Watch this awesome cinematic short Ghost Recon Alpha for the game Ghost Recon: Future Soldier, and find out how Mikros Image handled the VFX
Inspired by the videogame Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Future Soldier, and novels by Tom Clancy, this film opens with a scene where a team called ‘Ghost’ are on the hunt for a dangerous arms dealer.
Ubisoft together with RSA, a company owned by Ridley and Tony Scott and their subsidiary Little Minx, produced this short cinematic promo.
The 20-minute film was shot in 35mm in Czech Republic and features fully CG creations and composited elements.
We caught up with Mikros Image’s VFX Supervisor Nicolas Rey to find out how some of the short’s VFX were created.
Watch Ghost Recon Alpha – Official HD Film
This short is best viewed in HD and there are subtitles with YouTube’s closed captioning, so turn them on if you want to understand what the Russians are saying…
Mikros Image gave an insightful presentation at FMX 2012, breaking down the VFX work done on Ghost Recon Alpha. You can see the making-of video below.
Watch the making-of video
Mikros Image became involved in the short’s production in March 2010 when the team began talks with Ubisoft and the directors François Alaux and Hervé de Crécyand (Logorama).
“We previously did some videogame trailers with Ubisoft, and some commercials but also the Logorama with François and Hervé,” says VFX Supervisor Nicolas Rey.
Mikros Image was responsible for the on-set VFX supervision, all postproduction, colour grading and VFX, (except for the end titles and drones’ POV that were created by Daft Arts).
The team used Maya to animate, Arnold to render and Nuke to composite.
“Arnold renderer was quite helpful,” says Rey. “Lighting in Arnold on live background plates is fast and efficient, as the light is physical.”
“Lighting was done in a very short time. The beauty pass was composited with a few colour grading operations, but that was it.”
One problem facing Mikros Image was that some of the robots’ designs needed to be changed after the shots were done. Fortunately the pipeline allowed the team to build scenes with the new assets and old layout very quickly.
“There were no real technical challenges,” says Rey, “but the client decided to change the designs of the Warhound [the big bad robot] and the scout drone [the flying one] once the assets were already done, and already animated in some shots.”
“The scout design changed radically, propellers were needed instead of a reactor…” Rey recalls. “So, some of the plates (live camera move) we shot on set didn’t fit with the new style of animation.”
“We had to create a full CG environment to fit the new style of animation/moving in the air.”
“The Warhound had to wheel around instead of walking,” Rey continues, “so we changed the design of the legs and the setup so it could walk and roll.”
Rey admits that having the Warhound wheeling around was better in terms of weight and animation.
A few of the shots featuring the Warhound are completely CG. See if you can spot them when you watch the short