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Spectacular VFX and Design Studio Roundup

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In the United States it's Independence Day this weekend which is a day spent celebrating. In that spirit we decided to celebrate design studios doing some of the most inspiring work at the moment.

19 Spectacular VFX and Design Studios

  • Digital Domain

    Digital Domain has 65+ film credits under their belt and are one of the pioneering forces in the visual effects industry. In operations since 1993, and founded by some of the greatest icons in the industry, Digital Domain has set the standard for photo-real humans and visual effects in movies, commercials and video games. One of my favorite things about this company isn't the fact that they have won tons of awards, its their website. It is jam packed with making-ofs, VFX breakdowns, credits and tons of more information on all the projects that they tackle.

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  • Süperfad

    The masterminds behind the "Now Network" Sprint ads and the ever popular Durex "Get It On" series that swept the internets a couple months back, Superfad is an amazing brand driven design and live action production company. Their style is fueled by the wide range of culture and the brilliant minds that they employ. They are always trying to come up with blow-you-away designs, and have fulfilled those needs for some of the worlds top companies with their award winning creations.

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  • Troika

    Troika is probably my favorite branding and identity creation company. They have an amazing reputation for creating some of the more talked about network branding and television identities that you probably see on a daily basis. They handle FOX, ABC, Comedy Central and ESPN just to name a few, but if you hit up their website, their client list, just does not end. Watching their demos for each network, show really spark your imagination to create some amazing stuff. Andrew Kramer even has a tutorial to create the awesome TNT network logo reveal on Video Copilot. When you click over to Troika's site, click to the About>Studio section and see what this killer studio is all about.

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  • Prologue

    Prologue seems to sprout in some shape or form whenever I write an article. Not because I love their work (which I do), but the fact that what they create blows me away time after time, when I search for pieces to feature, they always seem to be one of the videos that catches my eye. Working on film as well as television branding, Prologue is absolutely one of my favorite companies to watch. There work has been featured on some of the biggest movies lately as well as the MTV Movie Awards, about a month ago.

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  • Blur

    Blur is a team comprised of around 90 people ranging from animators, modelers, riggers, compositors and so on. With motion capture inside their studio, it makes an optimal location for production of game trailers and 3D animation in general. Owned by Tim Miller, a huge graphic novel fan, they have taken on a lot of gaming and graphic novel adaptations such as a Heavy Metal sequel, and the amazing trailer for Star Wars: The Old Republic, which was recently debuted at E3.

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  • Digital Kitchen

    One of our fellow authors here at AEtuts, Nick Campbell works at the famed Digital Kitchen as a Motion Designer. Digital Kitchen is an awesome post studio which has worked on a bunch of main title projects for some awesome shows such as True Blood, Rescue Me, and my newest favorite show, Dexter. Their work ranges from title sequences to commercial production, and everything the produce never disappoints.

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  • Imaginary Forces

    These guys deal in everything and anything you can dream up. Visual effects for Terminator Salvation and Minority Report along with title sequences for Dollhouse and Gossip Girl are just a few of the projects they have graced their creative talents with. Their work is continually featured on Motionographer.com, as are many of the talented post houses on this list, so it is hard to miss their work when it is displayed.

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  • MK12

    This Kansas City based design firm has taken on some amazing projects such as the visual effects for the latest James Bond movie, as well as a ton of other commercial, branding and television identity pieces. Specializing in motion design as well as visual effects, and perusing around their site will definitely get your creative juices flowing.

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  • Onesize

    Onesize is focused on motion graphics, animation, visual effects, and live-action direction and production for film and television. That being said, they are some of the best. Producing some very memorable spots and animation such as one of my personal favorite music videos of all time, "Anything You Synthesize" by The American Dollar, their work is internationally seen, and employs freelancers around the world. Members of their team teach at universities like Hyper Island in Sweden, or speak at festivals like OFFF and FITC.

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  • Buck

    Buck is an agency with offices on both sides of the United States, and employs creatives with a broad range of culture and works with vast range of clients based in the advertising, broadcast, retail and entertainment industries. Our own Evan Schaible had the pleasure of interviewing one the Art Directors at BUCK, Christopher Lee. You can revisit that interview here.

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  • Psyop

    With a slogan such as "Persuade, change and influence" and borrowing the name from the U.S. Governments Phycological Operations program, Psyop is a company with the creativity and ingenuity to get peolle talking about what they do, and how damn good it looks. Psyop creates print, animation and branding campaigns, and are one of the leaders in their realm of multimedia design. With a client list of some of the world's most prestigious companies, such as Mercedes Benz, Guiness, MTV HD, Audi and Coca Cola, Psyop never ceases to amaze.

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  • Blacklist

    A division of Psyop, Blacklist is a group of international and up and coming directors and animators which is led by Executive Producer Adina Sales. Like Psyop, it is also based in New York. Their work is edgy and sometimes even a bit experimental. They have produced pieces for Fuse TV, Zune, and Nike dealing mostly in visual effects and motion design. Blacklist's artists and directors have been featured in Stash, CG Channel.com, and Motionographer.com.

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  • Trollbäck + Company

    Using live action and motion graphics with a mix of narratives gives Trollbäck an distinctive reputation for being the company to go for compelling and innovative campaign creation for the advertising, broadcast and entertainment industries. They are a company that prides themselves on the ability to create an immersive, compelling story with any project they take on, whether it be a rebrand or a title sequence. With a client list such as HBO, CBS, and the New York Times Magazine, there is a reason why they are one of the leaders in this business.

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  • The Mill

    In 2007, Shots magazine name The Mill "The most-awarded FX company in the world", and with Oscars, and BTAA awards under their belt... it couldn't be more true. With locations in London, New York and Los Angeles, and "Mini-Mills" scattered around the UK, they are able to service any client, anytime, with whatever they may need. They have created some of the most memorable visual effects, too many to name, just have a look at their reel and you will see what I mean.

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  • Stargate Films

    I like to prowl around the Stargate Films website quite a bit, they always have a ton of content to keep me busy and spark my interest. They have worked on the visual effects for some of the biggest shows on television including Heroes, Grey's Anatomy and Knight Rider, and winning an handful of Emmys in the process.

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  • The Moving Picture Company

    MPC is probably one of the most prestigious post production facilities in the world. With three network-connected facilities in London, Santa Monica and Vancouver, they have tackled and produced some of the largest visual effects projects in film such as all of the Harry Potter movies, and most recently over 250 shots for "Watchmen". They also handle visual effects and computer animation for the advertising, music and television industries. Their website is jam packed full of making-ofs and VFX breakdowns, so make sure take some time with this one.

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  • Stink Digital

    Stink Digital, the nerdy little brother of the larger Stink, are the ones responsible, along with Tribal DDB Amsterdam, for the Philips "Carousel" spot that has been tearing up the VFX realm the last month or so. They are an all-around team of developers, flash devs, designers, directors, animators, and film producers who side by side produce polished works for display in film as well as the internet.

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  • Rhythm & Hues

    Rhythm and Hues is a full fledged post studio that deal in character creation, matte painting, live action, game production, and visual effects. It seems like R&H is always dipping their fingers in the latest productions to hit theaters, such as "Land of the Lost" and "Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian." They always seem to blow everyone away with the visual effects they put out, even winning an Oscar for Achievement in Visual Effects for their work on "The Golden Compass."

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  • Luma Pictures

    Luma is one of those studios that you don't hear that much about them working on the visual effects in a lot of movies, but after you visit their site, you really realize that they play a huge part in movies such as "X-Men Origins: Wolverine" and The "Underworld" series. Their 3D team has remarkable talent and their compositors are just as good. This is another one of those studios to watch because they are continually pumping out amazing peices of work.

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