how do you set about turning that idea into a cinematic? how do you set about turning that idea into a cinematic?

In addition to storyboarding all our ideas, we also focus a lot of time on the ‘animatics’ — moving 2D storyboards that give a sense of timing and pacing. We also like to score our animatics with music from other movies to enhance the sense of the mood at atmosphere that we’re ultimately aiming for. As Blizzard gets bigger, it becomes more and more important to avoid what we call the ‘grand reveal,’ which is keeping your work to yourself until it’s almost 100% done

. By that point, it’s far too late to incorporate feedback, and there’s always plenty of valuable feedback. A much better approach comes from building rough versions of the footage early and sharing with as many teams as possible as soon as possible. Animatics are very effective in that regard. We can build them quickly and still convey a lot of the elements and emotions we hope to capture in the final footage.
     Once we have the animatic in a place where we like it, we start blocking things out in 3D and layering in sound. Animators and artists start with simple skeletons and rough backgrounds to flesh out the space.

 The first 3D animatic is often called the ‘slap comp’ and from it we get a sense for how the cinematic is evolving into 3D space. The slap comp goes out to many teams for feedback, and another round of iteration begins in which we start layering in more features, piece by piece.

Details begin to emerge through rendering and painting, and eventually we start doing very subtle things, like supporting facial animations with muscle movement. These later stages can be very time consuming, which is why the earlier rounds of feedback are so vital. It’s important to start building all the meticulous details on top of a foundation that works. 

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