He didn’t win so it was never aired, but here is the video I created for the Spike VGA’s “character of the year” acceptance speech. Not counting the mocap shoot, it was only a few days work with a little help from those on the cinematics team, (the fight portion is a modified combination of two of our ingame double-counter-kills), but I never made any cutscenes for AC3 and wanted to familiarise myself with the entire workflow.
Archives For Cutscene
I took the time this last week to put together a reel of my work on Mass Effect 2, done between late 2008 and early 2010. Look below for a full shot breakdown, and, because you’re gonna ask, the music is Invaders Must Die by The Prodigy.
Below is a breakdown of what I was responsible for in each scene. The terms used are as follows: Continue Reading…
Despite a clearly phoned-in voice over, Fox News’ Gamers Weekly has posted a video highlighting Resident Evil 5′s use of a Virtual Camera in the production of its cutscenes. This technique has intrigued me for some time, though equally interesting was the section showing the realtime feedback on the fully skinned and textured ingame characters. While it appears to be diffuse-only, this looks to be a small yet significant improvement.
In December over on the Left 4 Dead blog, Valve’s Jason Mitchell posted an insightful look into the making of the Left 4 Dead intro movie, arguably some of the best acting and cinematics done to date in videogames. It appears to have been an incredibly iterative process, with the animatics rigourously playtested in the same manner as the rest of the game.
Over the course of the next couple of weeks of refining the story, we found that the romantic tension between Zoey and Francis that you see in this version did not playtest well, as it proved to be a distraction from the gravity of the Survivors’ desperate situation. As a result, this was dropped from subsequent versions. Later in the piece, when the hunter pounces on Louis, the timing of Louis’s line and the hunter’s pounce consistently came off as comedic, which was certainly not the intended effect.
Of interest, the initial animatics appear to have been knocked up quickly in a “machinima” manner via the Source Filmmaker, which wikipedia describes as:
…an application that runs inside the engine. It allows users to record themselves many times over in the same scene, creating the illusion of many participants, as well as supporting a wide range of cinematographic effects and techniques such as motion blur and depth of field.
Next up, in the first of three animation-related GDC ’08 presentations giving us an insight into modern-day Japanese game development, here are my notes from the Postmortem of Feelplus’s Lost Odyssey, one of two Japanese RPGs created exclusively for the XBOX360 under the watchful eye of Microsoft Game Studios and Final Fantasy creator Hironobu Sakaguchi.
Feelplus: Looking Back at LOST ODYSSEY – The Challenge of Cross Cultural Development
Ray Nakazato – President, Feelplus Inc.
As with each of the Japanese presentations, Nakazato began by detailing the hierarchy of the companies involved in the project. Feelplus Inc. was established in 2005, with the team quickly growing in size to the final headcount of around 100 developers, many of which came from Microsoft and SEGA. Feelplus is 1 of 3 companies under the AQ Interactive Group, (including Artoon and Cavia), and the project was a collaborative effort with Sakaguchi’s team at Mistwalker who formed the core desgin team.
In the last few weeks I’ve been getting out to a handful of various presentations, beginning with the IGDA BioShock presentation and most recently a week-long film and videogame visual extravaganza at the 2007 Adapt Conference.
Representatives from Disney, Pixar, Industrial Light & Magic and several high-profile game development studios were in town to share work methods and techniques, for which I am all-ears, with the week ending on a high at the Halo 3 party, whereby I was fortunate enough to come home with a second copy of the game after beating a handful of Ubisoft animators into Slayer submission.
Over the next week I’ll be uploading my notes from the various lectures attended, (in no particular order), beginning with Bungie’s own Feature Presentation below:
Bungie: Creating Movie-Quality Cinematic Moments In Realtime
CJ Cowan & James McQuillan – Lead Producer and Cinematic Director on Halo 3
This talk was unfortunately beset with technical problems throughout, and as such many of the real-time editing features of their engine were unable to be demonstrated. It did, however, offer an insight into a company creating one of the most epic games ever with tools that were so technologically backwards it is amazing they managed to get anything out the door at all.
Despite this, they appeared oblivious to how outdated their systems on show were as they proudly demonstrated tools and processes that Iâ€™ve fortunately never had to endure in all my time in this industry. Perhaps Bungie is living in a bubble-shield?