So I've just seen The LEGO Movie and I was amazed at the intricate details of all the minifigures and sets.

I was wondering if anyone knows what software was used to create the film. Animal Logic, the studio behind the film, have said that they used Maya to model the bricks (http://www.animallogic.com/#Studios/Work/The-LEGO%C2%AE-Movie).

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    This link explains how the movie was made, just not which software was used: screencrush.com/making-of-lego-movie
    – invalid_id
    Commented Mar 20, 2014 at 6:43
  • 1
    Hi, its not generally recommended you crosspost questions - I wouldn't do it unless you don't get any useful answer in the first site you choose.
    – iandotkelly
    Commented Mar 21, 2014 at 1:15

2 Answers 2


The CG was done by a company called Animal Logic.

They used LEGO Digital Designer, a free computer program which allows users to build models using virtual LEGO bricks, in a computer-aided design (CAD) like manner. This allowed them to get high precision models and also the required bricks per model.

The created LEGO Digital Designer (LDD) files were then converted into a single mesh ('shell') to remove hidden geometry, unlike the original LDD models which consisted of unique bricks. These meshes where used to build the scenes.

The bricks themselves were separately modeled in Maya, with asset and layout builds achieved in Maya and XSI. They observed real used Lego to make the meshes and bricks look used/worn out (they even modeled bite marks on some bricks).

To get a more photo realistic look they again observed real Lego and used this information to place light sources tactically throughout the scene, enhancing the tear and wear look of the Lego. Furthermore, to mimic to stop motion they used virtual steadicams; the camera movement was then done using key framing.

As conclusion they used the following software:

  • The Lego Digital Designer
  • Maya
  • XSI

Source and more info: http://www.animallogic.com/Studios/Work/The-LEGO%C2%AE-Movie

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    Nice answer. Though as Johnny Bones points out in his answer, most movies go through dozens of software packages - whatever's the right tool for the job. Maya + XSI is typically for modelling and animation respectively, but doesn't equal a movie. There's texturing, lighting, rendering, compositing, grading, editing - and that's without even discussing sound and score
    – Flambino
    Commented Feb 19, 2017 at 12:39
  • @Flambino I agree, but those packages are not what makes the LEGO movie different from other movies.
    – invalid_id
    Commented Feb 20, 2017 at 13:30
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    Totally true - the comment was just in case OP (or anyone reading) was under the impression that there's only a few pieces of software that "made the movie"
    – Flambino
    Commented Feb 20, 2017 at 14:14

I doubt anyone on this forum knows exactly what was used, but typically it is a host of products that combine to produce the finished movie.

I found this article which describes the software used in Avatar. The list includes:

  • Autodesk Maya (most shots)
  • Pixar Renderman for Maya
  • Autodesk SoftImage XSI
  • Luxology Modo (model design, e.g. the Scorpion)
  • Lightwave (low-res realtime environments)
  • Houdini (Hell’s Gate scenes, interiors)
  • ZBrush (creature design)
  • Autodesk 3d design max (space shots, control room screens and HUD renderings)
  • Autodesk MotionBuilder (for real-time 3d visualisations)
  • Eyeon Fusion (image compositing)
  • The Foundry Nuke Compositor (previz image compositing)
  • Autodesk Smoke (color correction)
  • Autodesk Combustion (compositing)
  • Massive (vegetation simulation)
  • Mudbox (floating mountains)
  • Avid(video editing)
  • Adobe After Effects (compositing, real-ime visualizations)
  • PF Track (motion tracking, background replacement)
  • Adobe Illustrator (HUD and screens layout)
  • Adobe Photoshop (concept art, textures)
  • Adobe Premiere (proofing, rough compositing with AE)
  • many tools developed in-house
  • countless plugins for each platform, some of them Ocula for Nuke, Ktakatoa for 3ds max, Sapphire for Combustion/AE.

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