Making of: 52 and a half. Part 2

You can read the previous part of this making of – here.

The cavalry rides in to save the day!

In Sapkowski’s stories Geralt often talks to his horse – Roach (the Witcher had a lot of horses, but he would always give them the same name – Roach). Why not use this motive in our movie? To implement this idea we “stole” one of the story team members. Arek Borowik prepared the final monologue and now we knew we just had to record Doug Cockle (the English voice of Geralt). But how could we put all these new ideas into the clip? This time the solution was simple. The clip had to be longer.

Short story long

“The horse monologue” worked fine. It appealed to the viewer, because it didn’t tell the story directly and would be consistent with The Witcher’s universe.

In the meantime we organised a motion capture recording and started to create the movie in-engine using our motion builder. The sequences were growing by the day and we achieved the proper pacing for telling the entire story.
The film was getting longer and longer. Geralt’s journey, the troll encounter, the horse panicking, meditation and the cave sequence – all of this added up to a length of over 5 minutes. Our initial concept was only two minutes long. But the story as a whole was great, so we didn’t want to cut a thing.

The Epilogue – some people never learn

Other problems showed that some assets had to be improved to meet our standards (i.e. some objects had been using lo-res textures, because they weren’t intended for close-ups). Paweł Mielniczuk (Lead Character Artist) also had to join the project and he created “Geralt’s new look” after the witcher consumes his potions.
Lucjan Więcek (Lead Level Artist) who loves perfection (sometimes even too much) was controlling us all the time. He corrected the lighting, added some vegetation here and there. He also “lent” us his team member – Adrian Sobieraj (Level Artist) who moved many to suit our needs.
More and more people joined the project and we got a lot of help (whereas at first everybody told us we were going to be alone on this one). Once again our studio proved that our pursuit of awesomeness is unlimited and we cannot contain our desires.
And so, after many hours of overtime, midnight pizzas and going home only for a change clothes, the movie was ready. The sound crew applied the finishing touch – they worked right up to the last minute.
We are getting used to the mantra: “if we only had one day more, we would improve…”. But still I am very satisfied with what we achieved.

And here are some production screenshots:

This is how we see the clip for most of the time

This is how we see a shot, while we work on it . Then we have to export the animation to the game engine. This allows us to attach the proper models, add lighting, depth of field, etc.

We work without textures, so our hardware can manage with all the computing

Most of the time we work without textures, so our hardware can compute everything faster:

This is how we animate the Witcher’s face

  • Aditya Iyer

    awesome! make a part 2 please :D
    or another one longer! perhaps a short film? :D
    (i’ll even pay for it whatever you guys make!)
    btw the link is not hyper-linked

    • Masos

      We have some difficulties with that link. We’ll try to create a seperate post about that recording. Until that time, I have hidden the link – so nobody gets confused.

      • Aditya Iyer

         Oh ok that is fine hoping to hear more soon!

  • Igor Kom

    you know, i just watched trailer of another cheap so called “game”. it’s based on lotr (Tolkien). I just wanted to say that compare Tolkien and Sapkowski – you did a masterpieces (w1 & w2) using Master’s books. and another “companies” did sh** using Grand Master universe.
    guys you are awesome!
    and those movies – i can “smell” horse’s sweat. incredible! 
    I’m happy you’re in my life! =)

  • Wichat

    Ouch! Talking about Roach… will we see Geralt rinding Roach, even though only in cutscenes? 

  • Ryabinin Sergey

    I wonder why don’t you have any QA positions on the job list? I would apply for some :)

  • J_brujah

    Hi, great work guys, on all your work :) . I would have one question, if it’s possible for you to supply me with an answer. The face controls visible there, is it a commercial plugin or one developed in-house ? I really like the connection to the f-curves utility. Oh and btw, are all facial anims done via keyframing or is there some captured data used as some sort of “raw” material ? Tnx a bunch and keep up the fantastic work