Post Magazine

March 2011

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about 130 characters, including 65 main characters that could be seen up close. There were numerous background charac- ters and variants, including a huge action scene where there’s about a thousand ro- dents.Two thirds of the way through pro- duction they were reviewing 90 to 100 shots every morning. In total they spent about a year on asset development and a year in production. “The biggest change for the artists,” re- flects Hickel,“is once they got into doing it they realized it was a whole different chal- lenge from the action-centric work they were used to doing on visual effects projects." The environments were also a challenge. ILM originally thought they could approach environments like a standard animated fea- ture and have a little less detail in the back- ground by using perhaps a matte painting backdrop. However, after seeing how de- tailed the characters were getting they real- ized that the environments had to be just as detailed, otherwise “they weren’t going to look like they were living there,” says visual effects supervisor Tim Alexander. There was also a massive amount of set dressing and the creation of over 900 props used in those environments. “In the saloon,” continues Alexander, “they’ve got everything: barrels and boards, and poker chips, and nails in the wall, and posters that have been torn down.” Every one of those environments also had some kind of atmospheric effects: dust, smoke, fire and water.To build those envi- ronments and character hair (most of the characters have either feathers or lots of hair), ILM relied heavily on GPU-accelerated renderfarm systems, which use Nvidia CUDA technology. Autodesk Maya was used for animation, and their in-house Plume application helped with smoke and continued on page 47 ILM’s pre-flight team helps with lighting early in the process. COLOSSAL LaCie 12big Rack Network For over 20 years, LaCie’s professional storage solutions have been heralded as the most powerful and innovative choices on the market. Our 12big Rack Network offers up to 96TB of network-attached storage, and has all the performance, reliability, and extra features that you need. With an Intel® Xeon® processor, Windows® Storage Server 2008 Standard Edition pre-installed, and built-in hardware redundancy, it’s the ultimate corporate file-sharing device. Ready for your new solution? Visit to learn more. Store. Access. Manage. ©2010 LaCie. All rights reserved. 1TB= 1000GB. 1GB = 1000MB. 1MB = 1,000,000 Bytes. Total accessible capacity varies depending upon operating environment (typically 10% less).

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