Making the Mini-Cutscenes of Fallen Enchantress
Published on June 27, 2011 By ScottTykoski In Elemental Dev Journals

Ages ago (or, at least, what FEELS like ages ago) when we were nailing down the art style for Elemental, one of the key factors was creating a world where the cutscenes weren't in glaring opposition to the in-game graphics.

This was around the same time that Fable 2 was released, where a beautiful pre-rendered intro felt (IMHO) fairly out of place in comparison to the mid-game cutscenes (which were beautiful in their own right). It was that realization - that paintings brought to life can be as appealing as their 3d counterparts - that helped fuel the artistic style of the game.

Unfortunately, the dream of these moving paintings weaving a tale as you play the game was never realized in WoM. We got as far as the 'wedding' cutscene and the 'you killed a dude' cutscene before needing to shift the focus onto other things. In FE we want to revisit that idea and have mini-cutscenes that underscore major points in your adventures.




This is a painting done for "The Bilge" wildlands cutscene, a vast swampland dotted with the ruins of a former kingdom, now overrun with trolls and spiders who protect treasures of the dead.

There are several bits of this image that beg to be animated, for which we use a program called Anime Studio Pro. It allows us to take a 2d image and attach bones to it, letting us animate much like we do in 3d.




Once all those vines are animated, and the rest of the scene is put together in After Effects, we do a simple flythrough to get the first of our mini-cutscenes.


Sorry - no Blood or fantasy Violence in this video. We'll try and do better next time


Also, since mini-cutscenes are total polish and very data driven, we can keep adding more and more right up until gold (if the budget and time allows) . By bringing our paintings to life and really punctuating those key points in your adventure, we also breathe some extra life into FE itself.


Comments (Page 2)
on Jun 27, 2011

BoogieBac

Quoting PanicWave, reply 8is there any chance that i see MY sovereign on the cutscene instead of a generic one? Our Tech isn't quite there yet, but eventually that's what we want....maybe Expansion 2

 

Its good news. Keep up with the great work!

on Jun 28, 2011

Never heard of Anime Studio Pro,but there is Puppet tool in AE that can do similar thing...since i like to stay in one program if possible,am curious,is Anime Studio Pro so much better for this kind of animations ? If yes,can you,please name me some advantages.Thanks

on Jun 28, 2011

Heavenfall & igoraki: What's nice about Anime Studio is that it allows for a full IK skeleton to be made over a 2d image (rastor OR vector)...something I haven't seen replicated in any other program (AE's Puppet tool is FK only, so it's jsut a bit more clunky than Anime Studio's system).

I can post a quick tutroial vid if you guys ever want to see how it all works...it blew my mind the first time I saw it in action.

on Jun 28, 2011

BoogieBac
I can post a quick tutroial vid if you guys ever want to see how it all works...it blew my mind the first time I saw it in action.
Please/

on Jun 28, 2011

BoogieBac


I can post a quick tutroial vid if you guys ever want to see how it all works...it blew my mind the first time I saw it in action.

 

I think this software (after effects) came bundled with the CS5 package I have at work. I've never even opened it but if you did a vid tutorial, I would try it out .

on Jun 28, 2011

Not for me, I like exploring new software!

on Jun 28, 2011

BoogieBac


Our Tech isn't quite there yet, but eventually that's what we want....maybe Expansion 2

Would you be able to use it in conjunction with the ingame models? Say having three layers background, character/object and foreground (where the scene would be the bilge, with the character snapshot from their unit card or a directed pose, and the vines in the foreground.  Like a small stage performance or similar to how layering is done to give depth in a sidescrolling game.  

on Jun 28, 2011

Damn, I lost my post. Here is the telegraphic version

2D artwork good, 3D art bad. Me old school gamer, prefer 2D games. More 2D art in elemental will look better. Impressive to animate 2D painting.

on Jun 28, 2011

Looks fantastic!

on Jun 28, 2011

Any chance we will see a memory lane cutscene(s) consisting of scenes from our playthrough in animated picture book style?  Possibly with a narrator?  Cutscenes always build more rappot when the player directly identifies with them.

on Jun 29, 2011

BoogieBac

I can post a quick tutroial vid if you guys ever want to see how it all works...it blew my mind the first time I saw it in action.

Thanks for the answer,and yes,some quick video would be really nice...if you have some free time to do it.

on Jun 29, 2011

This looks very nice! I think you are doing a great job on that. To be perfectly frank, I think these cut-scenes would be satisfactory without the additional animation (since, I imagine, most of us will attempt to click / escape-button them away after we have seen them the first dozen or so times), and would much prefer that precious resource allocation go into implementing less suboptimal terrain functionality, tactical battles, unit abilities, and AI.

on Jun 29, 2011

onomastikon
and would much prefer that precious resource allocation go into implementing less suboptimal terrain functionality, tactical battles, unit abilities, and AI.
All of those tasks have been handed out to considerably more skilled developers than myself  Plus the additional animation work takes so little time that it be a sin not to add that extra (and noticeable) polish.

on Jun 29, 2011

BoogieBac



Quoting onomastikon,
reply 27
and would much prefer that precious resource allocation go into implementing less suboptimal terrain functionality, tactical battles, unit abilities, and AI.All of those tasks have been handed out to considerably more skilled developers than myself  Plus the additional animation work takes so little time that it be a sin not to add that extra (and noticeable) polish.

That is good to know! Excellent, thank you

on Jun 29, 2011

Lantros
Great. I love the whole artwork in WoM. That will not change with FE. The idea of these moving paintings is fantastic. Really, really love it (and can´t wait to see more). 


Sorry - no Blood or fantasy Violence in this video. We'll try and do better next time


 

hahaha......I started to remind you as i saw your statement.Allright, maybe next time.

 

 

 

I never did care for the art style in WOM too blah for me. But remember that art is subjective so where as I may not like the art others will love it and that is the way of things. It is not bad enough for me not to want to play the game after all graphics are not everything. I'm personally looking forward to the game play which so far sounds like it will be pretty good game. 

Meta
Views
» 11471
Comments
» 37
Sponsored Links