“The Day After Tomorrow” by Emmerich

  • ©Roland Emmerich  Digital Domain, Inc.



    The Day After Tomorrow




Company / Institution / Agency:

  • Digital Domain, Inc.


    To create the destruction of Los Angeles by powerful twisters, Digital Domain created a system where twisters could be pieced together by toggling and modifying a selection of tornado components. This twister toolkit could mix and match between groupings of volumetric pieces that were then employed to make each twister unique. To destroy the City of New York with the biggest storm surge to ever hit land, we created an almost entirely synthetic city including CG buildings, cars, crowds, and, of course, the CG storm surge that floods the city, picking up buses and interacting with structures and people.


    HARDWARE: PC Intel dual P4 2.4 GHz CPU, 2 GB RAM.


    SOFTWARE DEVELOPER: Modeling: Houdini 5.5, Maya 5. Animation: Maya for character animation, Houdini for FX animation, Motion Builder for editing motion capture. Rendering: Houdini Mantra 5.5, RenderMan 10. Dynamics: In-house particle tools working within Houdini, in-house Fluid Simulation tool using Houdini as a front end. Compositing: In-house software Nuke 4. Additional software: In-house software TRACK. Custom software: VoxelB volumetric rendering, Nuke, fluid simulation tools, TRACK tracking, Maya-to-Houdini and Houdini-to-Maya custom scene translations. OS: Red Hat Linux 7.2, Windows 2000 SP 2, Irix 6.5 (for Discreet products).

Additional Contributors:

    Producer: Mark Gordon
    Visual Effects Supervisor: Karen Goulekas
    Visual Effects Supervisor: Matthew Butler
    Visual Effects Producers: Todd Isroelit, Julian Levi
    Digital Effects Supervisor: Bryan Grill
    Computer Graphics Supervisors: Sean Andrew Faden, David Prescott, Andy McGrath Waisler
    Compositing Supervisor: Eric Bruneau
    Digital Producer: Andra Bard
    CG Effects Animation Leads: Robert Andrew David Frick, Jonah Hall, Jason Iversen, Joe Jackman
    CG Effects Animators: Mir Zafar Ali, Charles Anderson, Jim Berberov, Steve Blakey, Joseph Cavanaugh, C.M. Chapman, Hammer Chu Wai Ho, Brandon Davis, Todd Dufour, Michael Edland, Kent Estep, Rocco Florimonte, Ashraf Ghoniem, Cody Harrington, Garman Herigstad, Marc Horsfield, Ginka Kostova, Joshua Krall, Carlos D. Lemus, Kent Lidke, Andrew D. Lyons, Simon Maddocks, Jason Mayer, Andrew Nawrot, Steven Ong, Eric Pender, Joseph Phoebus, Thomas Reppen, Gaku Tada, Jens Zalzala
    Character Animation Lead: David Hodgins
    Character Animators: Spencer Alexander, Dan Fowler, Paul Jordan, Manny Wong
    CG Modeling and Lighting Lead: Melanie Okamura
    CG Modeling and Lighting Artists: Patrick Finley, Kevin Jackson, Errol Lanier, Rory McLeish, Christopher Nichols, Alex Nijmeh, Dan Patterson, Randy Sharp, Aaron Vest, Andrew Wilkoff
    CG Lighting Leads: Brian Goldberg, Esdras Varagnolo
    CG Lighting Artists: John Decker, Daniel Fazel, Eric Hanson, Bruce Jurgens, Michael Leung, Scott Erwin Metzger, Pavel Pranevsky, Frank A. Sabia Jr., Chris Winters
    3D Integration Leads: Swen Gillberg, Nancey S. Wallis
    3D Integration Artists: Nancy Adams, Robert William Crain, Rahul Deshprabhu, Darren Fisher, Christopher Otto Gallagher, C. Michael Neely, David Niednagel, Ross Mackenzie, Technical Developers, Charles Abou Aad, David J. Blumenfeld, Kirk Bowers, Matthew Cordner, Greg Duda, Matt Fairclough, Steve Galle, Charles Henrich, Alan Kapler, Michael Meckler, Robert Mercier, Erick Miller, Ryo Sakaguchi, Ryan Vance
    Digital Compositing Leads: Brian Begun, Kevin Bouchez, Sonja Burchard, David Lauer, Robert Nederhorst
    Digital Compositors: Ted Andre, Arthur Argote, Michael Castillo, Betsy Cox-McPherson, Gareth Dinneen, Michael Harbour, Jessica Harris, Dag Ivarsoy, Paul Lambert, David Lockwood, Michael Maloney, Michael Melchiorre, Kym Olsen, Alan Precourt, Jason Selfe, Eric Weinschenk
    Digital Paint Lead: Peter Baustaedter
    Digital Matte Painters: Mayumi Shimokawa, Patrick Zentis
    Digital Texture Paint Lead: Brian Ripley
    Digital Texture Painters: Mannix Bennett, Viraj Andrew Bunnag, Daniel Favini, Peter Pace, Marc Perrera
    Digital Rotoscope and Paint Lead: Joanne Ladolcetta
    Digital Rotoscope and Paint Artists: Wally Chin, Scott Gastellu, Jeff Kim, Dolores Pope, Etienne Terblanche, Christopher Wood
    Software Engineers: Henrik Fält, Chamberlain Fong, Daniel Maskit, Doug Roble, Casey Vanouver, Magnus Wrenninge, Nafees Bin Zafar
    Visual Effects Editor: Debra Wolff
    Assistant Visual Effects Editor: Teressa Longo
    Color Grader: Todd Sarsfield
    Visual Effects Production Coordinator: Bernardo Jauregui
    Senior Digital Effects CG Coordinator: Tom Clary
    Digital Effects CG Coordinators: Brady Doyle, Christine Globke
    Data Acquisition Coordinator: Geoffrey Baumann
    Walkthrough Coordinator: Tom Core
    Technical Assistant: Grazia Como–Ojeda
    Data I/O Coordinators: Robert Edward Boas, Daniel Greenstein
    Visual Effects Accountant: Bekki Misiorowski
    Visual Effects Production Assistants: Jesse Harris, Timothy Martin
    Visual Effects Executive Producer: Nancy Bernstein

Additional Information:

    Modeling: Primarily polygonal surfaces and subdivision cages. Motion capture: Worked with Gentle Giant Studio and edited motion in Motion Builder and Maya. Motion capture blended with keyframe animation. 2D and 3D rotoscoping used. Rendering technique used most: Delayed Read Archive to render the amount of geometry needed for New York City, in-house volumetric renderer VoxelB. Average rendering CPU time per frame: varied considerably, some simulation at over 120 hours, due to fluid simulation, water render, and computer-generated people, cars, and buildings. Total production time: 20 months. Production highlight: We pushed the limits as to how much geometry we could deal with in one given scene for the rendering of New York City. A completely new computational fluid simulation tool was written for the water, and our in-house volumetric tool, VoxelB, was heavily modified to deal with both the white water and the tornados.

Animation / Video Overview: