Ubisoft: “Brothers in Arms: Furious 4”

ROLE: Senior Flame Artist / VFX Compositor
VENDOR: Digital Domain
CLIENT: Ubisoft
DIRECTOR: Aladino Debert

During my latter days at Digital Domain, I worked on a number of game cinematics, E3 trailers, and promotional spots.

The studio just inherited Robert Zemeckis’ mo-cap stage in Playa Vista, which was perfect for creating game-related content. And their internal production company Mothership boasted a roster of directors that were looking to branch out from commercial work. Cinematics and long-form trailers proved am appealing medium for broader storytelling.

This brings us to one of their earlier efforts, “Brothers in Arms: Furious 4,” directed by longtime VFX supervisor and Mothership member Aladino Debert. This ultraviolent, WWII fantasy assumed a Tarantino-flavored take on killing Nazis.

At the time, it was created as an announcement trailer for E3. But apparently, after the gaming conference, it was deemed a little too close to Tarantino’s wartime fantasy “Inglorious Bastards,” and was consequently changed quite a bit from what you see here.

History aside, the trailer itself was tons of fun to work on, albeit sometimes pretty eye-opening in its irreverent take on wartime vengeance. All of the CG was comp’d in Nuke by a talented roster of artistd. I had the opportunity to tackle a couple of shots in Flame, although most of my contributions were touch-ups and flourishes that occurred on top of Nuke comps.

I also managed the conform, handled all animated titling, treated the overall style and grade, and crafted additional explosive and flash effects in 2D.

Microsoft | Crytek: “Codename: Kingdoms”

ROLE: On-Set 2D Supervisor / Senior Flame Artist / VFX Compositor
VENDOR: Digital Domain
CLIENT: Microsoft | Crytek
DIRECTOR: Robert Hales

Microsoft/Crytek commissioned this teaser trailer for E3 2010 to promote a yet-to-be-created video game, provisionally entitled “Codename: Kingdoms.”

Due to a compressed schedule, simulating CG gameplay was ruled out. Instead, the decision was made to shoot actors on greenscreen, then use post-production to create a video game look.

Composited entirely in Flame, with minimal CG, this teaser capitalizes on the use of matte paintings and stock elements, as a well as a number of image processing techniques.

In addition to aiding with the on-set shoot, I tackled all the wide shots of the warrior on the battlefield, a couple where he’s flanked by his fellow soldiers, and helped develop the overall visual style of the piece.