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Lucasfilm Geek Impulse News

Lucasfilm Ltd. LLC is an American film and television production company based in the Letterman Digital Arts Center in San Francisco, California.

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Lucasfilm Ltd. LLC is an American film and television production company based in the Letterman Digital Arts Center in San Francisco, California. The studio is best known for creating and producing the Star Wars and Indiana Jones franchises, as well as its leadership in developing special effects, sound and computer animation for the film. Lucasfilm was founded by filmmaker George Lucas in 1971 in San Rafael, California; most of the company’s operations were moved to San Francisco in 2005. The Walt Disney Company acquired Lucasfilm in December 2012 for $2.2 billion in cash and $1.855 billion in stock.

Lucasfilm produces original content, postproduction effects, as well as audio for external clients, licensed products, and the gaming industry. The company offers visual effects; develops and publishes interactive entertainment software for video-game console systems and personal computers; operates as a digital animation studio that produces content for global audiences, including television, video games, and visual effects. The company also participates in the licensing and merchandising activities related to entertainment properties; the provision of entertainment on the Web, such as video streaming, web documentaries, interactive content, and daily news updates; and produces digital animated content for film and television, and visual effects for feature films and multi-platform games.

In addition, it provides sound design and audio postproduction for motion pictures and video games; and markets, distributes, and licenses its products and services worldwide. The company was founded in 1971 and is based in San Francisco, California with a studio in Singapore. Currently, it operates as a subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company.


• ILM develops the Dykstraflex motion control camera system to create the groundbreaking special effects seen in Star Wars: A New Hope

• The Lucasfilm Computer Graphics Division is established at ILM

• The Computer Graphics Division begins development of the Pixar Image Computer, the EditDroid and the SoundDroid
• ILM develops the Go-Motion animation process

• ILM creates the “Genesis effect” – ILM’s first completely computer-generated sequence in a feature film for Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan
• The Games division is established; Lucasfilm is the first film company to develop and publish interactive entertainment

• The THX Theater Alignment Program (TAP) and the THX Sound System for theaters are launched

TheAdventures of Andre and Wally B, created on the Pixar Image Computer, premieres at SIGGRAPH
•The Games division releases its first two games: “Ballblazer” and “Rescue on Fractalus,” both for the Atari system

• ILM creates the first fully computer-generated character with the “stained glass knight” in Young Sherlock Holmes

• Lucasfilm establishes a partnership with National Geographic and Apple Computer to develop a CD-ROM education and entertainment system for the home

• Lucasfilm enters a joint venture with The Walt Disney Company and creates the Star Tours attraction at Disneyland
• The Learning division is established to design multimedia educational products

• ILM creates the first morphing sequence in Willow

• SoundDroid debuts at the Audio Engineering Society convention
• The first THX home audio system is unveiled at the Consumer Electronics Show

• Skywalker Sound introduces the first use of T-1 tie-lines for real-time digital audio transmission to distant locations

• ILM develops digital technology to create photo-real animated characters that match live-action for Jurassic Park

• ILM creates the first photo-real 3-D cartoon character utilizing computer animation for The Mask

• ILM wins a Technical Achievement Academy Award for the creation of the ILM Digital Film Compositing System

• ILM receives a Technical Achievement Award for the CG system to create and control hair and fur
• ILM creates digital tornadoes using particle systems animation software for Twister
• ILM creates a fully virtual set for Mission: Impossible

• ILM receives a Technical Achievement Award for the development of the Caricature Animation System

Star Wars: The Phantom Menace is the first major live-action film to be projected digitally. The movie goes on to receive three Oscar nominations

• Skywalker Sound, with THX and Dolby, develops Dolby Digital Surround EX

• ILM creates the first real-time interactive on-set visualization process

Star Wars: Attack of the Clones is the first major motion picture to be shot completely on digital
• ILM develops the first full 3-D motion tracking system

• ILM wins a Technical Achievement Academy Award for the development of practical methods for rendering skin and other translucent materials using subsurface scattering techniques

• ILM creates the first computer-generated, human character to be seen in extreme close-up with Sunny, the digital baby in Lemony Snicket’s Series of Unfortunate Events

• ILM is awarded the prestigious National Medal of Technology by the 43rd President of the United States, becoming the first entertainment company to receive such an award

• ILM develops iMocap, a revolutionary image-based motion capture system for the production of Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest

• ILM deploys “Fez”, a revolutionary new facial animation system that replaces the company’s “Caricature” software

• ILM’s “Fracture” software system is used for the Temple Heart and end sequence on Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull

• ILM develops “Virtual Pyro” for Star Trek, which allows for photorealistic fire and explosions to be generated in a fully directable manner

• ILM receives its 21st, 22nd and 23rd Scientific and Technical Achievement Awards from the Academy for the development of Ambient Occlusion, a rendering technique which has become a standard tool for computer graphics lighting

• ILM receives its twenty-fourth Scientific and Technical Achievement Award for the development of the ObaQ render queue management system

• ILM debuts the new patented suit design of Imocap 2.0, first used for The Hulk in Marvel’s The Avengers

• ILM receives its twenty-fifth and twenty-sixth Scientific and Technical Achievement Award for the development of Zeno and ILM Plume

• ILM develops and deploys MUSE, a state of the art high-resolution facial performance capture system. The first use of the system was on Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
• ILM receives its 27th, 28th and 29th Scientific and Technical Achievement Awards from the Academy for the development and creation of the artist-driven interface of the ILM Shape Sculpting System, the development of the ILM PhysBAM Destruction System, and the design and engineering of the ILM Geometry Tracker

• Working with Lucasfilm’s Advanced Development Group, ILM completes the first real-time feature film renders for shots containing the reprogrammed Imperial droid K-2SO
• The company also advances the state-of-the-art facial performance capture techniques to create the orc characters in Warcraft and the recreation of Grand Moff Tarkin for Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

• ILM advances Haircraft, a new CG hair creation and simulation system originally developed for Warcraft. The system is pushed to the max on Kong: Skull Island in the creation of the film’s titular character, Kong

• ILM continues to advance skin shader technology in its development work for the photorealistic digital character of Supreme Leader Snoke for Star Wars: The Last Jedi
• ILM Advances visual production techniques with the creation of the CG characters and locations of the OASIS for Ready Player One. The imagery represents 90-minutes of the film

• ILM receives its 31st Scientific and Technical Achievement Award for the architecture and engineering of the Blockparty procedural rigging system

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