ZBrush Interview: ILM on Rango


From the moment you saw that first teaser with the wind-up toy fish flying across the highway, you were probably intrigued by Rango – the smash animated film starring Johnny Depp as its titular hero. Released on March 4, 2011, Rango has been a terrific success. In fact, it’s the highest-grossing film of 2011 worldwide so far!

A large part of the film’s success is the artistry behind it. George Lucas’ famed Industrial Light & Magic took the helm for the movie’s animation, with a result that Roger Ebert described as “respects the tradition of painstakingly drawn animated classics, and does interesting things with space and perspective with its wild action sequences.” There is no doubt that Rango has a visual style all its own and Pixologic was thrilled to be able to speak with the art team behind the movie to learn how it came about.

We hope you enjoy this special look into the artistry of Rango!

Click HERE for the Interview

Here’s a sampler of the many images that you’ll find. You can view them in high resolution from the interview pages.

©2011 Paramount Pictures, All Rights Reserved. Images courtesy of Industrial Light & Magic

Please join us in thanking Geoff and his entire team for their time sharing in this interview, as well as congratulating them on a job well done! We certainly hope that ILM will be doing more feature length animation in the future.

Thank you also to ILM and Paramount Pictures for consenting to share this interview with the ZBrush community.

Use this thread to discuss the interview!

Be sure to also check out our many past interviews, which can be found in the ZBrush Artist Interviews forum and the User Stories page at the Pixologic website.








Yesterday I saw Rango, Excellent Movie!! creatures, Bg, ligthing r awesome!!

Masterpiece from ILM!

Super cool…!!! and the movie rocks. What a joy to read. Thank you so much.

Wicked article, amazing looking film, greatly inspiring, hats off! :+1:

Edit: Page 7, What do you like to see or look for in a demo reel?
Geoff’s answer is the same text as what’s written above the question.

I just love the characters, not only the design but their personality too. The entire look of the movie is absolutely stunning and a nice homage to the “spaghetti western”. The amount of detail is insane but very well balanced. Great interview, thanks for that!

Really loved the movie. Great interview, Congrats to the guys who worked on this. I loved the bar scene!

I absolutely love this film, thank you so much this this interview :slight_smile:

Superb movie, nice interview thanks Pixoguys… ‘And now we ride!!!’

great interview,thanks for sharing:+1:

really inspiring!
Awesome interview and movie

Im missing my credits on BadBill and William furgus... :( I modeled the BadBill base mesh and did the facial blend shapes for him, worked on the displacement on the head as well :frowning:

William Furgus, model facial shape and dsp work.


Give Me A Break!!!
The Only Images They Could Provide Are The Same Ones They Released Already For The Movie Promo??
Why Don’t They Provide Images Of Their Zbrush Work?

Can, there’s no complete list of credits for anyone. I’m happy I got the credit for the Spirit of The West and The Mayor and really don’t care the other 5 characters I modeled were not mentioned. Your name is there dude, be proud. Now go ahead and post on your website the name of all assets you built :slight_smile:


Thanks for taking the time to do this interview guys - great stuff :sunglasses: :+1: :+1: :+1: :+1: :+1: - awesome movie- look forward to the next -> keep rockin’ ILM Dudes and Dudettes :sunglasses: :+1: :+1: :+1: :+1: :+1: !

Get your shinebox!

<!–[if gte mso 9]><xml> <w:WordDocument> <w:View>Normal</w:View> <w:Zoom>0</w:Zoom> <w:PunctuationKerning/> <w:ValidateAgainstSchemas/> <w:SaveIfXMLInvalid>false</w:SaveIfXMLInvalid> <w:IgnoreMixedContent>false</w:IgnoreMixedContent> <w:AlwaysShowPlaceholderText>false</w:AlwaysShowPlaceholderText> <w:Compatibility> <w:BreakWrappedTables/> <w:SnapToGridInCell/> <w:WrapTextWithPunct/> <w:UseAsianBreakRules/> <w:DontGrowAutofit/> </w:Compatibility> <w:BrowserLevel>MicrosoftInternetExplorer4</w:BrowserLevel> </w:WordDocument> </xml><![endif]–><!–[if gte mso 9]><xml> <w:LatentStyles DefLockedState=“false” LatentStyleCount=“156”> </w:LatentStyles> </xml><![endif]–><!–[if gte mso 10]> <style> /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:“Table Normal”; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt; mso-para-margin:0in; mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:10.0pt; font-family:“Times New Roman”; mso-ansi-language:#0400; mso-fareast-language:#0400; mso-bidi-language:#0400;} </style> <![endif]–> Just want to thank everyone for such an inspirational interview.

Truly appreciate the time and effort the staff of ILM had to share their work with the Zbrush community.

Wow,amazing works. especially like the lookings!!

How are the scales of Rango in Page 6, especially along the mouth arraged tilable, so naturally? How to apply alphas nice and clean?


execellent model and animations

HA ha ha ha ha ha ha! Awesome reply!