Something big was brewing at Disney. A new movie and this time they took it to a new level. Big Hero 6 takes place in the futuristic city of San Fransokyo, it is about a kid and his soft robot. The story comes from the Marvel universe and has been reimagined for the Disney crowd.
The movie is made on a new software called Hyperion which was used to handle the movie’s lighting requirements; one of about three dozen tools used to make this movie. The software was still in beta while the movie was being developed.
It took 10 people 2 years to build Hyperion and a lot of money was being spent on its production. They even had a backup plan in case things didn’t go as planned, but later decided to cancel the backup plan and go ahead with the ambitious feat.
Hyperion is a global-illumination simulator. It makes incredibly complex calculations to decide how light bounces off of objects. Indirect lighting can now be achieved for 10 to 20 bounces by the software. This enhances environmental effects to a great extent. The movie could not have been made without this software. The vinyl robot in this film is illuminated from behind. This lighting trick was done through Hyperion, running on a 55,000-core supercomputer which was spread across four different geographic locations.
The scale and speed of computations used to make this movie possible are quite amazing. This movie was rendered using four rendering farms; connected to each other using a software called Coda. This made them act as a single supercomputer.
“This movie’s so complex that humans couldn’t actually handle the complexity. We have to come up with automated systems,” says Hendrickson.
This project was so huge compared to the past movies that Hendrickson said:
“(Hyperion) could render Tangled from scratch every 10 days.”
The fictional city of San Fransokyo contains 83,000 buildings, 260,000 trees, 215,000 streetlights and 100,000 vehicles. Street layouts from the actual city of San Francisco were used to make this city.
Big Hero 6 is a fantasy film about the future, makers and robots; a film by and from tech lovers. If you’ve watched the film, then please tell us if you liked it in the comments section below.