Method's team of 170 worked for 10 months to create 150 character shots and 380 environment shots for The Maze Runner. Environments have been one of Method's long suits, but character animation is new. To build the company's strength in that area, they added Erik de Boer, Academy Award winner for his work with Rhythm & Hues on Life of Pi, and former WETA whiz James Jacobs, an Academy Sci-Tech Award winner for technology used for The Goblin King in The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. The creatures they set themselves to work on were the Grievers, who needed to be agile and threatening as they roamed the maze at night, attacking anyone they came across.
At the heart of The Maze Runner is the maze itself, whose 100-foot concrete walls were rigged to move, at some unknown point in the past when it was created. The walls have decayed over the years, and parts of it break off as the walls shift. The walls are also covered with ivy, which presented Method with some particular challenges for creating complex geometries that are also deeply organic. For both the creatures and the atmospheric elements, Method developed its own software to facilitate their experience as artists, an emphasis that shines through in work. [less