VFX studio Union has made a “significant” investment in its CG department with a USD-based pipeline and key hires.

Over the last year, the Union team has been developing a new, bespoke USD-based, CG pipeline from scratch.

USD (universal scene description) is a flexible, open-source file format developed by Pixar that provides robust interchange between different tools allowing simultaneous collaboration “without conflict.”

Marvel Studio’s Moon Knight was the first project to use the new pipeline. Since then the team has created CG on a wide variety of projects including, The Wheel of Time (Disney), Pennyworth (Warner Bros.), The Banshees of Inisherin (Fox Searchlight) and The Sandman (Disney).

Union’s CG department is led by Head of CG Rob Hopper and most recently recruited Sam Hiscock as FX Supervisor and Jonas Vonk as Lighting Supervisor.

Hiscock joins Union from MPC where she managed a team across multiple sequences for TV series and feature films including House of the Dragon (HBO), Maleficent: Mistress of Evil (Disney), The Lion King (Disney), and Prehistoric Planet (Apple TV+).

Vonk has come to Union from the lighting team at DNEG where his credits include The Rings of Power (Amazon), The Matrix Resurrections (Warner Bros.), No Time to Die (MGM), and The Adam Project (Netflix).

Hopper comments, “the steady growth of the department over the past 18 months means we are able to take on bigger projects and more complex work than ever before.

Each project presents its own set of challenges allowing the CG pipeline to evolve each time making it the best it can be for us, it’s future proofed and in a solid place to progress even further.”

“Union isn’t stuck with a legacy pipeline format, our’s is nimble allowing artists to be seamlessly trained in the process so they can concentrate on the creative.

Union is currently working on The Power (Amazon Studios), Poor Things (Searchlight) and Emerald Fennell’s Saltburn (Amazon Studios).

Jon Creamer

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