One of the big technical challenges with this project is depicting the sheer number of people involved in the migration. Since my story has Bir getting lost in the midst of a mob, I also need a way to pull the characters out from the background. I'm still exploring how I would achieve the sense of chaos, but I do know that I don't want the film to feel like it should have been made in live-action. As a result, I'd like to use lighting and painting techniques to stylize the crowd into a single mass. I did the following "style frame" to explore this idea:
I plan to backlight the crowd and exaggerate depth of field to really pull attention to the main characters and have the crowd be a mass. Of course, this is going to mean a lot of post-production work, but I really enjoy art directing and compositing, so I'm looking forward to it.
I'm also about to start experimenting with Massive, a crowd simulation software that makes it easier to choreograph CG shots with many characters. So even though I want a stylized look for the crowd, having a Massive layer will give the crowd a little more internal movement that might look pretty cool.