Established vfx vendor Rise Visual Effects Studios has launched an animation studio. Based in Munich, Germany, the unit will focus on high-end films and series, with a strong focus on visual development and concept art.
Acting independently within the Rise group, the studio will principally handle projects from sister production company Rise Pictures, including a feature and series based on a well-known German cartoon brand. The unit is also working on cg fantasy feature Igraine the Brave, which Rise Pictures is producing with Uncharted Territory.
Rise has produced feature animation before, on the 2020 cg feature Dragon Rider (image at top). Like Igraine the Brave, the film is based on a book by acclaimed children’s writer Cornelia Funke.
Industry veteran Sinje Gebauer has been appointed to head Rise’s Munich office, including the new studio. She most recently served as head of studio at Studio Isar Animation in Munich. Her credits as senior vfx producer include Aquaman, Tomb Raider, Balloon, Bird Box, and Black Panther.
Berlin-based Rise is hiring 80 animation staff and expanding its Munich office to accommodate them; its workforce in the city will eventually number 120. The company also has branches in Cologne, Stuttgart, and London.
It has provided vfx services on the likes of Dumbo, Wandavision, Westworld, The French Dispatch, and the upcoming Fantastic Beasts film.
Germany is home to a number of high-profile vfx studios, including Scanline VFX, Pixomondo, and Rise. Over the past decade or so, the country has positioned itself also as a successful player in cg family features, not least thanks to a strong local market. Production is cheap by Hollywood standards: budgets of $10–$15 million are common.
Variety first reported the news.