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Digital Dimension Turns to 3ds max for Seamless Samurai

Digital Dimension created complex realistic 3D effects for THE LAST SAMURAI using 3ds max, Discreet's award-winning 3D modeling, animation and rendering solution. Like Blur and Frantic Films, Digital Dimension is one of many visual effects studios worldwide relying on 3ds max for their major film effects and animation projects.

Because of the time period, the late 19th century, the main challenge faced by Digital Dimension was creating photo-realistic CG weapons that left no trace of artificiality.

"The filmmakers didn't want any of the work we did to be noticeable," says Ben Girard, founder and president of the Burbank, California-based visual effects studio. "This is not an effects film, so everything we did had to blend perfectly with the live-action footage. 3ds max met those objectives perfectly."

Some of the key sequences that Digital Dimension relied on 3ds max were multiple shots involving the integration of a photorealistic 3D sword and lance into live-action footage. 3ds max was used to design and texture the weapons, and then blend the CG weapons with the users' hands while matching the CG lighting with the live-action lighting.

Founded in '95, Digital Dimension ( specializes in vfx, 3D animation and motion graphics for film, TV and interactive industries.

Used by the world's largest community of professional 3D artists in games, film and design visualization, 3ds max 6 modeling, animation and rendering software is available for $3,495 in a range of languages through local and international Discreet Authorized Resellers. For more information, visit

Discreet's award-winning solutions are designed for digital media creation, management and delivery-across all disciplines from film and television visual effects, color grading and editing to animation, game development, and design visualization. Discreet ( is based in Montreal, Quebec and is a division of Autodesk Inc., a leading design and digital media creation, management and distribution company.

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Bill Desowitz, former editor of VFXWorld, is currently the Crafts Editor of IndieWire.