A Creepy Let Me In
Meanwhile, Dive, working under the supervision of Mark Forker, developed the look of Abby as she transforms into a vampire (removing her hair, creating throbbing veins and darkening the skin around her eyes, augmenting the actor's features with digital makeup), and a character burned by acid in collaboration with Invisible Pictures (3D modeling and skeletal scans of the actual actor in make-up began the process so that parts of the face could be subtracted while digital prosthetics created the inner and outer half-mouth). Dive used Maya, Nuke, Sapphire, Furnace, SynthEyes, Mocha and Silhouette.
However, the long opening and closing shots required a snow system to depict the haunting wintery New Mexico landscape.
"The snow system was built on Maya sprite particles and dynamics," Forker describes. "Using a few reference shots from a few different scenes, I matched the motion of the falling snow and began adding controls for adjusting wind, size and volume of the entire system. There was also some control over making sure particles got killed after leaving the camera's view in order to keep simulation and render times down. Visually, the snow varied in multiple scenes from larger, fluffier flakes to more crystalline, icy flakes. I could dial in the heavier look of the icy snow using the controls built earlier and then added additional passes for sparkle which could be finely adjusted in comp. Multiple depth passes were rendered out for compositing using a GPU- based renderer: this allowed us to generate multiple revisions without too much of a render time hit. Lighting, final color and occlusion were handled in comp. Special cases where see the snow land, melt or blow through specific areas were handled with additional particle systems inside the larger simulation."
Bill Desowitz is senior editor of AWN & VFXWorld.