Tag Archives: Activision

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.

Blur creates CG mischief, heroics for Skylanders spots

Ad agency 72andSunny called on Blur Studio to create CG characters and environments for two new 30-second commercials promoting Activision’s Skylanders game. Blur‘s Jeff Fowler directed Inside the Trap and a Trapping Kaos. Both feature a mix of live-action and CG as well as a fight between good and evil. It took 30 artists less than two months to complete the segments for both spots.

Jeff Fowler

Jeff Fowler

According to Fowler, “Blur’s Skylanders project began with one of our CG supervisors coming to my desk and saying, ‘If we don’t do this commercial, my son will never speak to me again.’ Never ones to shatter the dreams of children, our production staff quickly figured out a plan to fit this project into a VERY busy month for us. Sometimes the craziest schedules yield the most rewarding results, and our entire team was extremely proud of what we were able to accomplish in six weeks.”

He continues, “Working with a tough little veggie warrior and a powerful super-dwarf armed with Traptanium-infused hammers spurred our creative energy to create something like none other. We had a blast bringing a little mayhem to the world of Skylanders, where we built a village and staged a cinematic battle scene between Gulper and Food Fight.”

“Both Blur and 72andSunny are built around collaborative cultures so we were all quick to jump in together, start laughing and shape where we wanted the project to go from the outset,” reports 72andSunny creative director Tim Wolfe. “It made for amazing sessions where everyone had a voice, egos were left at the door and we were all only interested in making the best video humanly possible.

Blur_Skylanders_03 new small Blur_Skylanders_04new small

“The level of visual detail and character development Blur brought to the project was incredible. They took an already rich and fun world of Skylanders and turned up the volume helping us make something truly unique and ground-breaking for the category,” said Wolfe.

Human Worldwide provided the music and sound design, while Sound Mix Lime Studios supplied the mix.