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FinalBossTV Interview with Marc Messenger, Director of "Lost Honor" Cinematic
10/11/2018 a las 10:43
FinalBossTV interviewed Marc Messenger, Director of the "Lost Honor" cinematic, at BlizzCon 2018. Most BlizzCon interviews take place with game developers, so it's a real treat to hear from the Cinematics department, especially with the increased focus on cinematics and cutscenes in this expansion.
Below are some highlights from the interview and cinematic reaction:
Messenger has primarily worked on WoW cinematics, starting with Deathwing leading into Cataclysm.
There are several teams involved in cinematics--the team that works on the high-fidelity cinematics like "Lost Honor," the in-game cutscenes, and the 2.5D movies like Warbringers.
A 3 minute cinematic in the style of "Lost Honor" roughly takes a year to go from concept to launch.
By animation studio standards, Blizzard does not have a gigantic crew.
Production on "Old Soldier" started around the time of Battle for Azeroth's creation, while production on "Lost Honor" started halfway through "Old Soldier."
The increased amount of high-fidelity cinematics in Battle for Azeroth came as a request from the WoW game team.
"Old Soldier" was only finished a month before the community saw it.
Making a human in CG is a very difficult challenge, and they feel Anduin "works" because he is an appealing character.
The boats seen in the opening shot have a funny story. The model originated in the Cataclysm cinematic, when you see Booty Bay with the tidal wave. It was based on the Maiden's Fancy, but left mostly incomplete, as it was built to be seen at a distance. Then, a boat was needed in MoP, so they uprezzed the back of the same boat model. Then, it was needed again in Legion, so they uprezzed the front. They almost have a full boat now!
The cinematic team thought carefully about the placement of light and shadow, as Anduin is a creature of the Light, a priest, but he is conflicted and torn.
Some shots are reminiscent of "Old Soldier" and the dark lighting in the dungeon allowed for effective shots of characters popping out of the darkness.
Anduin and Saurfang are mirrors of each other asking hard questions. Saurfang is basically admitting that he needs the help of a kid, while Anduin is confronting someone that could easily kill him. They both realize they need help in order to succeed.
With the increased production of high fidelity cinematics in Battle for Azeroth, the team can get increasingly-comfortable animating characters like Anduin and Saurfang. As the character sees more use, the animations are easier to make, with more nuance reflecting personality.
Animators attend recording sessions with the voice actors to capture videos of them recording lines and to learn more about the personality of each character.
Battle for Azeroth is the first time Blizzard is going all-out with this sort of cinematic pacing, and there's a lot of passion for making this sort of content.
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