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 3)
on Jun 29, 2011

Hey Boogie, at moment 0:26 on the vid i see depression over the cliff by a narrow water mass. This depression is suposed to be a harbor spot or a pass trought the "river"? Can you tell us something about the rivers?

on Jun 29, 2011

Isn't it cool that the more skilled developers have to do the dirty work such as AI and tactical battle coding, while you Boogie get to work on the cool artsy stuff that can become really memorable if you do it just right?

on Jun 29, 2011

PanicWave
Hey Boogie, at moment 0:26 on the vid i see depression over the cliff by a narrow water mass. This depression is suposed to be a harbor spot or a pass trought the "river"? Can you tell us something about the rivers?

 

A river is seen in post #32 in this link (http://forums.elementalgame.com/409163/page/2/#replies)

on Jun 29, 2011

Alfdaur

Quoting PanicWave, reply 31Hey Boogie, at moment 0:26 on the vid i see depression over the cliff by a narrow water mass. This depression is suposed to be a harbor spot or a pass trought the "river"? Can you tell us something about the rivers?

 

A river is seen in post #32 in this link (http://forums.elementalgame.com/409163/page/2/#replies)

 

Found it! And didnt like it... Is that the final version of the rivers?

Tx for the info Alfdaur.

on Jun 30, 2011

Probably many of us remember the Homeworld cutscenes which were just plain awesome in every way, in black and white no less.

I always though we should see more of that in games, particularly ones on a budget.  Good art is timeless.

on Jul 01, 2011

Lively paintings go well with lively sound/music.

I happen to read A LOT for work.  What works best for me in this task is having just the right music playing in the back ground.  A nice pair of headphones with noise cancelation capability can literally transport you to a different dimension - so to speak.

What do I usually listen to?  Civ V music.  I open the game as if to play, but instead of playing it, I just listen to the music.  The large variety of the music in Civ V is complimented with the sound of the waves, birds, etc.  It's a lively environmnet.  It simply draws you in.  My favorite music theme is the Iroquois civilization.

Elemental needs more sound and more variety in music to compliment the beautiful artwork.  The last time I played WOM, the same song played over and over again that I just had to turn it off.  The game itself looks great and fancy cutscenes would always be welcome, but it does need to provide more auditory stimuli.

Oh, and one more thing, my sovereign's right to polygyny needs to be honored.  Hopefully with the next patch, my sovereign will have his wives and reign wholly as ordained by the divine.

-.-

on Jul 01, 2011

aeligos
Lively paintings go well with lively sound/music.

I happen to read A LOT for work.  What works best for me in this task is having just the right music playing in the back ground.  A nice pair of headphones with noise cancelation capability can literally transport you to a different dimension - so to speak.

What do I usually listen to?  Civ V music.  I open the game as if to play, but instead of playing it, I just listen to the music.  The large variety of the music in Civ V is complimented with the sound of the waves, birds, etc.  It's a lively environmnet.  It simply draws you in.  My favorite music theme is the Iroquois civilization.

Elemental needs more sound and more variety in music to compliment the beautiful artwork.  The last time I played WOM, the same song played over and over again that I just had to turn it off.  The game itself looks great and fancy cutscenes would always be welcome, but it does need to provide more auditory stimuli.

Oh, and one more thing, my sovereign's right to polygyny needs to be honored.  Hopefully with the next patch, my sovereign will have his wives and reign wholly as ordained by the divine.

-.-

Don't really care about music in games (i usally turn the music off) but I do like sound effects which I turn up to include back ground noise (bird, insects, town noises etc.)

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