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VES Awards: ‘The Jungle Book’ and ‘Kubo and the Two Strings’ Win Top VFX Prizes

"The Jungle Book" was the big winner Tuesday night at the 15th VES Awards and "Rogue One" the big loser with no honors.

“The Jungle Book”


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The Jungle Book” is on its way to VFX Oscar gold after getting five VES nods Tuesday night at the Beverly Hilton. “Rogue One,” the “Star Wars” standalone, however, came away empty-handed after receiving seven nominations.

The innovative Disney hybrid “The Jungle Book” won for outstanding feature, King Louie’s animated performance, virtual cinematography, effects simulations, and compositing.

Laika’s Oscar-nominated “Kubo and the Two Strings” earned VFX animation props, “Deepwater Horizon” took supporting VFX and model work for Industrial Light & Magic, and “Game of Thrones: Battle of the Bastards” continued its TV dominance.

Disney’s “Moana” grabbed two animation awards (created environment and simulations), Pixar won for Hank’s animated performance, and Marvel’s “Doctor Strange” won for its New York City environment

The VES Visionary Award went to Victoria Alonso, producer and Marvel Studios EVP of physical production. Five-time Oscar winner Ken Ralston (“Return of the Jedi” and “Who Framed Roger Rabbit?”) was honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award.

“Kubo and the Two Strings”

Jon Favreau’s “The Jungle Book” was a victory for two-time Oscar-winning VFX supervisor Rob Legato (“Hugo” and “Titanic”) and MPC, which created all of the virtual characters and environments, save for Weta Digital’s King Louie temple sequence.

They achieved a new level of photographic-based realism in re-imagining the Disney animated classic,  pushing the creative boundaries of what has been achieved to date in the integration of live-action and animation.

“It was done in a way as if every decision was made using a real camera [including the pluses and pitfalls],” Legato told IndieWire. “And also what we were attempting to do lighting-wise in CG is not use the computer to be perfect. So the sun is in a different place for every shot. And because we prevised it between [DP] Bill Pope shooting or me shooting [2nd unit] there was essentially one cinematographer’s point of view.”

The winners were as follows:

Outstanding Visual Effects in a Photoreal Feature

The Jungle Book

Robert Legato

Joyce Cox

Andrew R. Jones

Adam Valdez

JD Schwalm

Outstanding Supporting Visual Effects in a Photoreal Feature

Deepwater Horizon

Craig Hammack

Petra Holtorf-Stratton

Jason Snell

John Galloway

Burt Dalton

Outstanding Visual Effects in an Animated Feature

Kubo and the Two Strings

Travis Knight

Arianne Sutner

Steve Emerson

Brad Schiff

Outstanding Visual Effects in a Photoreal Episode

Game of Thrones; Battle of the Bastards

Joe Bauer

Steve Kullback

Glenn Melenhorst

Matthew Rouleau

Sam Conway

Outstanding Supporting Visual Effects in a Photoreal Episode

Black Sails; XX

Erik Henry

Terron Pratt

Aladino Debert

Yafei Wu

Paul Stephenson

Outstanding Visual Effects in a Real-Time Project

Uncharted 4

Bruce Straley

Eben Cook

Iki Ikram

Outstanding Visual Effects in a Commercial

John Lewis; Buster the Boxer

Diarmid Harrison-Murray

Hannah Ruddleston

Fabian Frank

William Laban

Outstanding Visual Effects in a Special Venue Project

Pirates of the Caribbean; Battle for the Sunken Treasure

Bill George

Amy Jupiter

Hayden Landis

David Lester

Outstanding Animated Performance in a Photoreal Feature

The Jungle Book; King Louie

Paul Story

Dennis Yoo

Jack Tema

Andrei Coval

Outstanding Animated Performance in an Animated Feature

Finding Dory; Hank

Jonathan Hoffman

Steven Clay Hunter

Mark Piretti

Audrey Wong

Outstanding Animated Performance in an Episode or Real-Time Project

Game of Thrones; Battle of the Bastards; Drogon

James Kinnings

Michael Holzl

Matt Derksen

Joseph Hoback

Outstanding Animated Performance in a Commercial

John Lewis; Buster the Boxer

Tim van Hussen

David Bryan

Chloe Dawe

Maximilian Mallmann

Outstanding Created Environment in a Photoreal Feature

Doctor Strange; New York City

Adam Watkins

Martijn van Herk

Tim Belsher

Jon Mitchell

Outstanding Created Environment in an Animated Feature

Moana; Motunui Island

Rob Dressel

Andy Harkness

Brien Hindman

Larry Wu

Outstanding Created Environment in an Episode, Commercial, or Real-Time Project

Game of Thrones; Battle of the Bastards; Meereen City

Deak Ferrand

Dominic Daigle

François Croteau

Alexandru Banuta

Outstanding Virtual Cinematography in a Photoreal Project

The Jungle Book

Bill Pope

Robert Legato

Gary Roberts

John Brennan

Outstanding Model in a Photoreal or Animated Project

Deepwater Horizon; Deepwater Horizon Rig

Kelvin Lau

Jean Bolte

Kevin Sprout

Kim Vongbunyong

Outstanding Effects Simulations in a Photoreal Feature

The Jungle Book; Nature Effects

Oliver Winwood

Fabian Nowak

David Schneider

Ludovic Ramisandraina

Outstanding Effects Simulations in an Animated Feature

Moana

Marc Henry Bryant

David Hutchins

Ben Frost

Dale Mayeda

Outstanding Effects Simulations in an Episode, Commercial, or Real-Time Project

Game of Thrones; Battle of the Bastards; Meereen City

Thomas Hullin

Dominik Kirouac

James Dong

Xavier Fourmond

Outstanding Compositing in a Photoreal Feature

The Jungle Book

Christoph Salzmann

Masaki Mitchell

Matthew Adams

Max Stummer

Outstanding Compositing in a Photoreal Episode

Game of Thrones; Battle of the Bastards; Retaking Winterfell

Dominic Hellier

Morgan Jones

Thijs Noij

Caleb Thompson

Outstanding Compositing in a Photoreal Commercial

John Lewis; Buster the Boxer

Tom Harding

Alex Snookes

David Filipe

Andreas Feix

Outstanding Visual Effects in a Student Project

Breaking Point

Johannes Franz

Nicole Rothermel

Thomas Sali

Alexander Richter

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