Noah – 2014
I was the lighting supervisor and TD on almost all of the four legged animal shots in this film.
This was probably the most complex set of shots I’ve ever had to work on. The sheer amount of data I had to keep track of was unbelievable!
This particular shot pictured above had something like 8 thousand animals in it. Many of them had fur and had to be rendered in groups of 2-4 creatures at a time but some of them had to render by themselves. Add to that the shots were incredible long and you end up having to keep track of dozens and dozens of passes. Making sure all the renders were clean and complete could take almost 3 hours. Working with our R&D department, we came up with a way to group the animals based on their spacial location rather then their particle number (there were hundreds of hero animated animals, but most of the herd was animated through Massive – a crowd simulation software originally developed for the Lord of The Rings movies.). So to render out a particular set of animals, I had to know which box, row and column (and in some cases sub row and columns) the animals were in. We also required a TON of storage space for all the renders and sims. This shot alone used upwards of 15 Terabytes. Poor Brian Moffett in our production engineering department had to somehow keep me in disk space. He and his team were truly the unsung heroes of these shots.
It was a huge effort by a lot of talented people and I think it turned out rather well.
I was originally doing all these mammal shots myself (there was about 5 or 6 of them – but only 3 of them were really huge) but in the end my friend John Walker came in and took over one of the shots for me because I just didn’t have the time to finesse all three of these shots in the time we had left – Thanks John!