“Hellboy II: The Golden Army” by Double Negative

  • ©Guillermo del Toro  Double Negative



    Hellboy II: The Golden Army


Company / Institution / Agency:

  • Double Negative


    Double Negative delivered 1,050 shots for “Hellboy II The Golden Army”. Working closely with director Guillermo Del Toro, the team’s work covered the gamut of VFX, including 16 CG characters (seven digi-doubles and nine full CG characters), CG environments, and CG fire, steam, smoke, water, dust, and debris.

    The greatest challenge for the team was creating and bringing to life the menagerie of creatures imagined by Guillermo del Toro. The main CG creatures were the Tooth Fairies, the Elemental, the Stone Giant, and the Golden Army.
    To animate the Tooth Fairies, the team used proprietary swarm technology, dnSwarm, to choreograph thousands of fairies per shot, swarming out of holes in walls, covering walls, floors and ceilings, enveloping and attacking actors. Each individual swarm-fairy was capable of 17 different flying cycles or nine different crawling cycles, as well as take-off, landing, and many eating and idle cycles.
    This sequence also makes use of Double Negative’s proprietary fire technology, specifically toward the end of the sequence, when Liz engulfs herself in flames. In addition to the flame engulfing Liz, thousands of Tooth Fairies are incinerated as they explode in Liz’s inferno.

    Another major challenge for Double Negative was the Elemental, a fully animated CG creature who starts life as a pod and grows rapidly after rolling into the sewers under the streets of New York. When it has fully evolved, it becomes a 90-foot vined creature with a simulated CG “coat” made of leaves, vines, and interactive water spray, vapour, and drips, and finally bursts through to street level and begins to wreak havoc.

    In the finale of the film, the mythical Golden Army (490 robot soldiers) is finally brought to life. Double Negative designed a fully rigged Golden Army robot with animated internal machinery, glowing internal firelight, heat distortion, and interactive CG steam.


    MODELING: zbrush, mudbox, cyslice

    3D: Maya, Houdini, dnSwarm for the flocking system for the Tooth Fairy sequence, use of dnAssets to manage the complexity of the Golden Army robots (proprietary), squirt for the fluid simulation needed for the fire, liquid, and gas (proprietary)

    RENDERING: RenderMan for beauty renders of environments and creatures, rex propietary software for exporting Maya scenes to renderers, DNB, proprietry volumetric renderer for smoke,fire,gas, etc.

    2D: Shake, Matte Paintings, Photoshop and Painter, Concept Art, Painter, mudbox for sculpting, zbrush, cinema4d

Additional Contributors:

    Director: Guillermo del Toro

Animation / Video Overview: