I’m a gamer. I grew up playing games, of all sorts, and I’ve always loved them. Unsurprisingly, I’m a particular fan of the art and animation that goes into games – whether that’s a well-animated character, fantastic effects work, or a beautiful composed battlefield (the maps for Heroes of the Storm are full of gorgeous details that cover design, animation and art, all of which have the classic Blizzard art style).
I’m also a big fan of game cinematics and game trailers. They’re a great example of storytelling in a very short format, that usually have to meet a number of goals. They need to set the scene of the game, explain it’s setting, give you a sense of the characters and the stakes, without being explicitly about moment-to-moment gameplay (which is often their downfall – too many games have had fantastic trailers and then fallen a little short when the final product is released).
Which brings us to Axis Animation based in Glasgow. They produced this game trailer for Fable Legends from Lionhead (I’ve always been a fan of the Fable games, even back in the Molyneux days when it was a case of ‘oversell and then under-deliver’). I love the combination of technologies here, with the pushed art style from the Fable games, with lovely mocap and animation work and some very nice frost and ice work on the ice wizard. You can see the video, with some additional stills and character breakdowns, on the Axis Animation website here.
Axis have done a number of different trailers and projects that I like, and they have a VFX wing plus a sister animation studio called Flaunt Productions – expect some posts highlighting their work in coming days!