The secrets of the hit game’s stunning new opening sequence are revealed
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Created for the Enhanced Edition of Xbox 360 title The Witcher 2, Platige Image’s polished cinematic has caused quite a stir in both the gaming and CG communities, with getting on for 400,000 views on YouTube so far. And in case you missed it…
The Gewerkschafthaus in Stuttgart is welcoming Maciej Jackiewicz and Lukasz Sobisz from Platige Image, the team behind the cinematic, to show off some their development work.
Animation director Jackiewicz is going first.
He starts by explaining that the character animation relied on motion capture. “We had six actors, but a lot of more characters.”
With mocap complete and the basic animation done, a rough layout sequence was produced. “I consider the layout to be the most important stage in the film,” says Jackiewicz. “It was like the finished movie – a low-poly version of the film.”
The sequence everyone’s talking about is the spectacular destruction of the king’s ship after the ice bomb goes off. The pace is almost balletic despite the chaos. “Most of the destruction is structured with the music,” says Jackiewicz.
Although there are nominally three main characters in the sequence, many of the supporting cast also have their chance to shine. Jackiewicz estimates there are 20 characters that Platige Image had invest effort into developing. “We had to pay attention to each of them and give them the same detail… I thought of the jesters as these really tired guys who don’t like their job.”
Lead simulation TD Lukasz Sobisz steps up to talk a little more about the copious effects in the cinematic. Starting with cloth simulation, he explains how the team made its own cloth sim plug-in for ads Max to resolve all the intersections in the complex costumes. “Every piece of the geometry is constrained somehow.”
The ship destruction was done with ThinkingParticles in 3ds Max. The team chose it, says Sobisz, because of its advanced caching and layer systems. “It is not constrained by any one factor.”