The final composition was done in 3D, but very little of it is actually 3D. In fact, the "parts list" for the shot is:
- 1 huge sphere for the main chart (big white map),
- 6 blue tubes,
- 3 green boxes, and
- 2 VOR symbols (the black objects).
As typically as 3D projects tend to go, what should have been easy work, became quite time consuming. The problem was getting the composition of the shot just right, given the requirements of the shot. In other words, the placement of the tubes and green boxes isn't random. The chart, which is a real aviation navigation chart, defines those positions. So, the trick was getting an angle that looked nice, and still showed everything.
In the end, only one part of the chart become fiction. But I'll leave that for the instrument-rated pilots from the San Francisco Bay Area to figure out!