Business as Usual

So here’s what I’ve been working on lately. We found out (with 2 weeks notice) that we’d be showing off our game at E3, and needed a trailer to go live ASAP. I took some deep breaths, called up our animator and our voiceover artist to confirm they’d be available for some one-off anims and pickups, and started doing layouts and boards for a minute-thirty trailer:


The cinematic (non-gameplay) footage at the beginning comes from the extended opening sequence, which was finished back in March and hasn’t been shown yet. I had to lay out and composite a handful of new shots (the “Scully” narrator shots, the infantry/archer/cavalry shots, and the final “expendable” shot), but fortunately we’ve got a huge library of assets that allow me to do speedy scene assembly, and I just recycled some particles/FX/post effects I’d made back in March.

Camera blocking + simple simulation inside After Effects


I wound up animating Scully, and animator extraordinaire Callen Wagner handled everything else. (Scully is also voiced by my dad Chet, who happens to make a living doing voiceover and audiobook work.)

Our workflow is pretty simple. We export .PNG sequences out of our custom animation editor, I import those into After Effects, do all comp / FX work there, and export each shot as a PNG sequence. I edit that footage and do all SFX/music work inside Vegas, which is my new favorite NLE — I can edit super fast with it and it likes working with weird, fiddly formats like FRAPS.

Final version of the opening title sequence inside Vegas.

The game’s still slated to ship alongside Windows 8 — and no, I don’t know when that’s coming out!

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