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Matte World Digital supplied the visual effects for Director John Lee Hancock's The Alamo. A true story about Lieutenant Colonel William Travis, James Bowie, and living legend David Crockett, who with less than 200 men fought against thousands of Mexican troops for the independence of Texas.


Shot from a crane high above the desert, the Alamo chapel and the Fort's surrounding walls are all part of a movie set constructed for this film as the real Alamo exists in downtown San Antonio.


Shown here is a composite of thousands of troops storming the Fort. MWD artists also added fire, smoke and flares to create a battle-like chaos that would otherwise be difficult to achieve within camera.

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A live-action plate was shot with actors dressed as Mexican troops. The landscape from the plate photography was removed and replaced with digitally-modelled terrain.


It was thought that the Mexican army would not invade until spring because the pass would prove to be too treacherous. The final 3D matte painting showing the mountain pass with blowing CG snow, illustrating the cold weather and miserable terrain the Mexican troops marched to get to the Alamo.

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For dramatic effect, lightning strikes were painted frame by frame for this shot of troops marching in Bexar.

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Film Credits

Film Credits