Wide Productions has created its own CGI (computer-generated imagery) unit for the film's digital special effects and post-production. Versatile CGI artists work in multidisciplinary teams on networked PC workstations with (mostly) Discreet software.

To obtain ultra-realistic results, Wide has invested in extensive research. In the very first stages of modelling, "imperfections" are added to simulate reality in every computer-generated element. Close attention is given to texturing, starting with the search for visual references and actual photography to scanning, retouching and combining elements prior to applying the finalised texture to the 3D object and moving on to lighting and compositing.

We are currently taking applications for CGI openings.

The film's 3D sets are first created by the designers in association with the director. The major sets go through many iterations that have been known to take as much as 12 months before a precise and detailed final design is deemed satisfactory. Computer artists with a good knowledge of architecture then translate these huge buildings in 3D objects. A rough rendering is first put together, allowing the director to walk through the scene as if he were on a live set and enabling him to choose the most interesting camera angles and motions. The meticulous reconstruction in 3D of all architectural elements then proceeds.

CGI also provides the filmmaker with terrains and skies impossible (or simply inconvenient) to film in real life. The director can have exactly what he needs without spending days scouting for locations and having to shoot in the four corners of the world. Particle animation then enables the introduction of elements as varied as atmospheric effects, crowd scenes, explosions, …

Indeed, as the story unfolds, many elements are digitally built then destroyed: ballista, catapults, siege towers, or even furniture, hangings, drapes, etc. And the careful attention given to animation and texture work increases the realism when actors interact with these elements.

Several sequences shot with a restricted number of extras who are then digitally multiplied allow scenes to reach epic proportions. The film Aldeus also requires the presence of Nightmares, creatures who do not all have a human shape. CGI and motion capture are used when their design and motions cannot be done effectively in animatronics (puppets animated with tiny motors).

Many scenes are shot inside studios, with actors in front of a bluescreen. The actors and the foreground are then separated from the blue background (which is eliminated) before being composited with the set, the sky, the atmospheric effects in a single image. To finalise the shot, lights and colours are reworked to integrate these multiple sources into a uniform picture.

Stages of 3D creation for a catapult: wireframe, without texture, with basic texture. The catapult will later be accessorised (ropes, metal elements, bag, stones,) lit, animated, and composited in a scene.