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31/05/2004

Discreet’s systems used to create ‘The Day After Tomorrow’ effects

Discreet has announced that some of the most stunning, seamless computer-generated effects for the new climate-change-themed blockbuster, ‘The Day After Tomorrow’, by Director Roland Emmerich, were created by many of its postproduction customers using Discreet's family of tools.
This included Discreet’s professional 3D animation, modelling and rendering software and its visual effects software and systems.
Faced with a flurry of difficult shots and a tight three-month deadline, artists at Dreamscape Imagery Inc., the visual effects arm of Los Angeles production company Uncharted Territory LLC, took advantage of the robust modelling and animation features in Discreet’s 3ds max software to create convincing elements like frost, snow and ice, and seamless digital extras and set extensions.
The Day After Tomorrow sees human kind weathering the disastrous effects of continued global warming, with the simultaneous onset of killer tornadoes, tidal waves, floods and a new Ice Age. Artists at Dreamscape frequently tapped into the vast toolset in 3ds max, including its procedural texture mapping, modifiers and particle flow systems, to create necessary visual effects for the project. These tools, along with the software’s powerful array of scripting, plug-in and rendering options, enabled scenes to be completed across the team, and enhanced back and forth with the five other visual effects houses on the production.
“3ds max was crucial to us on this show,” said Lead CG Artist Brandon Davis. “No other package would have enabled us to stand up to the technical challenges this job presented in the amount of time we had.”
Those challenges included encroaching frost, which, once mapped photorealistically to surfaces using the 3ds max software UV Unwrap tool, was animated and tweaked procedurally via OpenGL to meet Emmerich’s specifications on the fly. Dreamscape was able to assert total control over the frost’s look even through to final rendering by using SplutterFish’s Brazil Rendering System.
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