Zack Snyder’s feature film 300 is a ferocious retelling of the ancient Battle of Thermopylae, in which King Leonidas (Gerard Butler) and 300 Spartans fought to the death against Xerxes and his massive Persian army. A Warner Bros. film, 300 is based on the acclaimed epic graphic novel by Frank Miller (Sin City), and brings the novel to life by combining live action with virtual backgrounds that capture his distinct vision of this historic tale.
Animal Logic provided visual effects art direction for the stylized look of 300. In fact, Animal Logic Visual Effects Art Director Grant Freckelton was initially brought on to oversee the design of an early VFX test produced at Animal Logic, but Snyder was so impressed with Grant’s design sensibilities that he was brought on board to art direct the visual effects for the entire film. The Animal Logic team also created all of the shots for an epic eight-minute battle scene, in which the 300 Spartans first battle the Persians. The entire sequence was shot on blue screen.
Only two shots out of 176 had practical sets, and those sets were rotoscoped out and replaced with CG sets. For most shots, the team created CG sets and added in digital doubles and crowds, skies, water, blood splatters and spurts, wounds, CG arrows and spear tips.