A Creepy Let Me In
"The background was created using an HDR of a location shot on PCH and then projected onto low detail geometry. This was blended together with a road, fence, and hillside complete with plants and shrubs in cards rendered in V-Ray through Maya by our CG Supervisor, Juan-Luis Sanchez. The car tumble animation was completed in Houdini using CHOPS (channel operators) to blend the tracked car animation from the A-side to a hand animated B-side. CHOPS were also used to add procedural shakes and bumps on top of the blended curves based on wherever changes in velocity were detected (hitting the ground). Debris and smoke were also created using Houdini and Mantra. For the plate transition, we used both Flame and Nuke to hand-off from one plate to another, carefully offsetting each transition so that you would never feel that too many things changed at once. We were asked to not hide too much with camera shake, which is how these sorts of transitions usually would take place, so we had to get extra creative in how we switched over. In addition, Compositor Nancey Wallis used Nuke to transition the BG by layering a lot of the B side lights into the A side gas station plate as we are panning or skidding across the road."
According to Faden, each character had cloth and hair simulations performed using Ncloth in Maya and were lit using RenderMan through Houdini. "For each shot where we knew we would be doing a digital double, we shot reference of the actors in the actual lighting, doing something similar to the required action, which helped our animators, lighters and compers across the board," Faden adds. "In the end, it was a combination of careful fight choreography by Anim Supervisor Matt Hackett and animators Joon Lee and Christina Sidoti, and detailed comp work to blend the rendered characters into the plates."
Making Abby bleed when she enters Owen's (Kodi Smit-McPhee) was a daunting task as well. "It required a spot on face track while the actress was actually shaking, as well as a Houdini developed dripping blood technique created by Nordin Rahhali," Faden continues. "The shots were comped by our supervisor, Jeff Allen, who perfected the face tracking using a Nuke based magnet tracking plug-in, which we created at Method for Freddy's face on A Nightmare on Elm Street. It allowed us to pinpoint problem areas and stick them to the actress' deforming skin."