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Axis works with Bungie, Activision for ‘Destiny: Rise of Iron’ trailer

Glasgow-based CG and animation house Axis has collaborated with game developer Bungie and game publisher Activision to create the cinematic sequences, based on Bungie’s initial previs, for the Destiny: Rise of Iron trailer. Destiny: Rise of Iron features new storylines, locations, gear, maps, enemies and missions, and continues the story of the heroic Iron Lords in their battle against an ancient enemy.

Axis director Stuart Aitken worked closely with Bungie’s cinematic director, Matthew Ward, and the Axis team to create and execute multiple rendered scenes that were edited into the trailer alongside gameplay sequences.

sh110_4K_001They used Pixologic Zbrush for modeling and Autodesk Maya for animation. For shading, lighting, rendering and effects they called on Side Effects Houdini. Compositing was via Blackmagic Fusion.

“Accomplishing the level of detail on the assets that we had to work with fur, fire and snow simultaneously was a challenge,” says Hudson Martins, head of effects for Axis. “The wolves are the first characters completely covered with fur that Axis worked on. We had to recreate believable texture that moved and reacted as real fur does. We implemented an extra amount of R&D behind it to create and render the fur efficiently and so on.”

Axis was responsible for additional concept artwork and previs to develop initial ideas further, taking the work into final blocking, cinematography, motion capture and animation, lighting, VFX, rendering and compositing for the trailer’s reveal at the E3 2016 expo in Los Angeles.

“The timescale on this project was pretty tight to have the trailer complete for E3,” explains Martins. “We got involved in the storyboard phase, which helped in planning and managing the project we delivered as we had a short time to execute the project.”

Ant Farm edited this CG cinematic to a Destiny original score and paired it with in-game captured moments from Rise of Iron.

The trailer scenes produced by Axis feature Lord Saladin, a legendary figure known to players as the mysterious host of the Iron Banner, multiplayer events within the game and the only remaining member of the fabled Iron Lords. In the trailer, we meet Saladin, accompanied by a pack of wolves, traveling across the snowy wastes outside the Cosmodrome. There, they encounter an ominous breach in the containment wall hiding an old enemy, now reborn and stronger than ever.

Rise of Iron will be released on September 20.


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