Virtuos, the Shanghai-based 3D production services company, has acquired the assets and core team from visual effects and animation studio Sparx. For Virtuos, the deal means it can further expand while it consolidates its service offerings under the Sparx brand. For Sparx, the acquisition means it can reopen its studio in Saigon, having relocated to Shanghai late last year.

Sparx is perhaps best known for its work on 2008’s Igor, starring John Cusack and Steve Buscemi, which is the first CG-animated feature film from Exodus Film Group. Sparx now becomes the movie division of Virtuos, with production resources in Saigon, Shanghai and Chengdu development centers, and offices in Paris, Vancouver and Tokyo.

“Our origins in HD game production have afforded us the talents to create extremely high-quality assets, including digital doubles, for the movie industry,” said Gilles Langourieux, CEO of Virtuos. “Bringing together Virtuos’ art production infrastructure with Sparx expertise in film-quality animation, cinematics and VFX, we will be able to offer a more fully integrated solution for all our clients.”

Virtuos, which includes the 2011 hit Rango (starring the voice of Johnny Depp) among its credits, now has more than 800 employees and facilities in Shanghai, Chengdu, Vancouver, Saigon, Paris and Tokyo. Its clients include 15 of the top 20 digital entertainment companies worldwide as well as many independent studios.

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