An Appetite for Effects
The climax, with its army of angry Boneys, also made use of the Golaem Crowd plugin for Maya. “Instead of animating a thousand Boneys by hand, you have Golaem, which is a crowd software which creates the crowd and varies it and everything like that. It’s similar to Massive, which was used in the giant Lord of the Rings battle scenes,” Schrecker explains.
The studio also made use of Z-brush and Nuke over the course of production – software that was completely off Levine’s radar. “Every single element of what people were doing was like freaking magic to me,” he says, recalling his visits to LOOK’s expanded studios in Vancouver, British Columbia. “It’s also really nice to go say ‘hi’ to the person who is sitting in their cubicle who I have not met prior to that, but is literally putting in hours and hours of their time. It’s nice to make them feel like they’re connected to the movie in a way.” More than thirty artists were hired to assist Schrecker on Warm Bodies and he remains happy things worked out as they did. “We used this job as an opportunity to build that office up. It’s always tricky to grow a business before you get the work, and it’s always tricky to get the work before you have the business grown, right? There’s always that sticky point and we hit the sweet spot with this one.”
He’s also pretty proud of the fact that Levine now has a working knowledge of visual effects he can put to use in his upcoming endeavors. “I’m glad he’s not scared of them anymore, let’s put it that way! He handled them very well and if he needs some of those elements to tell a story, I’m glad he’ll go for it now.”
James Gartler is a Canadian writer with a serious passion for animation in all its forms. His work has appeared in the pages of Sci Fi Magazine, and at the websites EW.com and Newsarama.com.