Maxon Congratulates VFX Supervisor Paul Lambert on Oscar Win

Maxon, developer of superior creative tools for visual effects artists, is thrilled to congratulate Paul Lambert on his 2022 Academy Award win for Best Visual Effects for the film Dune, besting a host of impressive contenders including Spider-Man: No Way Home and Free Guy. The award win was the latest for Lambert, who also took home a Special Visual Effects BAFTA for his work on the film during the awards ceremony on March 13, 2022.

“It’s always exciting when Maxon tools are used on ground-breaking visual effects that capture the attention of the entire world,” says Maxon CEO David McGavran. “But it’s even more exciting when the artist behind them is recognized with arguably the most illustrious awards in the motion picture industry. On behalf of the Maxon team, we wish to extend our most sincere congratulations to Paul Lambert for his recent accolades and his contributions to the visual effects community.”

Long regarded as impossible to adapt, Denis Villeneuve’s approach to Frank Herbert’s 1965 sci-fi novel was to keep it grounded in reality — the otherworldly tech had to seem plausible. This made the task of bringing these visuals to the screen even more complicated for Lambert. This was particularly evident in a scene where Timothée Chalamet’s character took cover in a holographic bush. Since recreating an up-close CG shot of the actor would have been too difficult and costly, Lambert opted to approach the scene with practical effects that were refined in post production to get the never-before-possible final look. To do this, Lambert brought in Wylie Co. Visual Effects to drive the post vis work.

Key to pulling off the effect was Maxon’s Redshift GPU-accelerated renderer; holograms are notoriously difficult to work with in a VFX pipeline due to their visual and technical complexity. Redshift gave Lambert and the Wylie Co. team the firepower needed to quickly elevate the temporary cut to a much higher standard on a tight turn in preparation to present it to Villeneuve. The result was a near production-ready asset that provided the team with a much more interactive and streamlined feedback process for quick and easy decision making.

“The interactive feedback process for Dune was key to our success and it was made possible because of tools like Redshift – it was one of the best experiences I’ve had in post,” says Dune VFX supervisor and Academy Award winner Paul Lambert. “The fact that we could interact with and test these assets right away, in a far higher resolution than what I’m used to, cut down the time it took to bring all of the pieces together. This was my first experience approaching the post process in this way. For me it was a complete gamechanger and it’s something I plan to do on every single project I take on.”

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