SyFlex in "The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King"
Clips courtesy of New Line Cinema/Weta Digital
Distributor: New Line Cinema
Release Date: December 2003
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.
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.