The second was that the director had a certain aesthetic that departed from simulating reality, as most filmic CG work was aiming to achieve. Instead, he wanted what he calls an "abstraction of reality." For that reason, Leonard looked to innovative companies experimenting in VFX at the time.
He landed on Angel Studios, which until then had only done mostly "Mexican tire commercials." What caught Leonard's eye was an ad for L. Ron Hubbard's Dianetics, the basis for Scientology. The promo featured an exploding volcano, the depiction of an event Hubbard described as the moment Xenu, head of the Galactic Confederation, solved Earth's overpopulation problem by dropping a hydrogen bomb on the principal volcanoes. Religious implications aside, the video captivated Leonard. "It was very early computer graphics, but still real for that time," he says.