Start your free trial now, and begin learning software, business and creative skills—anytime, anywhere—with video instruction from recognized industry experts.

Start Your Free Trial Now

Video: Workspace

Workspace provides you with in-depth training on 3D + Animation. Taught by New Deal Studios as part of the Creative Inspirations: New Deal Studios, Visual Effects
please wait ...
Watch the Online Video Course Creative Inspirations: New Deal Studios, Visual Effects
Video Duration: 4m 4s55m 39s Appropriate for all Feb 19, 2010

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

View Course Description

New Deal Studios is where the line between illusion and reality disappears. Come along for a peek behind the magician's curtain at one of Hollywood's top visual effects houses. In this Creative Inspirations documentary, find out how key scenes from Martin Scorsese's film Shutter Island were created, as well as segments of The Dark Knight and Night at the Museum. Using a combination of models, miniatures, computer graphics, and digital effects, New Deal Studios was designed from the ground up to be a place where effects professionals could do their best work, and where filmmakers could have their visions realized.

3D + Animation Video
New Deal Studios


(Music playing) Welcome to New Deal Studios. My name is Shannon Gans. We have two buildings in Marina del Rey. This building is our stage and digital department, and this building is our workshop and our digital art department. So let's go take a look. We have several sections of this building. It's just a one story industrial park that we've taken over, over the years. In this area, we do a lot of pattern making and fabrication detail.

For example, this is - we're rebuilding the Betty spaceship from 'Alien Resurrection,' and we'll put all the detail here, and then, in our molding and casting department, we'll make molds and casting pieces. One thing to note is we don't just build models and miniatures. We started out doing that 14 years ago, but the creative talents apply to various parts of the industry, such as building sets, we do a lot of props, specialty props, as well as specialty costume pieces. Various miniatures you'll see on our walls and basically, this is what we can keep, things we haven't blown up, that are too big or have gone back to the studios, and in this room, there's more of the main fabrication.

We have a paint department, molding and casting department. This is a main construction area. This is the garbage truck from 'The Dark Knight' and these buildings, which I love and are my favorite, are from a music video, actually. They wanted a Burton-esque town. We are a fairly high tech miniature effects shop. We design everything in 3-D in the computer before we build it in 3-D, physically, out in our model shop. So we have a rapid prototyping machine. It's an inkjet printer, but hot wax, and you can build a 3-D item.

We use various software programs for designing here. We primarily use Rhino and SolidWorks. SolidWorks is an engineering program, and that's for mechanical effects and we can even run simulations on the effects rigs that we're building, to see where the points of failure might be. It works out really well. On the 'Watchmen,' we used that for the falling water tower. So this is our stage. This building was built in the late 50s as a sound stage for a company that did military training films, and so they made films like 'How to Arm an Atomic bomb,' and things like that.

Yeah, and they even had miniatures for simulated training. It was a furniture fabrication company for a short time and then Doug Trumbull brought visual effects to the marina area, and for the past 30 years it's been a visual effects stage. For the lighthouse, we built this miniature rock, which was used as elements we shot inside, outside and on location, whatever was needed, but still, you can see there is a high level of detail here to match Dante Ferretti's designs. So from our stage, we transition into the digital department. We started this in 2004, with just two little computers in this room, and you can see we're a nice, small boutique company.

This room is where we do previz work and planning that works in concert with our digital art department, and then as we go through the process of build-and-shoot, the department will export data to help us with photography and then, in the end, do compositing and animation. We're going to walk you into our screening room and DI suite now. You can see we have miniatures hanging. This is from 'Pitch Black,' and that is from the 'Good Shepherd.' It used to be just a basic screening room for dailies. We had two film projectors, and recently, last year, we took one of the film projects out, donated it, and we have a nice 2K digital.

So as we come to the end of tour, you can see this fabulous hallway. We just finished building this out. It's an office for Matthew Gratzner and Ian Hunter, my two partners. You can see we even have a drafting table, so we'll do traditional drawings and then take them into the computer. Because we can do everything here, from build, shoot, digital, the next transition for us is producing our own content, kind of the production model of Peter Jackson and George Lucas, have a service based company and our production company.

There are currently no FAQs about Creative Inspirations: New Deal Studios, Visual Effects.

Share a link to this course

What are exercise files?

Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course. Save time by downloading the author's files instead of setting up your own files, and learn by following along with the instructor.

Can I take this course without the exercise files?

Yes! If you decide you would like the exercise files later, you can upgrade to a premium account any time.

Become a member Download sample files See plans and pricing

Please wait... please wait ...
Upgrade to get access to exercise files.

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

Learn by watching, listening, and doing, Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along Premium memberships include access to all exercise files in the library.

Exercise files

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

For additional information on downloading and using exercise files, watch our instructional video or read the instructions in the FAQ .

This course includes free exercise files, so you can practice while you watch the course. To access all the exercise files in our library, become a Premium Member.

* Estimated file size

Are you sure you want to mark all the videos in this course as unwatched?

This will not affect your course history, your reports, or your certificates of completion for this course.

Mark all as unwatched Cancel


You have completed Creative Inspirations: New Deal Studios, Visual Effects.

Return to your organization's learning portal to continue training, or close this page.


Upgrade to View Courses Offline


With our new Desktop App, Annual Premium Members can download courses for Internet-free viewing.

Upgrade Now

After upgrading, download Desktop App Here.

Become a member to add this course to a playlist

Join today and get unlimited access to the entire library of video courses—and create as many playlists as you like.

Get started

Already a member ?

Exercise files

Learn by watching, listening, and doing! Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along. Exercise files are available with all Premium memberships. Learn more

Get started

Already a Premium member?

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

Ask a question

Thanks for contacting us.
You’ll hear from our Customer Service team within 24 hours.

Please enter the text shown below:

Exercise files

Access exercise files from a button right under the course name.

Mark videos as unwatched

Remove icons showing you already watched videos if you want to start over.

Control your viewing experience

Make the video wide, narrow, full-screen, or pop the player out of the page into its own window.

Interactive transcripts

Click on text in the transcript to jump to that spot in the video. As the video plays, the relevant spot in the transcript will be highlighted.

Learn more, save more. Upgrade today!

Get our Annual Premium Membership at our best savings yet.

Upgrade to our Annual Premium Membership today and get even more value from your subscription:

“In a way, I feel like you are rooting for me. Like you are really invested in my experience, and want me to get as much out of these courses as possible this is the best place to start on your journey to learning new material.”— Nadine H.

Start your FREE 10-day trial

Begin learning software, business, and creative skills—anytime,
anywhere—with video instruction from recognized industry experts. provides
Unlimited access to over 4,000 courses—more than 100,000 video tutorials
Expert-led instruction
On-the-go learning. Watch from your computer, tablet, or mobile device. Switch back and forth as you choose.
Start Your FREE Trial Now

A trusted source for knowledge.


We provide training to more than 4 million people, and our members tell us that helps them stay ahead of software updates, pick up brand-new skills, switch careers, land promotions, and explore new hobbies. What can we help you do?

Thanks for signing up.

We’ll send you a confirmation email shortly.

Sign up and receive emails about and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

Keep up with news, tips, and latest courses with emails from

Sign up and receive emails about and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

submit Lightbox submit clicked
Terms and conditions of use

We've updated our terms and conditions (now called terms of service).Go
Review and accept our updated terms of service.