Blur Studio | 2009
Game Cinematic (unreleased)
Role: Animation Supervisor, Animator, Layout Artist
Despite being one of the favorite projects I ever worked on, this one never made it past the proof of concept stage. Essentially, we did a one minute and a half piece showcasing the main characters in a scene taken directly from the game's story. Everything was based off concepts created by Todd Harris, which at the time was developing the project at Avalanche Studios.
Animation was produced in a very short time, about 4 weeks with 7 animators including me. Since we had so little time, I thought it was a great opportunity to try an unusual workflow, where we split the piece into, if I remember well, 7 or 8 chunks, and each chunk contained several cameras, with the action playing in a singe scene.
To make this work, we planned it like that in Layout (which I did with Andy Grisdale, who currently works with me at Pixar), and preserved that plan for animation, effects and cloth/hair simulation. So when you see all the debris coming of the edge of the chasm from where the tree bridge falls, what seems like 4 or 5 shots is, in reality, one single scene, with 4 or 5 different cameras, and the simulation was only performed once for that scene. This also applies to the character animation and the other simulations. Not everybody likes working like that, and it took some convincing, but in the end I'm confident the result wouldn't look as nice had we done it the traditional way where everything is done per individual shot.
This is pretty much my favorite kind of project, a character centric, cartoon action scene with monsters and magic. Here's hoping the game comes out someday, and that Blur gets to do the cutscenes.