For ESL we produced an intro trailer for Starcraft World Championship Series – WCS 2014.
alternative shorter version
When ESL asked us to produce an intro trailer for WCS 2014, we were elated. Immediately after that, we realized that we would have to deal with the fact that the previous year’s intro had been a cutscene from the magnificent Heart of the Swarm cinematics. How could our visual style fit in this context without making us and ESL look silly in comparison to the magnitude of what had gone before?
We resolved to avoid emulating the Starcraft 2 design. Instead, we tried to create a more abstract and sketchy gaming environment, one that focuses less on the fictional context of Blizzard’s game, and more on an intense gaming experience, one in which the player is depicted directing the battle.
Once idea and treatment could be successfully pitched to ESL we went into concept art and visual development to set up an overall design direction. Through intensive testing we looked for approaches to convert concept art into detailed images and assets suitable for animation.
For the live action shots, we opted for a C300 camera. It’s an ideal choice for working with very high ISO rates and offers very little compression on its video output. This gave us freedom and flexability, both of which are crucial when shooting time is limited and there’s no option to redo the whole shoot.
After an intensive one-day live action shoot, we combined those 3 hours of footage with the pre-produced 3D-Animatic clips and the sound-score.
From that point usually we work like sculptors. We improve timing, camera, light, rendering, postproduction, special effects on a constant flow to improve the storytelling and the intended impact.
The look and feel should function as live broadcast assets as well, here some asset templates.
As a small production team based in Vienna and Lisbon, it was a great chance to push ourselves to the absolute limit, finding creative solutions within timeframe and budget. As a longtime fan of both Blizzard and Starcraft, I was thrilled to work on this. Like the progamers competing in WCS, we tried our hardest to step up our game.
We’d like to take the time to thank the whole ESL production team, who were an absolute pleasure to work with. Special thanks to James and Marco, both for their trust and their valuable feedback throughout production.
We are indebted to Jacob from Studio Prozak’s whose commitment to finding the right sound for the intro helped shape the project.
|Project||WS 2014 | Starcraft 2 | Event Ident|
|Direction and Art Direction||Lip Comarella, Simon Griesser|
|Team||Lip Comarella, Simon Griesser, Miro Klasinc (WRLK.TV), João Faria|
|Music and Sounddesign||Prozacstudio, Jacob Thomas Czech|