BlizzCon 2017 - Junkertown: The Plan - Creating a New Kind of Overwatch Animation
This is a brief summary of the second Overwatch panel!

In-Game Cinematic Panel
  • Teamwork: Cinematics are created as a collaboration of the IGC and the Overwatch Engine Team
  • A whole new engine had to be built to allow creation of cinematics
  • The team has about 25 members
  • The team incorporates multiple Blizzard game engines

Story Development
  • Planning started early 2017, when the map didn't exist yet
  • Characters: Junkrat and Roadhog
  • Concept art, and the Queen's Decree was given to the team
  • During their exile, they [Junkrat, and Roadhog] stole everything they could
  • Choosing the place: the gate of the town
  • The Hook: Junkrat just wants to light the fuse to blow stuff up
  • Overwatch cinematics up to this point were very empotional
  • The title sequence was made to feel like a fun adventure

The Pitch
  • The cinematic was pitched without a script or a storyboard
  • The whole pitch was acted out
  • Greenlight to continue
  • The storyboard was very close to the final cinematic

Nuts and Bolts of the Overwatch Engine
  • Needed to be able to capture images and insert assets to the engine
  • Buffers: images that represent data
  • Set the Scene: TED is a light Overwatch engine used to set scenes, use the camera, add animations
  • The effects system drove the capture
  • The Play of the Game system and Capture system was very useful
  • New Camera system: had to make a free movement camera
  • Make the game engine not optimize engine by forcing quality 11
  • Break apart the scene into assets so they can be manipulated
  • Inserting the images to the engine
  • The Graphics cards were not able to support Quality 11
  • Slowed frames down to 1 FPS
  • The cinematic took up 5 TB of space

Animations
  • The game team helps the IGC team understand the character
  • Play of the Games give a really good insight into the character
  • Reference is used to discover ideas, facial expressions and nuances
  • Brad passed out during one of the takes when acting for the reference
  • Smear Frames: makes the animation more realistic by smearing the character
  • Makes it easier for the eye to follow, only visible in slow motion
  • Jokes are added by animators sometimes

The Engine
  • The characters, costumes, and variations are taken from the game engine
  • Everything that doesn't already exists in the game has to be manually made
  • The mesh of the characters has to be improved, because cinematics have more detail
  • A rig has to be built, which is the skeleton. This gives points of articulation
  • Limbs: these are added separately as controls for the animatior
  • Junkrat alone has 78 limbs and 524 controls
  • There are multiple automated control that move controls together
  • The face has multiple animated controls to create facial expressions
  • Effects are hand drawn frame-by-frame
  • All these are then added to TED for capture

Art and Lighting
  • The map was in development during the cinematic development
  • The final map was used as a base
  • Ambient light: simulates sunlight in the cinematic
  • The characters could not be seen while the light was added
  • Multiple point lights are added to make characters and items pop
  • After lights are added, it is ran through compositing
  • Because the payload was not used in game, which allowed to make it much more exaggerated
  • A surprised Pachimari was added to the cinematic as an Easter egg


This article was originally published in forum thread: BlizzCon 2017 - Junkertown: The Plan - Creating a New Kind of Overwatch Animation started by chaud View original post
Comments 3 Comments
  1. zomgzerg's Avatar
    who comes here for overwatch news? wow stuff is not even on front page wtf
  1. teidden's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by zomgzerg View Post
    who comes here for overwatch news? wow stuff is not even on front page wtf
    Where is the HOTS stuff OW was awesome compared to wow and i play wow not OW
  1. Palisis's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by zomgzerg View Post
    who comes here for overwatch news? wow stuff is not even on front page wtf
    For real... at least HotS is somewhat related to WoW.

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