Fourteen types of CG vehicle were created in all, each requiring modelling using accurate imagery and technical data, then complex texturing and animation. Procedural systems were written to create automatic vibration and suspension for the vehicles to give a realistic impression of vehicle weight and movement when driving over hills or bumpy ground.
To add further realism, tyre tracks from vehicles traversing dusty and impressionable desert ground were added. Even the dust kicked up by the wheels of the numerous vehicles was recreated digitally.
Camp Matilda VFX shot before and after.
Several key visual effects shots show the scale of US military resources. A sequence in the first episode shows the American base Camp Matilda. In one wide establishing shot, the environment is a 3D matte painting, CGI tents have been created and replicated into the distance, and CG vehicles and soldiers have been added.
Another sequence (shown above), in episode two, shows the Allies advancing their Humvee towards Iraq in a massive convoy of vehicles. The Humvee travels across an overhead road bridge and we see the soldiers’ view of a wide “superhighway”, with a multitude of CG Light Armoured Vehicles, tanks, Humvees and supply trucks. This sequence of four shots was immensely challenging: even the environment has been digitally created. The order of the vehicles in the convoy was created as authentically as possible.