It is a division of the film production company, Lucasfilm, which Lucas founded, and was created when Lucas began production of the film Star Wars. For many years, particularly during the widespread inception of computer graphics in film during the 1980s, ILM was considered the leading industry standard production house for computer graphics in film; many studios other than Lucasfilm sent scenes to the studio for CGI. It is also the original founder company of the animation studio Pixar.
ILM originated in Van Nuys, California, then later moved to San Rafael in 1978, and since 2005 it has been based at the Letterman Digital Arts Center in the Presidio of San Francisco. In 2012, The Walt Disney Company acquired ILM as part of its purchase of Lucasfilm.