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Blade Runner 2049 special effects powered by Esri CityEngine get Oscar nod

March 1, 2018  - By 2 Comments

UPDATE: Denis Villeneuve’s Blade Runner 2049 took home the Oscar for Achievement in Visual Effects on March 4. Visual effects supervisors John Nelson, Paul Lambert, and Richard R. Hoover, plus special effects supervisor Gerd Nefzer, took the stage to accept the award.

Framestore, a visual arts studio in Montréal, Québec, has received an Oscar nomination for Best Visual Effects made possible, in part, by Esri CityEngine.

Designers at Framestore used the software to create a detailed futuristic city based on present-day Las Vegas for the movie Blade Runner 2049.

“We were tasked in creating a futuristic Las Vegas for the year 2049. We had to fly over the main strip of Vegas on a long sequence shot,” said Didier Muanza, lead environment TD, Framestore. “CityEngine seemed to be the best choice to help us generate a modern-day model of Vegas, which was used as the base for the futuristic version.”

Esri CityEngine is a sophisticated 3D modeling software used in professions such as urban planning and architecture as well as film and other entertainment industries. Esri is a global spatial analytics company.

Framestore designers used CityEngine for only one month, yet generated a set that was 6.759 kilometers long and 4 kilometers wide and included more than 1,400 buildings. Realistic textures were based on aerial and oblique photos of the Las Vegas main strip.


Blade Runner 2049 has already received the BAFTA award for Special Visual Effects. The 2018 Academy Awards ceremony takes place Sunday.

Tracy Cozzens

About the Author:

Senior Editor Tracy Cozzens joined GPS World magazine in 2006. She also is editor of GPS World’s newsletters and the sister website Geospatial Solutions. She has worked in government, for non-profits, and in corporate communications, editing a variety of publications for audiences ranging from federal government contractors to teachers.

2 Comments on "Blade Runner 2049 special effects powered by Esri CityEngine get Oscar nod"

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  1. amatthews says:

    Thank you for the comment, Yahaya.

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