Brief

To craft an explosive launch trailer for the all new multiplayer game, Rocket Arena.

Approach

Ramping up for the all new 3v3 shooter, Electronic Arts and The Mill worked closely to develop a unique concept: combine the rocket filled world with the real one. In this part live-action, part animated film our main character and hero, Rev, discovers the world of propulsion just outside her window.

Impact

A minute long cinematic trailer that seamlessly blends together a live-action environment with a uniquely stylized animated character.

Client

Electronic Arts

Production Company

The Mill

Director

David Lawson

Welcome to a world where the rules are written in rocket fuel! The Mill teamed up with Electronic Arts and developers Final Strike Games on an explosive launch trailer for the all new multiplayer game, Rocket Arena, directed by David Lawson.

In the minute-long cinematic trailer, Rev stumbles through her morning routine with the help of a few unsuspecting jet powered friends. From Rev’s slippers, jewelry box, and even her morning cup of joe we see the world of Rocket Arena slowly materialize until it’s grand reveal. From Rev’s front porch, actual game footage elements were implemented into the final unveiling of Boom City.

Director David Lawson explains “During the early stages of development we knew that we wanted to blend two worlds together, which is how we landed on a unique approach of placing our CG character into a practical environment. We started off on set, filming the spot in its entirety with an actress for reference, before shooting the same scenes with a clean plate. Having a clear reference alongside the beautiful practical lighting from set was essential to seamlessly blending the key frame animation with the live action set. This method of crafting the commercial was an innovative alternative to motion capture with the best of both live-action and animated worlds.”

David and The Mill’s VFX Team delicately balanced Rev’s characterization against the practical set, cautious to not push her features too far into photorealism. Shoot/VFX Supervisor, Matthew Fuller comments “The project bought an exciting challenge of integrating a stylized CG character into the real world. The key for us was to mimic the onset lighting, in our 3D software, as closely as possible. We then crafted physically plausible shaders to slot Rev into the live action environment. By shooting live action plates with performer in situ, we could reference this, making sure we incorporated all the lighting and shadow subtleties. Our expert team of artists at The Mill elevated the look of Rev by adding mid and micro sculptural details and crafting skin and textural details. We also relied on our in-house grooming tools to give our hero her three unique hairstyles.”

2D Lead Artist, Gareth Parr, adds “Comping CG characters into real world environments is one of the highlights in Visual Effects. Seeing how The Mill’s team of animators and lighters meticulously tweaked the subtle nuances of Rev’s movements and lighting was the key to bringing her to life. Personally, I loved all the minute details this project had, like extra thrusters on the set elements and colorful lights trailing off the rocket props, they really helped merge the two worlds into one.”

Credits

Client
Client Electronic Arts
Group Senior Producer Jacky Gilson
Creative Director Drew Stauffer
Producer Alex Dossett
Associate Producer Will Tyler
Production
Production The Mill
Director David Lawson
Producer Patti Getker
Senior Line Producer Nitin Kumar Bahl
Production Coordinator Angely Malave, Utkarsha Chittaranjan Wairkar
DP Laura Merians
PM Dave Forrest
1st AD Shawn Thomas
Editorial
Editorial The Mill
Editors Natalie Wozniak, Victor Jory
VFX Creative
VFX Creative The Mill
VFX Supervisor Matthew Fuller
2D Lead Artist Gareth Parr, Nithin Babu
3D Lead Artist Phil Maddock
2D Artist Adam Lambert, Lenz Kol, Roxy Zuckerman, Tim Rudgard, Timothy Crabtree Nehal Desai, Mohit Garg, Srilakshmi Narasimha Konde
3D Artist Derrick Sesson, Graeme Turnbull, Hiroshi Tsubokawa, Daniel Soo, Jae Jun Yi, Stefan Kang, Jason Mortimer, Lalida Karnjanasirirat, Freddy Parra, Michael Lori, Elizabeth Hammer, Daniel Weiss, Carlo Carfora, Evelina Dalin, Marc Greyvenstein, Robert Moore, Andreas Graichen, Vaishali Gholap, Anil Sarki, Sivasubramanian, Dinesh B, Amit Das, Akshay Suresh Lanjewar, Somesh Tiwari
Asset Supervisor Anish Mohan
Animation Supervisor Paul Tempelman
Animation Jacob Bergman, Alberto Lara, Laurie Estampes, Thomas Craig, Maxime Cronier
Tracking Lead Murali Krishna Reddy
Tracking Sameer Khan, Drishti Gupta, Jadheer T, Ravi
Design Henry de Leon, Alexis McDonough, Sidney Tan
Art Department Kevin Diaz
Storyboard Eric Yamamoto
Copywriter Min-Wei Lee
Colour
Colour The Mill
Colourist Matt Osborne
Colour Producer Blake Rice
Colour Assist Logan Highlen, Gemma Parr
VFX Production
VFX Production The Mill
Executive Producer Anastasia Von Rahl
Senior Producer Dan Love, Angela Toner
Associate Producer Michael Novo
Senior Line Producer Nitin Kumar Bahl
Production Coordinator Utkarsha Chittaranjan Wairkar
Shoot Supervisor Matthew Fuller

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