Watch the teaser then take a behind-the-scene look at Rogues Gallery’s visual effects work for Hawken’s latest game trailer
Warner Bros and Machinima have unveiled the debut trailer for the web-series that will be based on Adhesive Games’ popular multiplayer mech combat, Hawken.
The focus is on creating an intense and enjoyable battle experience that captures the feeling of piloting a heavy war machine while keeping the action fast-paced and strategic.
Featuring high-impact VFX from Rogues Gallery and masterfully editing by Josh Bodnar, the cinematic trailers have garnered millions of views and praise for the photo-real CG effects.
Check out the latest trailer:
We caught up with Charles Paek, Creative Director of Rogues Gallery, to learn what went on behind the visual effects of the Hawken trailers.
3D World: How did the brief come about? Charles Paek: We had worked with DJ2 Entertainment and director, Jeremiah O’Flaherty, previously on the Hawken Teaser for E3. So when they were ready to expand on the teaser for this 90 second trailer, we were the first call they made.
3D World: What was your company responsible for? CP: We were responsible for all of the visual effects in the spot.
3D World: What 3D software was used to create this work? CP: We used Maya, V=Ray, and FumeFX. An interesting aspect of this job was actually working with the Unreal game engine at the beginning of the job to extract some preliminary elements and analyze some of the Mech movements. We then had to rebuild everything in Maya.
3D World: What was the most impressive technical aspect of the project and how was it achieved using 3D software? CP: Our pipeline mainly focused on getting over-scanned screenshots of most of our environments built in 3D and then handing them over to our team of matte painters. Our matte painters painted additional details into the environment – primarily because we had a total of five weeks to complete the spot.
Again, we used 3D projections for all of the environments to achieve very dense detail that was not possible in the five-week time frame.
3D World: What was the most useful piece of software/kit that you used and why? CP: I would say Photoshop was the most useful software we used on the spot. This allowed us really give the environments extreme detail. On the FX side, FumeFX was key to helping us execute the dramatic final shot with the falling building.
3D World: Can you think of where a specific part of the pipeline was really useful in fixing or achieving something in particular? CP: Once our 3d layout was locked, we were able to keep the changes between the compositors and matte painters. With 3d out of the loop on small changes, we were able to move forward pretty quickly on iterations.
3D World: What was the biggest technical challenge? CP: The biggest technical challenge didn’t come from any one specific task, but mostly it came in our schedule. To achieve the look we needed to have in five weeks required us to take shortcuts that ultimately not only gave us more time, but helped elevate the entire piece through matte paintings.
3D World: What was the most interesting shot to develop from a technical angle? CP: The last shot of the building collapsing was the most interesting, because we used a variety of techniques to achieve that shot. We used fume for the particles and fire, projections for the background and buildings, and comp’d in additional debris from plate elements we had in our library.
"We used fume for the particles and fire, projections for the background and buildings, and comp'd in additional debris from plate elements we had in our library," says Paek
3D World: Can you talk us through a key scene and explain how it was created technically? CP: There is one scene where we see our protagonists landing on an overpass bridge. Because we had more parallax than our single projection could handle, we had multiple cameras in the scene to help it out.
Re-projecting over-scan paintings worked for most of the spot, because each shot was composed so that we had very little z-motion happening. For this particular shot we had a lot of Y-movement coming down on the bridge, so in these special cases we had cameras projecting foreground, mid, and background buildings and in the case of the the bridge, we had another camera specifically for that single element.
Projecting helps when you don’t have a lot of movement happening in each shot. We found this technique worked well with our pipeline, because it gave us the freedom to keep most of the changes in compositing. And if you want to talk about render times, well, that’s another story. We saved hours upon hours of render time on this show, because it literally would take us less than a minute a frame to render large sequences out.
3D World: How long did the VFX shots take to complete? CP: It took around four weeks to complete the bulk of the job. We then had an additional week to tweak in comp to put the finishing touches on the spot before it shipped.