A couple years ago, I had a great time working on a series of spots for a very popular (in Korea) game called Lineage. The anthem spot was about a minute long and had lots of action and fun characters, and it’s the subject of this post.
The story goes- we find our hero protagonist “Bugbear” in the middle of a battlefield, who breaks the 4th Wall and calls out to us, the viewer, to witness he and his compatriots, with their powers combined, topple the evil Death Knight! Though victory may be short lived- that’s the law of the land around these parts. Witness!
And, here’s the final spot!
This spot had it all- fun characters, action, humor, sex appeal. I love the sense of escalation, and the the way the final product came out is just really awesome- you can really see the quality in the craftsmanship of the animators and designers. Such a great team! Here’s some cool detail shots before you go:
Hi! So here’s a fun one, if, I guess, you think war and conquest is fun… just kidding, of course you do! What could be more fun then kicking your friends’ butts in online multiplayer combat via iOS or Android device? NOTHING #LOL
But seriously, I LOVE DRAWING WAR, something about it just flows out of me, even easier than all the other stuff that I enjoy drawing. It’s just FUN drawing stuff blowing up!
The spots for this project kind of distilled down from 4 spots, to 2, to 1, so there’s some splicing and melding going on in some of these boards I’m about to show- but it’s helpful (I’m sure) to see how this kind of thing can happen! In these modern advertising times, client needs and specs have to pivot on a dime! New apps/smartphones are released every day and that’s your ENEMY out there! That’s WAR for you!
My favorite part of this project, aside from the ‘realistic’ treatment of the weaponry and setting- was the emphasis put on the various commanders as CHARACTERS – which always inspires as being a board artist forces you to become part ACTOR as well as ARTIST. Enough said, let me know what you think of my ‘performance.’
And another ‘take’:
Not bad eh? Well, you’ll see in the video to follow: They’ve pivoted among other things, the TITLE of this project! So now we are WAR PLANET. Good to know! Hey, first thing’s first, right?
I think it turned out great! I’d play, but it wouldn’t be fair to everyone else, you know? Hey, I’m just being honest. See you next time!
Earlier this year I had a blast working with the good people at BLIND on their amazing project: The Xbox “Scorpio” debut trailer. This officially introduced the world to the Xbox One X, and it’s always an honor to be included on such high-profile assignments. I’ve generously been given permission to show some of the storyboards I created for them- I think this is some of my best work!
Woohoo! Here’s another fun project from earlier this year that I’m very proud to show- fun video game racing action! The “Asphalt” Series is well known in gaming circles as a premium racing product and I was very excited to be involved with my clients at PSYOP for their pitch and production of this great spot.
Conceptually, it’s very simple: Showcase the main themes of the game series: Racing, Mayhem, and Variety. Variety of cars, and variety environments. Hate to say it, but this was kind of an easy one for me… A commercial like this has no room for subtlety, so it’s just a matter of attempting to give equal weight to the important elements (variety of cars and environments) and balance that with a ramping of the action to an ultimate climax, all within 30 seconds!! EXTREME!!!
This project had two parts- the pitch and the production. For the pitch (in which we try to “win” the job), we kind of had a looser goal- wow the client with, well, creative compositions to showcase the action and variety. Promise them the moon and see if we can deliver. There were all kinds of different ideas being tossed about- mostly the idea was to bring a realistic visualization of the gameplay to the screen. Also on the job were some very talented 3d and concept artists, and we all pitched in to contributed pieces of the final puzzle. The pitch was won on the merits of this collaboration- some of which I’ll share with you below (they didn’t make the final cut, but helped advance the job along, and look cool, besides!).
It was a great team effort, and we won the job. Now comes the hard part- execution. They had me back to refine some concepts and nail transitions into something that hit all the marks. You ready for the boards? Here you go!
And here’s the final spot!
What a wild ride! Soo….. Sometimes I have a massive amount of input on a job, and I feel like I get to pick all the shots, and control the pacing, and the visual storytelling (remember, for many jobs, and certainly in this case, I’m not even given a script or shotlist). BUT in this case, much of the concepting was done by talented 2d and 3d artists working concurrently- and so about the only idea I want to point out that I specifically contributed was the opening transition where the camera appears to be POV from the view of the bumper, but pulls out to be the POV looking into the reflection of the bumper. As far as I know, I “invented” that, at least in this kind of car/racing/bumper context. The thing about that kind of camera move is, it’s something you can only pull off in CG, so you’d never see that in classic cinema- since you’d have to magically “erase” the reflection of the cameraman. So, there you go, I did something cool. But even so, just as much if not more credit goes to the director and the CG artists for actually pulling it off and making it look amazing- you never know with uncharted territory, but that’s life… TO THE XTREME!!!!
So, here’s some awesome storyboards I did for a video game commercial- a mobile game app called “Brave Frontier,” which is apparently very popular. I wish I had more time to play games myself! Jumped into this project and worked concurrently with some very talented concept artists and directors to establish a very cool look and mood for the piece.
In this commercial, we see two figures meet- on the sandblasted ruins of some ancient civilization- and they psyche each other out as they prepare to duel. They take turns evolving into more powerful forms of themselves, and summoning more allies, before the scale tips and they charge each other to fight! Here’s the boards.
It’s so fun to get to draw dramatic action, and I really liked the cool concept artwork the other artists were developing for the characters’ looks. Very inspiring. These are a little sketchier than I usually finish, but it worked, given the subject matter, and we didn’t have lots of time to polish anyway.
The final commercial, below, was certainly very true to the shots and compositions of storyboards- but at the risk of providing a personal opinion (which I always hesitate to do, as it is of little service to clients), I felt the final animation style was not as edgy as would have been better served to compliment the mood we sought- at least initially. There could have been any number of decisions made since my contribution, leading to the final product. As the storyboard artist, I’m one of the first in and first out, and things always evolve as the production continues.
Despite this, I had fun working on the project and I’m very proud of these drawings- I think they look cool!
Lucky me, I got to work with the very talented folks at The Mill earlier this year, and storyboard their cinematic cutscene that they were doing for the new Call of Duty “Extinction” series. It’s a DLC expansion game, I believe, which means it’s a smaller, downloadable game, part of a very popular franchise, and it’s got a very accelerated production schedule. So, they know who to call for storyboards!
These COD projects are tons of fun to work on. I get to draw stuff like monsters, guns, battleships, weird alien environments, and I have a good deal of creative input here too, although that’s probably due to the very tight production schedule. Not enough time to split hairs, creatively!
I’m not a big video game player these days, so I’m a little unsure of the whole big story context, but in this cinematic, we see a paramilitary commander exploring a mysterious cave, coming across monolithic object of alien origin, touching it, and releasing a monster, which wakes him from his “nightmare,” into a hellish vision of the future, curated by an apparition of a woman with special powers he seeks to harness, and she reveals a startling truth, which wakes him AGAIN into actual reality, where he finds himself aboard an experimental navy seacraft, now under attack. He rushes to the medical bay and sees his prisoner, the woman from the dream, helpless and restrained, but nonetheless he suspects her of orchestrating the attack on the ship. He moves to the viewing deck and we see the attacking see monster descending upon them…
Here’s the boards:
These storyboards were the very first pass I pitched to the director after reading the script. I actually don’t have the finished boards… I have no clue where I put them! It’s possible I deleted them mistakenly. That’s a shame, but it’s still cool to compare my boards to the finished product and see the similarities and differences.