Getting into a Zombieland Mood
MB: We took all our photos with a Canon digital camera, we did all our tracking in boujou and all our roto we did in Shake. All our 3D was done in Maya, rendered through RenderMan but we could not get the look we wanted in RenderMan for some of the scenes so we switched over to mental ray about half-way through the show. We also dabbled with a plug-in called Glass for breaking things, but we ultimately found that it couldn't handle the complexity that we wanted. So we built our own system for doing that using Maya and were provided with a really workable solution time wise. Then we composite everything in Shake and viewed everything using FrameCycler.
BD: So, it sounds like you had a lot of fun dabbling with zombies.
MB: The funny thing is, in visual effects, you're able to take from project to project so many lessons that you learn, that it doesn't really matter what the movie is. Things I learned on Zombieland will go into the next serious movie and, no doubt, the next one after that.
Bill Desowitz is senior editor of AWN & VFXWorld.