SyFlex in "The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King"


Special Effects


Distributor: New Line Cinema
Special effects: Weta Digital
Release Date: December 2003

Press Release

SyFlex dressed up digital characters in New Line Cinema's "The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King", visual effects by Weta Digital.

As most of Weta Digital's work centered on creatures and characters, cloth became an important part in the studio's special effects creation. Weta Digital discovered Syflex's cloth simulation technology while the production of the epic trilogy was already on its way, and ended up using it in more than 600 shots in the last movie.

The speed and reliability of SyFlex allowed Weta to create highly realistic cloth animations for practically all digital characters and doubles in the film, including Legolas, Frodo, Sam, Gandalf, the WitchKing, King Theoden and the Rohan riders. In the DVD edition, SyFlex was also used for Aragorn and Saruman.

SyFlex was not only used for a whole variety of clothes, but also for many dynamic objects such as Gollum's hair and the Mumakil Tower's cloth panels.

On top of Syflex's innovative technology, Weta Digital also enjoyed their accessibility: "We have been hugely impressed with the commitment and support we have had from Syflex during our work on 'The Lord of the Rings' trilogy" said Scott Houston, Chief Technical Officer at Weta Digital Ltd.

Weta Digital used up to 100 licenses to compute the cloth simulations on their computer farm.

About Weta Digital
Weta Digital was formed in Wellington, New Zealand in 1993 by a group of young New Zealand film makers. The company has quickly increased in size and skill to now provide some of the highest quality visual effects in the film and television industry.

About Syflex
Syflex was founded early 2002 by CG veterans. The company's first product is SyFlex, the cloth simulator which has been acclaimed worldwide for its quality and speed.


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