Stitching Together Sucker Punch
Then, for the World War I sequence, in which Babydoll and her fellow inmates battle German storm troopers with steampowered mechanical faces on the battlefield and in the air, climaxing with the destruction of a giant Zeppelin, Pixomondo (under the supervision of Rainer Gombos) built and destroyed all aircraft, including a Meka, a futuristic armored endoskeleton. They used 3ds Max, Vray, Photoshop, Synthese, Nuke, FX Fume, Afterburner, Krakator, Thinking Particles and proprietary software.
"There were many meetings where Zack and Damon and I were talking Heavy Metal," DesJardin recalls, "and how that magazine, in particular, is responsible for a lot of us fanboys just thinking of these hybrid sci-fi/fantasy stories and environments: 'I want to have a WWI sequence where the girls go in and kick German ass. What if I have some zombies? Cool!'
"We knew Pixomondo's work from The Red Baron, so we figured they would be ideal at building the World War I environment and assets. The only thing we did was give them a face lift to give the scene a sci-fi, steampunk vibe. But Pixomondo made the giant Zeppelin. Rainer really tricked that thing out: there's detail that I never even dreamed of. He even pushed the steampunk guys that I asked for out on the strut near the engine to the nth degree."
In fact, the dragon was inspired by Dragonslayer, per DesJardin's suggestion."Zack actually liked one of the Harry Potter dragons and we looked at that first," DesJardin explains. "We fine tuned it to make it more like Dragonslayer: immense wings for cool flight, the neck is shorter but the spikes come off the face the same way. We also studied the motion blur that Phil Tippett achieved with his Go-Motion technique. We took that and ran with it because we knew we had to do the flight attack with the airplane."
Bill Desowitz is senior editor of AWN & VFXWorld.