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Ender’s Game

Release Date: 11/01/2013

Production Company: Summit Entertainment

Director: Gavin Hood

Visual Effects Supervisor: Matthew Butler


Based on the best-selling, award-winning novel, Digital Domain co-produced the military sci-film, Ender’s Game and also created a wide range of visuals under the direction of Visual Effects Supervisor Matthew Butler. From the zero-G Battle Room to the immersive Command School simulation cave, Formic planet, Mind Game and massive space battles among clouds and ice, our VFX artists stretched the limits of creativity and technology to deliver on Director Gavin Hood’s vision. The team created 700 of around 950 total VFX shots.


Our greatest challenge was creating the zero-g Battle Room and its four battles. The motion needed to feel realistic, so we had to develop tools to help us capture it photographically but then to augment that to make it realistic for zero-gravity. To execute this Matthew Butler, who holds an M.A. degree in aeronautics and astronautics from MIT, brought in his former college roommate, astronaut Gregory Chamitoff, to educate the cast and our animators on zero-g, physics, and movement in space. Physical accuracy was also important for the film. Matthew and our team of artists had to ensure the size and scale of the ships, planets, explosions and outer space elements reflected the proper dynamics of space.

The final battle was the most compute-intensive, geometry-heavy effect sequence Digital Domain has ever created, comprising more than 27 billion polygons in a single shot.