So I've just seen the LEGO Movie and I was amazed at the such 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.

2 Answers 2


The Lego Movie Complete B-ROLL (2014) footage briefly shows that the animator is using Autodesk Softimage 2012 (at about 8:57) to move the limbs of a digital minifigure.

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10 minutes in to the video we can see an animator going through frame-by-frame a partially rendered draft of a scene from the movie. The animator has the ability to draw and possibly annotate on each frame. It's not clear what software this is, it may have been created in-house by the production company.

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At 11:15 an employee at what appears to be the LEGO Denmark office shows Phil Lord (co-director of the movie) a minifig from what appears to be a different piece of software used for modelling/animation.

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At 12:46 we can see a very short demonstration of LEGO Digital Designer. This software was created before the movie, specifically for designing LEGO models, it is also free and can be downloaded from the LEGO website.

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  • 1
    The software at 11:15 is Sketchup.
    – PGmath
    Commented Oct 26, 2014 at 20:35

When discussing Animal Logic's involvement in the film, they state:

Initially, Production Designer Grant Freckelton and his team utilised LEGO Digital Designer [...]. This allowed everyone, including the Animal Logic art department, to mock up highly accurate LEGO models from which they could calculate the required bricks and build them as subdivision surface assets.

These LDD models where then converted to an internal format that works throughout Animal Logic's pipeline, at which point the could start using their more usual tools:

The bricks themselves were separately modeled in Maya, with asset and layout builds achieved in Maya and XSI.

A pull-quote from an FX-Guide article on the work notes:

Animal Logic’s main toolkit relied on rigging, layout, animation and lensing in Softimage, with surfacing, lighting and rendering done in Maya, MARI and RenderMan and a custom renderer called Glimpse. Effects work was handled in Houdini.

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