sky was hired as the effect house for major motion pictures such as Joe’s Apartment (1996), A Simple Wish (1997), Alien Resurrection (1997) and Fight Club (1999).
During this time, despite success in the field of CG effects, creative director Chris Wedge started itching to work on a more creatively fulfilling project, something with a narrative and a character. He and the team spent any free hours they had putting together a passion project that would become Bunny, Blue Sky’s first short film.
The short was technically groundbreaking, harnessing Ludwig and Troubetzkoy’s ingenious light-rendering techniques to create its special, naturalistic look that had not been matched by anyone else at that time. Its unique visual style and heartfelt story helped the film win the 1998 Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film. Blue Sky was officially on the map in a major way.
In 1999, Fox bought Blue Sky and with the resources of a major studio behind it, Blue Sky started production on its first animated feature, Ice Age. roducer Lori Forte developed the idea with Fox and it was originally planned as a classically animated dramatic family film. But with recent technological advances, the studio decided to take a risk and make a fully 3D animated feature - challenging Chris and the team to transform it into a comedy. The risk paid off. Ice Age grossed $46.3 million in its opening weekend, breaking the record for a March opening.
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