BodyPaint3D and District 9

BodyPaint3D and District 9

26 October 2009

In addition to developing the alien mother ship, digital helicopters and digital troop carriers, the bulk of Image Engine’s work involved creating a community of entirely CG aliens who populated part of Soweto, South Africa, called “District 9.”

Stewart agrees that BodyPaint 3D was a necessity when it came to creating the aliens because there were so many different elements involved in the look of the characters. In addition to using shaders to layer the creatures’ bodies with dust and dirt, for example, each alien (there were hundreds in all) was adorned with different variations of paint splotches and stickers. Both the paint and the stickers, which the aliens had peeled off of garbage in the ghetto where they lived, were worn in an attempt to fit in with the humans around them. “They were trying to do what the humans did,” Stewart explains. “The paint seemed [to them] like graffiti and the stickers were tattoos.”

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