|DMN: Dragon Rage
Max Ink Cafe Breathes Fire into Dragon Rage for PS2
John B. Virata
Max Ink Cafe announced it has completed game cinematics for 3DO's Dragon
Rage , 3D0's Christmas release (Dec. 4) for the PlayStation2 game console.
The Venice, California-based digital effects facility finished 10 minutes
of animation for Dragon Rage's game cinematics (a game cinematic
rewards the game player for completing sections, or levels, in a game. It
also provides the storybase exposition for the game play.) and delivered
some ocean footage that was incorporated into some matte paintings that
appear in the game.
textured, and animated the characters and the environments employing a mix
of keyframe animation and motion capture. The company completed the motion
capture sequence at motion capture facility House of Moves.
The company used a variety of tools, including, Discreet's 3ds max and
Character Studio, Right Hemisphere's Deep Paint, and three Digimation plugins:
Shag Hair, Stitch, and Bones Pro 2.
MIC was in production
on Dragon Rage's for 12 weeks. Animation director was MIC's Todd
Sheridan Perry, and CG Supervisor was Duane Stinnett (former art director
at Irvine, California game developer Blizzard Entertainment).
has been often compared to filmmaking with regard to the brutal production
schedules and the varying amounts of effects that are generated to immerse
game players into the game, and to help to tell a story in a film. MIC,
which estimates that 40 percent of its work is done for the game development
community, has been able to work both within the film community and the
game development community.
"In games, you have complete control over all the elements and you aren't
necessarily aiming for photoreality. There is a lot of creative latitute
when creating the fully CG world," says Jennifer Champagne, CG producer at
Max Ink Cafe. "In movies, you are trying to create the illusion of reality,
so there is a lot more attention to detail. Also, you are dependent on the
design and quality of the live action footage that you are trying to match."
In addition to the animation and video sequences, Max Ink Cafe also created
dragon fire with a mix of analog effects--via hair spray lit on fire and
shot with a Canon XL1 DV camera. MIC then melded the fire elements into the
final scenes with the CG Elements. MIC's previous game work includes Warriors
of Might & Magic (June 2000), WDL Thunder Tanks (August 2000), and WDL
War Jets (September 2000), all for the 3DO company.
For more information,
go to www.maxinkcafe.com
Perry, Animation Director
Jennifer A. Champagne,
Cristina Castro, Assistant Coordinator
Lucas Feld, Lead
Concepts and Storyboards