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Case Study: Visual Effects

Industry: Post Production

Number of Employees: 500+

Commonly Qualifying Tasks:

  • 3D visual effects development
  • Software programming
  • Animatronics
  • Morphing (Time / Visual)
  • Particle graphics creation
  • Mechanical engineering and custom component fabrication
  • Hardware development

A post production studio that specializes extremely complex and visually rich rendered video conducted an analysis of their 2013 research and development activities. Based on their work, the company was able to identify multiple qualifying business components including Design, Animation & Visual Effects, Visual Effects in Live Action Sequences, Design & Animation, Character Design, and Architecture & Workflow Development.

These business components captured time invested in 38 individual qualifying tasks resulting in the identification of roughly $8M in qualifying research expenses. Some qualifying tasks included particle physics and design, green screen visual effects, geometry & texture generation, developing programs to accurately render video from multiple sources, and 3D sculpting among others.

In addition, the company created multiple tools to control data workflow and management. This allowed the company to track a project from inception to delivery and included custom data monitoring and management tools that helped identify inefficiencies and target areas that needed improvement.

Additional work included visual consistency work across multiple hardware media. Experimental color science and the development of calibration standards across a wide array of display technologies required constant development to ensure visual consistency.

Based on the study, the company was able to generate $1M in credits at the federal level in addition to roughly $500K across multiple states for that year.

Alex Pak

Alex Pak is a Director at R&D Incentives Group who joined the team in 2015. His primary responsibilities include leading R&D tax credit projects including reviewing R&D activities, conducting interviews and creating documentation for defense of credits under review. His former experience includes five years of project execution and management for two tax consulting firms through which he was involved in the computation and defense of credits for a broad spectrum of companies in a wide variety of industries including engineering, manufacturing, department of defense contractors and software development firms among others.

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