The summer zombie blockbuster film ‘World War Z’ starring Brad Pitt was rolled out to theatres everywhere a couple weeks ago, and showed the world some of the most in-depth special effects used to date. Hordes of tens of thousands of zombies showed us, perhaps, a realistic view of what the surely impending zombie apocalypse would really look like. Now they want to show us how it was done.
Special effects company Moving Picture Company is no amateur to the digital special effects industry. With credentials that include the Harry Potter series, the X-Men series, and Chronicles of Narnia, it goes without saying that MPC is one of the biggest and best companies in the special effects era. However, taking on World War Z was still no easy task.
Using their proprietary crowd-simulation program, named Alice, MPC gave each zombie a specific set of rules and objectives to complete. From there, the simulation is ran at mass scale, making it so they collide with each other and move individually from the crowd to achieve their objective. “All complex crowd shots got layers of hand-animated zombies,” said Moving Picture Company’s senior CG supervisor Max Wood. “We'd start off setting the shots up in Alice, our in-house crowd tool, then we'd work out where we wanted to add the additional animation detail.”
Watch the videos above to see a great behind the scenes look into how it was all done and how it all came together at the end.