Lucasfilm's Industrial Light + Magic Exploring Opening New Facility in Vancouver

Favorable tax incentives are drawing leading animation and VFX companies to the Canadian city.

Lucasfilm's Industrial Light + Magic is exploring opening a project-based facility in Vancouver sometime next spring.

ILM, based in San Francisco, declined to comment because details are not yet finalized, but word of the new ILM outpost was spreading this week at the CG confab Siggraph, taking place in Vancouver, where favorable tax incentives have turned the city into  one of the hottest destinations for the visual effects and animation community.

Should ILM head to Vancouver, it will be the latest in a string of leading companies that in recent years have set up shop in the production hub -- including Digital Domain, Pixar Animation Studios, MPC and Sony Picture Imageworks.

In addition to its San Francisco headquarters, ILM also operates out of Lucasfilm Singapore, which opened in 2005 and is already running out of space.

Lucasfilm Singapore plans to move into a new building -- which is currently under construction -- by 2013.

ILM’s recent work includes Rango, as well as VFX work on Super 8, Transformers: Dark of the Moon and Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides.

Upcoming working includes the visual effects on Red Tails, Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol, Battleship and The Avengers.

In related news this week at Siggraph, Lucasfilm and Imageworks released Alembic, an open source system aimed at helping VFX companies easily store and share complex animated scenes across facilities, regardless of what software is being used.